[The Snapdeal Story] From Selling Detergent to Building A Couponing Service

The group buying, couponing space is one of the hottest sectors in India and while Groupon has entered India recently, stands out as the leader.
I met up Kunal Bahl, cofounder of Jaspers Marketing (that owns Snapdeal) and here is the first part of the Snapdeal journey, the challenges team faced and yeah, all in an ‘UnPluggd’ style.

– Kunal started his first venture. a detergent company from his dorm room in the college. Took the product to 4,000 stores – all bootstrapped. That’s where he figured out the big business in couponing/sampling space.

– Fast forward, a lot of retail investments was happening which means that it will eventually lead to excess capacity problem. That means an opportunity in couponing/sampling space – as it translates to customer acquisition.

– Whatever we learnt in US was of no use in India, as the market here was/is completely different (lack of awareness regarding couponing).

– Fortunately, recession happened! Retailers had a lot of inventory, so they were more open to couponing.

– We realized that in our business, a single product company can never become a large business. We have to take a portfolio approach.

– “The first instinct for us was not to build a website, rather the first instinct was to ‘how do we make money this month?’.

– “We had to pay around Rs. 5 Lacs of salary and we only had Rs. 53,000/ in the bank account. That was the moment of truth for our business. We could have either said ‘Screw this. Get back to regular life, fancy life’  or ‘stay on’.

Watch the entire video [part 1].

» Part 2 [Feb 3rd] and Part 3 on Feb 4th

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