Rupesh Sanghavi has been selling online for nearly 10 years, but it’s the last year-and-a- half that really caught our attention. You see, Rupesh is the founder and CEO of an online retailing enterprise that has hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise sourced and drop-shipped from Doba just last year. At last count, this Über Doba-affiliated merchant (active with us since August 2008) has more than 60 employees working for him in three countries, including the U.S. and India.
A domestic and international retailer, Rupesh — who has a degree in chemical engineering — sells on more than 20 online marketplaces, including Amazon.com and his company’s own websites. His business offers more than a million unique SKUs on any given day in three major business verticals — books, general merchandise and services.
Officially, Rupesh is the chief executive officer for ErgodE, Inc., an online media-selling venture he founded and established nearly a decade ago. His international focus is selling books, and he sells a lot of them, with an available inventory of nearly 5 million titles available at any given time.
And since his entire business is based around the drop-ship fulfillment model, Rupesh says his main focus is on marketing “long tail” products. This means marketing and selling small volumes of hard-to-find items to a large quantity of consumers. What he doesn’t need, says Rupesh, is a huge inventory of books that take up space but have appeal to only a small number of readers.
But let’s allow Rupesh to tell his own success story:
Doba: How did you get started with Doba?
Rupesh: I wanted to diversify my business. I was doing well in the book categories and realized that I could sell products from other categories since I was selling on a lot of marketplaces like Amazon. While researching other drop-ship aggregators, I found Doba and liked the idea that you carried products from many different categories, allowing me to work with hundreds of suppliers with one account.
Doba: Explain the product sourcing challenges you face as an Ecommerce Retailer?
Rupesh: Since my model is based on selling “long tail” products, I’m not out there selling hot-selling items. So I need a lot of SKUs for the model to work. That’s why I market more than 5 million products versus a company that focuses on selling just hot selling products and doesn’t require as many SKUs. Because of this I need to work with many drop ship vendors both domestically and internationally. Managing that amount of product data can be challenging. Data is always an issue and finding ways to have accurate data is something we are always working on. Plus, a lot of long tail products don’t have UPC codes, which is standard for selling in various marketplaces such as Amazon. There are ways to work around it but it takes a little more time.