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E-BUSINESS ASSIGNMENT

INDIA PLAZA
Group 9
By,
Abhimanyu Bharadwaj
Rishi Kotecha
Vidhyaa K
Navnita Sawant
Disha Bharadwaj
Nikhika P K

HISTORY
India plaza was an Indian electronic commerce India plaza was one of the pioneers in
the online shopping space in India. It was earlier known as Fab mall or Indra mall, after
which the company acquired US-based online shopping firm Indiaplaza.com and rebranded
itself as Indiaplaza.in in India, and as Indiaplaza.com in the United States, which were later
merged into a single website.
The company was founded by Mr K Vaitheeswaran, known as Father of e-commerce in India,
is the founder and CEO of Indiaplaza.com. He was listed amongst top 20 people in Indian
Internet industry by Pitch magazine. His experience, ambition and efforts have together
changed the course of history in the online retail space.
He was the former employee of Wipro. After spending 14 years in the Murugappa Group and
Wipro InfoTech in various business development roles, he was bitten by the internet bug and
co-founded Fabmart.com in 1999 Indias first pure-play online retail company
In June 1999 Vaitheeswaran and five of his friends founded, Indias first online departmental
store. The website was launched in September 1999 which then offered only music CDs for
sale. Between February and October 2000, the website introduced additional categories
including books, movies, watches, and groceries. In 2002 they found Fab mall which is
Indias first integrated offline and online retail company. The Fabmall.com was the leading
internet retailer, and the Fab mall chain of grocery stores went on to become successful and

was later acquired by Aditya Birla Group and rebranded as More chain of stores in January
2008. In 2007 Fabmall.com acquired US based Indiaplaza.com and thus they launched
the Indiaplaza.com to serve customers worldwide
The business was 7-8 years ahead of its time. The main challenge was to get customers who
were reluctant to use retail services online due to security issues. But the shift was
happening. It took a few years longer, so it made them a few years ahead of its time, but that
is okay. Even today they still believe in two things, e-commerce today in India is still out
there in the future. Second, e-commerce in India is not going to happen because of online
retailers like India plaza or anybody else, it will happen when offline retailers successfully go
online. That is the real tipping point. And, that is few years away.

INCORPORATION
In June 1999, five friends K Vaitheeswaran, V S Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Hari Menon, V S
Ramesh and Sundeep Thakran launched India's first online departmental store. By September
1999, the website Fabmart.com was launched which then offered only music CDs for sale.
By October 2000, the website had introduced additional categories like books, movies,
watches and groceries. In October 2002, they started Fabmall which was Indias first offline
and online retail company. The Fabmall chain of grocery stores was later acquired by Aditya
Birla group and rebranded as More in January 2008. In 2008, Fabmall acquired US based
indiaplaza.com and launched it to serve customers worldwide.

INITIAL FUNDING & VENTURE CAPITALISTS


Indiaplaza.com received angel funding from The Indigo Monsoon Group (IMG), a private
investment firm based in the USA known for investing in Indian Internet and mobile
domains. IMG's other investments include Sulekha.com, a leading online community for
Indians integrating social media with local commerce, and EShakti.com, a leading online
India-inspired and customized apparel retailer aimed at a global audience. In February 2011,
Indiaplaza successfully concluded a deal for Series A US $5 million funding from Indo-US
Venture Partners (IUVP) who had previously invested in other internet companies

like Myntra, and Snapdeal. In April 2011, Kalaari Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd invested $5
million in the company. As part of the transaction, Kalaari picked up two board seats.
Despite securing these funding sources, Indiaplaza was unable to raise sufficient funding in
20122013, which meant that the company had to cease trading. That brought to an end one
of the pioneers of Indian e-retail which brought itself repute much before Amazon, Flipkart,
Snapdeal and others had even planned to begin.

FOUNDER
K Vaitheeswaran, known as Father of e-commerce in India, is the founder and CEO of
Indiaplaza.com. He was listed amongst top 20 people in Indian Internet industry by Pitch
magazine. His experience, ambition and efforts have together changed the course of history in
the online retail space.
After spending 14 years in the Murugappa Group and Wipro Infotech in various business
development roles, he was bitten by the internet bug and co-founded Fabmart.com in 1999
Indias first pure-play online retail company.
Key Achievements:
1. He Co-founded India's first e-commerce company Fabmart.com (later branded Indiaplaza).
He Helped build brand, scaled company, raised investment of several million US dollars.
2. He Co-founded India's first integrated retail company Fabmall - acquired by Aditya Birla
Group in 2006 and re-branded as More chain of stores.
After spending 14 years in the Murugappa Group and Wipro Infotech in various business
development roles,He was bitten by the internet bug and co-founded Fabmart.com in 1999 India's first pure-play online retail company. This was later re-branded as Indiaplaza and he
ran this company till 2013.
In 2002 he co-founded Fabmall - India's first integrated online and offline retail company.
Fabmall went on to become one of India's largest grocery retail chains and was subsequently
acquired by the Aditya Birla Group and the Fabmall stores in various cities in South India
were re-branded as More chain of stores. Currently he consults with top retailers and brands

on their e-commerce, omni-channel, internet plays and help them go online. He also mentors
e-commerce and data analytics start-ups.
Specialties: internet, e-commerce, start-ups, entrepreneurship, leadership, negotiations, deal
making, general management, fund raising, team building, data analytics.

GROWTH OF INDIA PLAZA


Way back when India Plaza started, the number of people using the internet in India was 3
million and customers shopping online were 20,000. The 3 million became 100 million, and
the 20,000 has become 7 million leading to one big change.
To make sure customers tried the online shopping experience India Plaza started with
music, movies and books first as they werent too expensive for customers to try their hands
on.
Online shopping in India was still quite unknown whereas customers in USA were more
comfortable with this concept thanks to Amazon.com. Hence, Fabmall acquired India Plaza
and decided that while business was slow in India, they should target NRIs (who were
comfortable with shopping online) and encourage them to send gifts to India. When

they

started working on it, Indiaplaza.com came across as a popular site for sending gifts to India.
Subsequently, when an opportunity arose to acquire the assets and brand of Indiaplaza,
Fabmall closed the transaction but initially kept it as a separate entity only for NRIs to send
gifts to India. The Indian website continued to be Fabmall.com
Later, when the Fabmall grocery stores was acquired by the Aditya Birla group and rebranded as More, they converged all their online stores into a single site Indiaplaza.com for
Indians in India and worldwide.

Indiaplaza offered nearly 8 million products online including books, CD-ROMs, cameras,
mobile phones, apparel, jewellery, flowers, chocolates, watches, and food items, and had
nearly 1.5 million customers worldwide. The site also offered

loyalty programs for

customers.
1. Indiaplaza was a pioneer in so many things when it came to Indian e-commerce,
including selling food online . That they brought on so many brands online for the
first time
2. They integrated offline and online stores (Fabmall) years before people understood
multi-channel retailing
3. They built Indiaplaza into a popular brand without spending any marketing money at
all
4. They pioneered the marketplace model first long before it became popular
5. First to introduce COD system

The company right now passed the decline phase and entered the death phase of the
business lifecycle as it has shut shop and closed down. The company can no longer afford to
pay the operating costs and has completely shut down its business operations.