With an exemplary attitude towards growth, development, and corporate betterment, Cart.com has made itself an e-commerce linchpin in the growing international market. Aiding the changing landscape of digital sales – work that has become especially critical in the face of the pandemic – its team have been striving to shape contemporary e-commerce for the better, supporting its clients, staff, and stakeholders every step of the way. Due to mergers and acquisitions having become such a big part of this climb to the top, CSO Saheb Sabharwal has been a critical part of making this possible.
The innovator behind one of the fastest growing ecommerce platforms globally Cart.com allows businesses to rapidly and efficiently scale their online sales, with critical solutions offered all in one place. Nominally, allowing clients to build up trust in its efforts through avenues such as a free software trial before they commit, it allows them to get an in-depth look into its expertise and diligence, with Cart.com showing the world how the democratizing of e-commerce can give brands the same complete digital compatibility as international industry titans. Being the first end-to-end ecommerce solution provider, it delivers a fully integrated and seamless experience to its clients.
This includes software, services, and infrastructure to help merchants thrive as an online business in a world where one’s digital footprint is more critical to success than ever, and in many cases aiding them to augment their brick-and-mortar commerce by securing their online niche. Founded by e-commerce veterans, its leading minds know the struggles that its clients often face when undergoing this process, and consequently Cart.com works hard to mitigate all difficulties and to guide them through the thicket with an expert hand and shrewd eye. Today, Cart.com’s business management solutions include online store software, digital marketing, inventory storage and fulfilment, financial services, customer service capabilities, and unified, multi-platform analytics.
Thus, Cart.com enables its customers to get a comprehensive and holistic view of their business’s health across all online platforms upon which they have a presence. By operating in this manner, it has been able to make itself an indispensable partner to clients of all scales and sectors, granting them access to the same digital and physical capabilities as the world’s largest e-commerce specialists. Having raised over $380 million in the first 12 months of its fundraising efforts, the Cart.com story is just beginning, emboldened by the exemplary leadership that has built this business up from a healthy foundation of empathy, tenacity, and innovation.
As the Chief Strategy Officer of Cart.com, our award winner today, Saheb Sabharwal, has continued to be an invaluable element of the founding leadership team since the launch of the business in Q4 2020. Critically, this co-founder and front-runner leads
Cart.com’s Strategy & Operations office, an element of the business that comprises of three separate functions. Firstly, it leads Cart.com’s roadmap and execution around mergers and acquisitions. Secondly, it handles the integration of the operations that the acquired companies have already developed, merging these processes with its own in order to create a result that betters the operations of both teams. And, finally, thirdly; it oversees the strategy and business operations of Cart.com in a broader sense – across all technology and service offerings – in order to ensure that various parts of the business are continually analysed and optimized for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.
Mergers and acquisitions have proved a major boon to the Company in the time it has been in operation, and so Saheb Sabharwal and his staff have been incredibly busy, ready at any given moment to rise to the challenges put before them. With five major acquisitions completed over the past 12 months alone, Saheb was tasked to determine which companies to acquire, which capabilities within these companies made them so appealing, the sequence of those acquisitions, and how much money would be funnelled into each opportunity. This, of course, is a position of huge trust, requiring Saheb to oversee deals that amount to several millions worth in value and include a myriad of complex decisions, negotiations, and discussions.
Prior to this role, Saheb gained expertise in handling complex roles like this by building up Cart.com’s internal processes. Nominally, his expertise was used in the hyper-scaling of the Company’s fulfilment-as-a-service protocols from scratch, which formed the foundation of its now fully operational Supply Chain Network Design; most notably, launching 6 new fulfilment centres across the United States, which were up and running within 8 weeks, and the determination of what software and hardware would be of use at these centres to receive, store, package and ship out customers’ inventory.
