Zepto founders on being role models, keeping up with competition, and being quick on the entrepreneurial journ

When Zepto co-founder Kaivalya Vohra and Aadit Palicha are counted as the youngest (both 20!) self-made and the youngest wealthy individuals in India, according to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India 2022 rich list, they turned out to be overnight role models for many in the country.

“It’s humbling, but honestly, it’s not something we think about every day, because there’s always a lot going on in business,” said Kaivalya, speaking to host Beverly White on day three of TechSparks 2022, India’s largest startup tech conference.

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Quick commerce startup Zepto began operations in Mumbai in April 2021 and has witnessed tremendous growth, with a presence in 10 cities in the form of dark stores or micro warehouses—Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Chennai, Hyderabad , and Kolkata.

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They say the best founders have real faith in their idea, and there are no two ways about it with Kaivalya and Aadit. “The reason why we pushed so hard is that we had so much conviction about the product. We believe that the product will be exciting and change the way people buy today, so instead of our personal development, we are more concerned about how to make Zepto a bigger player in people’s minds,” says Kaivalya.

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Zepto

Being young founders who don’t really have decades of experience to invest in, Aadit says they’re helping build a product that no one has done before in an industry that’s been formed in the last 12 to 18 months.

“We realize that to perfect this model and this category, we need to have a combination of both decades of experience, where our leadership team of specialists has decades of experience in supply chain and growth, marketing and finance, and first. thinking principles, which we bring to our new perspectives.”

According to consulting firm RedSeer, India’s rapid commerce market is expected to witness 15X growth by 2025, reaching a market size close to $5.5 billion, and in this battleground, Aadit believes that the winners are the people who can drive operating leverage on the back end.

It is well known that the fast-moving commercial players in the industry have to face not only increased competition but also criticism from all sides that the haste to emerge market winners may put the safety of bet delivery partners.

“The truth is that our business model is built on short distances, and not fast speeds,” said Aadit, adding that their pick-up points across the country are positioned in dense population clusters, if where the average distance for the delivery person is 1.7 to 1.8 kms.

On where the fast commerce industry is headed in the next ten years, Aadit said there is potential to build a horizontal fast commerce and ecommerce company, and grocery itself is bigger than every other ecommerce category. , which is combined.

From being teen entrepreneurs who dropped out of Stanford to leading players in the fast-paced commercial industry, Kaivalya and Aadit have scripted the story of business success.

When asked about their mantra for personal success, Kaivalya is careful to give advice, saying that they are more than willing to give it in five to 10 years, but, “Sustaining it is something we learned early on. Entrepreneurship is a journey where the highs are very high, and the lows are really low. There were many opportunities for both of us to say let’s pack up and go back to university, and live a very comfortable life, but we stuck with it. ”

Aadit’s word of advice for entrepreneurs? “If you want to start building a company, build it for the right reasons.” For someone who forgot his phone charger on the way to the airport to attend this conference, and who carried it through his startup, this advice seems about right.