Early this month, we had reported that the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch had arrested two top executives of online electronics retailer Timtara.com for allegedly cheating over 200 shoppers by taking payment and not delivering products. At the time, the company's co-founder and director Arindam Bose and CEO Harish Ahluwalia were arrested for allegedly cheating customers of Rs 12 lakh (the investigators had mentioned that even more complaints were coming).
The complainants said the firm did not deliver products for which it had taken payment in advance. The firm also shifted its front office to a different address in Noida and also shut down its Dehradun-based call centre to avoid hassles from complainants. A separate case was also been registered against Bose by the EOW for cheating in a property deal in Patiala in Punjab.
Even amid the chaos, the Timtara site was operational, though it carried a message on the homepage that claimed, 'It was the company's competitors (and not end consumers) that had hired professionals to sabotage Timtara's image. For the same, they had filed false complaints that resulted in registration of cases against the company'.
The site is shut down now and users trying to access are redirected to an error page. In addition, a Facebook page called 'Timtara Fraud' claims that Bose's bail plea had been rejected by the sessions court on Thursday, and he will now have to approach the Delhi high court for the same.
Owned by New Delhi-based Infosecure Consulting Pvt. Ltd, Timtara was started in 2010 by Bose, who has previously worked at firms such as Philips, AT&T, LG and Videocon, along with three others, including his wife. The site was dealing in various electronic gadgets such as LCDs, cameras, mobiles, laptops and peripherals, healthcare items, watches, gaming items, kitchen and home appliances.
In an interview with Techcircle a year ago, Bose had said that the online firm was doing 500-600 orders a day and aimed to clock revenue of Rs 100 crore by FY13 and Rs 500 crore by FY14. He also said the firm will launch a separate domain which would deal with lifestyle products such as perfumes, home dÃ©cor, watches and jewellery and was looking to open new offices in Bangalore and Mumbai.
Bootstrapped by its founders, the firm has been looking to raise Series A funding, which never happened due to the shrinking VC interest in e-com as a sector.