Jaipur-based Xatalog is an online catalogue management solution that helps businesses create interactive e-catalogues to help grow revenue, engagement, and interaction.
The Xatalog website claims it is the 'world's most intelligent catalogue manager'. While we cannot verify that particular claim, we can verify that often, it is the catalogue that makes shopping, and showcasing products, fun.
Before he started Xatalog, Deepak Sharma was responsible for sales and marketing at a jewellery export house. As part of the job, he met clients from different cities such as Dubai, Hong Kong, and Moscow, and everywhere he saw a common problem - that of poor cataloguing.
“In the jewellery business, one gets an order by showing a design. A company could have as many as 10,000 unique designs,” Deepak says and adds that for a customer - be it wholesale or retil - to check every design would be cumbersome. “I thought what if I could automate the process, and send personalised catalogues,” Deepak recalls.
That was the beginning of Xatalog. The online catalogue management solution helps customers turn their product offerings into interactive e-catalogues that can help grow revenue, engagement, and interaction. The startup derives the added benefit of being situated in Jaipur, which is a hub for gem and jewellery trading in the country.
Before Xatalog, most jewellers would put up all their designs on a website. Deepak created a smaller prototype within his company, and found success. “I’m not a techie myself, but I understand tech well. I considered getting a techie co-founder,” Deepak says. One of his clients introduced him to tech consultant Aditya Kedia, who became the Co-founder of Xatalog.
Xatalog was founded in June 2016; the founders invested Rs 15 lakh of their own funds, and while the initial idea was to cater to the jewellery industry, they soon realised several sectors could benefit from their product.
What does Xatalog do?
Xatalog works as a handy tool for businesses that send e-catalogues (in excel, ppt, and pdf formats) to customers. The cloud-based system provides complete control over the order procurement life cycle. Clients can send a unique password-protected link of products, and get orders in one place. The product can be used in multiple ways – and even lets clients tag images in 15 different ways. It also allows for automatic mapping of the product design, offering control over what one wants to share with a client.
Xatalog’s personalised catalogue solution allows for various permutations and combinations. It can set an expiry date on the designs sent, allow sharing on social media, or be sent to a large number of people. The solutions focus on the B2B industry, and offer the functionality of conducting payments in various currencies and customising pricing. Market intelligence – how much time was spent on a particular design and which designs were clicked on – is also provided to clients.
Though the market response was good, the co-founders realised they needed to educate prospective customers, many of who were set in their ways. “We showed them that they were losing a lot of time with the old method and how much could be gained with Xatalog’s solution,” Deepak says.
He explains with the example of a large jewellery design house in Jaipur, which had close to 20,000 designs in its portfolio. Once it started using Xatalog’s solution, it was able to generate an additional $3,000-$4,000 of business every day.
As part of its entrepreneurial journey, Xatalog has also received support from the Rajasthan government’s iStart programme, which focuses on nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the state. Deepak says, “It is a very good platform and gives a boost to startups.” Speaking about Rajasthan’s Qrate assessment initiative, a kind of scorecard for startups, he says, “This comprehensive process gives startups a reality check in terms of their business model and steers them to startup mode.”
The SaaS model
The maximum traction for Xatalog comes from the jewellery industry, followed by footwear and furniture. However, there are some unusual clients, such as Dil Bahar, a manufacturer of mouth fresheners. The firm, which has more than 100 products in its portfolio, uses Xatalog’s solution to create a personalised catalogue, and share with shopkeepers.
“SME and medium-sized companies are our key customers. We have not got a large customer yet, but are in talks,” Deepak says.
Xatalog has 40 paying customers and its pricing is based on the Software-as-a-Service model with a range of $290 to $1,490. The monthly cost works out to Rs 3,500-Rs 6,000. The founders did not want to talk about the actual revenue, but claim to have grown over 100 percent since it started.
Xatalog has five employees, including the founders, and also has offices in London and Hong Kong. The startup is now trying to tap the jewellery designer community overseas.
On the competition, the founders say Xatalog does not have any direct competition as most solutions in the market are largely customised while their's can be a plug and play. Deepak says Xatalog is now eyeing the China market, which is manufacturing-intensive and sends the maximum catalogues in the world every day. “Majority of their business is driven by e-mail catalogues, but the quality is an issue. If we can enter the Chinese market and establish ourselves, the sky is the limit,” he says.
Xatalog has received a funding of Rs 35 lakh from angel investor Nitin Chauhan. It is also in talks with a few venture funds for further capital infusion. Deepak says Xatalog is still learning and growing. “We need to educate customers about our solution and it will take time to establish ourselves.”