DhobiLite is the pioneer of on-demand laundry services in India and after expanding its services in every nook and corner of Delhi NCR region, DhobiLite is now inviting people for franchise opportunities.

Image Source – DhobiLite

Whenever we hear of franchise, first thing that comes to our minds is the hefty licensing fee and after that a feeling of skepticism that will franchisor provide support the franchise after receiving a big amount of money even before starting operations.

There are a number of companies offering franchise in Laundry business and all franchise models involve paying a huge amount of licensing fee and then subsequent payments during the life-cycle of franchise. More often these franchisors are themselves new and some even have not completed a year of operation.

DhobiLite having more than six years of experience in laundry segment has a different model of franchising where entry ticket to open franchise is small and subsequent payouts are based on Pay-as-you-grow model. DhobiLite views its franchise as partners in growth and if franchise succeeds than company succeeds automatically. Experience of more than 6 years in industry has helped them to develop a unique understanding of laundry process and have been able to bring gross profit margin at 38% which gives enough room of profitability for franchisee and franchisor. Small entry ticket and a low royalty fee of 8% gives the franchise owner a flexibility to utilize the funds for marketing which helps in scaling the business faster.

Nishant Tripathi, Co-founder,  Dhobilite, said

A very important aspect of any service based business is to deliver quality service every time and for this DhobiLite has used technology in day to day operations right from customer placing order to processing the order and then to delivery and feedback. With the help of this fully integrated in house developed solution, DhobiLite ensures that the franchise partner doesn’t have to worry about maintaining accounts or tracking orders or communication channel with the customer.

Depending upon the interest of business owner, DhobiLite offers a range from pure offline model franchise [in Delhi NCR region] to a fully owned master franchise. Each franchise model is uniquely designed after study of the demographics of the area, the geographical spread of the area and then arrive at the fee structure.

Criteo, the leading commerce marketing technology company, debuted findings from its Global Commerce Review, analyzing shoppers’ activities, behaviors and preferences across all devices and browsing environments. The report, which highlights a growing importance of mobile apps among shoppers, reinforces the ‘mobile-first’ mindset, and will help inform omnichannel commerce marketing strategies worldwide. Another key finding includes the relevant touch points for a shopper’s journey.

Image Source – Mobile Commerce

Expressing his views on the findings of the research, Siddharth Dabhade, General Manager, Criteo India said

With increase in smartphone usage, app adoption and mobile browsing is the largest media consumption for Indian consumers.  And with this, an interesting omnichannel shopping pattern has also emerged.  Our latest study also illustrates this, where smartphones are seen contributing to nearly fifty percent of the total online transactions in India. It is the perfect time for brands and retailers to leverage the rise of mobile-commerce in India and invest in mobile apps and mobile advertising, to effectively connect with shoppers to yield greatest possible commerce results.

Research Highlights

Mobile Growth

Mobile web usage has reached a maturity point, but shoppers rarely stay in one place for long, moving in and out of walled gardens, and are still buying on-the-go, with varying levels of frequency, on all connected devices. Also with rise in the mobile usage, the frequency of the shopper engagement is also increasing.

  • In India, smartphones contributes 45% of total transactions [App excluded].
  • Smartphone usage has been increasing at 6% since Q4 2016, showing that smartphones continue to be the most preferred environment.

Omnichannel Matters

The omnichannel strategies help educate shoppers during their winding journey, which in turn drives positive online results.

  • Global omnichannel customers offer the highest lifetime value to brands and retailers, generating 27 percent of all sales, despite representing only 7 percent of all customers.
  • Globally, retailers that are successful in combining offline and online data are able to apply more than four times [4X] as much sales data to improve marketing efforts.

App Opportunity

App has now become a crucial touch point for a shopper’s journey. Owing to this fact, apps are presenting a huge opportunity in terms of reaching out to the mobile first shoppers. In order to better connect with these mobile-first shoppers, enhance mobile shopper engagement and get substantial sales, retailers and brands need to invest in mobile app optimization and build a targeted marketing strategy.

  • Conversion rates are 5 times higher on app, about 20% then on mobile web, which is 4%, in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Globally, advertisers saw nearly a 50 percent year-over-year increase of in-app transactions, climbing to 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Shopping Moments

Consumers continue to trade desktop for mobile, and back again, depending on the time and day they are shopping online.

