Karan Ahuja, Kodemall: Turn-key solutions to start online retail stores
Mumbai based entrepreneur Karan Ahuja and his team at Kodemall have built a unique turnkey solution to start an online retail store. Swati Maheshwari from YourStory.in caught up with him to discover more about the business idea behind Kodeplay, the startup behind the Kodemall solution.
Tell us about Kodeplay.
Kodeplay is an open source software development company founded to bring the best of open source technologies to help enterprises. We are an engineering team, enthusiastic about delighting users through easy to use, fast, automated solutions. We are developing products and services in e-commerce, education sector, etc
What are the gaps that you are filling through your offering, Kodemall?
Franchisors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retail brands, shopping malls, e-commerce design studios, etc. require a multi-vendor ecommerce platform to manage their online business.
To fill this gap, we have developed Kodemall, a turnkey white label solution to start an online shopping mall/online store. With an installation of Kodemall, a retail brand can enable all of its outlets to start an online store within minutes. Each franchise outlet can manage its catalog, sales, customers and community through social media integration.
How does Kodemall work?
Kodemall is a state-of-the-art multivendor marketplace platform built on the ever growing Opencart software with an active community.
The Kodemall software consists of 4 key areas – mall administration panel, store administration panel, mall frontend and store frontend. Each store owner receives a store administration panel to manage the catalog, inventory, sales and customers. Through the mall administration panel, all the stores, store invoices can be managed. Shoppers can browse and purchase from the mall and store frontends.
Each store owner can completely customize the store branding through a theme editor in the administration panel. Store owners can be billed by using a variety of plans based on different business models such as monthly recurring, limited products and commission on sales. Store owners can even choose their own domain names.
We also offer customization services for specific business requirements. Lifetime free updates for essential new features are a part of the product. All Kodeplay products and services come with an inclusive 90 day support and our user manuals are regularly updated.
How many customers are using Kode Mall?
30+ customers are currently using Kodemall. They are spread over 3 different continents, with only 3 being from India.
How did you source seed capital for your venture? Are you looking at outside capital investment in the future?
My salary savings from the previous jobs helped me start Kodeplay. Our software development services business at Kodeplay now funds the development of new products. We are self-funded now and unlikely to look for capital investment in the near future.
Tell us about your team.
Our engineering team has a shared interest in open-source programming and design.
I have worked with technical teams before at big IT companies. Vineet Naik, CTO, has worked with Greaves Cotton. We have on board geeks with varied interests - a cyclist, chess players, a guitarist, a photographer, an aero-modeler, an actor, a poet. They all make Kodeplay a fun place to work at.
We enjoy knowledge sharing discussions, coding sprints and our tea breaks. Saturdays are for learning an activity and a game of cricket.
What are your expansion plans?
We are working to leverage mobile commerce and social commerce for Kodemall customers. We are always on the look out to meet engineers with inspiring ideas and a passion for technology to join our team. We have plans to spread open source, share our skills by organizing code camps and tech talks. In the next quarter, we will be launching an open source learning management system and a social CRM for ecommerce.
To know more about the business idea behind Kodemall, check out http://www.kodemall.com/