Wadi.com: The Regional Online Marketplace

Business Entrepreneurs Interviews Startups

My Startup World speaks to Pratik Gupta, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of online marketplace, Wadi.com. He speaks about his company, the ecommerce trends in the region and advice to budding entrepreneurs.

When was Wadi established?
The company was established in April 2015. We currently offer over 2,00,000 items, and have onboarded over 2,500 brands in over 25 categories.

With more than 500 sellers to be found at Wadi.com, the online marketplace sells a wide range of items in consumer electronics, fashion for men, women and children, cosmetics, fragrances, kitchen appliances, home and décor and toys.

What sort of e-commerce trends have you seen in the region?
People are mostly looking for mobile phones, clothing, fragrances and such products. They are always on the look-out for international brands. The market is very seasonal in nature, such as home and kitchen products becomes 200 percent in sales during Ramadan.

Who runs the company? What is the strength of the workforce?
Wadi has three co-founders, with more than 200 employees across three main offices. They established the company together and have always been great friends with similar mindsets and goals.

They have divided the workforce across the three of them and have been handling the company with great power and dedication.

What sort of funding went into creating Wadi? Was it through external funding or was it bootstrapped?
We acquired series A funding of $67 million led by Al Tayyar Group of Saudi Arabia.

What sort of sellers have signed up to Wadi to sell products?
We welcome all sellers that are relevant to our categories. Of course, sellers do have to go through a series of meetings and quality check tests to ensure the products that go live are 100 percent authentic, as we strive to deliver the best of the best.

Did you face any challenges when starting up? If yes, how did you overcome it?The challenges we have faced were nothing out of the ordinary, as every start up would, we started with a small amount. The funding was used very carefully to help up grow a name for ourselves to enable us to attract investor and thus raised the series A funding.

Our biggest challenge would have had to be allocating our resources properly to grow our business with as minimal losses as possible.

What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs in the region?
Allocate your resources and use them wisely. Do not over spend on what is not necessary, set your KPI’s and focus on them and don’t stray away.

One of the biggest problems with startups is that they often spend all their money too fast, the strength is in maintaining the money and growing it and spending it where needed only.

If you learnt one thing from starting up your company, what would that be?
It is that hard work and dedication truly pay off. Take risks and do the right things. Don’t be afraid to fail. And if what you are doing is not working, then do not get emotionally attached and change course and try something new.

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