  • Retailers looking to target the busy working customer cannot ignore the dominance of desktop during business hours, especially between 9 A.M ~ Noon.
  • Alternatively, optimizing for smartphone and tablet targeting remains critical in the evenings and throughout the weekend.

Cross Device Data

Cross-device data combinations can help retailers make up lost ground from lower shares of mobile sales. It also helps in revealing where the shopper will go based on where their journey began.

  • In India, 25% of post click sales are preceded by a click on another device.

Combining cross-device data to better understand and target shopper intent allows marketers to capture higher-value shoppers. This trend is apparent in Travel & Retail category.

‘Ownership’ is a word that has a lot of sentiments attached to it. Whether it is owning a commodity like a car, bike, mobile phone, electronic appliance, etc. or owning a house, it brings a deep sense of accomplishment to the owner. Many years back, owning either of them would be considered a herculean task, but with the rise in urbanization, increase in the overall disposable income of the urban Indians, changing lifestyle and easy access to financial tools [like Equated Monthly Installment], the rate of consumption has increased rapidly.

Image Source – Renting

Changing Financial Landscape

If a consumer has a good financial track record and an exceptional CIBIL score, getting a home loan/personal loan/vehicle loan is a piece of cake and consumers can pick and choose from the best possible options, since financial institutions do not want to lose the customer and they would try their best to retain/bring a new customer on board. However, EMI comes with a baggage full of responsibilities and missing the EMI on a consistent basis can have serious implications on your financial track record. In some scenarios, you might be looking for a short-term loan or a relatively smaller amount for which you might not want to take a bank loan. In such scenarios, you either lend money from family, friends or from companies operating in the burgeoning fintech sector.

The overall financial landscape is also changing at a very rapid pace in order to accommodate the changing sentiments of the customers. Innovations like Unified Payments Interface [UPI], India Stack, India Chain, push towards Digital India, increasing internet penetration, etc. have resulted in many innovations in the Fintech Space. Though startups catering to Payment services [PayTm, FreeCharge, PhonePe, etc.], P2P Lending [LendBox, EasySalary, etc.], Personal finance [BankBazaar, Capital Float, ScripBox, etc.], Lending based on credit-line [MoneyTap] have resulted in major customer and investor interest, there is still a lot of room for innovation in the fintech sector. In many cases, Banks and Fintech players are working together and utilizing their relevant expertise to create a better experience for their customers.

#SmartlyOwn – Better Option to Own Things

As reiterated earlier, ownership brings a sense of pride, but it comes at a cost. Though consumers have options to buy furniture, bike, electronic appliances, etc., by utilizing the financial services of banks as well as fintech companies, they still have to worry about repaying their loan on time. Unlike in the past, young population is more comfortable to switch cities in case they find better career opportunities. In case they opt for relocation, they need to take the important decision on whether they carry the commodities they own like car/bike/electronic appliance along with them or sell them at the best possible price. Since each of these is a depreciating commodity, hence their overall value depreciates from the very moment you own them.

Hence, consumers need to take the important decision on whether they need to own them or use options like ‘renting’ so that they can save money and #SmartlyOwn the items. This is the problem being solved by new-age rental companies that are using technology to offer better options to their customers. Even if you own a house, you still need to worry about setting up the home and good home interiors might burn a hole in your pocket. L Rather than blowing up hard-earned savings in owning up such items, the millennial generation has better investment options like Mutual Funds, Stocks, CryptoCurrency, etc. Due to all these factors, many urban Indians are switching to a #SubscriptionLifestyle since they have options to rent bikes, appliances, furniture, etc.

RentoMojo – Consumer Leasing Company to a Fintech Startup

Rentomojo, India’s leading consumer leasing company has various plans so that customers can buy a bike, furniture, electronic appliances on rent for a minimum period of three months. Founded by IIT alumnus Geetansh Bamania, RentoMojo is a first-of-its-kind consumer product leasing business that raises lease-capital from financial institutions for products rented to consumers for long-term periods, typically 12-18 months.

With an option like Rental Monthly Installment [RMI], you can own a product like a piece of furniture, a bike or an appliance without being bonded with a lifetime commitment. How is RMI better as compared to EMI? There are so many benefits that come along with it, which are not available with EMI and flexibility and non-commitment to the products is the biggest of them. You can take the products till the time you want and return when you don’t. The other important benefits include free delivery and maintenance, a swap of the products and much cheaper payouts monthly as compared to EMI. This is how the concept has broadened to a wide universe of the customers who have always considered renting as a financial decision.

