Doorstep puts e-commerce in bold
By Karamjit Singh May 25, 2012
- Revenue up from RM1.5mil in 2010 to RM7.5mil in 2011
- Looking for strategic partner to help expand to new markets
AT the on-going Asian Business Angels Forum in Kuala Lumpur, angel after angel investor will tell you that it is important that the entrepreneur seeking money must demonstrate the willingness to “put some skin in the game” – that is, their own money to show that they are very serious about making their venture work.
In that case, few entrepreneurs would have demonstrated as much desire to succeed as Datuk Ragavan Nair (pic) who launched Doorstep.com.my in November, 2009 as an online retail business focused on the corporate market.
Revenue in 2010 was RM1.5 million (US$478,000) and jumped to RM7.5 million (US$2.4 million) in 2011. From end-2009 to early 2012, Ragavan estimated he would have invested over RM6 million (US$1.9 million) into making Doorstep.com.my a success. His e-commerce venture has also been enlisted to be part of EPP-7 Virtual Mall.
It certainly looks like it has traction with a monthly revenue of close to RM1 million (US$318,000). But margins in retail are notoriously low and it is a volume game. Despite making a huge investment himself, including in owning the delivery arm to ensure customer satisfaction, Ragavan is today “looking for a strategic partner for an equity injection into doorstep.com.my.”
The injection will help reenergize the company and give it renewed momentum to expand to new markets and strengthen its current core in enterprise office supplies,e said.
He is also open to trying new markets with an equity investor in.
Although he has temporarily stopped home delivery of groceries, both dry and wet, dues to the higher costs, he is confident that a workable business model can be found around home deliveries.
But for now, he has more than he can handle with the growing corporate office supplies market. Monthly sales are growing between 7% and 8% and he has expanded the scope of products from pantry supplies to other areas such as office automation, soft goods or areas such as lifestyle.
“Customers today trust us and will buy other services and products available from us,” Ragavan claimed.
He has somehow managed to stay focused despite the ever increasing verticals he is trying to break into. To sharpen efficiency of operations, Doorstep has just moved into a new and integrated office space and a warehouse complete with office automation solutions; by end-June it will have improved operational systems.