E commerce industry has been witnessing the trend of senior professionals deserting their plush professional career and taking the route of e-entrepreneurship. Dealite.in, a disruptive social commerce start-up based in Mumbai, founded by Vijayanand Shekokar, ex eBay, ex PayPal (senior executive at both), is one of the initiatives led by such professionals. Dealite.in offers exclusive quick-format online auctions for new & latest branded products, and also brings deals and discounts to consumers at up to 99% off on product MRP. Vijayanand, interacted with Iamwire and spoke at length on dealite.in including recent exuberance in Indian digital ecosystem. Here are the excerpts of the complete interview.
Tell us, what is dealite.in all about?
Dealite is a disruptive social commerce start-up. Consumers have become brand conscious and aspire to own the latest branded products but are not able to buy many desired products due to high price. They are always on a look out for opportunities/ places to get new and latest branded products at huge discounts. Dealite is that service that the online user always wanted which allows them to own their aspirational products at the prices they want.
Our value proposition is to provide a simple online marketplace for fantastic deals; save BIG as a buyer and earn BIG as a seller.
Already auction cum deal centric space in eCommerce is crowded. What are the USP and differentiators of dealite.in?
Dealite not only offers exclusive quick-format online auctions for new & latest branded products, but also brings deals and discounts to consumers at up to 99% off on product MRP. We are talking here of huge discounts on the latest and hottest gizmos. Further, unlike other auction sites where everybody can bid, here each Dealite deal has a limited number of participants to give each participant an extremely high chance to win the auction and get great discounts.
Users can also become sellers on Dealite and earn by setting up auctions and leveraging their social networks.
Acquiring consumers and build trust along with monetization with auction driven business in Indian eCommerce landscape are quite time taking and toiling? What are your strategies to such challenges?
Our never-before value proposition, total transparency and superior customer service is what we are focused on. In other words we are providing what the customer wants. Customers on our website experience superior quality of deals as well as our service, which is well-proven by our track record of repeat customers. Within just 45 days of our launch, we have been able to attract customers all across India, right from Coimbatore to Jammu! And I am happy to say that many of them keep on coming back again and again to participate in more deals.
How do you term the recent exuberance in Indian eCommerce? Is it a bubble or golden ball?
E commerce is attracting a lot of attention in India recently as there is surely a huge opportunity in this space. The moot question is “what is the secret sauce?” There are many eCommerce formats rolled/ rolling out including many me-too’s. However I think that only ventures that have a propelling value proposition, and are able to demonstrate sustained value to their users, will be able to build a sustained business model for the long term.
Now days, there is a fast catching trend within eCommerce businesses to hop on to TV bandwagon for branding and building trust. What is your thought about the same and what is the marketing mix of dealite.in?
TV is a good medium for creating broad awareness of your brand; however its efficacy in reaching the right target audience for eCommerce is still debatable given the limited penetration of internet in India. We are an early stage start-up and our marketing mix is currently focused on online marketing and viral word-of-mouth.
How do you see the trend of senior or experienced corporate executives deserting their career and foraying in to e-entrepreneurship? What motivated you to become an entrepreneur and what opportunities you see in this space?
The eCommerce space in India is in a nascent stage but growing at a very fast clip and there is enough market opportunity for innovative ventures. It is good to see a number of professionals entering this space, and hopefully they will be able to create valuable businesses out of these opportunities.
For last 17 years after completing my PG from IIM-Ahmedabad, I have been in the consulting and online world with leading blue chip organizations including PayPal and eBay. With this strong academic background and professional experience, I have got a good understanding of what consumer needs and how a business can cater to such needs. This is what made me take the plunge to launch dealite.in
How Dealite is being funded? Are you looking/trying or process of getting funded? Throw some light.
At this stage, dealite.in is funded through own and family funds. Currently, we are focused on dealiting our users and enhancing our business traction before seeking external investors.
What would be your suggestion to start ups and entrepreneurs that are looking space in eCommerce in India including your own niche market?
Define your USP and demonstrate your customer value proposition!