Since many customers rent products for a long-term period of 12~18 months, they might want to increase the rental tenure or own the products as well, making a lot more financial sense. This is the thought with which they announced an exciting proposition of Rent-to-Own [#RentToOwn], where now the customers will be able to rent till whatever time they want, return or own the products. This is a whole #NewWayToOwn!

#RentToOwn – A Smarter Way to Ownership

Though it was started as a rental business, Rentomojo has evolved as a fintech model where the customers can lease furniture, appliances, and two-wheelers by paying an extremely affordable RMI. With the new offering of ‘Rent-To-Own’, the customers will have a new way of ownership, where after paying some RMIs if the customer feels like buying the products, it can be done. Customers also have an option where they can ‘try and then buy’ through product trials at their doorstep.

Eminent content contributors were invited for the launch of this event where the idea and concept was introduced for the first time to a larger audience. Sharing his views on being the first fintech startup to have this feature, Geetansh Bamania, Founder & CEO of Rentomojo, said

Usually renting is considered for a longer duration. A lot of customers also get a strong sense of ownership once they buy the products. What we also realized that, although the perception of renting could be for a smaller duration, the average rental tenure of our customers is 12-18 months, which itself makes us very different than a typical rental model. With an option of owning if the customer wants to after he has rented, where he is paying a nominal RMI, is a new way of ownership.

The below table summarizes the advantages of RMI as compared to EMI and ‘Option to Own’ is definitely a feature that would lure customers who rent for a longer duration since they now have an option to own the item they have been using on rent!

Some of the questions asked during the launch event were:

  1. Should customers opt for renting items even if they have the financial capability to own them?
  2. Since Rentomojo provides ‘Free Maintenance’, how does it educate its customers about product quality so that maintenance expenses are kept to the bare minimum?
  3. Who are the partners of Rentomojo in the bike, electronics appliance sector?
  4. Does Rentomojo plan the omnichannel route in future so that customers can also get a touch and feel of the products [especially the furniture]?
  5. Does Rentomojo service only the B2C sector or they also have B2B customers?
  6. What are some of the unique offerings of Rentomojo as compared to other companies operating in the same sector?
Geenatsh Bamania explaining the ‘RentToOwn’ concept

Geetansh and his team answered all these questions with ease since they are very confident about their offerings. Since their team has extensive experience in technology, e-commerce, retail, their main focus has been on unit economics rather than chasing a vanity metric like Gross Merchandise Value [GMV].

What are your thoughts about the RentToOwn concept? Do leave your feedback in the comments section.

Criteo S.A., the leading commerce marketing technology company, announced the launch and general availability of the Criteo Reseller Program. Developed with the needs of the Asia-Pacific [APAC] region in mind, the program allows online marketplaces to resell, Criteo’s best-in-class solution, Criteo Dynamic Retargeting, to merchants or affiliates on their platforms.

Regional eCommerce sales are expected to exceed US$3 trillion and account for more than 25 percent of total regional retail sales by 2021. Across the APAC region, close to 6 in 10 shoppers purchase products on online marketplaces. The program has therefore been designed to help online marketplaces and their merchants maximize their share of this APAC growth opportunity, while delivering seamless and relevant retail experiences to shoppers across all devices and channels.

Yvonne Chang, Executive Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Criteo, said

In virtually every APAC country, an online marketplace tops the list of eCommerce sites or apps most used by local shoppers. For merchants, participation in an online marketplace has become the most obvious pathway to success. Through the Criteo Reseller Program, merchants can now take advantage of Criteo Dynamic Retargeting, within marketplace environments, to re-engage shoppers online.

They can control and adjust their ad spends to better connect shoppers with products they need and love – this will boost revenue for themselves, the marketplaces and the economies they are a part of. The program will drive further commerce growth in each country and across the region.

With access to Criteo’s machine learning technology and open commerce marketing ecosystem, a merchant can now serve personalized product offerings and recommendations to reach, engage and convert shoppers on a larger scale. An online marketplace that empowers increased reach and sales for its merchants will enjoy revenue and higher Gross Merchandise Volume [GMV] growth, while reinforcing itself as a valuable sales channel.

The Criteo Reseller Program offers online marketplaces an Application Programming Interface [API] that simplifies campaign management. The technology allows merchants to manage & adjust their own ad spends and Cost-Per-Click [CPC] prices to boost sales under the marketplace’s dynamic re-targeting campaign. As a result, online marketplaces do not need to manage ad spends and budgets on behalf of merchants. The marketplace manages the technical integration, with no further technical development required from merchants themselves.

