Sastodeal is one of the most successful home grown brand and one of the pioneers of the e-commerce industry in Nepal. At its launch, internet usage in the country was very low and people weren’t familiar with the idea of e-commerce platforms. Moreover, the idea of an ecommerce platform at a country that barely used internet must have been ridiculous then. However today, the brand is one of the leading e-commerce companies serving millions of customers with thousands of vendors. In this article, we will learn about the journey of Sastodeal and how it succeeded.
Amun Thapa, the current CEO and the founder of Sastodeal had the idea of an e-commerce Platform after he returned from the U.S. At that time, the internet penetration in the country was just 9% and e-commerce was barely a thing back then. He also found that people only had one day on a week to fulfill their shopping needs after their busy work schedule. Also, there were many street vendors and they all had varying prices for the same product. In that condition, he laid out the business concept of Sastodeal and visualized the idea.
The next day, Mr. Thapa set out with just Rs.50000 in his bank to find capable human resources that would make his idea a reality. For the initial part, he needed a website and a developer that can build the site for him. Unfortunately, the rate for a decent developer was in six figures and he lacked such a large capital for a single individual. In his search, he came across Sodhan Manandhar, also one of the co-founders and current CTO of Sastodeal. Through him, he got acquainted with Shrijit Rajbhandari, another co-founder of Sastodeal but he worked as a designer back then. Now, they rented a small garage at a monthly rent of Rs.2000 with broken furniture’s and launched their site officially on 15th December, 2011.
Initially, the company struggled to attract both customers and vendors into their website. Also, the internet usability was fairly low and the concept of e-commerce was also not very well- known. People were used to purchasing goods only after feeling them in person. As such, it was a great obstacle to earn the consumers trust in a new company over their hard earned money. Similarly, the vendors weren’t enthusiastic either to enlist their businesses in something that never heard of. However, the technological boom in the country made people aware about the internet’s benefits and uses. Following the trend, Sastodeal also experienced the influx of customers and gradually the situation got better day after day.
The Growth of Sastodeal:
Since the launch of the website in December 2011, the company has slowly but steadily grown into what we know today. Form one Facebook like to millions, and one user to over 5 million user active users the brand has matured a lot. Initially, the brand started with various Hand-picked deals with limited vendors and products. Now, there are thousands of vendors selling millions of products ranging from t-shirts to large electronics. Similarly, they also launched Sastobooks, current leading platform for books in 2013 to cater to the demand of books for its user base. This allowed the brand to grow from its own profits and made it one of the leading e-commerce platforms that it is today.
Also Read: Why BhatBhateni Supermarket Succeeds?
Sastodeal Future plans:
Similar with Sastobooks, the company also plans to launch other similar ventures to cater to the changing needs of the customers. On another notice, they are also working with various payment gateways to make purchases over its platforms even seamless. Not to mention, the brand is working hard to ensure its availiability in even the most undeveloped areas of the country. For this purpose, they have many investment and joint ventures planned out in the coming years. One of their most recent investments is definitely from the Dolma Impact Fund for around $1 million. For further development of the ecommerce in the country, they will effectively use such plans and we wish best wishes as always. This is how a garage origin brand “Sastodeal” won the hearts of Nepali customers.