Retail Reimagined
Yours, Digitally!
| Episode
21 mins

30-minute D2C Masterclass


Learn how to build a D2C business from scratch in this episode of Retail Reimagined with Arjun Vaidya, Co-Founder, of V3 ventures, as he talks about in-depth consumer understanding, the science behind retention & acquisition, and 5 non-negotiable actions to take for building a successful D2C business. This 30-minute conversation is no less than a D2C masterclass for budding entrepreneurs. Tune in Now!


00:00 - 00:58 Introduction
00:58 - 03:32 Arjun's journey into venturing D2C
03:32 - 05:27 The silver lining between Online & Offline Business
05:27 - 07:51 Challenges of starting a business with no prior experience
07:51 - 08:45 The role of customer experience in repeat purchases
08:45 - 10:26 What factors popularized the onset of D2C startups?
10:26 - 16:15 Realization of Omnichannel ecosystem by D2C Brands: Myth or Real?
16:15 - 21:39 5 actionable advice for new-age D2C founders


Arjun Vaidya

Co-founder, V3 Ventures

Arjun Vaidya founded Dr. Vaidya’s in 2016 and built it into the largest Ayurvedic direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand in India. By the time he sold the company four years later, in one of India’s first D2C exits, he had successfully scaled the brand across 16,000+ zip codes, had over 2 million customers, and had launched over 80 products. Outside of work, he runs the podcast Direct to a Billion Consumers on the consumer space in India and also runs India’s largest cohort-based course on building a D2C brand.


Jitendranath Patri

Consulting Partner

Jitendranath Patri is a seasoned business professional with over 25 years of experience in the retail industry. He has deep knowledge in retail management, marketing, CRM, and customer loyalty. He works with Xeno as a consulting partner, driving innovation in CRM and loyalty strategies for retailers. Jitendranath also hosts a podcast called Retail Reimagined where he engages experienced retail professionals in insightful discussions.

[00:00:00] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Hi everybody. This is Jiten from Xeno and you are listening to Retail Reimagined, the podcast where we'll talk to CEOs, CMOs, CTOs from the retail industry and uncover the future of retail. So tune into the podcast and learn what's happening in the retail industry.

[00:00:16] Hi everyone, welcome to Retail Reimagined.

[00:00:19] In this episode, I'm switching things up a bit by speaking to someone from the D2C industry.

[00:00:23] Our guest Arjun Vaidya comes from a long line of Ayurvedic Practitioners, the sixth generation to be exact. 

[00:00:29] Successfully launched and built a D2C business and now invests and mentors D2C startups 

[00:00:35] So, without much further ado, let's welcome Arjun Vaidya, co-founder of V3 Ventures to the show.

[00:00:41] Thank you for joining us, Arjun. 

[00:00:43] ARJUN VAIDYA: Thank you so much. I'm excited to do this with you. 

[00:00:45] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to discussion with you and hopefully these insights that you share, will help a lot of the brands that are operating in the retail space today. 

[00:00:54] So starting off, just walk us through your journey and, what made you get into the D2C space? 

[00:00:58] ARJUN VAIDYA: Look, I'll tell you the reason I chose D2C and the reason I started Dr. Vaidya is actually is very well known, so I'm not gonna get into that.

[00:01:06] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah, yeah. 

[00:01:07] ARJUN VAIDYA: The reason we went into D2C was actually we failed miserably offline. 

[00:01:11] We had a colossal failure of our business in the offline space where we put a bunch of stock out in the market and we had lots of distributors. 

[00:01:21] But we built to distributors, distributors couldn't build to retailers, or retailers couldn't build to end customers and we didn't get paid. We got a 90% of our stock return.

[00:01:30] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. 

[00:01:30] ARJUN VAIDYA: And we realized that specifically in our niche, which was Ayurveda we had lots of competition that we couldn't keep up with, right? 

[00:01:38] There were lots of big brands who did lots of ATL advertising and lots of brand recall, which we didn't have. And so this was a space, honestly, that we couldn't win in, which is why we decided that there has to be an alternative channel.

[00:01:55] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.

[00:01:56] ARJUN VAIDYA: And D2C seemed like the only other channel to go for. 

[00:01:58] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. . 

[00:01:59] ARJUN VAIDYA: My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, she was in the early team at Nykaa and she had seen the growth and sort of trajectory of this channel as well. So she sort of pushed me, I convinced her to join the business. And November 2017, we went online first or digital only, which is now called D2C.

