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ASK ABHIK about Starting Up/Idea Validation/Marketing

As a part of our ASK RODINHOODERS series, we are proud to present Abhik Prasad. He’s one of our pillars – an early member and always there for a fellow Rodinhooder! He helps us organise our events in Delhi. He loves bouncing ideas. And he is the go-to person for feedback!

 

 

About Abhik:

“I am a co founder of a personal finance startup based in Gurgaon. Took the plunge into entrepreneurship in 2011 and ran a digital advertising agency for about 4 years before changing track. Before that, worked in the corporate world for about 7 years including TCS, Cognizant and Lowe Lintas. Alumni of St. Stephens College & IIM Lucknow

One of the advantages of working in an ad agency is that you learn a lot from working for various clients – Over the last couple of years, I have worked with politicians, NGOs, corporate houses and startups. Another advantage is that you have the resources to try out various ideas – some which worked and a lot which didn’t 🙂 

My current mission is to help improve financial literacy in India via Finqa.in

 

What can you ask me about?

Life

Startup Experience in India

Devil’s Advocate for a new startup idea (and why it may or may not work)

Design (Graphic & Web)

Marketing

Photography

Newbie Dad (We recently had a baby boy)

Gurgaon (Where I am currently based)

 

and pretty much anything else. Will be happy to help as much as I can :)”

 

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Abhik is following this page – so go ahead and ask him all you want to in the comments below!

 

Chase him on twitter! @abhikprasad 

 

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66 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hey Thanks Asha…flattered to be the first ‘bakra’ for this new initiative at TRH 🙂

  2. Profile photo of Amit Sarda

    Following! 😀

    Hi Abhik! 🙂

  3. Profile photo of Prasad Roodagi

    Hi Abhik,  

    An educationist with 15+ years of experience in mgt teaching, Charter Member of TiE Hubli

    I am working on education project “Studentfeed” the concept,  Business n Corp news feeding to management and commerce students.

    Standout points…. the Business news summery in 50 words short one from ET BS BL etc, and may be 5 news a day, student may spend 10 min to read.

    Designing an App with good UI, keep simple n purposeful

    Targetting MBA, BBA and BCom students

    Free of cost …monetisation not yet fully thought of…

    Your views on the same 

    Wishes thanks for this great initiative

  4. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Prasad,

    I remember during my pre MBA days when were preparing for CAT….we used to subscribe to the Economic Times to know what was happening in the corporate and business world. The need increased further once the shortlists were out and we had to prepare for interviews and GDs.

    Once the MBA program started, there was again very little time to consume the news

    So your app could be helpful for those who are preparing and doing an MBA or for anybody with an interest in business news.

    Have you seen this app http://newsinshorts.com .Might be worth taking a look at them as I think they have a business section too. 

  5. Profile photo of Prasad Roodagi

    Thank you Abhik for your valuable words

    I did saw Newsinshorts and kept it as a model for our App development along with Flipboard, 

    Good that you also mentioned about it… that indicates we are in right direction

    Abhik i am there in Delhi on 23rd evening and 24th June to attend VC Circle MCommerce event

    at The Lalith Hotel is there possibility to meet you and any member of Newsinshorts….if you know

    That will be a great help to discuss few things in person

    Thank you again waiting for response 

    Wishes

  6. Profile photo of Maulik Shah

    Hi Abhik,

    Am an ex banker now in a family business of school uniforms. However was dabbling with a start up idea which i would be grateful if you could provide inputs on

    Thinking of a Toy rental business. existing toy rentals being run by housewives who cater to primarily offline markets. However not much value addition in terms of advice or age appropriate intellect specific toys. Planning to develop a scalable model with USP being age appropraite Toys & games suggestions, cleaner displays of toys, pick up & drop service. Going further mobile app and video reviews to help selecting the toys easier.

    Revenue model – membership subscription

    Do let me know your views

  7. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    abhik – sorry for hijacking your post!

    maulik – are you talking about this kind of a biz?

    http://www.rentoys.in/

    http://www.franchiseindia.com/business-opportunities/toy-shops/toys-on-rent/

    which city are you based in? i remember a friend of mine talking about doing something like this in goa when our kids were toddlers. there is definitely a gap… but a place like goa doesn’t have volumes!! 

