Block by Block – Building the Online Construction Industry

When Vinit Bhansali bit the startup bug and started ApnaStock in 2014, he began small. With a seed capital of Rs. 1 lakh, he began connecting small builders with construction materials at wholesale rates. “ApnaStock ‎was born out of research on the major business opportunities for marketplaces to thrive in,” says Bhansali, adding, “Our core product is a hyperlocal marketplace for building materials.”

Thejaswi Udupa joined early 2015. The journey has had its shares of ups and downs. Bhansali acknowledges, “We’ve been boot strapped for over a year but profitable since month two.” Their efforts paid off – in their first year, their revenue was 100x their seed capital and they’re only looking to scale this number. Dealing with such high volumes couldn’t be easy, and Bhansali and Udupa spent three weeks to select the ideal payment processor.

Says Bhansali, “When it came to evaluating payment processors we looked at every single player out there – a traditional payment gateway integration, mobile wallets – all the players in the market. With Instamojo, the five minute setup for the evaluation actually made us live on the full product. This was a great surprise to a startup with limited people resources and as each person’s time is super critical.”

Their primary concern, like a lot of merchants out there, was time to bank – how quickly would they get the cash? And secondly, of course, was the rates. Instamojo won them over with both. “We realised that Instamojo made the process of taking in ad-hoc payments as painless as filling out a web form – click, type, click, done. And did we mention the no-fuss setup? Even my receptionist can use this with five minutes of training,” exclaims Bhansali.

By automating their payment flow, ApnaStock went from 90% cash on delivery and 0% credit card payments before Instamojo to less than 50% cash on delivery and over 25% credit card payments in two months. It eliminated cash handling issues and made payment processing as simple as 1, 2, 3. “The impact has been fewer CoD pickups – and the security nightmare associated with that – along with easier accounting and better UX,” says a delighted Bhansali. And as the company grows, they’re going to need all hands on deck. ApnaStock currently interacts with over 250 vendors each week to ensure that their customers have real time inventory information and the lowest price in the city.

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