The start-up’s target customers are banks, insurance firms, NBFCs, MNCs and IT firms which order multiple office supplies across their network of branches
Inkjet cartridges, office files, stationary products, brand merchandise, corporate gifts, employee uniforms, id-cards, pantry consumables, even the coffee mugs on every work station—that’s the world of everyday business consumables that administrative staff in every office grapple with every day. Throw in the annual purchases of air-conditioners, printers, shredders, IT accessories, CCTV units, water coolers, coffee machines … the list is endless… and you have a gigantic inventory list that you have to call tenders for, issue invoices and monitor installation and usage.
It is to simplify the purchase of these office supplies categorised under indirect product spends that Aahaa Stores came into being in 2013. This Chennai-based start-up positions itself as a B2B marketplace for all corporate needs as far as office supplies are concerned. Providing an opportunity for large enterprises to consolidate their indirect product spends, Aahaa takes responsibility for technology-based demand aggregation, inventory and delivery of all consumables.
“Aahaa Stores is one of the fastest growing B2B e-commerce start-ups, tripling its revenue in the last one year and acquiring a huge number of clients,” says Asokan Sattanathan, founder and chairman of Aahaa Stores. CEO Rajaraman Sundaresan and COO Shri Harish Kannan are the other two co-founders. The start-up has seen its revenue grow from `18.5 crore to close to `65 crore in the last one year and is looking to reach `200 crore in the next three years. The target customers are banks, insurance companies, NBFCs, and corporates / MNCs. “As the organisation grows, we have a huge expansion plan to increase our geographical presence, moving onto additional verticals and supporting a bigger client base,” said Sattanathan.
Using cloud-based technology customised to meet individual customer requirements, Aahaa provides incisive analytics on consumption pattern, cost effectiveness and efficiency issues on real-time basis to organisations to help them reduce costs and plug loopholes. Aahaa supports its clients in vendor consolidation which ultimately leads to savings in operational expenditure with a single window online ordering across India with built-in controls.
As Sattanathan explained, Aahaa thus saves money for companies by being a strategic national vendor for all indirect product purchases in place of hundreds of vendors for thousands of products and several thousand transactions. “Aahaa helps businesses save 20-30% of the expenses incurred in indirect purchases by managing their supply chain, bringing collective bargaining benefits and streamlining the vendor network,” he said.
Aahaa can support organisations to reap substantial benefits under GST by ensuring they get input tax credits usually averaging around 18% on indirect purchases as mandated under the new GST law. Typically, close to 20% of any organisation’s indirect spends require huge amount of sourcing efforts, approvals and organisational resources. Aahaa helps organisations to consolidate these and deliver as and when required. Over 85% of products sold today by Aahaa are manufactured in India.
It has raised a total of $2 million in two rounds of pre-series A funding from investors led by YourNest Angel Fund.