Megastores- What is it about?
Megastores.com is the online marketplace for artisans and organizations to sell their authentic handmade products all around the globe under their brand name, ensuring buyers a quality purchase at a fair price.
They make sure that all the artisans are fairly tech equipped to market their products online efficiently. The company’s team look after tasks like product photography, cataloging, and writing product descriptions.
Thus, Megastores help artisans to build their brand and get appreciated & paid for their artwork.
The company does everything to help the artisans in the best possible ways. Their team personally visits them, makes their stories, and documents their craft. Also, they check the authenticity of the goods and the artisan too. This way, every product on Megastores is directly sold by the artisans with their stories.
Customers not only get to know the artworks but even get to know about the artisans and their stories. As the goods are directly sold to the clients without any mediators, they get the products at a modest price.
Though many firms are working for the growth of the craft industry, the individual efforts result in zero improvements. Hence, Megastores aims to improve with fruitful collaborations by bringing NGOs along with the government on a single platform.
Check out their website for more details – https://www.megastores.com/
Kailash Tulsi Gajara founded Megastores. Hailing from Kutch in Gujarat, Kailash has an M.S in Computer Science from USC in Los Angeles. Also, he was the president of the Association of Indian Students at his university in LA.
Kailash has hosted many events, including the Lead India 2020 with India’s Missile Man, late. Shri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
- He is a gold medalist from Shah & Anchor Engineering College of Mumbai University.
- He is a VMware certified professional.
- He has a vast knowledge of virtualization and cloud computing.
- He worked in VMware in Palo Alto and a few other companies where he gained knowledge of developing software for enterprises.
- Currently, he is focussing on his two companies Atulsia Technologies and Atulsia Megastores.
- He has 10+ years of experience in the design, development, and deployment of multi-tier enterprise software.
- Also, he is an expert in B2B applications, E-commerce, Enterprise application development, Large Data Processing & Virtual Reality.
The Idea Inspiration behind Megastores!
Traditional art is not just handicrafts. It is the transmission of feelings that the artist has experienced while making the product. As Kailash belongs to Kutch, Gujarat, art was a vital part of his life since childhood.
He feels that most of the handicrafts have their own stories, and as they are now on the verge of extinction, those stories must be documented.
In Rural India, handloom is the second largest employer after agriculture. But the new generation is unwilling to take the craft forward as, despite the efforts, artisans don’t earn much. According to Kailash, the average monthly salary of an artisan is less than Rs. 5000. For this reason, in the past 30 years, more than 2 million artisans have quit the craftwork.
Also, the artisans can’t start their stores as they can’t manage that much money. Thus, they are only able to market via exhibitions. However, they are not able to make money for them and lose their identity.
Also, customers find it tough to buy authentic art. They are sometimes made to pay higher prices and are even duped by local traders. Most of the time, they end up buying machine goods in the name of handicrafts.
Thus, Kailash wanted a solution for all these problems, and hence, Megastores was born.
Challenges faced on the outset!
Unlike any other startup, Megastores, too, faced many challenges in its initial days. Two significant challenges that the company faced were of servicing the remotest pin codes and convincing the artisans to use the technology for digitally marketing their products.
But they solved these problems soon.
For servicing the remotest Pincode, they have successfully established trust points. These trust points are the nearest pick-up and drop points. They are easily accessible to both the artisan and the courier partner.
For making the artisans familiar with technology, they conduct workshops. Also, they train the younger generation from the artisans family as they are the most tech-savvy.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Megastores.com is a digital platform. In simple words, a marketplace where sellers of various kinds like Artisans, Brands, NGOs, and Fashion Designers can sell their authentic handmade products to customers worldwide. They have Android, iOS App, a website for the customers and Android app, and a web-based control panel for the sellers. All of them work smoothly.
NGOs like Shrujan, Khamir, Qasab, Sewa, Kalarakshya & VRDI have also collaborated with Megastores.com.
First Milestone and Current Growth Status!
During the interview with TimeNext, when asked about the company’s first milestone, Kailash said:
“Our current traction below, after one year, is like a milestone for us. The one thing that sets us apart from the competitors is being artisan centric. We work directly with the artisan on the ground, ensuring an authentic buy to a customer at a fair price.”
He further added that in the last 400 days, their team has met 350 artisans, visited 50+ villages across four states onboarding 250 artisans with 50+ crafts resulting in more than 4500 authentic products available for sale online.
Currently, for the revenue, Megastores charges only 8% as commission on sales from the artisans, while listing and cataloging are free. For government organizations, NGOs, and brands, they load up to 20% for the service and also for the cataloging.
Besides, they also conduct offline exhibitions for the artisans, which contribute a vital part to the revenue.
They are planning to introduce advertisements and promotions soon, which would also add to the revenue.
As of now, they are focussed on pan India merchant onboarding, since the launch of the platform in Nov 2018, till date they have seen more than 25000 visitors with 1000+ paying customers already with a quarterly increase in sales by 25%.
Megastores – The Vision
Megastores currently has a decent customer base but the team expects a 10X better customer acquisitions by the end of this year, with more than 1000 artisans from 12 more states in India and reaching up to 40000 SKUs.
Also, they aim to start international shipping in a couple of months, and with better collaborations, they intend to increase wholesale orders.
In the coming years, they are focussing on the upgrade of their platform and infrastructure.
In simple words, their vision is to become the world’s number-one destination for authentic handmade products.