Open Talk @DSIM
An Interview with CEO of DogSpot.in, Mr. Rana Atheya
DogSpot is a one stop platform for all the dogs’ needs. DogSpot aspires to solve problems in the dog world, by aggregating and organizing information, bridging the gaps and hence bringing the community closer. DogSpot.in continues to compliment the product offerings with services such as WagClub & Wagpedia that provide in depth information about dogs, cats, birds and other small pets.
Q1. Your website DogSpot.in is an online pet shop for pet lovers in India. The idea is quite unique and sound interesting. How you came across this magnificent idea?
Ans .I am a dog lover happen to have love for dog right from my childhood. I always wanted to do something related to dogs and that was the idea of how DogSpot came across. It started while I was working in corporate. It started like a hobby and then I decided to take it full time and quit from my job. After 2009, I have been out of my regular job. I was working then for Aircel in product & development department.
DogSpot.in, which started out like a community website in 2007 later transformed into a portal offering content and networking platform for dog owners and lovers, which eventually became an e-commerce portal in 2011. Every dog lover wants to know more about and be educated about their pets but there are limited websites offering the information what they needed. We provide all information & valuable content related to pets.
Now, we are the largest retailer in dog products including dog food, puppy care, collars and leashes, toys, grooming and training products, among others. The pet care industry in India is estimated to grow at a tremendous space and I am glad to be associated with it early on.
Q2.How has the response been so far? Where do you see it going in future?
Ans. Basically, it took us little time to be largest in the space. So, the response is tremendous. We were there for pre-identify the problems and it was that people were looking for products and they were not getting it. So, we are getting more collection & clients.We are explorer in this industry & want to lead the growth by being a one-stop destination for pet lovers to fulfill all their needs. We will work on developing our new websites like Fishspot, Catspot, and Birdspot. We will be seeing it as 200-300 crore ventures in next two years.
Q3. Atheya, you are adopter of digital marketing technology and tell us how does it help you to stay competitive? Where you see digital marketing in next 5 years?
Ans. All business is based on digital marketing. Our 99% marketing is based on digital marketing. DogSpot do online promotions through organic and in-organic ads, SEO and SEM. We do email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing. We use Google analytics to measure the site usage and understand our user better.
Digital marketing in India is only bound to grow. With usage of Smartphones, the internet penetration has increased at a high rate and with further increase ensuring that consumers can access products from anywhere at any point of time. So, I feel all things will come to digital in the coming next five year. Digital marketing will eat away the conventional marketing and major share start coming digitally.
Q4.Kindly, share the process of developing the DogSpot and some of the challenges you confronted along the way? How did you conquer these challenges?
Ans .We faced couple of challenges in developing DogSpot. The main challenges were developing vendors, making customer educated, develop valuable content, hiring right candidate.
E-commerce market is still evolving & growing as more and more people go online to buy products. It was an unorganized segment. It was a challenge working with unorganized players. We had to organize it; we had to develop lot of content. Some players have major setbacks and they are not open for learning or evolving. In such cases, we try & build those capabilities within our systems.
Another challenge which we faced was finding the right talent. People who believed in our work & are passionate to pets & pet care are always a priority for DogSpot.
Pet products are generally bulky and it is important for us to keep a close eye on the shipping cost & overall transportation cost.
We had to educate customers for the new products available in market. It took lot of time & efforts. We had to develop vendors for the products.
Content was not available when we started. Firstly, we used to use the products and then we had to write content for these products.
Those were initial challenges. Now, we have very good & supportive team who take care of all these things. Especially, take care of supply side, managing and developing new vendors and new products. Supply side is more challenging now and we have mastered in that.
Q5. What are some of the most common issues you see your clients facing & how do you help them?
Ans. Clients are not much educated in this segment; we have to help them with expert helpline. For e.g. if you have a pet (dog), you don’t know about what to feed, what should you buy, what types of vaccination is necessary, what is good or bad for your pet. What we do, we help you from point to point. These couple of things our clients face and we help them with pet expert helpline.
Q6. Tell us about who are your major competitors?
Ans.We are the market leaders. However if we talk about our competitor then Fetchpetcare is our nearest competitor, smaller than us. So, we don`t see direct competition as of now.
Q7. Finally, at the end of the conversation, is there anything else you would like to add about DogSpot or an advice for new entrepreneurs?
Ans. About DogSpot, we are the largest e-commerce portal for pet care & products in the country and one with maximum content for pet lovers. Like Wikipedia, we are a Dog-pedia.
For emerging entrepreneurs, firstly, I would like to say it is a passion which takes you forward as an entrepreneur. People should be clear about what passion is & what interest is inside them. Every time people get confused between passion & interest. Secondly, do your research before you start and keep your focus on your core values.
Thank you so much for your time and valuable information. Best wishes for you and DogSpot from DSIM team.”
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