Zepto founders on being role models, keeping up with competition, and being quick on the entrepreneurial journ

If the Zepto co-founder Kaivalya Vohra and Aadit Palicha counted as the youngest (both 20!) self-made and the youngest rich individuals in India, according to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India rich list 2022, they became overnight role models for many in the country.

“It’s humbling, but really, it’s not something we think about every day, because there’s always a lot going on in the business,” said Kaivalya, speaking to host Beverly White on the third day of TechSparks 2022, India’s largest startup tech conference.

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Quick commerce startup Zepto began operations in Mumbai in April 2021 and has witnessed phenomenal growth, with a presence in 10 cities in the form of dark shops or micro warehouses — Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Chennai, Hyderabad , and Kolkata.

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They say the best founders have real conviction in their idea, and there are no two ways about it with Kaivalya and Aadit. “The reason why we are pushing so hard is that we have a lot of conviction about the product. We believe that the product will excite and change the way people buy groceries today, so instead of our personal -progress, we are more concerned with how to make Zepto a bigger player in people’s minds,” Kaivalya said.

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Being young founders without decades of experience to pay for, Aadit says it helps that they’re building a product that hasn’t been built before in an industry that’s been around for the past 12 to 18 months. .

“We know that to perfect this model and this category, we need to have a combination of two decades of experience, where our leadership team of specialists has decades of experience in supply chain and growth, marketing and finance brought, and first. principles of thought, which we bring with our new perspectives.”

According to consulting firm RedSeer, India’s rapid commerce market is expected to witness a 15X growth by 2025, reaching a market size of close to $5.5 billion, and in this battle, Aadit believes that the winners are the people who are able to drive the operating leverage of. the back end.

It is well known that the fast-moving commercial players in the industry have to cope not only with increasing competition but also with criticism from all quarters that the rush to exit the market winners may put the safety of those risk delivery partner.

“The truth is that our business model is built on short distances, and not fast speeds,” said Aadit, adding that their pick-up points across the country are located in dense population clusters. , where the average distance for the delivery person is 1.7 to 1.8 kms.

Where the convenience store industry is headed in the next ten years, Aadit said there is potential to build a horizontal convenience store and e-commerce company, and grocery itself is bigger than all the others. ecommerce category, combined.

From being teenage entrepreneurs who dropped out of Stanford to leading players in the fast-paced commerce industry, Kaivalya and Aadit have scripted the story of business success.

When asked for their mantra for personal success, Kaivalya is cautious in giving advice, saying they’re more than willing to give it five to 10 years, but, “Keeping it up is something we’ve learned earlier. Entrepreneurship is a journey where the highs are long, and the lows are few. There are many opportunities for both of us to say we’re going to pack up and go back to university, and live in a You have a very comfortable life, but we stick to it.

Aadit’s word of advice for entrepreneurs? “If you want to start building a company, build it for the right reasons.” For someone who forgot his phone charger on the way to the airport to attend this conference, and who carried it through his startup, this piece of advice sounds right.

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