Saurabh Rai did his BA in Geography, GIS, Remote Sensing from Delhi University. Later he went to pursue Master of Business Administration in International Business from LalBahadurShastri Institute of Management.He has accumulated vast experience by working for companies like TATA Power, Accenture and more.
After getting fascinated by the surpluss and refurbished industry, Saurabhdesided to venture into this industry and thus, Surpluss.in was born, which provides a unique opportunity to get global brands right at doorstep in India at a fair price.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
The market of surpluss in electronics, mobile, apparel and consumer durable alone is over $ 20 Bn. At any given point of time at least 10 % of these categories qualify for surpluss, overstock, ageing inventory, refurbished etc. This market fascinated us and today we can see that it has become a kind of flywheel. The momentum, the acceleration — it all shows the potential.
What is your life mantra?
My life Mantra is seeking success with integrity. I would like to be known for the goodness that I was able to render to those I was privileged to interact with.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Convincing vendors for sourcing of electronic products including mobiles and accessories in a marketplace model is a challenging task for startup. In lifestyle it is fairly easy to get products catalog but for mobiles and other categories it required more effort. Fast reduction in prices due to technology changes in market is one of the major reasons for this. In short, sourcing ethically refurbished products and educating the customer about the additional value proposition has been the basic challenge throughout.
Initially, we started with inventory led model. Recently, we moved to marketplace and now tying up with vendors for selling their products. We have been able to on board great brands and vendors as an initial start and we are eyeing more in the near future. We are also running campaigns to grow the awareness of recommence proposition.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are still bootstrapped and seeking series A funding. Our plan is to become operating positive soon and expect that with the madness of deep discounting coming to an end investors will see value in a profitable business.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain? Tell us about your company’s attrition control practices.
There is a huge brain drain going on with the innovators. Every innovator and entrepreneur these days is seriously considering either creating their own start-up or taking chance to work at one.
Innovation being one of our core value, we respect the innovators and understand well about the exceptional set of “job and company selection factors.” It is important to modify the recruitment process to bring the best out of the innovator. Thus, opportunities of career advancement, job rotation, flexible timings, job sharing, Cross Functional Training, Health and Medical Benefits, Floating leaves along with Reward and Recognitions are what our HR Lead Nitika nurtures. She has always strived to create an environment that fosters trust, collaboration and high ethical standard.
We at Surpluss believe that continuous excitement of building rather than fixing, knowing and having access to WHY’s, rapid approvals to valuable ideas and independent decision makings itself are the driving factors to reduce the attrition rate and `motivating people to stick with us. Therefore, mentoring, counseling and development of employees is ensured on a continuous basis across the company by all managers.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Integrity, Innovation and Humility
- Integrity: I am fully responsible for my words and actions.
- Innovation: I am fearless in trying new things or ways, responsibly.
- Humility: I am never arrogant and ready to learn or self correct.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I want to be present on all social networking sites where I can advertise and promote Surpluss. Obviously, the first choice is my own app and websites namely, www.surpluss.in & www.bizpluss.in .In addition, I love the professional and social networking sites- Facebook, twitter, Linkedin and yes answer to interesting questions on Quora.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
My ability to delegate and trust people makes me more productive.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I would want to be a hard task master; more often the human side takes over the pragmatic tough decisions.
Answer in less than 50 words
One must take responsibilities, be accountable and follow their instincts.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Never compromise on ethics and values
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Choose your partners and associates wisely and those having complementary skills and shared values.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We aim to double our revenues every year and will become operationally positive by 2018. The idea is to have 20000 retailers onboard and also leverage the trade surpluss in a hyperlocal model.
What are your top three getaway destinations ?
I love US , UK and Kerala . I do a lot of religious tours too mostly to Vaishno Devi.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would get into entrepreneurship early. I have seen many waves and opportunities pass by before I could make up my mind to take plunge.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Entrepreneurship is a journey not an outcome where success is subtotal of your inputs and there is no shortcut.”