Monday, 2 March 2015

Gaurav Agrawal CTO Healthkart: Succeeding in e-commerce as a vertical play

  1. Healthkart   is one of India’s top 10 ecomm sites, 7.5Lac paying customers. has two businesses:
    1. Healthkart ( ) focuses on nutrition and fitness such as protein bars, vitamins, fitness supplements- the proposition being they provide authentic products coming from sources verified
    2. Healthkartplus ( is a very interesting new app with 1 MM plus downloads, recommended by the govt of india. The concept is to enter any medicine and look up what its used for, substitutes that are cheaper, what its sideffects are etc.. many doctors etc are using this to check medicines.
  2. Competing as a vertical play against the large horizontal ecomm players
    1. Whilst its true that regardless of size, one have to build scale, logistics, website, traffic etc…they believe  have certain advantages as well:
    2. because they are a vertical niche, they can actually do more- e.g. certified reviews from gym trainers - more credible folks. 
    3. A much stronger community -of fitness buffs for instance
    4. Also tend to be more focused on the leanness of the organisation- richness of product, content etc.
  3. Mobile first
    1. healthkartplus is bigger on mobile than on the desktop, whereas Healthkart is 50:50 mobile/desktop
    2. every new feature, how do they bring it to mobile first, not desktop
    3. when we first got our app out, we weren’t the most efficient, and our users were using data on EDGE. Now we aggressively cache data, only send data thats needed- it takes a lot more diligence
  4. Ecommerce in india has been about involving the Tier 2/Tier 3.
    1. this is true for Healthkart as well- with 50% of sales coming from tier3/tier4.
    2. We are very proud that folks in places like the hinterland/ north east today has access to products they could only get in a high-end shop in delhi.

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