Our greatest success has been our ability to persuade a large number of large and medium sized Indian business clients, apart from all multinational business clients.
Work Store, formerly Staples.in (Staples Future Office Products Ltd) is dedicated to B2B selling of everything for office products and stationery. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Staples Future Office Products Pvt. Ltd. was formed as a joint venture between Staples Inc. and Pantaloon Retail India Ltd.
BWDisrupt team interact with and talk to Shailesh Karwa, CEO, Work Store
Shailesh has worked with Tata Group as a specialist in the area of financial trading and settlement engines encompassing decision support for derivatives trading, risk management and direct processing; with on-site visits to Morgan Stanley, London and Bear Stearns, New York.
He holds a BA in Finance and Accounting and a Professional Diploma in Advertising from the University of Mumbai. He obtained his MBA in Entrepreneurship from the SP Jain Institute of Management & Research. Shailesh studied Corporate and Corporate Law with a qualification from ACS with ICSI, Delhi
Shailesh enjoys a culture of execution and a “detail-driven, short-sighted strategy”
Excerpts from the interview:
How did you decide to start your business?
We decided to start our business when we saw the need for a professional service provider to serve business customers for all of their office and workspace needs.
Why does your business exist? (what is the mission, the vision you have for your business? How do you see that you will make the difference with your business model?)
Mission: To be the leading business-to-business e-commerce company in India in terms of sales, profitability and customer service.
Our company exists to help our clients achieve greater productivity in their respective businesses, saving them time and money.
What’s the biggest success you’ve had so far?
Our greatest success has been our ability to persuade a large number of large and medium sized Indian business clients, apart from all multinational business clients. We are proud of our ability to retain them over several years.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far?
Our biggest challenge in the market is the unethical practices prevalent by local and unorganized suppliers. We need to compete with suppliers who use unfair means to gain customers by offering favors to key influencers and decision makers, supplying counterfeit products, overcharging with short deliveries, and replacing brands with local products.
If you could go back in time, what would you have done differently?
If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I really enjoyed the trip and look forward to every challenge that comes along.
Do you have a mentor / someone you admire for advice (someone you admire)? Who is it?
I admire my grandfather, who mentored me and was an inspiring local entrepreneur.
If you had to give advice to other startup CEOs, what would it be?
I would advise them to focus on execution by detailing the big picture and following specific actions. In India, it is important to be patient, to focus on the sustainability of the economic model by investing in profitable growth and without compromising on governance.