StartUp Sunday || Season 4 Episode 16 || KStar

“Everyone has their right time sooner or later but this time we had someone whos right time came at the age of 13”

Remember what our struggles were when we were 16, worrying about the massive syllabus for boards, for Kunal Chandiramani, he has got a lot more to worry about. When everyone was stuck with Biology he was stuck with the coding of his E-commerce website. Kunal believes that “All we need to do is to break that dogma, How can I change more lives – How can I transform peoples living, so change lives and then earn Dollars, do both but start with changing lives.” He is also the best selling author for his book “Know it works before it actually works: How to find your good Idea.”
This week we were lucky enough to interview Kunal about his first StartUp KStar.

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Kunal what is K star all about?

We do something called independent e-commerce, so basically, I can start selling online in a matter of minutes on your own independent store. In just a few steps you get your own independent Website cum Store where all your products are listed and once you start getting orders, we have features that include money coming directly to you to our delivery partners coming in collecting the product directly from your house and delivering it to your target customer. We Look at ourselves as a One-Stop solution for anyone who wants to sell online or the independent store and more than anything we are targeting rural market specifically, a market which is not very literate with the internet usage. So, we consider ourselves from the easy Solutions and the fastest and probably one of the least bandwidth solutions to go ahead and start selling online on your independent store.

How did KStar start, what was your eureka moment?

The idea seeped into my mind when I was going through a market and I realised that the shopkeepers have so much excess stock lying with them that they couldn’t sell, it started as a product to allow the shopkeepers to sell their extra inventory online and it slowly grew into targeting much more of the rural market to all those creating handicrafts and then it further grew into a market space where anyone with least literacy of using the internet, as now after Jio everyone has the access to fast internet connections can start selling online in a matter of seconds. We have a like a 4-minute guarantee that in less than four minutes you’ll be able to completely set up your ready to sell website.

As you said that many of your sellers are from the rural base, so how do you manage the Logistics there?

We have a partner called Kaputa, the rural areas are where most of the producers are, the people creating handy crafts, sarees are in the rural area while the customers are more often the urban market. So our partner Kaputa – What they do is they’ve tied up with FedEx, Delivery, Blue Dart, etc. when you receive an order a delivery agent from either of the companies you choose will come and collect the product from your house or your store and will deliver it to the customer and now we are able to ship to almost every pin code in the country through our multiple partners.

What is your revenue model for Kstar?

KStar has tens of thousands of successful customers on a network who have been able to use KStar wonderfully, we do not believe a lot in making money as our motive, like with my second company CompAcademy that is a complete revenue driven company with Kstar our main aim has never been revenue it’s been impact, we measure our success, not by the amount we make but the amount of people whose lives we changed. Thus we don’t charge anything from our sellers for listing or on their sale of a product.

What were the challenges that you faced while launching KStar?

Currently, we are among the top few independent Ecommerce stores in India, but starting has been a rough patch for us. India is a beautiful word of mouth market so if we can get few people using it, other people will also start using it through word of mouth.  Getting the first few users was probably the biggest challenge.

What are your plans for the expansion of KStar?

We are planning to start our operations in the Middle East, it is a great market right now for KStar and we are really excited to expand our reach into the middle ease so our sellers can have international reach for their products.

What will be your keynotes for the budding entrepreneur?

First of all, remove this word budding, we all are entrepreneurs, we need to stop under looking and start embracing our skills. Every time someone tells you this that you cannot do this, tell them that ‘I can do it’ do it, focus on that. Our 21st century dogma is failure; people are very afraid of failure. A year back I was with a university professor and he was telling about how to deal with failure, for that he started with – There’s nothing like failure, there are only experiences and learnings. All we need to do is to break that dogma, How can I change more lives – How can I transform peoples living, so change lives and then earn Dollars, do both but start with changing lives.

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