We hear of many deals based ventures today. Every other day there is some new startup entering this space. So when we decided to profile a new startup on the block, The India Market, we ensured that we clearly understand and enunciate the differentiators of this venture.
YourStory caught up with Buddha Chandrasekhar, the young entrepreneur behind TheIndiaMarket in his office at Bangalore.
Incidentally, Chandra has been an entrepreneur for quite some time, running his software and IT services based company out of Virginia, USA with an offshore base in India. Chandra pursued a specialised entrepreneurship programme from Robert Smith Business School, Maryland University while he actively engaged with the startups at Stanford, Silicon Valley, USA.
Chandra has been a keen observer of technology trends and how it affects consumer behaviour/ purchasing patterns. He hit upon the idea of “TheIndiaMarket” as he felt that location based technology and services will be the driving factors in the coming years. Combing his technology skills with business experience and after a careful market research, Chandra took the proverbial plunge and launched “TheIndiaMarket”.
Excerpts of the interview
What is the TheIndiaMaket?
To put it succinctly, TheIndiaMarket broadly focuses on two segments-
Can you explain what do you mean by Location and Time Specific Deals?
Your location and the Time of the day will determine the deals that are displayed. For example Vijay is a resident of Jayanagar area in Bangalore and he logs on to TheIndiaMarket at 4PM IST then he will see deals suited the evening, in and around Jayanagar, say a discount at a Pub at Jayanagar 4th Block.
Vijay does not have to limit himself to the Pub deal mentioned above, he will have the option to choose from different categories.
TheIndiaMarket offers 3 sets of deals depending on the time of the day: Good Morning deals (Till 11AM), mid day deals (Till 3 PM) and Good evening deals.
Also we have multiple deals in a day, giving consumers a wide variety of offers to choose from.
How do you propose to create a differentiation in already cluttered Deals Market?
To answer your question, first and foremost we are not purely an internet platform.
Our clear focus is to provide discounts and offers to consumers using multiple touch points like Mobile, Call Centres, QR Codes along with Internet services. Also we create meaningful differentiation in services we offer -
So we got the Deals aspect of your business, what is the Daily Essentials all about?
Deals and Daily Essentials are in a way related to each other. With Daily Essentials we are trying to build a robust Mobile Kirana as I mentioned earlier, driven by multiple channels. Also Deals will fuel the Mobile Kirana and vice a versa.
Can you explain this Deals fuelling Mobile Kirana bit?
Basically we have various deals/offers in a day, this we can pass on to the consumers availing Mobile Kirana or Daily Essentials services.
How are you planning to grab consumer mindshare, in particular Offline consumers?
Keeping in mind that many Indians are still not online and many users still do not have internet access on their phone we created a proprietary mobile application that functions even without internet connection. Once you download the app you will be able to buy the daily essentials and deals through this offline application.
The phone application works as shown below:
For daily essentials:
After you select the daily essentials tab in the app you will see the various categories. Once you choose the category you will see the different products listed. You enter the quantity you need and checkout, which takes you to a page wherein you can enter your address, delivery time and location.
When you open the app, based on your location you will see various businesses who offer deals near your location. When you click on one of the deals you will see the deal description page.
Which mobile platforms will your application work on?
This app will be compatible with almost all the major mobile platforms like Symbian, Android, Blackberry and other J2ME mobiles.
How you are planning to market and build traction?
The whole marketing concept is built on three principle parameters – Convenience, Authenticity and Savings.
Infact if you visit TheIndiaMarket site, you will find first hand photographs of all the deal providers giving you an authentic and first hand feel of the service you are going to avail
Second, we are concentrating on various online promotions and reach out campaigns via facebook, twitter and Linkedin etc, while also getting quality social media and bloggers onboard.
Offline we are working on many unique marketing concepts like QR Codes (have not been used much in India as yet), advertisements on Auto Rickshaws, innovative promotions in malls etc. At the heart of the marketing effort we believe is going to be our execution, delivery as for a model like this to work, word of mouth is going to be the biggest publicity /marketing driver.
Tell us about your team?
We have a strong Operations team, with core team members having more than 15 years of direct marketing /supply chain experience. We leverage on my other companies technical expertise and for marketing we have hired specialists and partnered with companies for joint promotions and barter. Moving forward we are exploring tie ups with media companies etc.
On a personal level, tell us something about yourself, what drives you, why an entrepreneur?
What drives me is to see the convergence of offline and online business model to enable a strong business and offerings. As for being an entrepreneur, I believe entrepreneurship is an attitude, I was lucky that early in life I got the opportunity to interact with some of the best minds from across the globe, who considerably shaped my thinking process. Having started another company a few years back, I have seen the whole gamut of an entrepreneur’s journey- the inevitable hardships, failed promises, bagging the first contract to building a solid team, to put it in a nutshell I enjoy the journey.
We at YourStory wish Chandra all the best, while we continue to map his entrepreneurial journey, dear readers you checkout theindiamarket.com and see if this new startup has what it takes to become a household name.