This start-up effort involved coordination across different time zones with over 100 stakeholders – lawyers, landlords, utilities, government entities, vendors, trucks, personnel – and their individual wants, needs, and requirements. It is evident that this was a complex operational feat to achieve in a highly compressed timeline, but it was one that Saheb handled with sophistication and efficacy with the goal to make Cart.com an incredible business. Therefore, when it comes to discussions of what about his time as CSO has earned him this award, it is fair to say that every task he has undertaken at Cart.com has been proof of what entitles him to this accreditation.
Today, as a result of both organic growth efforts and acquisitions, Cart.com’s fulfilment network benefits from an exemplary, standardised, and streamlined number of internal processes that ensure each fulfilment centre has the people, systems, and technology in place to effectively handle the receiving and shipping of products from all around the world. Saheb has also held P&L responsibility for one of Cart.com’s owned brands, one which doubled in revenue in 2021. Therefore, with every working day that goes by, Saheb has shown his dedication to the success of Cart.com and to everything it stands for.
Since the very beginning, the Company has implemented the following values into every aspect of its business model: an obsession with brands (Cart.com’s customers), thinking beyond the box, tenacity, transparent culture, cooperation, and empathy. Always striving to be a better version of himself, Saheb uses the inspiration that his parents lit in him as fuel to continue his own personal career growth. This, of course, only helps Cart.com in the macro scale, as he sees the Company’s success as his own success, excited to be able to chase the ‘American dream’ and apply all he has learned from his personal life and varied experiences ranging from academia to corporate and entrepreneurial positions.
Additionally, he has worked in plenty of mentoring, coaching, and teaching roles, finding these immensely rewarding and taking lessons from them in how to empathise with the different needs of different learners. Today, he applies this same sensitivity to drawing out the different needs of different clients, always keeping an open mind to the changing wants and needs of his market segment in order to deliver the services and solutions that will help them thrive in a world that is constantly in flux.
Strong leaders, according to Saheb, must always be willing to take calculated risks. Both elements are incredibly important to making business decisions that will take a company into the future, as it is this attitude that secured him recognition as one of the movers and shakers on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list a few years ago. Having learned that he truly enjoys partnering with the best managerial teams and applying his passion for strong working cultures, continued mentorship, and business operations, Saheb can’t wait to see where he and the leadership team can take Cart.com and its clients in the future.
After all, if a client can expect anything from this Company, they can expect to encounter people who have learned well from Saheb and other fellow leaders in terms of their commitment to the future. Moreover, onlookers can trust that Saheb is a proven professional who has handled the Strategy & Operations for Cart.com to great effect, benefitting each stakeholder in the process in order to make the international corporate landscape all the better.
This notion is exemplified with each acquisition, where Cart.com realises that it is essentially embracing a whole new culture into itself. This means that the team has had to develop processes that allow it to embrace these things with efficacy, not stomping out the individuality that the acquired companies have developed whilst also not compromising on the standardized, streamlined processes that have made Cart.com the expert company it is. Therefore, Saheb sees acquisitions and the subsequent mergers as a complex puzzle; each piece must find its corresponding piece in order to make a bigger picture that allows for mutual success.
Looking back at the past 12 months, after executing on the plan built in collaboration with the various departments at Cart.com, the company can proudly say that the acquisitions have created tremendous value, and that the team has given the wider company an exemplary chance to grow its efforts. Crucially, as a direct result, Cart.com’s clients have benefitted from an end-to-end offering, and the flywheel has been able to continue turning at a rapid pace. The Strategy & Operations team operates with tremendous structure and transparency, and grants all stakeholders a comprehensive understanding of what makes its processes work; nominally, the team will take everyone involved through the steps of its mergers and acquisitions processes in as much detail as they require to be able to give them piece of mind, showing them how none of it is left to chance.
