Zepto founders on being role models, keeping up with competition, and being quick on the entrepreneurial journ

When Zepto co-founders Kaivalya Vohra and Aadit Palicha counted as the youngest (20!) and the youngest rich people in India, according to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India 2022 rich list, they became overnight role models for many in the country.

“It’s humbling, but honestly, it’s not something we think about every day, because there’s always a lot going on with the business,” said Kaivalya, speaking to host Beverly White on day three of TechSparks 2022, India’s largest startup technology conference.

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Quick-commerce startup Zepto started operations in Mumbai in April 2021 and has seen massive growth, with a presence in 10 cities in the form of dark shops or micro-stores – Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Chennai , Hyderabad , and Kolkata.

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They say that the best founders have real conviction in their idea, and there are no two ways about this with Kaivalya and Aadit. “The reason we pushed so hard is because we were so convinced of the product. We believed that the product will be exciting and will change the way people buy groceries today, so apart from our personal progress, we are more concerned about how to make Zepto a bigger player in people’s minds, ” said Kaivalya.

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Being young founders who don’t really have years of experience, Aadit said it helps that they’re building a product that no one has built before in an industry that’s evolved in the last 12 to 18 months.

“We are realizing that to make this model and this category a reality, we need to have a combination of both decades of experience, which our leadership team of supply chain and growth specialists have years of experience, marketing and finance, and first. principled thinking, which we bring in with our fresh perspectives.”

According to consulting firm RedSeer, India’s e-commerce market is expected to see 15X growth by 2025, reaching a market size of close to $5.5 billion, and in this battleground, Aadit believes the winners are those who can drive forward operating leverage. the back end.

It is well known that fast-moving industry players have to contend not only with increasing competition but also with criticism from all quarters that the rush to emerge winners in the market could jeopardize the safety of delivery partners.

“The reality is that our business model is built on short distances, not fast speeds,” said Aadit, adding that their collection points across the country are located in dense population clusters, where the average distance of the delivery person 1.7 to 1.8 km.

As for where the e-commerce industry is headed in the next decade, Aadit said the potential is there to build an e-commerce and e-commerce company, and that grocery itself is bigger than all other e-commerce categories combined.

From being teenage entrepreneurs who dropped out of Stanford to leading players in the fast-paced commerce industry, Kaivalya and Aadit have written about entrepreneurial success.

When asked for their mantra for personal success, Kaivalya is careful to give advice, saying that they would be able to give it in five to 10 years, but, “It’s one thing we learned very early on to keep it. Entrepreneurship is a journey where the highs are really high, and the lows really low. We’ve both had plenty of opportunities to say let’s pack up and go back to university, and live a very comfortable life, but we’ve stuck with it.”

Aadit’s word of advice for entrepreneurs? “If you want to build a company, build it for the right reasons.” For someone who forgot his phone charger on the way to the airport to attend this conference, and got it delivered through his startup, this piece of advice makes perfect sense.

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