  8. Profile photo of Mukat Jain

    Hi Abhik….i am running one online portal for home delivery of multibrand icecreams (Hokey Pokey, Baskin Robbins, London dairy, Mother dairy & all other major brands)  in Gurgaon by the name http://www.miga.in (Formely known as http://www.mithigaraari.com)

    Can you guide me a bit for some marketing techniques for selling my products….Thanks

    Mukat Jain

  9. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    mukat – pls ask specific q’s. or at least mention what you have been doing. then only can abhik respond, right?

  10. Profile photo of Mukat Jain

    Sure asha Ma’am….will elaborate it a bit…

    We basically deal with all these icecreams brands as mentioned above and deliver these icecreams (Intact and frozen enough) at doorstep in Gurgaon taking orders thru website or thru phone. My major concern and competitors are number of push carts of every brand (Icecream thelas) standing at corners of every street…..i just want to take a way out that how should i differentiate my working/products from these pushcarts to reach out to my customers…!!! Hope i am bit clear now…

  11. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Maulik,

    I have a 10 month old baby and the house is slowly filling up with toys (more junk)… A toy library might make sense from a user perspective who is a stay at home mom…most kids go to daycare after a year or two where i guess they will have access to toys…personally i am not sure if I will rent toys 🙁

    Have you used the services of any of the toy libraries for your kids ? Did you find any specific pain points ?

    I googled toys for rent and came up with 8 to 10 players at various locations. Most appear to have similar pricing and plans. Have  you tried to find out how they are doing ? 

    Before you build anything for scale, build it for a core local group and see the response. If it does not work for them, it won’t work for scale.

    E.g. Uber is huge today but the founders built it to solve their own problems…they wanted to be driven in luxurious cars which would be available almost immediately and whenever they needed it. I think they even bought 100 mercs before moving to an asset light model.

    I don’t know if you can build a social network / toy exchange platform which might facilitate peer-to-peer sharing of toys – Parents can meet other new parents locally too.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

  12. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hey Prasad, sorry but I won’t be at that conference. If you do happen to come to Gurgaon after that though, you are welcome to drop in to my office.

    I don’t know the newsinshorts guys…it might be worth a try and writing to the founder asking for a meeting or if they will be there at the event.

  13. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Mukat,

    I see that Mithi Garaari has been rebranded to Miga.in – It’s a short and easy to use name.

    However, you need to redesign your site if you can…your value proposition (which i guess is “Order Ice Cream when you feel like it” or “Ice Creams Delivered at home” ) needs to come out better and people should be able to order the popular brands right from the home page. Right now it takes a click to go to the products section.

    Most apartment complexes have a grocery / dept store which also sells ice cream. Since you aren’t offering discounted products, why should people come to you just for ice cream.

    You might be better of targeting independent houses or apartments which don’t have shops inside them. E.g. Sector 56.

    Icecream is sometimes an impulse purchase and most people have it for dessert either after lunch or dinner. You can run short bursts of fb promoted posts between 11 am and 1pm and 7 to 9 pm 

    Also, any particular reason why you are delivering only in the evenings…With summer at its peak, most people would be loathe to go out during the day even if they want ice creams.

    You might also want to identify your repeat customers and see if you can do a subscription service for them… i.e. send them the regular ice creams they order on a weekly or bi weekly basis (“Don’t run out of Ice Cream ever again” campaign)

    There are a lot of food and helpline groups in gurgaon…though they don’t allow direct ads or links, see if people are asking questions like “Where can i get ice creams”…or maybe you can get your friend to ask a question and then answer it yourself 😉

    They also have food metopes…maybe you could sponsor selected brands of ice creams in return for publicity about miga.in

    Hope this helps. Give me a call on +91 9999 334 995 if you need to chat more.

    Cheers

  14. Profile photo of Maulik Shah

    Hi Abhik/ Asha, 

    thats a great feedback. Thanks a ton. 

    Yes it makes sense not only for the stay at home Moms but also the working Moms. When i scouted the area around i noticed the following

    – Toy libraries mostly being operated by Housewives who were looking at some extra income

    – Treating the business as a part time venture devoting time only when able

    – Not much assistance in terms of guiding mothers with developmental and educational toys 

    – Lack of hygiene and variety

    – Most toy libraries remain small or close down due to non volumes and / or above factors

    I was planning to create age wise appropriate toys and games, which would be sorted and assigned by a panel of child care experts – this would create a value add in terms of Toy recommendations for parents. Adding a brand value going ahead would make sense. Also at a later stage was planning to add video reviews of toys which would help parents make an informed decision of selecting a toy based on their budget

    However the challenge i am envisaging is

    – Most parents leave the toy selection to the kids who select fancy looking toys vis-a-vis educational/ multiple intelligence toys

    – Parents being busy do not spend time teaching the correct way to play to their kids, as a result of which no tangible results being seen

    – Changing midset of parents reg Toy rentals. Most parents are against giving “second hand” toys and prefer buying new ones. 

