By Roopa Kudva
KVaitheeswaran is often regarded as the first ecommerce entrepreneur in India. He founded Fabmart. com in 1999 — back then, the term ‘e-commerce’ hadn’t even been coined. His co-founders later created the online grocery BigBasket. Fabmart also led the way for Flipkart and other verticalfocused e-commerce ventures that followed. Another startup to ride on India’s first internet wave was Baazee.com, launched in 2000. A marketplace of goods, it was acquired by eBay in 2004. It too spawned s ever a l m a rket pl ac e iterations across verticals.
Looking back at these early trendsetters, one common factor emerges. All these businesses served people at the top of the socio-economic pyramid — the goal was to grow consumer demand online amongst people with the highest spending power. That also set the yardstick for how the entrepreneur themselves should be — English-speaking, with an upper middle-class upbringin and brandishing a degree from a top school.
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Photo credit: The Economic Times