D2C Brands Are Using Green-tech To Ensure Blend Of Sustainability


The fundraising scenario is not the same as what was in 2021 but India is still a favourable nation to build. Chirag Taneja, Co-founder and CEO, Gokwik shares his learnings from 2022 and commented on outlook for 2023

This has been touted as a tough year for startups. What were some of the challenges your company faced and how did you tackle these?

In any business building, you have these phases of fit and fat and traversing through the fit mode helps one build a better, resilient business. The fundraising scenario is not the same as what was in 2021 but India is still a favourable nation to build – money has become expensive but for good businesses, it is still available. We are a well-capitalised business with healthy unit economics hence we have continued to focus on the execution of what we know.

What are your expectations from 2023? Will some of the growth drivers kick in again or will it continue to be a cautious year as well?

The global macroeconomic environment will continue to be sluggish as most globally developed economies would go through a recession/slowdown. Over the long term, India is the destination to be – favourable demographics (China will depopulate and age over the next forty years, during the same time, India will add the same number of people China loses, over a quarter of a billion.), increasing in spending power leading to buoyant domestic demand,  mobile penetration.

Share more on how 2022 panned out for your company in terms of revenue targets.

2022 was a year where we scaled our products which had seen product market fit. We grew multifold in terms of GMV processed via us and grew more than 400 per cent in annualised revenues.

What are some of your plans for 2023 and the areas of interest in the year ahead?

We continue to stay committed to solving for e-commerce related shopping experience problems – we go deeper into solving problems such as RTO, returns, and payments. We plan to expand outside India in 2023.

As a leader, what were some of the things you had to do differently in 2022 especially given some of the external challenges in the year that ranged from founder troubles to restrained investment and large-scale layoffs?

We were largely unaffected by these external challenges this year since we have always focused on healthy unit economics. We are a well-capitalised business and continued to build products that have seen product market fit. We grew more than 400 per cent in annualised revenue and while other industries and companies witnessed large-scale layoffs, we grew our team by 80 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

The investing and startup ecosystems are poised to adopt a climate-conscious strategy. Where do you see the green-tech industry heading in the coming years?

Green tech industry is going to revolutionise in the next few years as end users become increasingly climate-conscious. The e-commerce industry itself is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions and is expected to contribute over 2334 billion tonnes by 2030. Our core product offering, the RTO suite, is solving this. Through deep data, tech and artificial intelligence, we are reducing shipping-related wastage and carbon footprints owing to the cancellation of orders before delivery, so you can see expansion in that arena as well.

Moreover, many D2C brands like Elevar Sports and Neeman’s are already using green tech to ensure a blend of sustainability and fashion, and we are playing a supporting role in powering their growth as well.  

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