Students have limited source of finance and they always look for discounts and freebies. While studying in NMIMS, Armaan Vananchal, Karan Karnik and Niranjan Nakhate realized the importance of discount as their budgets were always limited because they lived away from their homes. After graduating from college, the trio worked for a brief period and later co-founded frapp.
It’s a student privilege website and aims to make a student’s life easier and affordable, right from the first laptop he buys to the suit he buys for his placements. “The idea was born over dinner at a restaurant near college which gave student discounts. We realized that the idea of student discounts as a business had potential,” says Niranjan.
At that time, the trio was still in college and they found themselves paddling in deep waters. “We decided to get jobs and some experience. Armaan worked for a year while Karan and I worked for around six months, while developing the idea all the time,” adds Niranjan. It was in January this year when the trio left their jobs and started working full time on frapp from the basement of Armaan’s uncle’s office as the team didn’t have deep pockets.
Strategies behind restricting frapp to student community
According to UGC reports, over 20 million students enroll for higher education every year in India. Students require deals and discounts, and brands usually overlook the power of students as a target market. “Students are the customers of the future and it’s important for brands to get their mind share. Brands are now realizing the importance of customer lifetime value and suddenly there is a mad rush to get customers young. We see ourselves in this space and want to be the experts in student and campus marketing,” says Niranjan.
Motivation behind diving into the entrepreneurial pool
Traction has been decent so far, says Niranjan. The platform has over 4000 registered users without any marketing budget. “The best part is that we are seeing repeat customers and students taking coupons on a daily basis. Brands too are happy seeing a rise in conversions,” he adds. On the merchants’ front, it has listed over 50 student-friendly and aspirational brands.
“Premium brands too are open to rewarding the student community via exclusive discounts which don’t hamper their overall image or positioning,” reveals Niranjan. “The fact that you are making a product which you know will break through the noise is something that motivates the three of us. Every new user registering on the site is an immensely rewarding experience for us,” adds Niranjan.
Plans for scaling up
The startup’s first objective is to get the product right and make it seamless. “With a formidable product in hand, we can scale quicker. With the new year coming, we want to grow geographically to new locations where we see a need for student discounts,” says Niranjan. Dwelling into the mobile application space is something that the trio always considered and is now planning to launch mobile apps. “We feel that frapp is just the beginning in our entrepreneurship journey and we aim to deliver other products which will break the clutter,” concludes Niranjan.