Two friends started a business, found online success
More often than not, the business ideas developed between friends in college do not see the light of day. With the onset of real life, the college dreams fade away. Shaival Gandhi and Parin Gala, made their entrepreneurial dream a reality. They sell sports accessories and branded kids’ merchandise on Amazon under the seller name ‘Pace Sports’.
Shaival and Parin met over a decade ago, in London where they had gone to pursue their higher studies. The knowledge that they found a fellow-Indian in a foreign land gave them peace and their bond of friendship grew. Like many roommates, they spoke at length about many things, including possible future business ventures. After the completion of their studies, Parin returned to India while Shaival stayed on for a couple more years. Even after returning to India, Shaival started doing a real-estate business, while Parin was working for a financing company.
Once they were both married and settled, Parin and Shaival reconnected and decided to take their business idea forward. While researching for possible leads to start a business, they realised that there is a gap between the requirement and availability of branded kids’ products in India. There were too many bad-quality rip-offs of major brands in the market, when people would actually want to buy the original products. This gave them an idea of a business opportunity and they wanted to go ahead with it. Shaival had made some contacts while he was abroad, and the pair also used to frequent a lot of exhibitions from where they generated a lot of leads. They got in touch with manufacturers of branded merchandise like kids’ furniture, gliders, luggage and the likes and began their business journey.
Right from the beginning, their plan was to establish themselves as a leader in this category, both offline and online. They chose Amazon for their online venture, as it was a brand people reckoned with and they found it extremely easy to use for registration and product listing. Additionally, they also noticed that a lot of customers preferred shopping at Amazon over other e-commerce sites. This gave them the confidence to invest their time and effort at this site.
They wanted to bring only good-quality products into the market. In the face of stiff competition from less-expensive, duplicate produce, they are able to reach their end audience with ease. “Amazon has a wonderful way of targeting the customers. We’d listed our products on other e-commerce sites as well, but weren’t able to garner the same response from customers there. I believe this was what really worked for us”, says Parin, talking about Amazon’s complex algorithms and codes. Despite offering products at a high price-range, they were able to make revenue of around 60-65 lakhs in 2017 alone. They are a Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) seller and their products are available on Prime, which has also boosted their sales significantly. “It is because of the trust that people have, that Prime products cannot be bad products”, Parin adds.
Shaival who takes care of the majority of Amazon business uses Seller App and says it is a practical tool designed to make sellers’ lives easy. They currently boast of an inventory of more than 250 products under various categories like kids’ furniture, luggage, sports merchandise and much more. They are also authorised dealers for some of the most reputed brands like Marvel, Disney and others and sell them on Amazon under their registered brand name ‘Pace Sports’.
“Amazon is a complete platform. Right from the registration to the remittance of funds, the processes are seamless and need very little human intervention”, Shaival says. They plan to expand their business into the Toys market and are also looking at making this a very successful venture.
PARIN GALA and SHAIVAL GANDHI