R Rama Raju, Co-founder, Gap Miners India Pvt Ltd

Gap Miners India Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based web application company, which identifies and converts online gaps into profitable opportunities, is a brainchild of R Rama Raju a graduate in chemical engineering from the University of Mississippi. The venture was a collaborative effort and was initiated by two other professionals, TV Gautham and Raghavendra Prasad, who believed that online marketing has a huge potential. Presently, the company has identified 2 online gaps, Upto75.com and NoMoreQueue.com— robust applications in retailing and ticketing. Futuristic in design yet simple in function, the applications have been designed in a way that they benefit, improve and promote online transactions. The company’s primary objective is to make life easier and more convenient for the Indian people while it aims to rank among the top three in their field by 2010.

Explaining in details about the company Raju said, “Our two products, UPto75.com and NoMoreQueue.com, never miss a sale. The former displays existing retail deals/offers/discounts to buyers. With an easy-to-search design, it offers online buyers a greater vantage in searching for the best deals in just 2 minutes. All that the buyers need to do is click — for city, product category and locality — and quickly decide about the best deals available. Retailers can reach out directly to ‘power customers’, a new breed of affluent but smart shoppers, by registering on the site for a small amount, which is only a fraction of their advertising costs. And if you are brand conscious, gadget-oriented and a tech-savvy person with high disposable income NoMoreQueue is what you should be looking for. It is an online ticketing website that offers its customers the convenience of booking tickets for movies and buses from the comfort of their home or office.”

The enterprise presently boasts of 17 employees with business development executives and channel partners in each of the seven most developed cities in the country and hopes to benefit all internet and mobile users by saving their time and money. “We are emphasising a lot on building strong relationships with vendors and creating an infrastructure that is easily scalable. We are already in the process of developing strong tie-ups with theatres, bus travel companies and retailers for effectively marketing our sites. Besides, our products are fully developed, tested and deployed and have proved to be robust and dependable,” said Raju.

The company is presently raising funds from venture capitalists to make their websites popular nation wide. But why did he became an entrepreneur and not take up a regular job instead, “Jobs were never for me. Besides, we had ideas that required us to start a new company. Earlier I was associated with a start-up company which is today considered to be one of India’s largest digital marketing company,” he asserted.

But developing the sales infrastructure for this new enterprise has been a major challenge and the company is still in the process of fine-tuning it. “We expected the markets to react the way we had perceived but it usually never works that way. They have a mind of their own. So one always needs to have plan B lined-up,” he said while talking about the mistake the company ended up making during its initial stages.

W has been the company’s biggest achievement so far? “Setting up the required infrastructure, getting the products developed and clinching those first few sales,” Raju replied promptly. Did you at any point feel like giving up this venture for a regular job? “A regular job is a strict No-No. We wouldn’t trade this excitement for anything; we have enjoyed the journey that has got us this far. We were quite aware of the problems we will have to face in a start-up. But the objective to make it a success and the fact that there’s no turning back kept us inching forward. We work as a team and celebrate the difference in personality traits, values, attitudes and competencies of each member,” he added.

For the budding entrepreneurs Raju has a few tips to share, “Hire the right team, work hard, minimize cash burn, be flexible, reinvent if required and never give up.”


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