So how does the team collaborate with the broader organization to determine which capabilities to develop or acquire? To design the strategic roadmap, Saheb pushes his team to build a “mosaic” by drawing insights from hundreds of places and people, putting value on each interaction, and following a ‘no stone unturned’ principle in order to build its cases. Thusly, his team has developed unique and highly data-driven ways of working from this detail-oriented approach, pushing hard to ensure Cart.com can enable brands to sell more in more places across the internet and expand their client base, all the while remaining critical about its own strengths and weaknesses. This attitude allows it to take on the criticisms and comments of all stakeholders with grace and sophistication, using this feedback to improve on a continuous basis.
Therefore, Cart.com makes itself a darling of its industry, and a heavily competitive element of its market segment, as it can always keep up with what the professionals within it need. Currently in the midst of responding to the recent influx of new e-commerce businesses due to Covid-19 shutting down many brick and mortar stores – either temporarily or for good – it has been busier than ever with helping its professionals attain growth across all market channels. The world is also seeing a Direct-to- Consumer revolution like never before, as evidenced by the rise of brands such as Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, and more, with a record number of these businesses selling through online channels and other digital marketing strategies.
With an unprecedented growth for e-commerce that is showing no signs of slowing, Cart.com aims to simplify what it takes for brands to simultaneously grow while navigating an ever-changing landscape. It is aware that for some people, lack of technological knowhow could be a roadblock to getting into e-commerce, and it wishes to help these professionals adapt so that their exemplary products aren’t lost as a result. Brands of today need to be multi-channel, i.e., sell on as many sales channels as possible; there’s no other way around it. But these brands don’t need to panic. Indeed, they can simply put this work in Cart.com’s expert hands and refocus their concentration on the business goals that truly matter to them, letting Cart.com do what it does best in order to manage their online digital footprint in a way that combines complex decision-making such as inventory synching and unified pricing strategies.
Saheb would like to extend his heartfelt thanks to his entire family who have always shown their unwavering support for all his entrepreneurial endeavours. In addition, a huge shout-out goes out to the mentors who have helped him and the rest of Cart.com learn to execute with such efficiency, as well as the investors and Cart.com Board members who truly believe in the vision. He is also extremely appreciative of his entire Senior Leadership Team who are much more deserving of accolades, and their respective teams who continue to go the extra mile to effectively cross-collaborate with Saheb’s team. He would also like to extend a special thanks to his own staff, who he attributes this award to as a reflection of their hard work; he feels fortunate to have them alongside him every day and remains fully committed to their success. Having built a team that is consistently learning and growing, Saheb blocks off time every other week to have one-on-ones with members of his team and get an idea of how they are doing on an inter-personal level. Critically, this ensures that he can keep a beat on where his staff stand in both personal and professional growth, and that he can find ways to help them achieve their goals in an informal, friendly, and empathic environment where they feel secure and supported.
This human-centric style of management, the team’s comprehensive approach to its work, and the Company’s dedication to rising to all challenges, has benefitted it hugely. The hyper-growth Cart.com has experienced since its inception 18 months ago, scaling past $3 billion in gross merchandise volume has meant it has been able to grow from a handful of employees to over 1,400 all over the world, keeping its processes and procedures aligned in the same direction so that everyone is on the same page. In addition, in order to create an environment of extreme transparency, the Company uses more tactical approaches such as an all-hands Zoom meeting every other week to talk about key business updates and ensure that everyone is kept informed, while concurrently relying on solutions such as Slack for inter-team and company-wide communication.
Saheb’s micro-strategies, detailed worksheets, timelines, and deliverables have kept him at the fore of all of this as he continues to foster personal and professional development within his team. Nominally, both to Saheb and Cart.com in the macro scale, there is a shared belief that ‘we are in this together and we will win together’, making its mission of enabling convenient e-commerce one that each employee can take personal pride in, with one of the recent successes the Company celebrated being its expansion into Europe. As it moves further into 2022, Cart.com will continue to push the successful scaling of its business as a priority, strategically adding new capabilities to its ever-growing platform and building the modern e-commerce stage into the best landscape it can be.
For business enquiries, contact Saheb Sabharwal at Cart.com.