Ambareesh Murty : The man Behind Pepperfry

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Ambreesh Murty- CEO pepperfry

Ambareesh Murty- Age and Family

Mr.Ambareesh Murty is 47 years old and a great trekking enthusiast. His favourite destination for a vacation is Ladakh. He had one of his best trekking experiences in Zanskar Valley’s Chadar Trek (Ladakh). In 2016, he took his first break from his intense work schedule at the venture was five years later, i.e. for his marriage. Before that he worked 12 to 14 hours a day with no holidays including weekends.

Career and Education-

Ambareesh has completed his college from Civil Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering (1990 – 1994) and also he has completed his MBA from IIM-Calcutta (1994-1996).

He had a rich corporate career before he launched Pepperfry. From March 2008 to June 2011, Ambareesh was a Country Manager at eBay India, Philippines, and Malaysia and from December 2005 to February 2008, he was the Director of Marketplace Development & User Experience. Prior to that, from June 2005 to December 2005 he worked at Britannia Industries as Marketing Manager. This aside, from August 2003 to December 2003 he also served Levi Strauss India Ltd. as Brand Leader and from October 2001 to August 2001 he worked at ICICI Prudential as VP Marketing and Customer Service .he spent over 5 years from June 1996 to October 2001 with Cadbury India as Brand Manager, it was his first job.

Pepperfry CEO Ambareesh Murty’s Success Story

Pepperfry was established in 2012 bt Ambareesh Murty AND Ashish Shah, it is India’s leading furniture and home decor selling online sites.

Ambareesh Murty did not have a website or proof of concept for their idea, which was to become Pepperfry, an online furniture segment.

Ambareesh and Ashish, they were both ex-eBay executives, got connected to Niren Shah, NVP’s India MD, who was earlier in charge of Ebay’s worldwide strategy. They heard of him while at eBay; some of their common friends connected them to Niren. For the pitch, they went with just a PowerPoint presentation. Niren called them ‘men with a plan’. It was their first attempt for the start-up.

In Mumbai, the duo formed Norwest terms sheet at the Dublin Pub at ITC Grand Central. They also named a meeting room as Dublin in their first office.

In mid-2011, raising money was comparatively was easy. They were lucky, they never faced rejection. Their conversation with investors materialised into investment.

In six rounds Pepperfry raised $198 million. 

Highlights of Pepperfry Journey

In 2012, Pepperfry shifted from being a marketplace for lifestyle (including fashion). In 2013, it shifted to the marketplace for furniture-only. Pepperfry had more than  5,000 pieces in furniture, in a very good variety. They always highlighted the variety in their products (to investors). they serve first-time house owners as well as offer high-end brands.

In 2012, at the pitch for investment from Bertelsmann India Investments, Ambareesh highlighted their supply chain and private label portfolio, which they had built themselves.

Towards the end of 2014, Pepper fry opened its first studio. In two years, Pepperfry will be closer to 35 per cent, according to their projection, according to which 4-5 per cent will come from margin expansion (product margin and gross margin), and also 2-3 per cent will come from economies of scale in supply chain investment which has grown. 

As everyone knows online furniture sector is a crowded one, but Pepper fry keeps a balance between themselves and the rest of the market in their investment pitch.

Often, start-ups compare the Indian market to that of the US, Europe, and China. In their investment pitches, Pepper fry also does foreign market comparisons. But with a difference.

Ambareesh says that they focus on how the Indian market is evolving. Market conditions differ across various geographies. It is important to give the context of where India is. They do not do a comparison with players in each market, because they are a one-of-a-kind business. Even when they started they knew there was no business to copy from.