Desiclik is a startup that understood the gap in the existing market and thus, began their journey. Read this exclusive interview here.
SoS: Share with us your business idea and why you chose this specific business to be an entrepreneur.
Founders: A problem that we confronted is what we used to our advantage as a solution to start DesiClik. As competition grew while we were working on desivastra.com (an online platform selling Indian apparel for kids in the US), we saw an opportunity to bring our competitors together through a marketplace. Also, with more than 3 million Indians living in America, and the expanding space and possibilities of online shopping, there was no single shopping portal where people could find everything Indian and talk to someone in their language while shopping for them. Added to this was the fact that when they bought from sites in India, delivery took longer, there was no easy way to return goods and service was not reliable. In 2010 we started tapping into this yawning market gap with theindiabazaar.com, which we re-branded as DesiClik.com in 2014.
DesiClik.com is the largest US-based vertical e-commerce marketplace specialising in Indian products that span apparel, jewellery, handicraft, gifts, furniture, grocery, restaurant equipment, religious and puja items, festive goods and household items.
Another key objective of DesiClik is to cater to the gifting requirements of customers in India who want to show their gratitude and love to their friends and family in the US.
SoS: What kind of services do you offer to your clients and list out the key milestones of your business?
Founders: Vendors can sign up and set up their store on the platform. The service is free for sign-up if they meet our criteria. DesiClik helps each vendor with marketing, customer service and payment processing to maximise their sales. It has helped many housewives take their businesses online and have another source of income.
Customers get a consistent courteous service under one roof from trusted vendors. They can be assured of the quality and only have to deal with DesiClik.com. They can expect fast reliable service as all the items are shipped from the US.
SoS: What makes your business unique and how do you define your marketing strategies?
Founders: With the markets becoming global and the world becoming smaller, DesiClik.com sets itself apart by only having local vendors sell through the portal.
Our target customer base is –
1. Consumers interested in Indian/ South-Asian products. This includes 3 million Indians living in the US and mainstream Americans.
2. Indian restaurant owners based out of the US for restaurant equipment
3. Corporate customers for gifting to their employees during festivals and holidays
4. Customers gifting to friends and family in the US from outside the US.
Our marketing budget is spent towards targeting specific customer segments through PPC, local Indian community newspapers and south Asian TV channels in the US. References from Indian trade shows also play a great role in reaching out to our target audience.
SoS: What are the plans for your business in the coming future?
Founders: DesiClik would like to become a household name for the 3 million Indians in the US. For all friends and family that they have left behind in India, we would like to be the go-to place for gifting. Within India, the company is eyeing to grow the business in some of the major NRI-focused cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Also, we want to replicate the concept in Canada, UK and Australia.
Beyond the B2C market, our plan is to provide a B2B marketplace for our vendors in the US due to the overwhelming response from sellers in India.
SoS: What is the financial model you work with?
Founders: DesiClik is a lean company. We looking for ROI on every penny invested into the company. Most of our budget is spent on marketing. We plan to become profitable by the end of 2018. DesiClik’s five-year plan is to cross $10 million in revenue.
SoS: What have been your challenges and the obstacles continuously in your entrepreneurial journey?
Founders: Having very few contacts in the business community in the US has been a challenge. It requires a lot more research to find the right partner to work with in key areas.
SoS: What have been the key ingredients that made your entrepreneurial dream a success?
Founders: Focus and patience have been the key for us. During every down time, we focus on our short-term and long-term goals that have kept us going. We never forget to celebrate our achievements so that we can look forward to the next one.
SoS: What is the biggest source of inspiration that keeps you walking through the entrepreneurial journey?
Founders: Shaping the future of the company that you have built and being part of the journey in its success is a great motivator.
SoS: What would you want to convey to the budding entrepreneurs?
Founders: Do not give up. Any new idea requires validation. Start small and make sure to stay focused, have patience, assemble the right team and make sure to celebrate your success – big or small.