Source.One and Meta – A Journey of Synergy
How We Became One of WhatsApp’s Largest Customers in India
Just picture this: You’re a small business owner in India who needs to buy some polymers for your manufacturing process. You’re on a tight budget and a pressing deadline. You can’t afford to waste time visiting multiple stockists, comparing prices, haggling deals, arranging transportation, and handling paperwork. You crave a simpler way to get the materials you need.
Now picture this: You take out your phone and open WhatsApp. You send a message to Source.One, a technology-first commodity distribution company that specializes in polymers. You type in your requirement, when you need it, and where you need it. Within minutes, you get a reply with the best offer from its network of nearly a thousand warehouses and over 500 transport partners across India. You accept the offer, pay online, and receive a confirmation with the tracking details. You sit back and relax as your order is delivered right where you need, right when you need it.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. It’s the reality for over 6000 active buyers who use Source.One’s service to source their polymers every month. And it’s also the reason why it’s one of WhatsApp’s largest customers in India, sending over 10 million messages per month through the WhatsApp Business API.
But how did it achieve this phenomenal success? How did it revolutionize the polymer distribution space in India with our innovative and democratic approach? And how did it become one of the largest distributors in the space?
To answer these questions, we need to go back to the beginning.
The Recognition by Meta
This success story did not go unnoticed by Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp. Meta was impressed by how we used WhatsApp to transform the petrochemicals distribution space in India. Meta decided to feature us as a case study on its website for business success stories.
In the words of Source.One’s CEO Arun Singhal, “We are overjoyed and grateful to be featured by Meta as a success story for using the WhatsApp Business API to change the game in the polymer distribution space in India. At Source.One, we have a dream to enable democratization for millions of small and medium enterprises with simple and convenient access to polymers. We harness technology, data, and network effects to create magic for our customers and partners. We believe that WhatsApp is the best platform for us to connect with our customers, who are like family to us. We have amazing plans for the future and we can’t wait to reveal them to you.”
Source.One also received media attention from Indian publications such as Business Standard, ANI, VCcircle, etc., who covered its growth story and interviewed the founders.
Bhanu Binjrajka, the Head of Operations, said to mark the occasion, “We are ecstatic and thankful to be featured by Meta as a success story for using the WhatsApp Business API to disrupt the polymer distribution space in India. At Source.One, we are obsessed with operational excellence and customer satisfaction.”
The Humble Beginning of Source.One
Source.One was founded in 2018 by Arun Singhal and Shrinath Balakrishnan, two visionary entrepreneurs who saw a huge gap between demand and supply in the petrochemicals industry. They realized that there were many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that needed more inventory, and many stockists that had excess inventory. But there was no efficient way to connect them and facilitate transactions. They also realized that the SMEs were at a disadvantage compared to the large players in the market. They lacked access to high-quality real-time information, credit facilities, and equal treatment. They were often exploited by middlemen who charged high commissions and offered low prices.
They wanted to create a platform that would solve these problems and empower the SMEs by giving them access to high-quality real-time information, credit facilities, and equal treatment. They wanted to create a level playing field for India’s SMEs and help them grow their businesses. They decided to use technology as their key differentiator and enabler. While most technology space companies ultimately end up developing an app, investing huge resources in attempting to change user behaviour, this conventional wisdom wasn’t making sense for Arun and Shrinath. And why would it, given their flair for innovation and lateral thinking? The fact of the matter came down to the thought, ‘why would you want to push a change in someone’s user behaviour rather than step up your game and earn it on merit, to the point that they themselves will make that very leap?’ The truth is, they wanted to earn that trust and behaviour change from the users themselves, and in a new way, not the old ways!
Thus, they developed a cutting-edge platform that uses machine learning algorithms, data analytics, and innovative solutions such as auctioning, freight optimization, and anywhere-to-anywhere logistics to streamline the petrochemicals distribution process.They also decided to use WhatsApp as their primary communication channel with their customers and suppliers. They realized that WhatsApp was the most popular and widely used app in India, with over 400 million users. They also realized that WhatsApp offered a simple, fast, secure, and reliable way to connect with their customers and suppliers. They integrated their platform with the WhatsApp Business API, which allowed them to send automated messages such as order confirmations and price updates.
The Future Plans of Source.One
Source.One has innovation and speed embedded in its DNA. It is constantly working on improving its platform, expanding its network, and enhancing its service. It has ambitious plans for the future that include:
- Launching new products and services that cater to the needs of its customers and suppliers.
- Entering new markets and geographies that have high demand for polymers.
- Partnering with more manufacturers, stockists, transporters, and financial institutions that can add value to its network.
- Investing in technology, data, innovation, and operational excellence that can make its platform more efficient, reliable, and scalable.
- Building a strong brand identity and reputation that can attract more customers and suppliers to its platform.
- Creating a positive social impact by empowering India’s SMEs, creating employment opportunities, reducing carbon footprint, and supporting sustainability initiatives.
Source.One is on a mission to revolutionize the polymers distribution space in India with its technology-first and democratic approach.
Its CTO and co-founder, Shrinath Balakrishnan, states, “At Source.One, we are passionate about building cutting-edge technology solutions that enable our customers and partners to access polymers with ease and convenience. We believe that WhatsApp is the optimal platform for us to leverage our technology and data capabilities. Needless to say, we are also always ready to embrace all new technologies as they emerge, and are already doing so, including technologies such as AI and ML.”
We started as a dream, a vision, a mission. We wanted to make a difference, to create a change, as well as to empower the SMEs. We faced many challenges and obstacles along the way, but sheer perseverance and innovation kept us going through it all and we were able to truly deliver. We grew from a few districts to 700+, from a few customers to 6000+, from a few messages to 10 million+ and we earned recognition, appreciation, and admiration along the way.
We are Source.One, and this is our success story. A story of innovation, of transformation, of empowerment. A story of partnership and collaboration. A story of polymers and more. A story that is not over yet. In fact, it is just beginning. And it is a story that we invite you to join.