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BusinessPrione making inroads into tier-2, tier-3 markets

Prione making inroads into tier-2, tier-3 markets

Published: 4th Nov 2020 12:05 am | Updated: 3rd Nov 2020 10:12 pm

Hyderabad: Amazon-Catamaran Ventures JV company Prione is making inroads into tier 2 and tier 3 cities across the country enabling thousands of small and medium businesses (SMBs) to scale up by taking their business online onto Amazon platform. Sandeep Varaganti, MD and CEO, Prione shares with Y V Phani Raj the scenario in Covid times and how the company is expanding its reach to facilitate growth opportunities for partner businesses. Excerpts

Covid impact

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Businesses experienced supply chain disruptions, fall in cash flow and manpower shortage during April and May owing to the lockdown. Once the lockdown was lifted in June, e-commerce picked up, which is a positive sign for Prione and Amazon. More and more people went digital and transactions shot up. Customer demand online went up 30-40 per cent compared to pre-Covid levels.

The pandemic has unlocked new demand not only in India but also internationally, with several non-transacting individuals going digital. Covid led to certain delays in business plans, but Prione did not lose business. Two months of no business has partially impacted 20 per cent of businesses while we are going to meet 2020 targets for 80 per cent of the businesses.

Operations in India

Over the past six years, Prione has spread its reach to over 150 cities across the country and enabled over one lakh SMBs on the online marketplace. The company has created direct offices in about 60 cities. Through our base in Hyderabad, we had been able to connect multiple satellite cities in the State. The partner network is growing fast as we have taken new business for Amazon. In addition to on-boarding sellers on Amazon, we are taking digital payment solutions, other businesses and services for partners.

Hyderabad base

Hyderabad is the power centre for Telangana and AP region. Prione caters to around 60 per cent of the 8,000 businesses/sellers in the region. Consumer durables, accessories, pharmaceuticals, PPEs, medical devices are the top selling categories in the city. Hyderabad has remained a key sales market for businesses that are looking to establish a strong foothold in the southern market.

Logistics infrastructure

Amazon has created a strong warehouse network with close to 20 warehouses across top cities of India, which are set up based on the customer demand in each of the cities. Amazon has created four large warehouses in the last three months including Hyderabad. In addition to what Amazon is creating, Prione is adding mini-warehouses pan-India. We have established 60 mini-warehouses in the country so far and will add another 40 by next year.
Business ramp up

In the next 12-18 months, we anticipate aggressive ramp up of operations by adding more businesses and products for sellers, help businesses embrace and accept digital payments, and further penetrate into tier-2 and tier 3 cities by leveraging partner networks.
Creating scale

Prione caters to over 2,000 super sellers on Amazon platform who have a business of over Rs 1 crore. There are sellers across the spectrum over this revenue mark, who are clocking revenues beyond Rs 1 crore, touching almost Rs 5-10 crore every year.

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