Yahoo! Shopping Japan was an early adopter of the Criteo Reseller Program in early-2016. Within a relatively short period of time, more than 1,800 merchants on the online marketplace saw the value of using dynamic retargeting campaigns to drive traffic to their product pages, thereby increasing Yahoo!’s online marketplace sales by 69 percent.

Criteo Dynamic Retargeting uses machine learning technology to comprehensively understand shopper behavior across devices, browsers and apps. After accurately predicting an individual’s propensity to buy specific products, the technology customizes product recommendations and the ad’s visual design in real-time, driving engagement and compelling the individual to complete a purchase. Criteo’s direct relationships with thousands of premium publishers delivers scale and ensures the best dynamic ad placements across all online channels, so shoppers can be reached and engaged wherever they are online.

Patrick Wyatt, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Criteo, said

The Criteo Reseller Program paves the way for commerce businesses to define their own growth and future. The program was developed to enhance the power of Criteo Dynamic Retargeting for online marketplaces, merchants and affiliates. By staying ahead of emerging industry needs and offering industry-leading Criteo Dynamic Retargeting technology through this new program, we are committed to fulfilling our vision of building the highest-performing and open commerce marketing ecosystem.

At Criteo Exec Connect 2018, the company’s first-ever regional thought leadership and education summit for commerce businesses and digital marketers, the leadership team shared the company’s Commerce Marketing Ecosystem vision, Innovation Roadmap for APAC, as well as Commerce and Online Marketplace Outlook 2018. The Outlook provides valuable insights on voice shopping, data collaboration, connecting online and offline sales, and the impact of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR], among other trends that are expected to shape the industry in the year ahead.

The summit, hosted by Criteo in Da Nang, Vietnam, from 1 to 3 February 2018, was attended by 40 major APAC commerce players, including Lazada, Expedia, The ICONIC, Flipkart and Nykaa.

BookMyShow, India’s largest online entertainment ticketing platform, said that it has alone sold close to 5 million tickets for Padmaavat since the release of the film on January 26, 2018. The Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor starrer enjoyed a two week clear run at the box-office, though a few cities were not part of the release.

BookMyShow, the category leader in online movie ticketing, contributed over 60% of Padmaavat’s opening weekend collection – a staggering contribution for a blockbuster release – achieving over INR 100 Crore collection on BookMyShow. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali magnum opus sold tickets across 340 cities and towns and was released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, in 2D, 3D and IMAX.  The film’s first ticket was booked from Jharsuguda in Odisha, while maximum number of tickets for Padmaavat were sold in Mumbai, followed by Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Padmaavat, which was clearly the movie of the month for the Indian film industry, contributed to over 35% of the total movie ticket sales on BookMyShow in the month. BookMyShow also rolled out an ad film [BookMyShow TV Ad | Touchy Topic] and a digital film [BookMyShow Video Ad | Padmaavat – Jao Book Now] around the movie which was viewed and shared by millions of movie lovers across the country.

Marzdi Kalianiwala, VP- Marketing and Business Intelligence, BookMyShow, said

Padmaavat has definitely given the movies business a great start this year. BookMyShow sold over 500 tickets a minute, making our contribution as high as over 60% to the film’s opening weekend collection. With some exciting releases lined up, we do expect February to be a good month for the movies business.

As market leaders, we also continue to work closely with production houses and movie theaters to increase footfalls, and drive ticket sales – in line with our endeavor to increase the overall share of online movie ticketing in India. Our extensive marketing strategies, backed by real time user engagement data and incisive understanding of the entertainment industry, allows us to play a larger role in the growth of the overall category.

About BookMyShow

BookMyShow, is India’s largest online entertainment ticketing platform that allows users to book tickets for movies, plays, sports and live events through its website, mobile app and mobile site. Founded in Mumbai in 1999 and launched in 2007, BookMyShow is now present in over 650 towns and cities across India, currently meeting the entertainment demands of millions of customers. For more information, please visit BookMyShow

FarEye, a digital logistics platform, has announced the successful introduction of its new parcel shop technology – ‘Drop&Pick.  Launched in January 2017 the technology is already being incorporated by various large businesses like DHL, DTDC, First Flight and many others to facilitate paperless, high speed and secure dispatch/delivery of parcels through its parcel shop network.

