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An Interview with Founder of couponhaat.in, Vipin Kumar Yadav

19/11/2015
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Open Talk @DSIM

An Interview with Founder of couponhaat.in, Vipin Kumar Yadav

Couponhaat mission is to provide the best deals in India.Couponhaat list deals and offers across different websites, product categories, even specific hot products. User can pick a deal from here before making the payment, and user can save some more cash.

Q1. To begin, tell us how the idea of Couponhaat came to your mind? How did you get started?
Ans.In 2014, I started thinking about what is missing on all other coupon and deal sites. Even though some of existing competitors were already established, I knew from the beginning that something is missing. I realized that with the help of technology, we can start providing much better experience for people who are looking for coupons and deals. After initial research, it came to my realization that this is an opportunity which should not be missed. I started working on Couponhaat in my room. I built up initial version, showed it to some of the friends from Europe and they liked it.
Q2. Can you share the stages of developing Couponhaat and some of the challenges you faced along the way? How you overcome these challenges?

Ans.After the first version which was really built in few days, I decided to manage a professional team. After all, to compete in today`s booming internet industry you really need experienced developers, marketers and business leaders. Some of my friends connected me with their friends and we’ve had few meetings, looked at the landscape and started developing first “real” version of Couponhaat.The main challenges were how to integrate marketing into technology that we used to develop Couponhaat. And here we’re talking about extremely big challenge in marketing, not only in India, but worldwide. As marketing changed over the course of last 5 years, consumers have more choices and the noise in the channels and different customer/business touch-points is astounding. With the help of different marketing technologies, machine learning and understanding of user behavior, we could be able to target user’s needs and desires with laser precision, similar how Google or Facebook do that.

And the more we thought about it, the puzzles started to fit in the place.

As all online businesses strive to create artificial monopolies due to economics of scale, which can be seen in the models of Google, Facebook or Airbnb, and which is heavily promoted by Peter Thiel, we realized that in the thriving marketplaces like India, we need to help both consumers and businesses to achieve their goals. We simply cannot let one or few “big” players to take over the market. Luckily, market is so huge and diversified that this threat is a bit distant.

Consumers want to have system like ours to curate and personalize their online buying experience, while businesses need to reach their target customers in more efficient and cost-effective ways.

So what we realized is that we were building a business that was more “ecommerce enabler” from B2B point of view and “personalized shopping assistant” from B2C point of view.

Of course, our goal is still not reached, but we are heading in a good direction, in our opinion. Data from returning visitors backs this up.

Q3. What you do for marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans. We are utilizing almost every form of marketing. As a fact, we are huge believers in “bullseye framework” promoted in a book “TRACTION” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares (see: http://tractionbook.com/). And this principle of doing “agile marketing” is just a replication of my background as a software engineer. We just think this fits a bigger picture where the world is heading.As you see, in a world of constant change and rapid development, shorter marketing campaign cycles yield far better results. We are working hard to be as agile as possible. And we are constantly looking at marketing technology development.We just love to read Scott Brinker and his blog http://chiefmartec.com/.

To answer your question about the most successful form, we would say it’s a combination of email capture through various campaigns (giveaways, Facebook, sumome) and pure email marketing. We are looking to improve our processes. As firm believers in a/b testing, we never stop.

Q4. So, Mr. Vipin talking about today`s technologies, what role does digital marketing play in your business strategy?

Ans.It’s a cornerstone. But we know that to reach larger audience and become a “brand” we need to utilize different approaches. But in digital marketing, user experience is a must.If you don’t have the best offers, hand-picked deals, curated by the team of experts who really know what to put in front of your visitors eyeballs, there is no “free marketing”. Your visitors will not recommend your site, your app, your idea to anyone else. And then, you’ve wasted your marketing budget.

In this sense, we believe that today, and even more in the future, a combination of “human” and “software” will need to merge into a product / software / platform that will help consumers and businesses to reach their goals.

Our utilization of different technologies (marketing or software) will play a critical role here. Adding to that organizational processes, training of your team and really “being in your users shoes” – we believe you have a winning combination

Q5. Can you tell us about your dreams for Couponhaat? Where do you see Couponhaat in the next 5 years?

Ans. They say “dream big”. We like to dream big. We see Couponhaat as one of the key players in creating a “digital India” where we would help up the coming ecommerce businesses to reach their buyers, and also, consumers who would love to shop with and through Couponhaat. We will probably investigate and test the major trends, but will keep our core philosophy as a guiding star – to help both ecommerce companies and consumers.Software, processes, even products we push out is not that important as helping people to reach their goals. Or as Google would say: “Think about the user and everything else will follow”.

Q6. We are keen to know, who are your major competitors? How do you deal with the competition?

Ans.There are established market players, and we are thankful that they played a key role in promoting this whole business in years before we entered the arena. But as said, the market is huge and we will focus on servicing our user’s needs and not worrying about competition.We’d like to think more in terms of cooperation then competition. So if anyone wants to partner with us to build a better future, we are here to talk.

Q7. Finally, at the end of our interesting conversation, any wise word for entrepreneurs willing to start an e- commerce business?
Ans.Research your target demographics, build a great user experience, find your traction channels, and deliver values to your customers. And yes, partner with us.

“Thanks for taking out time from your busy schedule and giving valuable suggestion to our readers and sharing precious knowledge with us. Best wishes to you and Couponhaat from DSIM.”

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