Based out of Delhi, HeyBiz is a similar marketplace for local businesses which connects small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to their customers over chat. HeyBiz lets customers search for businesses around them and initiate real-time conversation without disclosing personal contact details.
The startup was founded by Bhartesh Chhibbar, who previously co-founded Rocketalk and has worked as a technical leader at Cisco systems, USA, for six years. Bhartesh, who has a mission to extend the outreach of technology to SMEs, believes that the ability to grow and innovate is more about mind-set rather than capital and investment.
Through HeyBiz, businesses get an opportunity to maintain a digital mini-profile where they can reach out to old and new customers in just a few clicks. It is a unique way to carry out Sales-Marketing-Support (SMS) where customers can be regularly updated about existing services and new promotions. Users can search based on location, inquire about services, bargain and take support over chat.
“The chat feature makes the bargaining process a near real-life experience and users can know and negotiate better. Unlike e-commerce stores, where one is bound by set deals and discounts, HeyBiz gives the users the liberty to bargain at their own terms. They can strike up bargains from different businesses at the same time and then take the best deal,” Bhartesh explains.
For businesses, this also means that deals and discounts become subjective. This eliminates any pricing war with other vendors in the same category and adds a personal touch to the transaction.
Bhartesh adds, “SME sector is the backbone of the Indian economy and has the maximum number of players. Consumers today like to gather information and research on products before they buy them. Indian has more than 130 million smartphone users along with 250 million Internet users already.
Most SMEs don’t have a platform that lets them connect to their customers digitally. Most SMEs are shy of online marketing due to lack of knowledge or because they find it expensive. As more and more information is available digitally, SMEs are getting pressurized to innovate and digitize themselves. Where SMEs do not have the capacity to maintain websites and product profiles, HeyBiz provides a ready solution for both customers and businesses to exchange information in real-time.”
HeyBiz was launched in January this year and already has 1000+ listings on its platform which includes some premium businesses like ApnaGhar, Snap Fitness, Little Millennium, Axis Dental, and Moksha Spa etc.
As Bhartesh rightly points out, there is clearly a lot of scope in the SME sector. With only a few earlystage startups in the SME sector yet, fierce competition is likely to be in the coming months. What needs to be seen is whether any of them can replicate the internet-era success of JustDial in this mobile-era.