    I will definitely build on your suggestion of going local and building from there. Do let me know your views or any new directions here

    Thanks

  15. Profile photo of Anirudh Ashok

    Hey Abhik,

    Here’s my original post : Prescription to Subscription

    The ethical marketing of products through doctors is way too unethical. We’d love to slowly jump ship and be able to sell our product based on their own merit and not sales based cuts. Leading brands in Pharma have moved from prescription based sales to completely Over the counter through advertisements.

    I understand that all that is way too expensive to advertise and deferred revenue expenses are a gamble. 

    Which marketing channels would you recommend which would draw eyeballs and be affordable.

    your 2 cents on how you’d approach things ?

    Anirudh

  16. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Anirudh,

    Apologies for the delay in responding to your post. It’s a very interesting situation that you have and here are some thoughts which have been running through my mind over the last couple of days.

    I think you you should start thinking more and more like a FMCG company rather than a pharma company since most of your products can be sold OTC. 

    Among your 24 products, let’s take the flagship product ACNIL (i assume the name was a clever play on ACNE NIL )

    You mention that it’s steadily losing market share. Apart from doctor commissions, have you dug in deeper to find out why its losing market share – What are the doctors, distributors, dealers (chemists) and users saying ?

    Since it’s for Pimple care, I did a quick google search. It seems like there are quite a few people searching for solutions to pimples online…Roughly about 1 lakh searches on Google in India every month (see images below)

    I assume there will be a larger segment which is offline.

    Then I searched for ‘pimple care soap in india’. Here are a few of the top articles:

    Acnil is mentioned in 2 of the 3 articles but not as No 1 in either of them. These are the articles which probably come up when people search for pimple care soap or tips in India.

    Another interesting thing I noticed was that Acnil was the cheapest among all the soaps. Is this a disadvantage or an advantage for you ?

    Since this is a specialized product, people might think “Sasta hai to shayad accha nahi hoga” + You have lesser margins to share with your distributors / dealers compared to your competitors.

    I assume your cost of production will be similar to that of your competitors.

    Consider launching ‘Acnil PRO’ at a cost which is 3 times your current cost is the most expensive among all your competitors.

    Don’t spend money on direct advertising, yet.

    http://www.pimplecare.in – ( I checked, the domain is available)

    Consider booking the domain name http://www.pimplecare.in – Since you want to start a subscription program, this can be your launch pad.

    Develop a ton of content on how to treat pimples and acne and skin care tips in general. Over a period of time, this should give you organic traffic via google search.

    Instead of selling soaps singly, you can sell weekly, monthly or quarterly packages. E.g. if someone has very oily skin, you can suggest a longer treatment period.

    Have a facility where users can upload their photographs and a skin expert can suggest recommendations for free.

    Hire a PR Agency – with a focus on getting Acnil mentioned in various beauty magazines and newspapers. Start first with either the local Bombay market or Maharashtra. 

    However, this should ideally be done after you have presence in retail shops, especially in the smaller towns.

    Try and get a PR agency which has expertise in and connections with vernacular / local language media.

    This will help you reach the offline market

    Get a Brand Manager: If you don’t have brand management expertise, consider hiring one if budges permit. This will not only give you branding expertise but also build P&L budgets so that you can track increase in sales compared to your marketing efforts

    Alternatively, you could go to some of the marketing professors at SP Jain or Narsee Monjee and tell them you need help – Would their students be interested in a brand building assignment ? Structure it as a competition with a cash award. 

    These types of assignments were very popular when I was an MBA student a decade back – I hope they still are.

    Start with one brand and then you can individually ramp up for the rest of your 23 brands.

    Hope this is useful. And all the best 🙂

    Google Search volumes monthly for pimple care.

  17. Profile photo of Mukat Jain

    Thanks for replying and giving your valuable time abheek….i will surely work on to improve my website interface…further soon we are extending our delivery timings to day time also….will surely contact u in future for more guidance…

  18. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    hey abhik – pls check this out – swapnil needs advice!

