Edited excerpts from the interview:
How the Internet industry is evolving in India?
This industry segment in India is seeing a lot of action. Businesses across verticals have understood the value of digital and are now getting very active on the Internet. The major necessity for business to adopt digital activities is because of customer engagement. In some industry verticals like travel and hospitality, cost of acquiring new customers was very high in the conventional business methodologies. Now with the advent of the online medium this process becomes very cheap and hence it has helped organizations make better profits.
The other trend which is becoming visible is the fact that the digital medium is getting effectively used for customer engagement. Being interactive in nature, digital gives the liberty to interact with the customer and get their feedback. Putting together all these trends, the industry is evolving very positively.
How do you position yourself in the market?
mydala.com is a B2C platform and mybuzzmarketing.com is a merchant marketing platform. We expand a merchant’s market outreach. We have a localised approach for marketing. The biggest value that we offer to the merchant who partners with us is that we help him in acquiring more and more walk-in customers at his retail outlet. We are a transaction focused online platform which also provides an effective customer engagement model to the market.
As of now, we focus on the health and wellness sector; on restaurants; on jewellery and consumer electronics stores; and on the services sector like adventure sports.
Please share your experiences in growing the business?
We started as an online entity in 2009 and diversified into mobile and TV. We understood the behaviour of consumers. We do extensive data mining and analysis about the consumer’s internet buying usage. Over a period of time we realised that mobile has become extremely effective for customer engagement. The service delivery is far more efficient on mobile as compared to any other medium. Getting feedback from the consumers is also an area which can lead to many opportunities and mobile is the best platform for this.
What are the key trends that will drive the Internet industry over the next 12 months?
The most impactful trend is convergence. Mobile and internet are becoming closer day-by-day. There are many reasons for this – the cost of smartphones are coming down; the easy availability of tablet PCs;, and mobile internet is now increasingly appealing to a large segment of mobile users. On the other hand, the cash-on-delivery model is becoming a very powerful tool for the Indian e-commerce market.
I think, moving forward, intelligent use of data will differentiate a brand from its competitor. The digital medium can play vital role in this.
Please share your market footprint…
In last three years, mydala.com has added 150 lakh registered users from across India. MyBuzzMarketing.com has over 105,000 merchants registered with us. From airlines to spas, we have clients in almost every vertical. We do almost one lakh transactions every day.
Please share your business’ revenue growth…
We are witnessing positive and steady growth year-on-year. Since we are a privately funded organization, we cannot disclose the exact numbers but we are targeting to achieve net revenue figures of Rs.100 crore in the next 18 months.
As an entrepreneur, what challenges did you experience and how did you tackle them?
Finance is the universal challenge. We were very lucky to have investors who understood the potential of our business. We got great support from our investors in the initial days of our business. Another challenge that we observed is about merchant’s understanding about online and localised marketing. We educate merchants about the value of the digital medium and the result so far has been very positive for us.