Shailesh Karwa and Sharad Dalmia

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Shailesh Karwa and Sharad Dalmia
Work Store
Co-CEOs

2019: Sharad Dalmia and Shailesh Karwa are co-CEOs at India-based Work Store – the country’s largest office products company. This year has seen continued investment in its logistics operations – it now operates out of ten distribution centres and says it can deliver to 90% of the nation’s postcodes.

Work Store is a fully-owned subsidiary of Future Group – India’s biggest retail group. Its strategy is to be a single-stop shop for businesses of all sizes, aiming to supply them with everything they need to run their workspaces and offices.

The business’s range of products currently includes printer cartridges, jan/san and breakroom products, plus it has also recently moved into the corporate gifting and furniture categories.

2018: Sharad Dalmia and Shailesh Karwa are co-CEOs at India-based Work Store, a reseller that continues to be the leading office supplies player in the country. Part of Work Store’s strategy has been to offer a larger product range to its business customers with, for example, moves into sub-categories such as air purifiers, hand-dryers and vacuum cleaners on the back of a national tie-up with Dyson.

Work Store is also looking at acquiring an LED lighting company, with a view to providing lighting and electrical solutions to offices across India. According to Karwa, the recent roll-out of a uniform tax across India under the GST Act means that more companies are now looking at resellers such as Work Store to fulfil all their office supplies requirements.

2017: With the backing of the mega Future Group, WorkStore – which has developed out of the former Staples business in India – continues to grow in the Indian market, penetrating into small and medium-sized business customers in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Meanwhile, for enterprise and major accounts, WorkStore is introducing categories beyond office supplies such as furniture, technology, gifting and maintenance & repair.

Co-CEO Shailesh Karwa says that, as a well-established and reputable player in the market, WorkStore is gaining traction from new business customers following the introduction of a unified, national tax structure in India for indirect purchases called GST (Goods and Services Tax).

The company continues to service the global accounts of Staples Inc in India.

2016: The big news from energetic Indian office products entrepreneurs Shailesh Karwa and Sharad Dalmia is the rebranding in 2016 of Staples India to Work Store. The name change has been made to reinforce the company’s product portfolio expansion into areas beyond office supplies such as furniture, cleaning, breakroom, technology and gifting.

The rebranding comes after Staples Inc and Future Group ended their licensing/franchising agreement which had been in place for about three years following the end of their joint-venture partnership in 2013.

Future Group will continue to operate the B2B platform in India under the Work Store brand and recently made a further investment in the company as part of a rights issue.

Ties with Staples Inc have not been severed completely. The Work Store website is still offering Staples-branded products as it sells through inventory, and Work Store will continue to service Staples’ global accounts in India.

2015: Staples India has refocused on the B2B e-commerce delivery space over the past couple of years following the closing of its retail outlets after Staples in the US ended its joint-venture agreement with Future Office.

The Staples name has been kept on as part of a licensing agreement and Staples India still has full access to the full range of Staples-branded private label products.

A major project has been the upgrading of the e-commerce platform and Staples India now has a single website for direct and corporate customers.

Operating out of eight distribution centres, Staples India covers 75% of the vast nation’s postcodes and the last available sales figures show annual growth of more than 40% to around $20 million.