[00:02:19] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right, right. Probably, you were one of the first,

[00:02:22] ARJUN VAIDYA: First cohort, I would say first cohort. 

[00:02:24] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Cohort. And from the Ayurvedic space, I think possibly one of the first to really go online and take the plunge. Absolutely. Yeah. I, I'm very surprised because Ayurveda typically is sold, you're right, it's sold through multitude of distributors and retailers. Right. And invariably that's how it works. 

[00:02:41] ARJUN VAIDYA: But I'll tell you what the insight was, why it worked D2C, right? 

[00:02:44] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. 

[00:02:45] ARJUN VAIDYA: In Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, you have access to Ayurvedic products and doctor slash care at the touch of your fingertips. 

[00:02:55] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Correct. 

[00:02:55] ARJUN VAIDYA: When we spoke to our first thousand customers, we realized that more than three quarters of them came from Anantnag, Muzaffarnagar, Trichy, and Imphal, because in these cities there was no one giving a free consultation, high quality Ayurvedic care and products that touch of consumers fingertips, and that honestly was the reason for our D2C success. 

[00:03:17] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Fantastic. 

[00:03:18] ARJUN VAIDYA: We didn't know this going in, by the way. 

[00:03:19] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:20] ARJUN VAIDYA: We didn't know this going in. It came from talking to our customers and realizing who we're supposed to cater to.

[00:03:25] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.

[00:03:25] ARJUN VAIDYA: Then from learning this, we changed the way we marketed our products, the way we engaged with these customers.

[00:03:32] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. I, I'm also intrigued, typically, the Ayurvedic brands normally succeed, right? You go to the pharmacy or there are exclusive pharmacies that stock these, right. So what was it that y'all couldn't do offline for the offline space that y'all managed to do and and succeed in the D2C space? 

[00:03:51] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah. Look, the one thing that we did that nobody else did, and we pioneered this in India was a free online consultation. 

[00:03:58] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Ah, okay. 

[00:03:59] ARJUN VAIDYA: Gave consumers the level of trust and the level of confidence in a new brand that nothing else could give. So I think that was really, really helpful for us as a brand.

[00:04:10] That's number one. Interesting. Yeah. Number two, we actually had one 150 years of legacy and a lot of research behind the formulations. Right. So I think that really helped. And then engaging with a customer in a new age format that appealed to them, right? So easier to understand product labels, new age ways to package or format the product.

[00:04:32] All of these things really, really, really helped us as a user. 

[00:04:35] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. Right. So two questions, I think two questions come out of this. One is, these things that you did to help you in the business, right? Do you see some of it getting, carried onto the offline space? 

[00:04:48] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yes. Some of it can, some learnings can be like, could you put a hotline on your product for a free consultation?

[00:04:54] Yes, it could build repeats further. And the format of the product could also be replicated in the offline space. But I think what can't be replicated, actually, to be honest, is the digital touchpoint and the experience that we created to be able to engage with consumers across 16 and a half thousand pin codes in four years.

[00:05:14] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Fantastic.

[00:05:15] ARJUN VAIDYA: It's 60% of India's pin codes in four years.

[00:05:18] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Wow. Wow. And that's quite 

[00:05:19] ARJUN VAIDYA: substantial. 

[00:05:20] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Absolutely. And And at speed. 

[00:05:22] ARJUN VAIDYA: At tremendous speed. 

[00:05:24] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah. 

[00:05:25] ARJUN VAIDYA: Four years, right. 

[00:05:27] JITENDRANATH PATRI: And I know you have an MBA from the USA, right? You could have, 

[00:05:30] ARJUN VAIDYA: I actually don't have an MBA by the way. I'm an undergrad. 

[00:05:32] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Sorry. Ok, so sorry. But you could have pursued, I know you did something in the US you did study in the US or something. 

[00:05:38] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'm an undergrad in the US but I'm a BA, I'm a BA in politics and economics.

[00:05:43] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Oh wow. Okay. You could pursue other career paths. What drew you to this industry? 

[00:05:48] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah. Look, this, you see this band with the Indian flag on my hand?

[00:05:52] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:05:52] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'm very patriotic. When I went to the US I saw yoga being repackaged. 

[00:05:56] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:05:57] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yoga mats, yoga gyms, yoga apparel, lulu lemon. 

[00:05:59] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. , 

[00:06:00] ARJUN VAIDYA: Multi-billion dollar industry in the US and for me, I started thinking to myself, why don't Indian companies have a share of this proliferation of yoga? 

