We talked to Ujjawal Kumar, Founder of indiabazaaronline.com, one of the India’s leading web fashion stores, providing trending clothing at affordable and reasonable prices around the world. This is what he said:
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ujjawal Kumar: Thanks for asking. My well-wishers and I are perfectly all right and healthy in this pandemic which attacked suddenly without any warning. However, we miss many things like roaming freely in the office and interacting with colleagues, but it’s good enough that we are safe and still serving our clients across the globe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded indiabazaaronline.com.
Ujjawal Kumar: I hold a master’s degree in computer and a total of 18 years of experience in IT, Software, and Data Science field. My wife, Pooja, and I founded indiabazaaronline with a vision to fulfill the need of Indians living around the world. Once during my visit to Florida, I had a difficult time finding Indian clothes for a ritual. The idea just came from there; we decided to fill this gap and launched a portal that caters to overseas clients.
How does indiabazaaronline.com innovate?
Ujjawal Kumar: We use an AI-enabled and NLP-based communication medium which offers ‘a near to human’ experience to our customers wherever they are, either on websites or mobile apps. During the pandemic crisis, we effectively managed the situation during the peak time when people were spending more time on the web for their needs.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Ujjawal Kumar: I remember in2019 when a complete lockdown was announced in India, all the shipping services that we are dependent on ceased their operation due to international flight ban. Those days were the most terrific days for us. We suffered a lot, but thanks to our admired customers for their cooperation, we are happy to say that not a single order was canceled during that time. We fulfilled all the orders later when operations resumed. Since then, we are continuously serving without any delay. However, we have changed many things in our process flow due to various factors that rose due to Covid.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ujjawal Kumar: Definitely, we made some harsh decisions to comply with the rules for our workers’ safety. Craftsmen and embroiders are our backbone. Suddenly this panic resulted in the shortage of workers and raw materials to process the pending orders. But we managed that bad time effectively and learned a lot of worthwhile lessons that will surely benefit us even after this pandemic.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Ujjawal Kumar: Communication is the most crucial key for any successful process with any delay or stopover. Of course, we started using some tools like Yubo And Microsoft’s team for communication among our team. And we are proud that our team was very keen to adopt these new tools, and after few sessions, they are using tools like any other tech-savvy person. This really helped us to cope with communication delays.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ujjawal Kumar: We are into the retail apparel segment, and our direct competitors are giants like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Our effective strategy to snatch a maximum share from the mouth of these hulks is one to one communication with consumers. This is the recipe to maximize your ROI, especially when you are in the retail sector. Also, no surprises for your buyer. Just deliver exactly what was shown to them. This will build a long term relation with your consumer and will enhance your brand value.
Your final thoughts?
Ujjawal Kumar: Overall Lessons learned from the pandemic, you should not dither to adopt new technology when required and, decisions must be swift. This will make you go ahead of your opponents. If you are keen to fill the gap, you will rule for sure.
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