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/what-are-my-chances-can-i-get-through-this-storm

  19. Profile photo of Aashil Garg

    Hi Abhik,

    I run a facebook page, “Movietrailers” which has 77,453 likes. I’m confused if I should continue to run and expand the page reach. Does the page have any value? Can I sell off a facebook page at any particular time?

  20. Profile photo of Ruchik Vora

    Hi Abhik

    I am currently testing out an Alpha Release of my product – mBark. It is basically a dedicated MCommerce Platform. Sign- up -> Set-Up -> Sell. There are a numerous stores (virtual and physical), not choosing to sell through marketplaces, to create a brand for themselves. They have a decent following already, so to start with, promoting the app shouldn’t be much of an issue. Do you think that they would be interested in having a platform like this given the advantages of MCommerce?

  21. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Ruchik,

    Are you offering a single app which will have multiple vendors selling their products on one mobile marketplace ?

    Or are you offering the facility of creating individual apps for vendors so that they can have a mobile presence ?

    With the former, you end up becoming a marketplace (which will probably have the same problems as existing marketplaces) and with the latter, the question will be of scale  and you might get the question “How many different apps will a consumer download ? “

    Check out Apptuse by fellow rodinhooder Nameet Potnis. He might be able to give you some additional insights.

  22. Profile photo of Ruchik Vora

    You hit the nail on the head. With limited real estate on a cell phone, it just doesn’t sound correct that consumers would download apps for every separate product/company. I understand that the value proposition is quite thin there.
    I have heard about apptuse and their collaboration with kartrocket and even Zepo collaboration with MartMobi. What I fail to understand though is how do then ECommerce platforms work so well? Would the value of my offering be any better if I offer Seo optimised responsive ECommerce site along with native mobile applications?

  23. Profile photo of Ishani

    Hey Aashil,

    You can register as an influencer with Fromote and submit your proposal on various campaigns. Advertisers will pay you for promoting their brands.

    Ishani 

  24. Profile photo of Mrinal K Banerjee

    Hii Abhik,

    I am Mrinal Banerjee I had a startup, started in 2012, in Lucknow. It was a partnership and we were into the cab aggregating space. business back then was mostly on phones.We were doing good but since we didnt get funded so cudnt become an Ola or a TFS. But I feel there is still much more demand in this space than the current supply. Even trips in Pune get cancelled due to that.

    Need you advice and help in scaling up.

  25. Profile photo of Joseph Jude

    Maulik,

    I don’t know if you are still pursuing this idea. Let me share my experience with a toy rental.

    I utilized the service of a toy rental when we were in Dwarka, Delhi. I utilized them when my son was born, until I left Delhi (for 3 years). Rental started with Rs 900. I never asked him if he was profitable. Since he survived for 3 years, I guess he did.

    What attracted me to the rental service? He was delivering one toy at a time and I can switch 4 toys a month (for Rs 900 / month). So my son got to play with different toys regularly. I don’t have to spend too much money; and I didn’t accumulate toys which I will have to sell out later.

    He was very knowledgable. So every time, I would visit his shop, he would tell me about the development for that particular age. He never sold anything. But I always ended up buying a sketch book or a story book or something like that. (Yes he had a kids bookshop).

    Most of the times he would send his boys to pick up and replace the toys. That helped a lot for us.

    When I moved to Panchkula, first thing I looked was a toy rental. But I didn’t find any.

  26. Profile photo of Animesh Patnaik

    Hello Abhik,

    I would like to know your thoughts about my business’ current traction and future prospects.

    AccuLink GFRC makes composite architectural products using Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete, a special type of concrete without metal reinforcement allowing us to cast in any shape, color and size. Company site: webacculink.webflow.com

    After running for about 10 months I realized that my product acquired a small percentage of the total project cost and it will be difficult to generate good quantum of revenue by focusing on designer products only. So I am planning to build my own formula for Concrete Cladding panels. These branded concrete panels will compete with ALUMINIUM COMPOSITE PANEL and STONE. These are the only two material available for building cladding and are widely used in India. Concrete panel is 25% costlier and offers numerous benefits over competitors. 

    Does my business seem to have a future?

    I’m also having difficulties in assessing the total market size for my product. Can you suggest me a method to find out total market size of composite architectural precast industry ?

    Also, how should I go about marketing? 