[00:06:10] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.

[00:06:11] ARJUN VAIDYA: Why? Right. And so I eventually called my grandfather, I remember, and he's the one who was an Ayurvedic doctor and told him, we can't let the same happen with Ayurveda, right? And that was sort of the thought process behind going for this, in this way, shape, or form.

[00:06:27] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting, interesting. 

[00:06:28] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'm very patriotic, so I moved straight back to India after my undergrad.

[00:06:31] I didn't spend any time in the US and I just went for it because I believe that Indian companies need to take Ayurveda to the world and to modern consumer. 

[00:06:38] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Absolutely yeah. And it is, I think somewhere it's also met that wave. Right. There was, I think around the time that y'all started, or a little later, there was also a move to promote healthier kind of treatment options for Indians.

[00:06:53] ARJUN VAIDYA: Absolutely. 

[00:06:54] JITENDRANATH PATRI: So starting a D2C business, without any background in retail or even in the e-commerce space, must have been challenging. Yeah. What are the, some of the difficulties you faced. 

[00:07:05] ARJUN VAIDYA: Lots of difficulties. We were in an industry where we were competing with people, across people who had much more experience and much more scale and sales, who were much better known brands. D2C was totally new for us and new for customers as well, by the way. 

[00:07:22] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right? 

[00:07:23] ARJUN VAIDYA: We're trying to convince customers to buy online. So I think that was number two. And number three, I would say is that we were operating in a space that nobody believed we could, right? 

[00:07:33] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:33] ARJUN VAIDYA: So nobody believed Ayurveda could be sold online and consumers would buy Ayurveda online. And so when we got to 50 orders a day, people are around us at 50 orders a day, including investors, like, that's the max you can reach online in Ayurveda

[00:07:45] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:45] ARJUN VAIDYA: We took that 50 to 5,000. Right. So 

[00:07:47] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Wow. 

[00:07:47] ARJUN VAIDYA: always, when you're doing category creation, it's a much tougher journey.

[00:07:51] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Got it. Got it. And, and you must have been surprised, right? You would've assumed that the orders would've come from, uh, Bombay, Bangalore, Delhi. Did the, did the orders 

[00:08:02] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah, and the other assumption that my beautifully written minimalistic copy in English would work. Actually, TikTok was our best marketing channel. 

[00:08:11] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Fantastic. 

[00:08:12] ARJUN VAIDYA: And most of our ads were in Hindi and Hinglish, because that's what our customer wanted. Right. 

[00:08:15] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Absolutely. Yeah. No, that's, that's, that's an insight that you, possibly wouldn't get unless you're out there. 

[00:08:21] ARJUN VAIDYA: Absolutely. 

[00:08:21] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah. 

[00:08:22] ARJUN VAIDYA: You have to go and talk to the customer to get that insight. 

[00:08:24] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah. So, for me I would've assumed that the typical rounds of mail, social media channels would've worked. But, 

[00:08:31] ARJUN VAIDYA: It did work. They did work but Instagram didn't work as well as Facebook. Cause our customers were outside the top 10 cities, right? 

[00:08:38] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. 

[00:08:38] ARJUN VAIDYA: TikTok worked. Cause that's where our customer was. So I think all of these nuances were sort of real for us. 

[00:08:45] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. Right. But that also I think, kind of opened up even before the pandemic, I think kind of opened up newer markets, of course, the pandemic took this to a different level, but 

[00:08:55] ARJUN VAIDYA: I would say the pandemic brought lots of customers who had never consumed Ayurveda into Ayurved. 

[00:08:59] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. And was that also because of whatever fears and thing that 

[00:09:04] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah, I think immunity got a big boost. 

[00:09:06] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:09:06] ARJUN VAIDYA: Government was talking about ayurveda a lot. 

[00:09:08] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. 

[00:09:08] ARJUN VAIDYA: I think people went towards natural wellness. 

[00:09:12] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah. 

[00:09:12] ARJUN VAIDYA: But I think what what we were able to effectively do is c onvince those. So our job was right, bringing the customers through the top of funnel, which is immunity.

[00:09:21] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.

[00:09:21] ARJUN VAIDYA: But then show them that you have hair, skin, cough, cold, weight management, diabetes, arthritis, asthma also. So get them to repeat in other categories, because immunity was a short lived wave. 

[00:09:30] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.

