Samir Saraiya is a veteran in the mobile an media industry with experience of over 15 years with some of the latest multinationals of the globe. Based out of Singapore, Samir was on a visit back home in India in 2011 when he saw the eCommerce boom in India. The space was well poised and when he started talking about starting up in the space, he was advised to just pick up a category and go for it. “I did a bit of a survey and noticed the number of players in each segment that already existed except one,” says Samir. And this is where he decided to startup.
Majority of Indians have a conventional mindset wherein buying personal things related to sex is considered as something which cannot be done in the open. “I have to go the highway to buy a condom,” said a respondent in Jabalpur to a survey conducted by thatspersonal. The reason was that mostly everyone in the city knew the person and it is not appropriate for an unmarried person to be buying condoms. The survey brought out many such stories and hence thatspersonal came into existence.
“The business opportunity was huge but it was still as a joke in my mind,” says Samir. He bounced the idea with his friend Lekhesh Dholakia who is a corporate generalist attorney in Internet and telecom related laws. Lekhesh did some legal checking and informed Samir that he could very well go ahead with the idea and also that he’d like to invest in the firm or be a part of it in some way. Lekhesh hence came in as the legal attorney. Samir also brought Vikram Varma and Abhay Bhalerao on the board of directors along with some prominent advisors and early stage investors. And thus, the stage was set.
A team of based out of Mumbai, thatspersonal launched in January 2013 to a huge opening. “We were covered in the most influential media publications in print as well as online and the traffic that we got was huge! Our site crashed within the first 10 days of launch,” says Samir. The exact numbers haven’t been revealed but the company is seeing 50-100% growth quarter on quarter. “We’re seeing orders from all across the country,” says Samir.