Business India ×

Published on: Jan. 28, 2023, 1:55 p.m.
How Group Bayport made custom-made products affordable
  • Shah: flexible supply chain model

By Lancelot Joseph. Executive Editor, Business India

An increase in online retail sales is a paradigm shift that is largely attributed to the global pandemic. However, the e-commerce boom is projected to sustain prolonged expansion, while also enduring formative changes in consumer behaviour and expectations. Personalisation and the demand for a more engaged product creation process to provide insights into individual experience have been among the rising themes over the past 10 years. Custom-made products are soaring in popularity, with the global print-on-demand software expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.5 per cent by 2029. 

The optimisation of operations, though, has been a roadblock to the growth of the sector. One of the businesses that have been able to offer personalisation through mass production is Group Bayport, launched by Nishant Shah as a one-man start-up in 2010. The company operates three big segments – signages & displays, custom covers & tarps and home decor & apparels.

Shah expounds how he was able to establish the production in India, while bootstrapped from an initial investment of $2,000 in the US to a company that is close to Rs800 crore in revenues annually. In 2007, he was operating a car wash business in a mall in the US when he hit on an idea to set up a company.

“I would occasionally travel to India to see my family and, since interactive banner ads were the main form of advertising in the early 2000s, I would use my brother’s website design service to design the banners and then have them printed from a local shop in India for far less cost than I would have otherwise paid in the US,” says Shah, who created a website, where users can easily design exactly what they want and then have that delivered quickly and cost-effectively.

Expansion strategy

“Using a sustainable and flexible supply chain model, Group Bayport set out to satisfy this demand”, adds Shah, who believes that effective planning was a key factor in the exponential growth of his endeavour, within a relatively short period of 10 years. 

The company essentially followed a two-stage expansion strategy, with the first step concentrating on defining its market and understanding their niche, vertically integrating the operations and establishing a supply network between India and the US – while the second stage involved scaling the operations and positioning the company globally. 

Identifying what the customer base wants, needs and desires helps to maintain high sales and grow the clientele. “Because of my own experience and conversations with numerous users, we concluded that the majority of them believe customised products to be more expensive and taking longer time to be delivered than their standardised, one-size-fits-all alternatives bought online. We came to understand that mass-produced goods are configured on high-volume production that do not support modifications, they rely on using unskilled labour for simple tasks, effectively sacrificing flexibility for low manufacturing costs per unit”.

  • The company has more than 10,000 products and more than 1 million customers in six countries

Between 2011 and 2015, Group Bayport, which makes its goods in India for export around the globe, concentrated heavily on enhancing the design of its supply chain network, cutting waste, utilising technology, shifting the focus of their supplier relationships from cost to flexibility and improving information connectivity with partners to shorten the time to market. The end result was the development of a seamless platform with technology that enables its users to easily generate their own designs and meet delivery requirements in 3-4 business days.

Most of their competitors that operate similar websites employ numerous vendors dispersed across various locations for their manufacturing needs, which raises their costs and efforts because they must now oversee multiple separate supply chains. On the contrary, the company’s 2,50,000 sq ft plant in Gujarat is where all of its production is now centralised. Everything being in-house, including marketing, production and customer service, provided a solid platform for Group Bayport’s quick expansion. 

The company has more than 10,000 products and more than 1 million customers in six countries. Shah intends to further diversify and geographic reach by demonstrating how its custom signs and displays can be utilised to make unique and versatile experiences that break through the noise of online echo chambers at high returns and moderate costs.

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