Vaibhav Tewari and Sridhar Turaga, Founders, open2save
India is a land of the thrifty who love to spend. When it comes to intelligent buying Indians not only have the best prices but also know where the best deals can be found.
Vaibhav Tewari and Sridhar Turaga are entrepreneurs who inspire comparison to great partnerships because of their offering. The Butch Cassidy and Sundance kid partnership springs to mind because these entrepreneurs are offering a “real steal” to their fellow Indians. After all getting a discount is always great and open2save promises greater discounts.
They explained their unique offering and venture saying “We are India's largest multi-channel discount coupon service. Coupons and local deals are quite popular with consumers in all our channels (corporate, local, privilege and now online). We launched these online 2 months ago ... prior to that for a year we have been managing coupons and privileges for over 500+ brands.”
“Last quarter we distributed 5 Lakh coupons over 7 cities. We have currently partnered with more than 500 companies, including big brands like Vodafone, Westside, Madura Garments, Kaya Skin Clinic, Enrich etc, and a range of medium/small retailers. We have executed various coupons campaigns in many cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.”
Vaibhav and Sridhar are not newcomers to the entrepreneurial life and were co-founders of iSeva - one of the leading BPO services companies from Bangalore. They explained how their idea works as a business venture saying “Indian consumers are always looking for a good deal. Open2save is a “discount coupon” service where members are given special discounts and deals, which they can redeem by displaying the “coupon” at the participating location. Consumers love it as they can save easily. Businesses benefit because they get more walk-ins, ability to target market, track ROI for consumer promotions and use online channels to drive offline sales.”
“Our vision is to “Enable Indian Consumers to make the right choices ... through the power of internet, information and interactivity ... and always be the independent voice in the interest of the consumer. Our business has very strong focus on providing our members what they are exactly looking for based on their preferences, locations, choice of channels etc.. Building their preferences and ensuring we match that with the best coupons all the times is the biggest differentiator.”
“We help consumers save time and money and we help Enterprises reach their target segment in the most effective and efficient manner using Promotions Marketing and Coupons. Our revenue model is dependent on successful transactions in form of coupons redemptions and advertising.”
Their entrepreneurial journey is two ventures old all thanks to the factors that spurred them initially. They spoke about their reasons for taking the plunge saying “India has changed tremendously in the last decade and has lots of opportunities and capital available for entrepreneurs to try and build businesses. Many successful entrepreneurs have built world class companies in a short time. Opportunity to build new services in India and help India become an Economic superpower in our own way has been the biggest factor for us to be entrepreneurs. This period of 20-30 years in Indian history will be a golden age and an inflection point. Why be a bystander and watch it when you can join in to create it?”
The lessons they have learnt from iSeva have been useful but open2save has its own learning moments. They spoke about their course of action saying “The biggest challenges in our previous venture (iSeva) were around building a world class organization with right mix of people, client focus, processes and systems to serve Global clients the best way. We did that successfully serving some of the largest names while we built an organization with the most satisfied employees.”
“In open2save, the biggest challenge has been around establishing a new concept in the Indian Market. Coupons and target marketing is a concept we are pioneering in India and it takes enough efforts to educate our clients on potential benefits of using this channel – as well as waiting for the market to mature.”
“If impatience helped us in our previous venture as it was started right at the start of the BPO boom, this one requires us to be patient and pace ourselves to match market readiness - given we are at least 2-3 years ahead of the growth curve.”
“Putting the cart before the horse has been the biggest mistake which happens especially in a new concept. We have ended up building services sometimes which were much ahead of time or building features that are not an immediate priority for clients in the medium term and we had to tweak those significantly.”
The concept has worked with great success and their measure of accomplishment has been fulfilled. “Building a very useful consumer service and a very high percentage of coupon usage has been the biggest achievement for open2save. Every day we get customer raves about how they love the service or how much they enjoyed using one of our coupons ... nothing matches that high.”
“Very strong and positive consumer feedback has been the biggest recognition. Please check http://officialblog.open2save.in/2009/06/25/great-response-to-new-open2save-com/ for some comments from our consumers!!” exulted Vaibhav and Sridhar.
They explained how their enthusiasm for entrepreneurship has been whetted and sustained saying “The opportunity to build a new service, a new industry in the country and a new valuable service for the consumers while enjoying what we are doing.”
The two spoke of what entrepreneurship holds for the uninitiated and their take on India’s opportunities saying “I believe that India is witnessing a revolution in terms of entrepreneurship. Large numbers of hungry, ambitious, capable individuals are looking at starting on their own. Situation has changed so much for better from the time we did our first venture to now.”
“... advice to new entrepreneurs is to pursue their dreams, there is no other place like India in the world to pursue your dreams. This is the best time to be in this country.
So assess your motives, prepare well, plan extensively and take a plunge. Every boat is carried in a high tide. This phase for India is high tides of growth ... ride it, don't get stuck on the beach just watching it.”
We wish Vaibhav Tewari and Sridhar Turaga success and fulfilment with their venture. Yourstory hopes to see their ventures grow as they continue onward with their entrepreneurial journey.