[00:09:31] ARJUN VAIDYA: I don't think we hear the word immunity as much anymore as we used to at that time. 

[00:09:35] JITENDRANATH PATRI: True. Yeah. Yeah. And in doing so and, and like you mentioned, right, how do I get the customer to repeat, right. Which obviously means you must have done something right in the, in the customer experience space.

[00:09:48] Yeah. Something that you did obviously would, would have made them repeat. What was it that you, managed to do to get them to repeat, get them to order more and frequently. 

[00:09:57] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah, I think, it was very critical of us to understand how our customer want to be communicated with. And so our mentality and our mindset would tell us that it would be email, would be WhatsApp, would be SMS, but actually our customer like to be called.

[00:10:14] I hate to be called. I absolutely hate to be called, but we had to try all these channels to engage with the customer, and then we realized that a feedback call 25 days after delivery of order was the best way for this to happen. 

[00:10:26] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. During the time that you were building Dr. Vaidya’ s, did you ever think when you start seeing the D2C sales go up. Did they ever think that, hey, now that I'm reaching some kind of popularity, would it help if I go offline? 

[00:10:40] ARJUN VAIDYA: We did and they're doing it now at Dr. Vaidya’s, but I honestly didn't have the skillset.

[00:10:46] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.

[00:10:46] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'm not a good offline entrepreneur and I didn't have have the time either, to be honest. Online business was going so fast,

[00:10:53] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. 

[00:10:53] ARJUN VAIDYA: so rapidly, that I think it was, yeah, it was just the way we wanted it to go. 

[00:10:57] JITENDRANATH PATRI: And the reason I'm asking this question is because today I hear of online

[00:11:00] ARJUN VAIDYA: Today's different. Today's different. 

[00:11:02] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah. 

[00:11:02] ARJUN VAIDYA: Today I think the number of brands competing online is significantly larger, right. The COVID bump of just online consumption is gone and consumers have gone back offline. So there are more brands, same amount of supply of ads. So increase in customer acquisition cost, 

[00:11:19] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. Again, interesting point, you made increase in customer acquisition cost, right? I think brands still continue to spend on acquisition. Are they missing out on the actual retention part of it? 

[00:11:29] ARJUN VAIDYA: Even I missed out on the retention part because when you're getting new customers easily, you forget about it.

[00:11:34] But the secret source of a D2C business is retention. Retention is very scientific. I think, early stage founders don't get it as quickly. 

[00:11:43] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:11:43] ARJUN VAIDYA: I didn't get it for two and a half years, but the moment you get retention and the power of retention, you will unlock an alpha in your business you've never seen before.

[00:11:52] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. And what advice would you, or what suggestions would give to really retain the customer? 

[00:11:57] ARJUN VAIDYA: Oh, I would say that I think the key is to reach out to the customer at the right point of time, right the right moment, when they're thinking of repurchasing after compared to their dosage, et cetera, all of that, number one. Number two, reach out to them on the channel they want to be reached out on, whether it's email, SMS, push notification, WhatsApp, call. Figure out what that channel is, and then if needed, incentivize them to repeat. Does that customer order a freebie? Does that customer order a feedback call?

[00:12:24] Will that customer just repeat anyways? Or does that customer need a discount? Figure out what that hook is and segment the customer such that you interact with the customer in the right manner. 

[00:12:34] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. Yeah. Today I hear online brands or D2C brands now experimenting with opening up stores. Any reason why they're doing that? 

[00:12:43] ARJUN VAIDYA: I think two things, right? One, offline consumption is back. 

[00:12:46] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:12:47] ARJUN VAIDYA: And two, there is still that feeling of touch and feel, right? 

[00:12:51] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. 

[00:12:51] ARJUN VAIDYA: So there is a section of consumers that are okay to buy completely online, including me. 

[00:12:55] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Correct. 

[00:12:55] ARJUN VAIDYA: But then there's a section of consumers who may want to experience something. 

[00:12:58] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.

[00:12:58] ARJUN VAIDYA: And so the experience center is becoming very powerful, especially in high AOV categories. But if you're spending 20,000, 30,000, 50,000 rupees that's you're buying a mattress or a mixer or a cooker, or large amount of kitchen utensils, you want to try it out.

[00:13:13] If I'm buying a iPhone charger, I'm okay. 

[00:13:16] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Sure. 

[00:13:17] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'll buy it. 

