Startup Street: Paytm Mall Gets Sellers GST-Ready
Trainees attend a class for the Government e Marketplace (GeM) website at the National Institute of Financial Management in Faridabad, Haryana, India (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)

Startup Street: Paytm Mall Gets Sellers GST-Ready

This week on Startup Street, Paytm’s e-commerce arm is making sure all its sellers are ready for the July 1 rollout of the Goods and Services Tax regime. Meanwhile, twenty Indian startups flew to London to explore the possibilities of global expansion. And, an Indian startup which makes plus-sized clothing for women, hopes to break even by December.

Paytm Mall Helping Sellers Become GST-Compliant

Paytm Mall, the now demerged e-commerce arm of One97 Communications, is training its sellers to be GST compliant, to ensure that they can continue to operate on the platform. The e-commerce platform has launched a seller assistance programme to help merchants get on to the GST Network. "Our platform has third party experts to help merchants ensure tax compliance ahead of the upcoming GST launch", Paytm said in blog post on Medium.

Paytm Mall conducted offline camps and workshops and opened a GST help desk to educate sellers about the new platform. The company has also drawn up backend infrastructure which maps over 90 million products which will classify products under the applicable tax slab. ClearTax, an income tax return filing portal, is aiding Paytm Mall for compliance.

Amit Sinha, Chief Operating Officer, Paytm Mall. (Source: Company)
Amit Sinha, Chief Operating Officer, Paytm Mall. (Source: Company)

Besides, Paytm Mall has appointed Amit Sinha as its chief operating officer. Sinha was serving as Paytm's senior vice president of business before moving to Paytm Mall. He will be responsible for overall operations, Paytm said in a separate statement.

“We have implemented GST-compliance measures across our supply chain to ensure quick and efficient delivery of items ordered on Paytm Mall.", Sinha said in the blog post.

Indian Startups Awarded At London Tech Week

Twenty Indian startups, including fitness technology company GOQii and human resource solutions provider Edge Networks, participated in the recently conluded London Tech Week and were named the "most innovative and high growth companies" in the country.

The companies were part of the India Emerging 20 programme which was launched by London & Partners, the official business promotion agency of London's Mayor Sadiq Khan. The twenty startups were participating in the London Tech Week organised last week to explore the possibilities of international expansion.

The startups were selected from a pool of 222 companies across various areas like finance, technology, life sciences, artificial intelligence and more.

Startup Street: Paytm Mall Gets Sellers GST-Ready

"Indian companies are looking to scale globally. This is a perfect springboard to help them expand", said Bindi Karia, a startup adviser, on India Emerging Twenty's website.

The companies also received a skilling session from Cobra Beer Founder Lord Karan Bilmoria and entrepreneur Shalini Khemka. Startup founders and chief executive officers also go to interact with a bunch of significant personalities as seen from their individual Twitter posts.

This Startup Wants To Take On The Fashion Industry Without An Inventory

Lurap.com, a platform which makes ‘extra large’ clothing is looking to tap into India's plus-sized fashion industry for women which it expects to grow to $22 billion over the coming years. However, it wants to do so without maintaining a readymade inventory.

"All apparel are made after receiving the order, which means there is nothing readymade in our inventory. This gives the advantage to make the product as per the customer’s size (including plus and odd sizes) and style (sleeves, length, neck style)", said Vidit Sehgal, head of marketing and co-founder of Lurap, in an emailed interaction with BloombergQuint.

The downside is time. Lurap takes at least 15 days to complete and deliver the product since everything is made from scratch every time an order is placed.

It was Sehgal's father's idea to start something around the men's custom clothing segment. But he soon decided to focus on women after seeing women shopping in men's stores buying ill-fitted t-shirts, he said.

Lurap has not tied up with any brands. It makes its own clothes according to the customer's size. It also allows users to submit their designs.

While still a bootstrapped startup with an initial investment of Rs 2 crore, Lurap's revenue has been growing 20-30 percent month-on-month with the company recording a turnover of Rs 15 lakh in April. Lurap currently makes a gross margin of 50 percent on every garment it sells, Sehgal said.

It expects to break even in the next 6-8 months.

Another reason Sehgal says Lurap is uniquely placed is because there has been no serious venture towards the custom plus-sized clothing industry in India.

Since we are the first one to introduce this concept in India, we have no benchmarks set by other companies to chase.
Vidit Sehgal, Co-Founder, Lurap.com

The next and the obvious step for Lurap will be to venture into the men’s segment, which they plant to do by December next year, Sehgal said.

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