FarEye’s ‘Drop&Pick– aimed at major enterprises and logistics firms globally is built to fulfill the need for fast and convenient dispatch/delivery of parcels with minimal cost of infrastructure. Its successful roll out is now revolutionizing traditional dispatch/delivery processes into efficient and customer-centric approaches.

Drop&Pick follows a key three phased – book, manage and deliver process, which is based around a simple to use and intuitive mobile application. The app enables any parcel shop to quickly register a parcel, and the sender’s details [including capturing handwritten information], followed by scanning the shipment and adding recipient name, delivery details and parcel size.  It then calculates shipping fees which the sender can pay in multiple ways – prepaid, wallets, cash or card.

The parcel shop personnel can also book multiple parcels under one sender ID. In the back end – data entry processes convert images to actual data.  The parcel is then handed over to the courier and electronic proof of transfer is collected, who then delivers to the end customer and once again, receives electronic proof of delivery from the customer. This technology while enables quick and seamless dispatch and receiving of parcels – has two additional benefits

SME Ecosystem development – The technology is providing significant benefits for Small & Medium-sized Enterprises [SMEs] and Micro-SMEs who want to sell their products online but cannot build an in-house delivery infrastructure. Their hence need fast and convenient delivery services for their customers. The sellers may easily deposit their parcels at selected parcel shops or they can also raise a parcel booking request online [and prepay it]. It generates a ‘parcel label’ which then acts as a unique order ID.

Reduced carbon emissionsDoor to door delivery can waste a lot of time and fuel in finding home addresses, while if parcel is dropped at a network shop, it saves resources. The customer can later collect the parcel at his or her convenience.

This technology is also targeted towards logistics businesses offering franchise models. While this model has been available since a long time to book parcels, the need now is to add a layer of visibility and efficiency to the processes to help businesses make real-time data backed decisions and in parallel empower the customers with easy deliveries, event alerts & notifications. The customer gets an option of getting parcel delivered to a nearby ‘parcel shop’, both -during the time of order placement as well as before the actual delivery.

Kushal Nahata, Co-Founder and CEO, FarEye said

The reaction to FarEye’s parcel shop technology – Drop&Pick has been exceptional. The product is built to enable fast & convenient delivery/dispatch of parcels which provides logistics companies innovative and value-added services, thus increasing their revenue streams while enhancing their customers’ experience.

There is a sharp increase in online transactions and both sellers & buyers require smart and efficient dispatch & delivery of goods as quickly as possible. The global e-commerce market is about 2 trillion USD and FarEye with its technology excellence is integrating into the systems of major logistics service providers, helping them capture this market. Our Mobile Application for Parcel Shop Delivery is a key aspect of the technology, which is being used by many of our clients including DHL. We expect to see the use of this technology across many key markets in 2018.

About FarEye

FarEye is a carrier agnostic SaaS platform that digitalizes logistics by integrating and optimizing business processes and adding a predictability layer to make them more efficient. FarEye has designed the world’s first BPM Engine for the modern-age logistics function, enabling companies to become agile and reduce their go-to-market time. The solution uses a blend of mobility and geo-intelligence to provide real-time multi-enterprise visibility of logistics function. For more information, please visit FarEye

There is a saying by the well-known investor Warren Buffet – ‘Never become dependent on a single source of income’. This saying is also applicable to someone who has a stable job but has to invest his money in order to get better returns. Everyone has some hobby e.g. photography, music, writing, etc. but few of them might be aware that there is a manner in which they can convert their ‘hidden talent and passion’ into a tangible business. Many times it is about identifying a lingering problem and finding an effective solution to solve that problem.

There are close to 3 million Indians living in the United States but there was not a single reliable portal where they could buy stuff like Puja Items, Sarees, Mandirs, etc. online. There are India based websites that ship abroad but shipping, tracking, and returns is always a huge hassle. This is the problem that entrepreneur couple Deepak Agarwal & Sadhana Bothra, who are settled in the US since last 19 years wanted to solve and also make that a secondary source of income. With this intention, they founded DesiClik.com [earlier called theindiabazaar.com] in 2014, a vertical e-commerce marketplace that addresses the above mentioned problem and also provides Indian homepreneurs in the US an opportunity to sell online through their platform.

Today, we have a chat with Deepak Agarwal, Co-founder of US-based DesiClik.com. The discussion revolves around their e-commerce foray, overall market, competition, etc. So, let’s get started with the Q&A….

