Benir E Store Solutions: Redefining the Office Supplies Industry by Blending the Best of West & East

Hirji Narayan Patel, Managing DirectorA few years back, the office products industry in India had an influx of multinational players from all over the world, who were attracted by the promising Rs.10,000 crore market, which was estimated to grow at 30 percent per annum. Little did they expect that their tried & tested western models would bite the dust against the unorganized players, who have an unyielding grip on the office supply market. Leveraging the fact that price is the key deciding factor for most Indian customers, vendors in unorganized sector confuse them by underquoting during the bid, since they have many other ways to make money out of the customers, say, compromising the process by exploiting the lack of transparency.

For instance, the contracts could be for packets worth Rs. 20, but the clients receive pieces worth Rs.2 and end-up paying Rs.20. Such unethical transactions can be prevented only when the organizations move into a system. Offering such a highly transparent system tailored for the Indian market is Benir E Store Solutions. The company sped its way to the industry pinnacle and forged a stellar reputation as an expert in the office supplies domain by blending the best practices of international players and the service level of the Indian buyers. Instead of amplifying its prices in comparison with other vendors in the market, Benir follows the strategy of providing ‘Right Price for the Right Product’. “What we quote is what we deliver,” asserts Hirji Narayan Patel, Managing Director, Benir E Store Solutions.

Today’s organizations prefer dealing with a single company rather than empaneling multiple vendors. Benir is such a one-stop-solution provider with a heterogenous mix of offerings such as office stationery, housekeeping consumables, packaged drinking water, corporate gifting and electronic goods, along with all other add-on requirements. Likewise, Benir effortlessly outshines the competition when it comes to offering a wide range of products across various brands that fits their budget. Having PAN India presence, Benir can just source the products desired by clients from any part of the country and fulfill any adhoc requirements within a miniscule of time.

Standing in sharp contrast amidst the unorganized regional vendors and other players touting PAN India presence through tie-ups, Benir has direct presence in nine cities with its warehouses (each more than 5000 sq.ft.) at Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jam Nagar, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Kolkata with its own fleet of vehicles. This enables it to consolidate vendors and make a huge difference in supply chain management.

What solidifies Benir’s reputation even further as an industry expert is the strategic alliance the company has built with international partners like Lyreco, one of the top three office suppliers in the world that has presence in 28 countries through its own subsidiaries and in 15 countries via partners like Benir. As a cherry on top, operating on a conventional mode with small expenses, big volumes & more services, facilitates Benir to sustain in the price-conscious market and pass-on the benefits to the clients.

A Solution Provider
Although technology has proved its worth across diverse industries, there is still heavy reliance on manual processes in the stationary procurement sector. This is where Benir enters the picture with its path-breaking online portal that has demonstrated success in facilitating companies to save cost up to 40 percent. How? Today, many enterprises deliberately or unknowingly order excess stocks, which is supposed to be at their employees’ desktop, but end-up in the wrong pockets, since the lack of proper documentation on material consumption provides ample scope for pilferage.

Through its intelligent tracking mechanism, Benir’s online portal curtails such revenue leakage caused by corruption & pilferage. It helps the management to understand their spending pattern by providing several reports that give them insights on month-on-month consumption analysis of a specific site, fast moving items and goods that can be
rationalized and so forth. Hirji recalls an incidence where Benir’s report helped a company to realize that 35 percent of their spend was from three specific items. Consequently, the company reduced ten percent cost immediately by working on those items. “We are not just a supplier, but a solution provider,” adds Hirji.

It is this solution provider approach that has enabled Benir to maintain an impressive client list comprised of the biggest IT giants, banks and corporations for more than six years. Records of cases where clients who fell prey to the underquoting gimmick of L1 vendors and left Benir return to it once their consumption rate had shot-up, are found as well. As incidences like these are spreading its fame like a wildfire, the company has been filling its client basket with the confidence that it is moving in the right direction. In fact, one of India’s largest industrialists having 28 entities countrywide has recently approached Benir to help them change their purchase patterns from traditional ordering process to the online portal.

