Kurien Pothen, CEO, Kare Enterprise (StudentKare.com)
Kurien is a management graduate from Mumbai’s S P Jain Institute of Management and Research. He has three decades of experience across FMCG, consumer durable and retail domain, with stints at Nerolac Paints, VIP Luggage, Reliance Communication and Grasim Industries before joining KARE as its CEO.
At KARE, Kurien has driven the launch of the company’s innovative and pioneering initiative to create a technology based platform that provides a single stop shop for all that children need for school and play. KARE has two verticals – one that services school management and the second a speciality e-commerce store www.studentkare.com. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Kurien says, “Our vision is to help parents broaden their child’s horizon by making available all that the child needs for school and play.”
Tell us a few words about Studentkare and Kare Enterprises?
Recently launched, Studentkare.com is an e-commerce site that provides parents with all that their children need at school and play. Designed to simplify the shopping experience of a parent, it provides everything from books, shoes, bags, stationary, toys, sports goods and hobby material for children in the age-group of 4-16 years.
Studentkare is the e-commerce arm of Kare Enterprise, a 14 year old firm that specializes in school and office supplies. School and office supplies, such as uniforms, bags, shoes and books have traditionally been a fragmented sector with many small players in the market. This led to inefficiency and inconsistent product quality for the buyer. Kare, a B2B firm, through aggregation and consolidation provides convenience and scale benefits to schools, besides providing the facility of a customized white label e commerce platform for individual schools to service their students and parents.
Studentkare.com, is based on the many years of understanding that Kare has about the needs and buying behavior of parents and also its deep understanding of the products involved, their features and benefits and its supply chain.
How big is the market in India for Studentkare.com ?
India has nearly 260 million students studying in the K12 segment who require uniform, text books, notebooks, bags, shoes and other stationery material. This market is estimated to be Rs 55,000 crore per annum and is growing at a healthy rate.
How is Studentkare different from others?
Studentkare promises simplicity and convenience to a parent shopping for their child’s school and play needs.
On the product front it promises competitive prices and an assurance of quality. Each of the 25,000 + products listed on the site is sourced and sold by the Studentkare team unlike a market place model, thus assuring quality and genuine products.
Second, at Studentkare our curated and yet comprehensive product portfolio makes the process of discovery and purchase organized and quick.
All the parent’s needs are delivered together rather than through multiple consignments from multiple sellers and thereby saving delivery costs.
It presently offers home delivery across 19000 pin codes. Apart from the metro cities, we are seeing very good response from tier-II and III cities where availability and accessibility could be a challenge.
Any expansion plans?
This is just the beginning for Studentkare.com. At present we have 25,000 + products which will double by the end of this year, providing parents width across the ten categories that we would be present and also have sufficient depth in each of these categories without making the selection and choice process complex.
What is your vision for the company?
Our vision is to help parents broaden their child’s horizon by making available all that the child needs for school and play on our site and thereby make parenting joyful. We aim to be the preferred store for a parent for any product required by a student.