Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Purplle.com, India’s largest beauty product and service destination, has shown the way to startups. How to judiciously utilize resources, capitalize on your strengths and show results to the investors. In just under 4 years, the beauty behemoth is on the verge of turning completely profitable.
Founded in 2012 by IIT alumni Manish Taneja (IIT Delhi) and Rahul Dash (IIT Kharagpur, IIM Ahmedabad), Purplle.com had its humble beginnings in a small 200 sq. ft. shared office space in suburban Mumbai. The seed capital of INR 40,00,000 was invested entirely by Manish and Rahul, who bet their life’s savings on their dream. Starting with a core team of just 5, including Manish, Rahul and the tech co-founder Suyash, the mantra was always to keep it lean and simple. They have grown impressively since their first month’s GMV of INR 45,000 to an expected GMV of INR 300 crores for FY17.
In the last 12 months itself, Purplle.com has grown 6 times and already turned profitable in its West and North zones. In its first financial year, FY13, Purplle.com stood at a modest INR 4 crore, which is set to cross INR 300 crores in the current financial year. By October 2016, Purplle.com is confident of turning nationally profitable, a rare feat in today’s times.
The past year has seen numerous startups laying off large numbers of people, showing very negative growth and even prematurely shutting shop. One of the core reasons was that instead of investing in technology and processes, the spends were largely in marketing and hiring. Purplle.com, on the other hand, invested heavily in technology, supply chain and system creation.
Commenting on their unusual feat, Manish Taneja, Founder & CEO, Purplle.com said, “Purplle is based on an ethos of innovation, technology and service. Since inception, we have either owned every tech product or we’ve taken it in-house. Our inventory was always automated till the unit level, giving us immense control and eliminating the chance of mistakes. Our varied content and offerings are engaging deeply with our user base, which is ensuring a high rate of repeat interactions. Integrating salon discovery and booking has begun generating revenues. Our DNA has always been tech-oriented, with tech and data forming 30% of Purplle’s team. We are so glad they’re showing results. We plan to take this approach forward through our journey and make Purplle.com the brand that we have envisioned.”
Mr. Vikram Gupta, Founder – IvyCap Ventures said, “We were always confident about investing in Purplle. Apart from the idea, what was more important for us were the people backing it. Manish and Rahul’s clear approach on investing in technology and processes has helped Purplle keep its focus crystal clear. No large-scale unproductive expenses have been undertaken. At about 70 people, it is a lean team for the business it generates. The attrition rate has been <10%, which is phenomenal. Most of the processes are automated, saving huge money. Purplle has generated 5 times the amount of gross profits per person, compared to its nearest competitor. So the focus has always been clear – invest in growth, technology and systems. All these steps have helped make Purplle the financially sound company that it is today.”
In the sensitive world markets of today, where many companies are realizing the cost of rationalizing resources, Purplle has stayed ahead in the game by making it their mantra from the beginning. It has shown the way to numerous startups, a practical lesson in how to invest, grow and show results. After October, when Purplle turns profitable nationally, the next phase of aggressive growth is already set to be put into action.