Can you please give a small background about the company and its founders ?

DesiClik.com was started by us, an Indian couple named Deepak Agarwal and Sadhana Bothra in 2014.

I [Deepak Agarwal] am from Udaipur and grew up in Kolkata. Apart from a degree in commerce, I hold a diploma in computer science from NCC Education, UK. I completed my Masters Certification in Business Management from Tulane University as well because I wanted to have some formal knowledge of growing a business. I have been in the US for 19 years.

Sadhana also grew up in Kolkata. A commerce graduate from Calcutta University, she too holds an honours Diploma in Computer Science from NCC Education, UK. She is a Java Certified Programmer from Sun Microsystems who quit her top-notch position in the IT industry as an Assistant Vice-President with Whitehall Bank on Wall Street when our first child was born.

After Sadhana gave up her career to be with our first born, we realised it was not easy to survive in the US on a single paycheque. So we were looking at creating some extra income while letting Sadhana also enjoy motherhood. After a lot of research, we found out that there was a huge demand for Indian apparel for kids. That’s how we started Desi Vastra. We didn’t have any competition at that point and the business did well till 2008.

While the recession brought bad tidings to Desi Vastra after four years, we decided to use the competition in the market to our advantage by bringing together our competitors through a marketplace. In 2010 we started theindiabazaar.com, which we re-branded as DesiClik.com in 2014. Today DesiClik.com is the largest US-based vertical e-commerce marketplace specialising in Indian products that span apparel, jewellery, handicraft, gifts, furniture, grocery, restaurant equipment, religious and puja items, festive goods and household items.

What is the problem you are trying to solve and how has the overall response been from the Indian diaspora ?

The response from the Indian diaspora has been quite positive and encouraging. There are many towns in the US where people have to drive for not less than an hour to find an Indian grocery store. With more than 3 million Indians living in America, and the expanding space and possibilities of online shopping, there was no single shopping portal where people could find everything Indian and talk to someone in their language while shopping for them. Added to this was the fact that when they bought from sites in India, delivery took longer, there was no easy way to return goods and service was not reliable. It is this yawning market gap that we have tapped into.

DesiClik is a very interesting name, what are some of the other potential names that you explored before you zeroed in on this name ?

Our team went through a significant list before zeroing in on DesiClik.com. We wanted a name that wouldn’t exceed eight characters, is easy to remember and connects people instantly with what the site is about.

We evaluated Mangoes, Mirchi, Jhalak, Spicykart to name a few. Prior to DesiClik, our site was call theindiabazaar.com which was lost among others, was too long, hard to spell and was very generic.

What are some of the items being sold on DesiClik and if you can highlight details about the top-5 bestselling items on the website ?

We have broadly classified the products into nine main categories – Clothing, Accessories, Jewellery, Home & Garden, Indian Grocery, Music & Movies, Books & Magazines, Puja & Festivals, Toys & Games. As for categories, Puja & Festival, Home & Garden are our top sellers. Apart from seasonal items, mandirs, gifts, kids’ clothes, utensils and puja items are the top 5 bestselling items on the site.

How does your venture promote homepreneurs and what is some of the hand-holding that your team does in order to get the sellers started [and accelerated] on the platform ?

We have managed to bring together more than 50 Indian women home entrepreneurs in the US to sell their products online on our site. These are women who want to build their business without sacrificing their family goals.

For immigrant women, it is quite a challenge to set up a business from scratch, beginning with networking and figuring out everything about running a business. As Sadhana was faced with several hurdles when we started off, she felt there were many women like her who could do with help to build their businesses. As Desiclik is a vertical marketplace, we used the platform to help these women to sell their products online. We offer guidance in terms of product optimization, competitive pricing, service and internals of doing business online.

Logistics is a very important aspect of the e-commerce experience, how do your sellers manage logistics to provide an enhanced shopping experience ?

At this time, sellers use their own preferred method of shipping. DesiClik does help them in finding better options for shipping the products faster and reliably.

Deepak and Sadhana, Founders of DesiClik

e-commerce sector is clogged with Fake Products Problem [especially if it follows a marketplace model], how does your team ensure the authenticity of the items being sold on the platform ?

We work very closely with vendors so that the DesiClik brand and customer satisfaction are maintained. We have implemented a good feedback mechanism. Since orders are fulfilled directly by the vendor, our main source of feedback is from the customer. Once an order is received by the customer, we reach out to the customer to get feedback about the quality and the service to help us rate the vendor.

