You Don’t Often Hear The Two-Term Cement And Startup. What Led You To Ideate About A Cement Business Startup? Please Tell Us About Your Journey?
After completing an entrepreneurship program in the US, I returned to India in March 2019, and my father candidly expressed me the troubling issues with the building materials industry which he was a part of for the last 25 years. I immediately recognized this as an opportunity and began ideation process and testing prototypes. We got the company registered in May 2019 and launched in the month of June.
I met my co-founder Sourav Chakraborty (senior from same undergrad school) in the month of July 2019 in Kolkata. At that time Sourav was already an alumnus of Boston University, US, and was doing Masters in Business Management from Imperial College London.
Coming From A Small Town Of Bihar, Sitamari. What Challenges And Obstacles Did You Face?
Well, It’s easy to do the business and make a company from scratch, if you are residing in a metropolitan city where you have every kind of support and the acceptance rate of any business is quite high as well. However, on the other side, if you belong to a tier-3 town and introducing something which nobody has ever witness in their life, they simply refuse to adopt. We took this as a challenge, if people from the tier-1 city can adopt an innovation then why not people from a small town can. In the case of cemX, they do accept the innovation, now people from tier 2-3 cities have started ordering cement online.
How Is Your Business Shaping During The Pandemic? Do You See It As An Opportunity Or As A Setback, For Your Business?
We were on hiatus from mid-March till the end of May, but later we realized tremendous growth in June and an exponential upsurge every month when it comes to sales. Within 14 months of operation, we have more than 4000 percent increment in sales.
The Cement Industry Has Not Changed A Lot And Has Stayed The Same For The Past 100 Years Or More. How Does Your Business Become A Game-Changer?
The present offline supply chain for various materials is fragmented, orthodox and disorganized. Therefore, by taking the procurement process of cement online and onto the Digital domain we aim to achieve parity and transparency in cement pricing thereby removing any arbitrage for offering economies of scale on cement pricing. Procuring cement online at the right price is helping the companies, individuals, and retailers to avoid cost overruns to a large extent. Compared to large dealers and companies, smaller and local establishments are deprived of the cost-benefit on procurement of materials due to their small order-size or due to the presence of multiple sub-sector middlemen in the supply chain ladder. cemX envisioned to introduce the entire orthodox cement industry into a digital domain to democratize the price arbitrage for cement purchases below the regional dealerships. We break the barriers of geographic segregations and demographics by disrupting the human-middlemen supply chain. With a near-zero investment, offline extension stores are geographically established to allow for cross-marketing and cross-retailing with other existing brick-and-mortar building material stores. It ensures hassle-and-bargain free cement deals with faster and reliable delivery at the best rates.
How Are You Pulling In Investors From Different Parts Of The Country, Despite Being A Low Key In The Media?
We mainly focus on our key business operations instead of thinking much about PR activities. Other than this our core team members are alumni of the world’s best universities like Harvard, Boston University, Imperial College London, IIT, etc. So each one of us are well connected in our specific domain. Which eventually help us to attract the investors not only from different parts of the country but across the world.
How Does CEMX Work And Where Is It Currently Operational In?
- Hassles and bargain free cement deals disrupting the orthodox supply chain with demographic limitations
- To help in cost-savings to contractors and any end-users by allowing cement purchases at the best competitive price
- Lending based retailers face trouble in revenue recovery, sometimes leading to lengthy legal consequences. Guaranteed revenue recovery in the e-commerce digital domain.
- Price Uniformity maintained to avoid arbitrage negotiations
- Near-Zero Investment cement store/retailer
- Faster and reliable Delivery
- Cement procurement savings of at least 7.5% for the local businesses and the BOP sections of the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities of India.
Currently, we are full-fledged operational in 3 cities and running pilot in 6 cities.
Ashutosh – Founder & CEO
Sourav – Co-Founder & CBO
Please Throw Some Light On Your Plans For Your Startup
We want to see ourselves in every city in India with the full-fledged operation. Recently we partnered with ZestMoney (one of the famous NBFC in India). In collaboration with them, we are giving our customers the flexibility to purchase cement on EMI.
Would Like To Share A Piece Of Advice For Budding Entrepreneurs?
Just stay focused on the core business and attract as many customers as possible.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent those of Diggaj Media. The pictures are provided by the author and are not authorized to be used by anyone else.