Can’t find what you need online? Use Dotmic to make your lives simpler
Quest for knowledge and information often drives people beyond the limits set by norms. For Dipin Karanayil Prakash it was his passion for computers and artificial intelligence that paved the way for his entrepreneurial path. He started working on the prototype of an eCommerce search engine in June last year and after many fumbling attempts and rejections from his fellow mates, he came up with the final design on June 2012. As he proudly shares: “Towards the end of our engineering everybody decided to take up a job or to do Post Graduation. But I chose to become an entrepreneur because I felt that it would be great to make a living, doing what you love to do.”
Dotmic is one stop solution for online shopping in India. It is an eCommerce search engine that helps people search and compare prices of products from different online stores. Unlike most comparison stores Dotmic gathers product information using self developed web crawlers called dotbot. The startup has also successfully developed high speed search algorithms that enable its users to search across millions of products from hundreds of stores. Wider product range and much faster processing helps customers browse, compare, select and continue with their online shopping experience compared to any other online store in India. This search engine presents you with deals and coupons from various eCommerce companies in addition to the search results for eCommerce products.
As the designer and CEO of Dotmic, Dipin is well supported on other core activities by Jiji Sukumar in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Jiji is an engineer and has an MBA with a decade of corporate experience in marketing and program management with companies like T-mobile, ABB and Microsoft in the US. Dr KB Pavithran plays the role of financial & strategy advisor for the startup. He is a retired university professor in finance management and strategy, with a rich experience in business consultancy.
Dipin ventured into entrepreneurship from his college days when he started Alphacube Software Solutions along with a couple of friends. The company primarily focused on medical software but could not scale further due to limited market for medical softwares in India. He shares his experience: “I was passionate about computer programming long before I got into college. I thought at college one would get to learn a lot about creating new things. But eventually figured out that engineering is 90% theory and 10% practicals. So I teamed up with my friend who had similar passion and we went on to build and share knowledge about products we engineered. We used to spend long hours in computer labs having fun creating new applications.” Since then Dipin has worked on many projects before finally settling on Dotmic.
As a young product company, Dotmic faces the challenge of scaling up their user base and search results. Dipin mentions: “India has over 900 online stores and Dotmic covers about 10% of this number (3 million products), by choice. The only factor stopping us from providing search from every online store in India is the hardware resources. We plan to get there in a couple of phases as we scale up our resources.” Dotmic markets itself through Facebook and word of mouth promotions. However they have plans to use social media aggressively later this year. Dotmic is not focused on revenues at this point, but are concentrate more on improving the user experience. The startup has already managed to bring down the search time in majority of their search results to less than a second in 2012. The recent optimizations has further reduced this number to 400 milliseconds. By the end of 2012 they had helped with 1.7 million product search.
Dipin feels Dotmic is currently performing less than one percent of what it is actually capable of. The startup plans to scale up the operations in number of stores from 105 to 400 by the end of this financial year and in the future also plans to extend its search results to offline stores.