Can you please comment on the Return Policy and what is the Rate Of Return for the items being sold on DesiClik since Reverse Logistics plays a very important role in optimizing of the e-commerce supply-chain ?

We have guidelines on return policy for each seller and they all set their own return policy. In case of material defect, products can be returned for no cost to the customer and in most other cases – customer pays for the shipping. Our rate of return is less than 2 per cent.

Is DesiClik serving only the B2C segment or you have also cater to the B2B segment ?

At present we are only catering to the B2C segment. We have plans to expand with a B2B offering sometime this year which will help connect manufacturers in India with vendors in the USA.

What is the metric your team uses to calculate the overall growth [GMV, etc.] and can you comment on the Daily Active Users [DAU] & total number of active sellers on the platform ?

We have more than 10,000 products listed on the site from 100 plus vendors. Daily page views at DesiClik is 12,000 plus and over 25 per cent returning visitors.

Since DesiClik follows a marketplace model, can you let us know if your sellers also sell on other marketplaces like Amazon, etc. ?

Many of the sellers exclusively sell at Desiclik. Some of them do sell at other marketplaces such as Amazon, Rokutan and others.

Repeat Customer Rate and Customer Retention are two important parameters for growth in any venture, what are some of the measures taken by your team to ensure that there is customer delight ?

As mentioned before, we do have a feedback mechanism and are actively looking to improve based on customer feedback. Our testimonials and reviews do speak for themselves.

Can you walk us through the funding of DesiClik & are you looking out for institutional funding ?

DesiClik has been completely bootstrapped, with no external funding till date. We had started with an investment of $15,000 initially and have so far invested around $150,000 over the past few years. We are looking for investments to take the business to the next level – both in terms of the B2B platform as well as for our worldwide expansion

Right now there is no mobile app for DesiClik, is there any definitive plan for releasing the same ?

By mid 2018, we will evaluate the potential of having an app and based on the analysis, we will release it at the end of 2018.

How exactly is the Startup Eco-system in US different as compared to that in a country like India ?

The recent boost in the startup eco-system is not too different from the US. Many of the venture capitalists who invest in India have their headquarters in the US. Good validated ideas with good execution team make the difference.

AI, ML, AR/VR, etc. are some of the emerging trends, what according to you would be technological highlights of 2018 ?

I feel that AR/VR related technology will become more prominent in areas that have not been seen earlier.

DesiClik is a bootstrapped company, when according to you should an entrepreneur approach for external funding and if you can highlight some pros/cons of being a bootstrapper ?

I feel that the idea must be validated by the entrepreneur with their own initial investment. Once the company becomes a real business with a path to the future, it should approach the VC. Many of the start-ups have failed due to a lack of vision and as they wanted to grow too big, too fast without an idea on how to get there. This is true both in India and in the US. Lack of funds in a bootstrapped company may slow the growth and is built on solid foundation.

Any closing thoughts for aspiring entrepreneurs and what keeps you motivated in your entrepreneurial journey ?

To all the young entrepreneurs – If you have a good idea, sit on it like sitting on a needle. It should make you jump and do something about it. Validate your idea, assemble a good team and go for it. Do not be scared of failure.

We thank Deepak for sharing her insights with our readers and walking us through his journey. If you have any questions for him, please share them via a comment to this article.

Paytm QR now lets merchants accept Paytm, UPI and Card Payments directly into their Bank Account at 0%. Also, there is no monthly limit on accepting payments from customers. This will in turn make it easier for small and large merchants to accept mobile payments from a wider set of customers, and boost their businesses. It will also give more choice and convenience to consumers as they can now scan Paytm QR at merchant stores and pay using their preferred payment methods.

Here’s how to generate Paytm QR instantly

Give a missed call on +919004790047 or follow these steps:

  • Log on to Paytm for Business and click on Sign up for free
  • Enter Name & PAN or Aadhar Number

Fill in Business & Bank details, and Paytm QR is instantly generated

Merchants can print the QR and put it up in their shops, and start accepting Paytm

Paytm QR has eliminated the need for additional spends on POS machines for merchants and has been supporting them in their day-to-day business. Currently, Paytm offers customers the widest range of offline and in-store payment use-cases including parking, tolls, kirana stores, utility, temples, local transport, railway & metros, school & college fee and challan among others.