    Thanks & Regards

  27. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hey Animesh,

    It’s an interesting product you have out there…However it’s a B2B product and I am guessing architects / designers will be your key clients (they will be recommending use of this in their designs)

    Unfortunately, I am not sure how to go about assessing the market size of such specialized products 🙁

    However I recommend you talk to architects / design firms, especially the ones who do cutting edge / experimental work. Studio Lotus is one such firm who you should definitely talk to.

    Apologies for not being able to help out more 🙁

  28. Profile photo of Ashish Sethiya

    Hi Abhik,

    This is Ashish and new comer in this wonderful place 🙂

    So here’s my story – I am working with Mutual Funds for last 12 years and also working towards building a stock market advisory app which will focus on investment themes or ideas rather than individual stocks. These themes would come from economic trends, industry, investing strategy or personal investing style.

    The long term view is to build a lean and idea/investment themes driven stock investing platform. But to test the waters I am only starting with theme / idea based stock advisory (The other reason being I don’t have money for stock investing platform as of now anyway 🙂

    It is exciting that you are from finance industry as well and would love to hear what do you think.   

    I am not a technical person so have outsourced the development of app to a professional agency who seem to be doing a bit slow, expensive but good job of it. I have put up a simple pre launch page called http://www.kollectify.com

    Also I am travelling to Delhi this Friday & Gurgaon this Saturday and it would be great if you can spare some time. 

    I am coming to Delhi or an official visit and would reach Gurgaon by friday late evening and than have to fly back on Saturday evening. Let me know if it’s possible for you to catch up either Friday late evening or Saturday first half…please don’t mind the fact that I am giving a short notice and a preferable time, it’s just that I discovered this platform in last 2 days only and it so happens that I am visiting Delhi/Gurgaon this week end. Hope you understand.  

    My eMail is ashish.sethiya80@gmail.com

    Thank you very very much Abhik for reading this

    Ashish

  29. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hey Ashish,

    Congratulations on your new venture.

    At Finqa, one of the most common questions we get is “Which stocks should I buy?” – This app should be able to help a lot of those folks who are interested.

    Check out https://www.motifinvesting.com They also do something similar.

    Yep, we can catch up on Friday if you are in Gurgaon. Give me a call at +91 9999 334 995.

    Cheers

    Abhik

  30. Profile photo of Ashish Sethiya

    Thanks Abhik, appreciate your feedback –  will call you when I am there and would catch up if you are free. 

  31. Profile photo of Sunil Suri

    Hi Abhik,

    This is Sunil and I’ve been a member of this wonderful community for the last 2 weeks. I really admire the community and the see the talent galore on this platform.Here goes my story:

    Firstly I would like to brief about my background – I’ve been working for a software company which is currently based in Dwarka, New Delhi for the last 10 yrs(started as Technical Architect and now Director). We have our own in-house developed ERP and Fleet Management System.We work only for Govt Projects/Clients.

    How it all started? – On June 12th 2015, I’ve was having a routine telephonic conversation with my boss and during the course of chit-chat I told him that I’m not more interested in setting up an e-commerce store, I want to sell vegetables, fruits and grocery. And to my utter surprise he readily agreed. He didn’t ask for any project plan/projections/revenue etc. On 15th June 2015, I prepared one of the report in EXCEL showing him some of the initial set up cost and very conservative projections for the next few months(July/Aug/Sep). I believe it was our relationship of 10 yrs that really led to all the above. So the dream IDEA was funded by my BOSS on day one. I told my boss that I won’t be hiring anyone for the next few months till the time we are stable enough, I’ll be using the same set of resources.

    Without wasting any further time I booked the domain(Falphool.com) , developed the site in 2 days. I use CMS to develop the site as I don’t want to write the code from the scratch(even though I’d have love to get it done in ASP.NET and SQL Server). I’d rewrite it in Microsoft technologies in next few months.

    We launched beta on June 22nd 2015.and released the final version on July 1st 2015.

    I didn’t hire anyone for this NEW LAUNCH. Since we already have a team of 30 which comprises of Developers/Data processing Team members/software trainees and some operations staff, I tried to develop a methodology of optimum resource utilization for the current team. Some of these members(who were under utilized) agreed to do Purchase/Packaging and delivery for this project by working extra hrs. They all agreed in unison for the nominal compensation(that was the icing on the cake). 

