“RMAI is a great supporting system for us” - K S Bhatia, Pumpkart.com
by Rakhi Jerly Marketing | October 26, 2015 | Interview
Pumpkart.com, launched by K S Bhatia in June 2014, is the pioneer in an online marketplace for domestic and agricultural pumps. The concept aims at serving quality and uniqueness pan India through online shopping for water pumps and related products. Pumpkart facilitates buying and selling remotely for small to large manufacturers and has witnessed tremendous growth in the past one year. Google India has selected Pumpkart.com as a Regional SME Hero from 25 SMEs national finalists, while Times of India placed it among the Top 20 E-retailers 2014 in India. Pumpkart was also praised by the Google CEO during a speech at the 'Digital India' dinner organized for PM Narendra Modi and the top CEOs of Silicon Valley.
K S Bhatia, Founder and CEO of Pumpkart spoke to EVENTFAQS about the challenges in creating and promoting an e-commerce offering for the rural market as well as their association with the Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI).
What were the challenges in creating an e-commerce offering for the rural market?
There are a number of challenges that lead to operational hurdles that stop e Commerce companies in capturing the rural market. A low literacy rate and the poor infrastructure lead to a number of other challenges. However, the key challenges include, logistic, payment collection, customer acquisition at low cost, lack of knowledge about online shopping, poor penetration of internet and other connecting sources. Even many times customers fail to understand the technologies involved in online online payment and how to shop online.
In your opinion, how is the media consumption in the rural markets evolving? What do you predict for the future?
Media reach is evolving in the rural parts of our country with the largest number of efforts are made by the Indian government to educate the rural citizens. However, for now the penetrations of mass media such as television, radio and print media is highest, but the current government campaign to connect every village through internet or broadband connectivity is the future of India. It would be interesting to see how this will increase the competition among urban market and rural market and benefit e -retailers like us.
How do you promote PumpKart amongst relevant audiences? What methods have proved to be most effective for the brand?
Currently we are promoting Pumpkart through Google Adwords to reach relevant audience. But being a part of a niche market, we are not getting expected results, especially from the rural areas. However, for capturing this segment, we are aggressively working on different plans to capture the 35% (agriculture pumps market share) of the total water pump market. We have also initiated the proceedings to be a part of the government CSC centres, which have a wide reach in rural areas and may multiply their number to 2.5 lakh in the end of this year.
On the other hand, to make the delivery of the products possible, we are also planning to expand Pumpkart through offline studios to provide touch and feel experience to the customers with placing orders online. We hope that this will help us to win the customer trust easily and make Pumpkart a reliable source for buying the products like water pumps. In the future, we are also thinking to tap the b2b segment to multiply the business with high institutional sales.
How do you see an association like RMAI supporting the marketing / promotion of a brand like yours?
The organizations like RAMI could be a great supporting system for the e-retailers like us as they know the rural audiences mentality very well and have a well developed infrastructure to reach and educate them. Overall, these types of organizations could help us to tap the market through their well established channels and ongoing programs. We are seriously looking forward to working with RAMI in the future so that we can reach more number of customers easily.
The Founder & CEO of Pumpkart.com speaks about the challenges in creating an e-commerce offering for the rural market.