[00:13:17] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. And this, this is extension of that question is now last six, eight months, we've seen the footfalls come back to the brick and mortar stores, right? Our D2C brands who are only D2C doing something to compete and, and bring in, some kind of a new experience to, to ensure that they retain customers.

[00:13:36] ARJUN VAIDYA: Oh, I think brands are doing some amazing things, right! They're creating high quality content during the cycle between two purchases that can engage with customers. They're creating communities with customers. They are having beautiful unboxing experiences for customers that they can get that customer delight. They're also creating that feeling of belonging with customers. 

[00:14:02] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:14:03] ARJUN VAIDYA: That means a brand is not just a product. It's a feeling, it's an emotion. It's a tribe. It's a group of people. It's a group of like-minded people, and I think all of these things generate that recall in a brand, that love for a brand that eventually needs retention.

[00:14:16] Retention is not just marketing automation. Retention has many more moving parts. Marketing automation can be though, that pushes the consumption or drives the consumer over the edge, but retention has much more to do with it. 

[00:14:31] JITENDRANATH PATRI: And which brings me to another extension, is with with input like this, and after seeing such success coming in, right.

[00:14:40] Today, I, I see it's become easy to start a D2C business, however big a how or small right. Do you think, do you actually think that it has actually become easier or is it 

[00:14:50] ARJUN VAIDYA: I think, I think it has become easier from the perspective of the ecosystem, from the perspective of the tools available and the ancillaries.

[00:14:57] For a founder, you gotta focus on product, marketing and brand. The logistics, the customer service, the marketing automation, the warehousing, the WhatsApp automation, the website backend, all of these things are taken care of. And there's enough knowledge, right, about this available. I mean, you can Google, you can join programs like the one I teach, right?

[00:15:18] You can, you can speak to other founders and there's a large number of founders in the ecosystem now, so I think that's been solved for. But the crux of the problem, what's the product? What's the problem it's solving, what's the brand and what's the strategy to engage with customers that is still not solved.

[00:15:35] And so that part of it is still in the hands of a founder. The rest of the ancillaries are much easier than when I was building. 

[00:15:43] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. And, and a lot has changed in five years of five, five and half, six years. Right? Right through the time you started to, now obviously again. There's been some help, because of the shutting around of stores during the lockdowns and all that.

[00:15:57] But, irrespective, I think there's been a lot of

[00:15:59] ARJUN VAIDYA: change. There is a sea change in the last five years. D2C is a term, it didn't exist five to six years ago. There are WhatsApp groups of hundreds of founders now. These D2C founders are sharks on Shark Tank. None of this existed. 

[00:16:13] JITENDRANATH PATRI: True. 

[00:16:14] ARJUN VAIDYA: Five years or six years ago.

[00:16:15] JITENDRANATH PATRI: True, true. Yeah. And I know the pandemic must have played some role or what else, what else was instrumented in pushing this kind of popularity? 

[00:16:23] ARJUN VAIDYA: I think the pandemic pushed online consumption and online payment, but I think our consumer set is maturing as well. Consumers are demanding more, wanting more, wanting to engage with brands and not just products.

[00:16:37] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:16:38] ARJUN VAIDYA: India is a brand starved nation still. Yeah. We need many more brands and so I think it's following the trajectory of the way the consumption is moving in our country as well. 

[00:16:49] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. And do you see omnichannel becoming, I know, offline brands are now planning to go online and trying to see how they can tap into the, this growing market, right? Because it gives them access to newer spaces. You don't have to open stores everywhere. You can go to tier two, tier three markets and so on, so forth.

[00:17:09] But do you, do you see omnichannel become reality for the D2C business? The D2C brands? 

[00:17:15] ARJUN VAIDYA: It's a reality. Let's, let's not beat around the bush. It's a reality. After you reach a certain amount of scale, you'll have to unlock it to get to the next level of scale. But smaller brands, smaller brands, just establishing PMF, I think they can still remain online only.

[00:17:30] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Okay. Okay. And of course, I know you, you teach, I know you mentor a lot of D2C brands. Yeah. You also have, I think, a masterclass that you do . So any trends or tips that you think the D2C brands need to be aware of for someone who's starting the journey, or not even start, but just thinking about, you know.

[00:17:51] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah, it's a great way actually to, to sort of sum up this conversation, right? I would say one we've discussed already, omnichannel is a reality, right? 

[00:17:59] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:18:00] ARJUN VAIDYA: And we've talked about so I'm not gonna deep dive on it. Number two, retention is your secret sauce, right? CAC is at an all time high. 