    I started using 12 members of the team for the above mentioned processes without our current projects getting disturbed. Every team member shared my passion so it became very easy for me. And at the same None of us were having the background of selling fruits and vegetables, so first week became the learning week for us. We went to vegetable Mandi did surveys there, brought fruits and vegetables. We got 10 orders from our other team members on DAY 1. We were quite happy. There was no wastage as we were buying based on orders a day before. So on DAY 1 we delivered 10 orders. This process continued for next 9 days and during that time we all learnt a lot. 

    We washed fruits and vegetables, did packaging(learnt how to package to make it look good), and delivered in Dwarka and did everything possible. During this period we did some newspaper inserts and we started getting orders.By 2nd week of July we had 100 customers(with 6000 newspapers inserts). We started doing newspaper inserts regularly and we could see surge in orders.As I’m writing this this it is 3:00AM on 30th July 2015 now and we have 206th customer who has ordered online. We are taking orders online, through whatsapp and through Phones.80% orders are booked through phones.

    We are launching grocery very soon(next week).

    This is all about the myself/project and team.Thank you for reading up to this point. 

    Now my queries: 1. How can we better ourselves to tackle the biggies in this space? 2. What are the different marketing strategies we can adopt which are cost effective apart from Paper inserts which we are currently doing? 3. How effective it will be if we go for newspaper advertisement as we are currently serving in dwarka only?

    Any other advice on marketing or any strategic advice.

    Thanking you in advance for reading this out.

    Thanks & regards

    Sunil Suri

     

  32. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Sunil,

    Congratulations on startup. It’s great that you took the lean startup approach and bootstrapped fast 🙂

    Here is what I would suggest:

    1.) Forget about the biggies – Stay small and focus on just Dwarka at the moment. Build a reputation for quality and consistent service and you can grow organically for sometime. 

    The advantage of growing slowly is that you will get enough time to learn about the business better

    2.) Try and not focus on discounts – Try and keep your prices as low as possible but avoid positioning yourself as a discount player. If you instead position yourself as a quality fruit and vegetables player, chances are your repeat customers will be more.

    3.) Try and put in place a referral scheme for your existing customers – Send them a gift coupon which gets activated when one of their friends signup or make a purchase

    4.) You spent Rs 6000 on leaflets and got 100 customers. That’s a CAC (customer acquisition cost) of Rs 60.

    It might look high if the said customer places an order of Rs 250 and you profit margin is 20% or Rs 50. However, look at the LTV (Lifetime value of the customer)

    If you continue serving that customer well, he/she will purchase fruits from you atleast once a week.

    Assuming Rs 200 per week x 50 weeks = Annual purchase of Rs 10000. Even if your margins are Rs 10%, you make Rs 1000 from that customer.

    This is of course on the assumption that you serve them well ….Everyone needs fruits on a regular basis so if you stick to quality and convenience at an affordable price, there is no reason for them to move away.

    I would say talk to your existing 200 customers and check if they are reordering – If not, why not?

    I would suggest continue with leafletting as it’s a cheap way of building local brand awareness.

    You could also tie up with societies and host “Farmers Markets” on Sundays at their premises…Not only will you get sales but also spread awareness in the process.

    DONT think about SCALE at this point of time…Infact I would suggest don’t get into veggies too for a few months till you have a couple of thousand regular customers for fruits.

    All the best. Send me an email at abhik@experiamedia.com if you would like to discuss in more detail.

    Cheers

  33. Profile photo of Sunil Suri

    Hi Abhik,

    Thank you so much for your detailed analysis, I appreciate that. I really liked the idea of “Farmers Markets”, this surely will help in spreading awareness. I will work on these lines and will be in touch with you through email very soon.

    Thanks & regards

    Sunil Suri

  34. Profile photo of Rohit Goyal

    Hi Abhik

    I am Rohit Goyal. Founder of Muslate.com (http://www.muslate.com/artists), which is an Indie Music Platform.

    I would like to have your valuable thoughts and feedbacks about our product. Below are the details

    Founded : March, 2014

    Work We Do :

    We at Muslate, provides a unique, one of its kind ecosystem to budding or Independent Artists & Music Lovers. 

    With Muslate, Artists can get their music distributed & promoted globally to get the required exposure and on the other hand Listeners can get their music organized in cloud. Muslate is solely built around the concept of enabling the budding artists to reach to the main organized stream and to enable the listeners to have access to their music library anytime anywhere on the go.

    Product Segments: Currently, our services cater to the need of 5 segments of Industry.

