The Indian building materials industry is a gigantic sector, estimated to be worth approx. Rs. 6.2 Lakh Crores. However, since the industry is highly fragmented, the sector has hardly been able to leverage digital and e-commerce channels, unlike several other sectors like FMCG, Electronics & Apparel.
From home owners to contractors, retailers and brands, everyone in the industry has to deal with a complex and often broken supply chain. Consequently, they struggle to maximize their business potential owing to an opaque and inefficient ecosystem. The sector is further impacted negatively by a broken range of offerings, and a lack of transparency and trust.
Addressing all the challenges faced by customers and suppliers, Dalmia Bharat Group has sought to usher in a disruptive, phygital model, Hippo Stores, which provides customers a seamless experience to shop for building materials online through an app, as well as at a physical store.
The Omni channel model designed by the industry leader in India’s core manufacturing space since 1939, will be India’s first and largest retail and e-tail aggregation of building materials. Spread across 50,000 Sq. feet with a 100,000 Sq. ft. warehouse capacity, Hippo Stores will house 160+ brands across 10 core categories and 250+ product lines.
Mr. Amit Garg, CEO, Hippo Stores said “Hippo Stores is an industry-first initiative in aggregating the fragmented building materials sector. This is a unique concept for the industry, wherein we will be launching physical stores (the first one in Mayapuri, Delhi) as well as a digital app to address the demand of the NCR region. A home owner with his contractor, currently has to make more than 70 visits to the market to select, compare and purchase products from multiple stores spread across multiple locations! We want to make the customer’s life simple by selling them everything that they need for building a home from a single source. “
Integrated to a digital ecosystem, the Hippo Stores model will be armed with a digital catalogue; site and contractor listing; an effective mobile app based interface, which enables ordering, tracking and servicing; real-time project tracking, proposal templates, calculators, and checklists. “Contractors will not just be able to buy from a single source without the trouble of dealing with multiple sellers, but also list themselves online and get connected with home owners to generate business. Small retailers will be able to sell any brand, any category without the need to stock, manage inventory or invest any upfront capital. In brief, Hippo Stores is about to usher the building materials sector into the digital age.”, added Mr. Garg.
Hippo Stores will be utilizing data collected of around 10,000 independent house (G+3/ G+4), commercial and industrial construction projects and over 34,000 retailers in Delhi NCR, which have been mapped on a Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS provides an easy view to its sales team to address customers across Delhi NCR and provides supplier brands access to a goldmine of opportunities with an estimated Rs 35,000 Cr worth of building material purchase.
With the Omni channel approach, Hippo Stores aims to address all the key challenges of trust, transparency, and supply and delivery challenges, strengthening the relationship between home owners and contractors. Most importantly, while online shopping will boost convenience for customers, they will be able to experience and compare the products at the physical store.
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