Group Discounts guaranteedIt’s a fact of shopping and buying that a group always gets a discount no matter what the product. The tried and tested tactic of eliciting a cut price at the behest of a consortium of buyers has been cleverly leveraged by Www.groffr.com. Vikhyat Srivastava and Sandeep Reddy are the founders of this small business brainwave that has now snowballed into gigantic proportions. They told us more about group discounts, how they work and their entrepreneurial lives.
What does groffr.com stand for as a business and as a name?
GrOffr is derived from 'GRoup OFFeR' and our mission is to promote the concept of group buying which helps both the buyer (availing higher discounts) and the seller (inventory moves fast!).
We deal in the 'real deals' — real estate, automobiles, electronics—where we aggregate demand for the product and get discounts which a single buyer would have difficulty in negotiating generally!
Typically, we run group deals which are time bound in nature. However, we will be happy to help through our relationships and negotiation skills whenever you have a group of buyers for a particular product.
Till date we have saved a lot of money for our customers, or the other way of looking it is that we helped them make money!!!
Are there any limits to the offers or the goods that groups can buy?
We have started out with dealing in real estate, electronics and cars as of now. But the concept can be replicated to virtually anything from watches to grocery to travel packages to virtually anything on earth which people buy!!
People save huge amounts of money if they deal or buy through us. We have helped people save around Rs. 14 crores till date on the sales of Rs. 64 crores we have achieved till date!
What product sector has been the biggest challenge for you to discount, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge so far for us has been to convince the real estate developers to bring down the prices in case we get a group for them. They are wary that the word would get out in the market that they have lowered the prices and sales also wouldn’t happen. We had to convince our initial developers and go that extra mile in collecting a group which ensured that their trust was not broken.
What else aside from the group aspect is unique about your business idea?
The core differentiator is the ability to handle high value items which requires a huge offline presence. Everybody today is overloaded with loads of information but do they have a clear understanding of different assets, how they operate or how different players in the ecosystem behave? We help in bridging that gap by bringing pre-packaged deals to people so that they don’t have to spend effort/time to get into the nitty-gritties. We either collect a group and then approach a developer/manufacturer for a discount or get a pre-negotiated deal and then collect buyers for the same. In the process we charge a commission fee from the buyer or the seller depending upon the deal dynamics.
How will you grow and strengthen your business?
We plan to strengthen our offline presence by creating touch points in each city. Due to our backgrounds, getting the deals is not a major issue for us. For servicing our customers, we need a face in each city so that we can handle online as well as offline customers. We intend to incentivize our users to spread the word about the deals in their respective networks which brings more people to our website. We also intend to make our technology and marketing stronger.
What has been the best day for you at groffr.com?
In our first deal we sold 35 flats on a single day at a whipping discount of 32.5%. This has been the biggest achievement so far for us!
What are the goals you have set for yourselves in the coming 2 years?
We would like to become the biggest online distributors in the real estate and automobile sector in the next two years. We have the energy, the understanding, the passion and the commitment to achieve the same.
Why did the two of you become entrepreneurs together? What drives and motivates you?
For us turning into an entrepreneur was more of a passion than anything else. Both of us were comfortably snuggled into our respective jobs but the urge to create something BIG on our own was the primary mover. The thrill or the kick that you get out of creating a product/service which helps people and they in turn appreciate it is unmatchable.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s the kick which you receive when people thank you for saving money for them or getting them a great deal, which drives us. Nothing is comparable to that feeling!
What according to you is a key focus area for (Indian) entrepreneurs?
I think the biggest challenge is risk capital. Though there is no dearth of VCs or angel investors but true risk capital at the seed stage is a need of the hour.
What is the most important lesson you learnt as an amateur entrepreneur?
We underestimated the demand for our services!! The day we launched our Hyderabad real estate deals, we were I was inundated with 127 calls within 24 hours! That night I received the last call at 1.18 am and the first call next morning at 5:43 am! We did not have a call centre or a large team and we had a tough time handling all the enquiries!
What do you feel is an entrepreneur’s role in the business structure?
Be ready to roll up your sleeves and work on the ground! If there is a client visit and the sweeper hasn’t come, you shouldn’t be afraid of cleaning the toilet also!!
Yourstory wishes Vikhyat Srivastava and Sandeep Reddy bigger and better discounts and hope that their customers keep coming back for more each time…
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