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

When the co-founders of Zepto Kaivalis Vora and Aadit Palicha According to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2022, they were considered the youngest (they are both in their 20s!) self-made and the youngest rich individuals in India, and they turned out to be role models for many in the country overnight.

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“It’s humbling, but to be honest, we don’t think about it every day because there’s always a lot of things going on with the business,” Kaivalya said, speaking to host Beverley White on day three. TechSparks 2022, India’s largest startup technology conference.

Quick start-up Zepto launched in Mumbai in April 2021 and has seen tremendous growth with presence in 10 cities in the form of dark stores or micro warehouses – Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Chennai, Hyderabad. , and Kolkata.

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They say the best founders have true belief in their idea, and there’s no two ways about it with Kaivalya and Aadith. “The reason we pushed so hard is because we had so much confidence in the product. We thought the product would be exciting and change the way people buy groceries today, so rather than our personal progress, we are more concerned about making Zepto a bigger player in people’s minds,” said Kaivalya.

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Considering they’re young founders who don’t really have decades of experience to build on, Aadit said it helps that they’re building a product that no one has built before in an industry that’s emerged in the last 12-18 months.

“We recognize that to evolve this model and this category, we need to combine the two decades of experience our leadership team has in supply chain and growth, marketing and finance, and the first-principles thinking we bring to for their fresh perspectives.

According to consulting firm RedSeer, India’s e-commerce market is expected to grow 15-fold to a market size of nearly $5.5 billion by 2025, and in this battleground, Aadit believes the winners will be people who can increase operating leverage . at the back end.

It is well known that fast-track players in the industry have to deal not only with increased competition, but also with criticism from all sides that the rush to become market winners can compromise the security of supply partners.

“The truth is that our business model is based on short distances, not high speeds,” Adith said, adding that their pick-up points across the country are located in densely populated areas, where the average distance for a delivery person is 1.7. up to 1.8 km.

On where the fast-casual industry is headed in the next ten years, Aadit said there is potential for a horizontal fast-casual and e-commerce business, with grocery alone being bigger than all other e-commerce categories combined.

From teenage entrepreneurs who dropped out of Stanford to leading players in the e-commerce industry, Kaivalya and Aadit have written quite an entrepreneurial success story.

When asked for a mantra for personal success, Kaivalya is careful to offer advice, noting that they would be better equipped to deliver it in five to 10 years, but: “Holding it is one thing we learned very early on. Entrepreneurship is a journey where the highs are really high and the lows are really low. We’ve both had plenty of opportunities to say let’s pack up and go back to university and live a very comfortable life, but we’ve stuck with it.

Aadita’s advice for entrepreneurs? “If you want to start a business, start it for the right reasons.” For someone who forgot his phone charger on the way to the airport to attend this conference and had it delivered at launch, this advice rings true.

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