In 2011, by acquiring SoSasta.com, Groupon started its operations in India and it featured one daily deal on the best things to do, see, eat and buy across 10 cities in India. In August 2015, Groupon India went through a Management Buyout to create an independent entity and started off as nearbuy.com (Nearbuy India Private Limited).
After Groupon’s rebranding in 2015, nearbuy.com focused on moving from the Groupon technology to the in-house nearbuy.com technology. nearbuy.com has doubled its merchant coverage by twice, since August 2015, while releasing new platforms for customers and merchants. The company raised fresh capital and fresh equity infusion and by virtue of that Groupon’s ownership, the company has been reduced from 100% to a minority ownership.
In these years, Ankur and his team has enhanced the company’s position as the market leader in the Online to Offline (O2O) space. The company is now working with over 25,000 merchants across 33 cities in the country, while serving over 2.1 million customers every day. nearbuy.com operates in the Local Commerce Industry which is a $125bn industry comprising of Food & Beverages, Beauty Health & Wellness, Travel, Retail Shopping, Entertainment & Activities and Movies & Events.
Today, nearbuy.com is India’s first hyper-local online platform that enables customers and local merchants to discover and engage with each other. nearbuy.com is the market leader in the O2O space, which is buying online and consuming offline. Its technology enables its consumers to discover the best merchants around them, in a real-time environment, read all relevant content about them such as reviews, rating, menu, location, images and buy their services, while saving money. This allows the merchants to have an online presence and also target themselves to audiences that are using their mobile phones to discover the nearby world.
The struggle behind the immense success
Struggle and hurdles have always been there in every entrepreneur’s life. None has become successful sans overcoming obstacles. Led by Ankur Warikoo, nearbuy.com has also faced hurdles before becoming the India’s first hyper-local online dais.
The biggest hurdle for nearbuy.com was establishing the market. As the largest and first player in the O2O space, the onus of defining the space and setting the standards was on the nearbuy.com’s team. This meant explaining to merchants why coming online makes sense to them. And explaining to customers why transacting online is the smarter way to buy and save money. That was a real phase tough for Ankur and his team. But there is no shortcut in the venture of taking a company to greater heights.
nearbuy.com have gone through massive ups and downs. And the lesson learnt from every hurdle is that market creation takes time and consumers don’t change their behavior just because there is a product out there.
Learnings behind nearbuy’s success
In India, consumers always value money over time and this fact turn out to be the biggest learning for Ankur and nearbuy.com. For Indians, how they handle their money matters a lot. This whole scenario has helped nearbuy.com to craft the future of the company where the company will have to strike a fine balance between offering deals and offering convenience – while ensuring that the merchants get an economical way of working with nearbuy.com. The company works with Metro and Tier 1 cities only, because that’s where the disposable income is to allow for services to flourish.
nearbuy.com exists because it believes that humans are social animals, and face to face interactions create value. So the company wants to be in the business of making people step out. Talking about the company’s mission statement, it is always about making the process of stepping out possible, easy and beneficial for the Indian consumer.
When it comes to the most influential factors in the business’ success then it’s the number of merchants that work with nearbuy.com, and the long standing experience of 6 years (from 2011 onwards) which makes nearbuy.com different from others in the domain.
Always find a lot more to do with nearbuy.com
Today, the company has one of the highest retention in the online world. On a monthly basis, consumers buy from nearbuy.com twice every month, which actually proves how satisfied the clients are with nearbuy.com’s services.
Everyone at nearbuy.com works really hard to bring your world, closer to you. Whether it’s fine dining, relaxing at the top spas, or just discovering your city intimately, nearbuy.com makes it happen for you.
Meet the fearless leader
Ankur Warikoo is the Co-founder and CEO at nearbuy.com. He is an internet entrepreneur, speaker and writer. He was also the former CEO at Groupon India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Angel Investor in Internet and Technology Startups.
Ankur has pursed BSc in Physics from Hindu College, MS in Physics from Michigan State University and has done his MBA in finance from Indian School of Business. Ankur has also got a bag filled with several awards and honors: Social Media Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, FORTUNE India 40 Under 40 List, India’s Most Promising Entrepreneur Award (2013), India’s Top 25 Executives below 40 years (2013) and ISB Young Leader Award 2005-06.