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One of the most difficult decisions for a customer is to select a product when there are just too many choices available. This situation of choice-overload faced by the modern customer is to a great extent reduced by comparison-shopping websites. BazaarFunda is one such start-up that is making it easier for its customers to compare products and make seamless buying decisions. It was founded by two IIT Kharagpur alumni, Krishna Chandra Dey and Abhishek Chatterjee. They began operations with smartphones as their only category, and just within a few months of their launch have already jumped into a lot other categories as well.
The start-up launched by StratDecider analytics sets itself apart from its competitors in a way that it not only gives price comparisons but also rates the products using online reviews. They collect thousands of online reviews posted by the users and use their in-house text analytics tool to give unbiased product reviews.
What motivated you to start the company and what is it all about?
StratDecider Analytics is a startup working both in B2B as well as B2C segment. In B2B we provide brand analytics, social media and big data analytics, especially text analytics. We have our own tool for text analytics which is used for generating insights for clients and their products and services. It all started when I was working in Frost & Sullivan, the research there was primarily based on primaries and secondaries whereas the data was already out there in the web, though unstructured. We have also partnered with Vertebrand- India’s largest brand management consultancy.
Bazaarfunda (www.bazaarfunda.com) is our B2C website that helps consumers to narrow down their choice to best product by just answering a few questions. Purchase decision making is usually a very time consuming process as people read a lot of reviews, compare prices and then buy. So we extract all the reviews across the web and analyse them so that the consumers doesn’t have to go through the painful process of reading reviews on multiple websites. We compare prices and products based on the consumer reviews and then recommend them what they should buy.
What is the current Team Size?
We have 2 co-founders, Krishna Chandra Dey and Abhishek Chatterjee. Both of them passed out of IIT Kharagpur and worked in companies like Reliance, Amazon and Frost & Sullivan. Apart from that we have Amrita TBI as our investor and Mr. K.Vaitheeswaran and Mr. Raghu (Chief vision holder- Vertebrand) on our advisory board. We also have 3 employees working with us.
How did you hire your initial team?
Our initial hiring was through referrals.
Which recruiting channels work best for you?Referrals/Job Boards/ Staffing Agencies?
Referrals work best for us when it comes to recruiting.
What are the key factors that you look for in a potential candidate?
A potential candidate for our company must have –
- Willingness to learn and explore, and
- Creative mindset
According to you how much is the competition in your vertical? How big is the industry? Who all are your competitors and what are your views on them?
If you have a look at B2B part of our startup there is enough space in data analytics industry and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. There is competition from big data companies but again cost effective solutions and technology is our edge.
In B2C, all competitors like BuyHatke, MySmart price etc. just compare prices in only a few specific categories. There is no one in the market that helps consumers to make quick and smart decisions.
What are your marketing strategies? Do you take help of Social platforms to promote ? Which channels have been very effective? Which marketing channels have been super flops?
Our marketing strategy revolves around content marketing and PR releases. We put majority of our focus on the product because we feel that if consumers like it they would definitely refer us. Mostly we use Facebook and third party blogs for promotion. They have helped us a lot initially. Twitter though has not been able to generate much of a buzz.
What has been your experience with paid marketing channels?
Honestly speaking we have not used any paid marketing channel yet but to begin with a paid marketing channel we would be preferring digital marketing only.
Can you elaborate on the Challenges in promoting your website/ App?
Getting traffic to the website is always a challenge even with the presence of social media because these days traffic is mostly generated based on the content. So creating trendy and high quality content has been the toughest part.
What is the current traction? Can you share some numbers on Usage and Revenue?
We had around 15000 page views within just one month of our launch with 4 categories namely Mobiles, Tablets, Laptops and Desktops. We would soon be adding other categories too like Beauty care, Home appliances etc.
In B2B segment, we’ve got around 6-7 clients in just a month’s time, a couple of them being from the US. The response has been fantastic and we are expecting a client list of around 100 by 2016.
Overall we are profitable, combining our B2B and B2C segments.
Based on your experience would you have any advice to the new Entrepreneurs / Start-ups?
It’s essential to understand the consumer requirements and needs first and don’t restrict technology to a particular sector because this is nothing but loss of a business opportunity. Don’t forget that at the end of the day business needs to generate revenues for sustenance.