October - 2014 - issue > Startup of the Year - e-Commerce - Social Marketplace

GoCoop.com: Serving the Co-operative Segment with Niche e-Commerce Solutions

Susila Govindaraj
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Susila Govindaraj
Allegorical novel 'The Alchemist' states "When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it." It is particularly true when it is for a righteous cause akin to promoting the livelihoods of the left-out rural residuum. GoCoop.com is yet another glorious example that is making a paradigm shift by introducing online marketplace to the artisans and weavers in rural India who have never seen a computer before. Many considerate investors, Co-op federations and government organizations are delighted to join hands with GoCoop to support their noble cause of conducting awareness sessions and promoting the technology in different clusters. It enabled the steadily growing company to market over 10000 products from around 175 Co-ops with over 50,000 artisans. GoCoop also has over 4000 registered Co-ops with 5,00,000 artisans along with 5000 registered buyers on the platform in a short journey of 3 years.

GoCoop's unique patent-pending platform provides a wide range of services including marketing, collaboration and supporting for back-end operations. The company not only supports both B2B and B2C customers, but has also enabled social networking capabilities to promote collaboration among buyers and sellers. It gives a technology edge to Co-op users and members who have rarely used computer or internet by providing notifications and access to information through basic mobile services like SMS, email and voice messages. GoCoop has also developed multiple modes of delivery to enable easier access.

Bridging the Gap

Though Indian handloom is a magical sector that never goes out of fashion, the artisans and weavers behind its origin are grappling with inequitable pricing and inadequate demand for their products; mainly due to their inability to access markets and information. Meanwhile, the local traders sell the same products to retailers and export houses at a margin that is 3-5 times higher than the amount they paid to the artisan. This is further compounded by lack of aggregation and the artisan's inability to peddle their products themselves. Determined to put an end to this blatant injustice, Siva Devireddy instigated GoCoop.com in 2011. Instead of pursuing 12 years of corporate career or opening a flashy e-Commerce website effortlessly, Siva founded this social marketplace for artisan Co-ops and community based enterprises to showcase and sell their products online to facilitate a win-win for both producer and buyer by eliminating intermediaries.

Having observed the imbalance of luxury between urban and rural lifestyles, Siva leveraged his knack for social entrepreneurship to make an impact utilizing ICT.

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