“Every other time I bought a product there would be one friend of mine who would have bought the same product for a much cheaper price. This made me to think about one stop to know all the store discounts which then turned to be a website.”
The website may just be an informative source of discounts for now but Kumaran has other ideas too. “Adding to the present model we are also going to add online Discounts and Offers which would enable the users to compare both online and offline offers at one place. This would give an overall comparison for the user. We receive 6,000 visits every month and after our expansion to online product comparison, our aim is to serve 75,000 visits per month.” says our entrepreneur.
They are the first website to start listing the deals and offers at stores in Chennai. No other website that we know of compares online and offline store deals. The offline store deals can be listed for free at their website. Taking their already unique status as discount providers to the rest of India is also on the cards.
“We are looking to tie up with people in different cities. We are keen in making our presence in North India and we are underway in doing so. Within few months, we will be present in 6 different cities as far as Store discounts are concerned. By another year we would be listing the Offers and discounts at Stores from 15 cities in India.” Says Kumaran.
Entrepreneurship was a childhood dream for Kumaran. He believes that “when you have an idea which can make life easier for a certain segment of people, there is no reason why I have to hold it back after being a Management Graduate. I have done Marketing research to test my concept and after analyzing the market carefully I have stepped into this. And moreover, my Father is into Business which made me more business oriented.”
Convincing store owners was just a matter of time, but technology proved to be the bigger hurdle. Kumaran says “Initially getting the buy-in from the retailer was a little difficult. Later on, they came to know the benefit and were more forthcoming to share more data with us. Now we have more than 600 retailers from Chennai who share their offers and deals to us.”
“SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was also something new to us and as we were in the testing phase we learned it gradually and now our SEO team is expert at doing it. (We are now listed among the top for Google Searches for keywords with “discounts in India”, “discounts Chennai”, “Offers Chennai”, etc).”
“As our budget was limited, we have 3 full time and 5 part time working and managing the site for the past one year (which includes Website Designing, Marketing Research, SEO, Daily operations, Accounts, newsletter etc). But now we will be in a better position as we have employed more people and increased our budget.”
Kumaran confess that the setback was because of a bit of ignorance on their part but they have taken it in step and recovered strongly. He says “I did not know about the importance and execution of Search Engine Optimization for a new website. I had no expertise in developing the website and designing it. Now we have qualified people to do it (we are revamping our website) our revamped website will be up to international standards.”
“We have got Google Page Rank of 2 within a few months of implementing SEO and we are appearing in the search results more often in Chennai. And when we expand to different cities we will be having more and more visitors through organic search. We also sold our idea to the retailers and they are convinced to give us exclusive discounts for our website visitors.”
Investing from Personal Funds to get the initial thrust, Kumaran will be infusing about 15 lakhs into Discountvu and is also in discussion with several interested investors.
He states his companies positioning saying “We have 1 branch (Chennai) now, will expand to 3 branches (Chennai, Bangalore and Gurgaon) in 2 months. At present we have 7 people working on the expansion plan. As far as the outlook for the next 2 years is concerned, we are more concentrating in getting more reach for our website. We aim to expand it to 6 cities by the end of this year and 15 cities by the end of next year.”
Kumaran is ready to see his idea to the top he says “I have passion for this idea and am convinced that it will be a success. The Basic marketing research and analysis had proved it to be a sustainable idea. These are my main source of motivation.”
In the coming year he plans to take their website among the top websites in India, and get their target customers to visit www.Discountsvu.com before purchasing their product of interest. The site will contain information on the features of a product with user reviews of a store or product. Offers and deals available at stores in the users’ city and at online stores will be the main draw.
Kumaran believes in testing ones idea in every way, and advises young budding entrepreneurs saying “It’s better to have a holistic plan and follow their dreams. Make sure you talk to a devil’s Advocate before you execute your plan, don’t get intimidated by them but the devil’s advocate can give you more dimensions to think about. Always be open to ideas from others but never over-estimate it as you are the sole owner of the concept and no one knows better than you.”
Yourstory wishes Kumaran many discounts in the success section of life and hopes that his entrepreneurial ventures keep growing.