In the times when it is all about Technology, a young Entrepreneurial enthusiast comes up with an innovative idea. A price comparison website for technologies, specializing in news and reviews, updates and specifications, analysis of trends in technology and almost everything related to trending hot topics about all the new tech in and around the world. But what’s more interesting is what it is called Shop Nani, “Nani of all Shops”.
1) What is Shop Nani all about?
An AI (Artificial Intelligence) based search engine where you can get information for various technologies. All of which are global and updated.
A blog that will surely improve the user experience. Also, for better reach to the readers and for better user interaction & response, they have different categorized content like reviews, first impressions, tech tips, gadgets, news, comparisons, etc. So, a user can choose directly what he wants instead of searching for the content he wants amongst all the available content. A user-friendly blog sites.
Since June 2016 it has transitioned into India’s largest product-based search engine with over 30 million products across 20,000+ retailers.
2) How did Shop Nani start? What was the Eureka Moment?
The founder was an e-commerce shopper. But the catch was, he just used to add the items to the cart whatever he liked rather than buying them. And as it is said that night comes with silence and peacetime for thoughts, the same happened with him. One fine day, at 3:00 am in the morning it clicked him that why not come up with a platform where people can compare prices of E-Commerce websites before purchasing a product. So, after this thought and a lot of processing, this young mind started its journey in 2016.
“Every moment is the Eureka moment”, this is what they feel as they are doing something new every day. But beyond this one of the most special moments was getting acceptance from the University of Chicago Incubation Centre.
3) What exactly is the business model of Shop Nani? What are the sources of your revenue?
The business model is simple. We have 500+ clients on board, all the e-commerce sites from Alibaba to Amazon to Flipkart to Shop Clues and what not. We monetize our website through affiliate commissions and advertisements. We get affiliate commissions from top online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart for sales generated through our leads. We run advertisement campaigns for our brand partners like Samsung, Google, Oppo, Vivo, Nokia, Huawei, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Voltas and many more.
4)What are the challenges you faced while launching Shop Nani?
The biggest initial Challenge was Team Building. As there were many interested to work for a startup but losing motivation to work for it is a lot easier. Finding the real hustlers was the major challenge.
5) Please share something about your experience in making your own place in the market.
The journey so far has been amazing and the strategy which we followed for making our own place was through Social Campaigns. For instance, this Diwali campaign of the plant a tree started. In it, people just have to sign up and we would be planting a tree on their behalf. Our campaigns have been able to see an overwhelming response so far.
6) How do you differentiate and compete with your competitors?
Not having direct competitors in the market, we have indirect ones like Cashkro. But they basically offer comparisons towards electronics majorly whereas we offer various products.
7) What are your plans for expansion and scaling up?
Our major plans are to expand in various places in Europe and Asia. Since I travel a lot so I could figure out that there is a lot of scope in these places for scaling up of our business. But our primary focus for scaling up is through social media. Recently we started on LinkedIn and we can see the growth of more than 124%.
8) How did you fund your start-up, to begin with? What difficulties you are facing for funding your start-up?
We have not raised any funding yet and we have done our work through bootstrapping. There was a time when we tried raising fund but the major challenge that we faced was that I am a student so how can an investor have faith in me. Since as a student I m not able to work full time so, this issue is there.
9) Is there any point in your life when you wished to give up? How did you overcome this challenge?
Yes definitely, there are so many situations that are going against you and makes you feel frustrated so in that case I take a small break rather than giving up. Life gives us two options that are either Do it or Don’t do it. And Do it a better option to choose.
10)In this ever-changing global scenario, starting up a new business and launching an innovative start-up is a big challenge. Please share your key learnings for the benefit of budding entrepreneurs as a person who has been there done that.
There are a lot of people who try to think of a product or service, but they don’t get into the process and there is the second type of people who try to copy. Like I want to make a Facebook with some distinct features, it is not possible as they have a monopoly.
For starting up a start-up firstly you need to understand a problem, right after realizing it try to figure out a solution. Find the right prospects for it, especially the ones facing the same problem. Share your ideas rather than keeping it to yourself with the thought of it being copied. But if it so you deserve it as someone else is more passionate than you. You shouldn’t be insecure. You need to look at the bigger picture.
The next thing is people come to me to know how to get investments, even if they don’t have a product or else, they don’t tell me. Rather than focusing on investment first work on having a team, manufacturing a product, build your audience, if not at least get a minimum viable product.
I’ll advice you to first share your ideas, come up with a solution, create your own audience, work on personal branding especially digitally.
Try to build a community and rather than investing time for investors to try to invest in team, product, and timing.