Our portal would utilize the details of supplies logged in by the clients to churn out a meticulous spend analysis for a nominal cost

Needless to say, Housekeeping consumables being its forte, the company has also emerged into one of the most preferred partners to many of the multinational facility management companies in India over the past two years. This bestows Benir with the strong advantage of purchasing power and adds-on to its experience in this category. “Industry Facility Management giants not only use our housekeeping consumables for all the sites managed by them, but also recommend us to their customers,” declares Hirji.

Surfing through the Peaks & Valleys
It is the hard work of Hirji & his commitment towards maintaining ethical transactions and integrity that has enabled Benir to grow in leaps & bounds. To emerge above the hurdles brought-on by its steady growth, Benir expanded its infrastructure and warehouses. Likewise, Hirji has never hesitated to spend huge monies on the company’s proficient IT team and portal’s maintenance, which is clearly manifest from the number of upgradations it has gone through over the years. Built ten years ago on Java, the portal’s backend system was migrated to .net five years back, and it was revamped couple of years back to handle PAN India transaction by moving into an opensource platform. Today, the intelligent software’s backend system plays a crucial role in assuring seamless service delivery with features that helps it to track all the delays countrywide, provide city-wise delivery reports, and many more. Service excellence towards clients and managing SLAs being its core foundation, Benir today derives 38 percent of its turnover from its online portal business.

“Every day there are some small challenges that come-up. The good part is we are learning & growing,” remarks Hirji. However, the best part is that he firmly believes in uplifting the lives of Benir’s employees alongside by empowering them to push their boundaries & acquire new skills. In fact, most of the company’s staff at the management level today – including the branch heads of NCR, Hyderabad & Kolkata, have risen through the ranks from the warehouse level within the short span of five to ten years. Rather than having a pyramidal organizational hierarchy, Benir works with very limited resources like these empowered leaders, who hold immense expertise about the market & buyers. The fact that it has been growing year-on-year solely through referrals also plays an instrumental role in keeping its team lean. Over the past 15 years, Benir has marked its presence in the industry as one of the largest purchasers among the OEMs, distributors & stockists to an extent, where the bigwigs from international corporate offices visit Benir to understand the market scenario.

Typically, organizations don’t hesitate to give the best to their employees in terms of fire & safety, security system, transportation and ergonomic products like chairs to ensure that they have good health and a positive experience. But when it comes to OPEX costs like packaged drinking water, they tend to compromise on quality. Benir however has managed to convince almost all of its customers, including IT giants, who usually go for liquor brand product or regional product, towards Parle Agro Bailley, for whom the company is the sole franchisee for 20 liter in Bangalore and 20 liter & retail packs in Chennai.

Sky is the Limit
“When we get our RFP from our global partners, it’s surprising to see that they have been given the complete spend analysis from all other countries and just a blank space corresponding to India due to the lack of data. We intend to change this scenario by enabling our buyers & global partners to migrate all their existing suppliers to our portal. Our portal would utilize the details of supplies logged-in by the clients to churn-out a meticulous spend analysis for a nominal cost. We are confident enough to say that you don’t have to pay if you don’t save,” remarks Hirji. At present, Benir is upgrading its portal to appoint franchisees from tier-II & III cities to extend its branches to the far-flung corners of the country. The company anticipates that these endeavors would help it to ramp-up its annual turnover by 25 percent.

Plans are afoot at Benir to venture into the e-Waste Management area as well. Having attained the certification to collect e-Waste, the company has partnered with Exstrat – an e-Waste recycler. Micro-diversifying further into various sectors showing huge potential, Benir has forayed into the Personal Protective Equipment sector following the footsteps of its global partners. The company has also taken distributorship for the shredder from Fellowes – UK’s Largest Independent Supplier of Shredders & Consumables. As Fellowes has expanded its offerings to ergonomic products, Benir also intends to venture into this category by April and deploy its own team of ergonomic experts. Given its past accolades and current stronghold in the market, it is only a matter of time that Benir will become the top most player in the industry.

Key Management:
Hirji Narayan Patel, Managing Director

Offices: Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jam Nagar, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida & Kolkata

Offerings: Office Stationery, Housekeeping Consumables, Packaged Drinking Water, Corporate Gifting & Electronic Goods, Corporate/It Consultancy Services & other Add-On Requirements