Sramana Mitra: I’m going to ask you a few questions about the Indian market. What is your analysis of the Indian e-commerce market?
Kanwaljit Singh: There is a large consuming market in India. E-commerce is satisfying several of those requirements for branded products that Indian consumers are not able to consume due to access and sheer logistics complexity. For a large consumer brand, to be able to reach the remote corners of the country is extremely expensive. >>>
Sramana Mitra: One of the questions that comes out of that is what role do you have in showing or not showing products. Does that mean that you’re operating a marketplace of what brands influencers show?
Cooper Harris: Yes, in a sense. It’s able to predict what product to show to whom. We are able to do that now.
Sramana Mitra: You have to recruit the influencer or the brands are recruiting?
Cooper Harris: The brands and the influencers are both our clients. They’re our customers who pay to promote their own products. They’re both on the same side. >>>
Sramana Mitra: I’d like to understand to what degree of certainty do you foresee the family offices that are working with you to be able to cover that capital need of going from $5 million to $15 million?
Kanwaljit Singh: The interesting thing is that the private equity investors in India is a very large group. They are very bullish on the consumer brand space. It’s a very interesting funnel for consumer investing in India. The mouth of the funnel is really the angels and individual investors. >>>
Sramana Mitra: When you look around at the trends in your space, could you identify some open problems? If you were starting a company today, which problems would you go and solve and build a new company around?
Rob Reid: First of all, all the easy problems in business have been solved. Reflecting a little bit on what we just went through, now is the time to use artificial intelligence to find diamonds in the rough and drill into information that humans couldn’t do on their own. Let me give you an example. >>>
Sramana Mitra: What happens next?
Cooper Harris: Hiring. We went out and we hired really fantastic folks. At first, you, as a founder, are forced to draw upon your own circles of awesome people you know. We were able to get one of the heads of design from Yahoo!. That was very cool. It allowed us to up the game. We mainly hired engineers, product, and design.
Sramana Mitra: Who was doing sales?
Cooper Harris: Me and two team members. It was a lot of work. We also felt really strongly because now the platform had grown to >>>
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:
Sramana Mitra: In this case study, how many customers were they able to reach in an internet-only mode?
Kanwaljit Singh: I think it’s in the thousands. You can build very interesting businesses especially in the Indian context if you can reach a core community of consumers. We believe that the lifetime value of the consumer is far more important than just reaching a certain number of consumers. A hundred thousand consumers who are buying our products on a regular basis has the potential. We’ve seen interesting milestones since there aren’t so many brands in India that have grown to $15 million to $20 million size.
Sramana Mitra: How much capital do you need in this model? What is your assessment of how much capital is >>>
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