[00:18:07] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:18:07] ARJUN VAIDYA: So the only way for you to make significant money is to retain customers.

[00:18:12] Number three, Me-Too brands will struggle, right? You need to have some amount, some sort of structure to having a moat or defensibility. Number four, I think customer delight is, is something that's under-leveraged. Unboxing experience, personalized engagement with customers, rewards your top thousand customers. These things really leave a long, long lasting impression on customers.

[00:18:40] And number five, because of Zepto and InstaMart and Blinkit 15 minute delivery.

[00:18:47] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. 

[00:18:47] ARJUN VAIDYA: or not 15 minute delivery, but quick delivery has become reality. I'll, I'll remind you, five years ago, Amazon Prime five years ago, guaranteed three days delivery. . That was a big deal. Three days delivery in metro in India today is a crime. It's a crime, right? You agree with me? That is a crime. 

[00:19:03] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Absolutely. 

[00:19:04] ARJUN VAIDYA: So you have to get your delivery as quick as possible. The longer you take, the higher the chances are for RTOs, and so regional warehousing is also a reality. To these five trends. I'll, I'll recap the five trends. Omnichannel is critical. 

[00:19:20] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Absolutely. 

[00:19:20] ARJUN VAIDYA: Retention is your secret source. Moat and defensibility is important. Me-too brands will not survive. Think about customer delight and quicker logistics to ensure your RTOs are not, 

[00:19:33] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Super. It was fantastic speaking with you Arjun. I think you summarized the entire conversation. I know it was a quick one. I would've loved to do a much longer one, but this 15, 20 minutes, I think encapsulated, I think I learned a lot about what it goes into making a D2C business 

[00:19:48] ARJUN VAIDYA: Look, I think it's, it's important to say it as it is, right?

[00:19:52] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah, true. 

[00:19:53] ARJUN VAIDYA: We are operating in a business which is technical now.

[00:19:56] JITENDRANATH PATRI: True.

[00:19:57] ARJUN VAIDYA: There is lots of competition. It's not 2017 when Arjun Vaidya was spending six months figuring out how to launch an online business. That's not the reality of the market. 

[00:20:05] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right? So what's the kind of speed today if one has to launch? 

[00:20:09] ARJUN VAIDYA: You have six to 12 weeks to learn how to run a digital business. 

[00:20:13] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Wow. 

[00:20:14] ARJUN VAIDYA: Six to 12 weeks. 

[00:20:15] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Wow. And that actually gives you nothing. There's no runway at it, literally. 

[00:20:19] ARJUN VAIDYA: You have to, you have six to 12 weeks to get the basics and get your business up and running. It'll take you time to scale, but if you don't know your basics, you'll get it now.

[00:20:25] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Which I think even a very, the runway itself is very short. Right. Scaling, of course is, is of course a step or two ahead. 

[00:20:32] ARJUN VAIDYA: Yeah, you have time to scale, but don't have time to learn your basics. Basics are a non-negotiable. 

[00:20:37] JITENDRANATH PATRI: So that's another thing that I think is a takeaway for a lot of the other, a lot of people who are kind of keen to start off something on their own. Right. So thank you Arjun. Thank you so much. I think you summarize it beautifully or you kind of captured those little nuggets very beautifully. Omnichannel is gonna be a reality for any brand, right?

[00:20:57] Absolutely. It's more about product and customer experience. How do you ensure that you have a differentiator, and that's what you meant by the moat part of it. To kind of ensure customer stickiness. Understanding customer better so you can engage with the customer far more relevantly, more personalized, and, I think retention is king.

[00:21:16] ARJUN VAIDYA: Quicker logistics. 

[00:21:17] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Quicker logistics. Sorry, I forgot that I missed that. Quicker logistics, which I think quick commerce has kind of made us all a slave too, right? So I guess things have changed for the better. Thank you so much. Absolutely. I know it'll make quick, quick conversation. I think you're really insightful and I hope we can chat up soon. Right.

[00:21:35] Thanks so much, Arjun. 

[00:21:36] ARJUN VAIDYA: My pleasure. Thank you. Bye

[00:21:37] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Bye. 

Retail Reimagined is a podcast series that features CXOs from the retail industry who are at the forefront of digital transformation and customer-centricity.

Yours, Digitally! is a digital personalisation podcast dedicated to leadership & marketing teams of retail brands who are looking to shift from conventional marketing to digital personalized marketing like Amazon, Spotify & Netflix have already done.




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