There is a need for niche deal sites (more on the lines of Deals for Startups) and Pune based startup, StudentTemple has launched its deal service catering to students. Started by graduates from London School of Economics, StudentTemple brings discount coupons to students helping them save cash via SMS/print voucher from the site.
The idea is very appealing and given that brands are running after the youth segment, any service which can potentially tap this audience base (of students) holds a big opportunity. Having said that, it’s also a question of “What business are you in?” – A deal service or a service catering to students (and deal being one of them)?
Here is a brief QnA with StudentTemple team:
1. Your prior experience before starting StudentTemple.
This is our first business venture after graduation. Prior experience include starting a non-profit organization working towards spreading awareness of Indian heritage and culture amongst Indian youth. I was a student of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics before that, and my partner (and sister) was a student of Management at the same institution.
2. Your focus on a niche – 20% of Y vs. 5% of 20Y (i.e. bigger market): why go for a niche in deal space?
India’s youth are a big market in themselves – statistically speaking, 10% of the world population is an Indian under 25, and the spending power of young Indians (18-25) is about 2200 crores anually. And something specific for them always attracts any niche target.
3. How has been the traction so far?
The enthusiasm amongst students is great! They always feel there must be some ‘catch’ to free student discounts. But the fact that there isn’t, creates all the buzz. We have visited colleges and multiplexes to sign-up students, and the response has been really good. We are not selling anything online as yet – so can’t say what students would ‘buy’, but amongst the deals we have, the food and drinks deal are the most popular.
4. Future plans?
Adding more deals, more ‘student-y’ stuff on the website, and of course, venturing out to other cities in India.
When it comes to scaling – the team will have to revisit whether they are a niche deal service or a site for students. The key for them is to figure out early in the cycle – freecharge.in is more studenty site than most of the other recharge sites, simply owing to the value proposition they have created for students.