APRIL 2024

Lessons Learned from Powering $50 Billion for the World’s Greatest Retailers And Brands

In this captivating session that drew widespread attention, Aarthi Ramamurthy, Chief Technology and Product Officer at Rithum, delved deep into the intricate world of e-commerce, sharing profound insights and lessons from an impressive journey of powering over $50 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) for the world's leading retailers and brands.

Aarthi, with a rich background in technology and product innovation within the retail sector, took the audience through Rithum's evolution from its early days of pioneering dropship solutions to becoming the premier platform for asset-light e-commerce models. "In 1997, we saw the future for retailers," Aarthi recounted, highlighting the company's foundational vision that has since transformed the e-commerce domain.

One of the focal points of Aarthi's presentation was the critical balance between growth and profitability, a theme that resonates deeply in today's retail environment. "Profitable growth is so much better than growth at all costs," Aarthi remarked, emphasizing the importance of maintaining profitability amidst scaling operations. This approach has proven instrumental for Rithum, guiding over 40,000 brands and 10 of the top 10 US retailers to generate staggering sales figures.

Aarthi shared intriguing statistics and trends, including the increasing operational costs that retailers face as they scale, challenging the notion that more customers directly translate to increased profitability. She shed light on the nuanced strategies Rithum employs to manage these costs, leveraging technology and network effects to ensure sustainable growth. The integration of AI and machine learning for optimizing inventory management and streamlining seller onboarding processes stood out as key innovations driving Rithum's success.

Produced by

Aarthi Ramamurthy

Chief Technology and Product Officer

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The journey to $50 billion in GMV was not just about technological prowess but also about understanding and adapting to the dynamic needs of both retailers and brands. Aarthi’s narrative underscored the significance of an asset-light model, which has allowed Rithum to offer unparalleled flexibility and scalability to its clients. "We are able to attract new customers because of the product selection itself," Aarthi explained, highlighting the advantage of their extensive network.

Furthermore, Aarthi’s discussion on the challenges of delivery and returns brought to light the operational hurdles retailers face in ensuring customer satisfaction while managing costs. She detailed Rithum's innovative solutions in shipment consolidation, end-to-end monitoring, and recovery, which have significantly enhanced operational efficiency for their clients.

As the conversation transitioned towards the transformative role of AI in retail, Aarthi's enthusiasm was palpable. "There's so much happening with AI," she stated, sharing Rithum’s pragmatic approach towards adopting AI for solving concrete problems faced by retailers and brands. From quick onboarding of sellers to curating the perfect product catalog and optimizing inventory management, AI has become a cornerstone of Rithum’s strategy to deliver value at an unprecedented scale and speed.

In conclusion, Aarthi Ramamurthy's session was not merely a recount of Rithum's monumental achievements but a forward-looking perspective on the future of retail. Her insights into profitable growth, the crucial role of technology, and the potential of AI provided valuable lessons for retailers and brands aiming to thrive in the digital age. Rithum’s innovative solutions are at the forefront of shaping the next wave of e-commerce, offering a blueprint for success in an increasingly competitive market.