    A. For Artists

    1) ‘Indie Artists Platform’ : This allows artists, who are just beginners in industry to get the right exposure by putting their work in front of listeners across the globe.

    2) ‘Artist Plus’ : This is a segment for Artists, who have reached a certain level and now are producing their original compositions and stuff. With Artist Plus, they can get their music distributed and promoted worldwide and can earn royalties. We distribute music to about ~50 platforms including ones like Gaana, Saavn, iTunes etc, along with Caller Tones for all telcos.

    B. For Listeners

    1) ‘Indie Music Platform’ : With this, listeners get access to thousands of Indie Artists & their Music 

    2) ‘Organized Music Cloud’ : Along with the access to Indie Music, Listeners also get access to cloud storage, where they can organize their music library.

    C. For Music Schools

    1) ‘College Affiliate’: With this, Music Colleges can build their brand, organize contests online & get their & their students’ presence notified.

    D. For Affiliates (Recording Studios/Labels)

    1) ‘Affiliate Program’ : With Affiliate Program, Recording Studios/Labels get a chance to distribute & promote their music worldwide along with branding.

    E. For Event Organizers/Cafes etc.

    1) Muslate helps Organizers in promotion of events, & it can also prove to be an efficient tool for Organizers & Cafes etc. to hire talent/artists.

    Traction :

    25,000+ Registered Users, 5000+ Artists

    Stage of Operations : Early Revenues

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Rohit Goyal

  35. Profile photo of Harshit

    Pl help validate/review my logistics startup idea.

    My idea is to provide RELIABLE logistics service which will help to move your things let it be machines, any raw material or household, just anything from place A to B.

    I don’t want customers to get reports from logistics providers “Sir maal nikal gaya hai aata hi hoga” or damaged products.

    Revenue would be definately on commission basis.

    Before I go deep into detail & start networking I want all rodinhooders review on this idea. Pl help me know pros & cons, also any other tips & advice.

  36. Profile photo of Gaurav Tripathi

    Hi Abhik,

    We (me and my friends) have been brainstorming for some time to launch a product (website) which tracks major tourist cities in India (one city at a time) and provide information that any visitor would need for the city (hotels, tourist places, history, heritage, food, hospitals etc). We have thought of starting with a city (have finalized a city too) and meeting vendors from all categories who would want us to list them in our website and devising a marketing strategy to get most traction to our site. To start with this will be an information sharing site only.

    In our discussions we clash a lot on how this product will scale up and how we plan to generate revenues from it. We have given thought to quite a few options including addiing ecommerce, charging vendors for listing and lot more.

    I wanted your suggestion on what should be the focus area for us as we start this venture:- 1) getting the right data and information for our customers, providing unique/imporatant information about the city and its culture and getting to know the city better as we do extensive ground work (you never know where you might get the next idea for scaling up) ; or 2) focusing on scalability and revenue model to start with and then deciding what to develop and market. 

    Please share your views.  

  37. Profile photo of Parixit Chitnis

    Hi Abhik,

    I am going to showcase my concept on TRH soon. 

    I need to get your reviews about the idea viability and other stuff. So for the time being can I email you my pitch deck? I would appreciate if you could  mention your email id in a reply.

    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Parikshit Chitnis 

  38. Profile photo of Vimlesh Gautam

    Hi Abhik,

    We are a start-up working on a platform for improving mobile app usability. This platform provides real user feedback by capturing video of the user interaction with the app and also captures users audio and facial expressions. This feedback is captured and uploaded on the cloud where customers can login and view captured videos and analysis. This feedback allows the customers to improve the apps by understanding the user challenges while using the app. We are planning to provide the core recording technology and also the user panel for conducing the test.

    While we are working on building the platform we are puzzled as to how do we take it to the market? How will people come to know about our product. We are having very limited budgets and don’t think we will be able to hire any professional company to do marketing. The initial thoughts are to show case our product on startup platforms like the Rodinhoods and others. But what will be the right approach to making the market aware of our product.

    Can you please guide us in this regards.

    Thanks

  39. Profile photo of Prateek Chandrayan

    Hello,

    I heard that when the angel investor invests in the startup then he has to pay the 30% tax.

    For Ex : If a startup is getting angel investment of Rs. 1 Cr the they have to pay Rs. 30 Lakhs as tax and they can only utilize Rs. 70 Lakhs.

    Is this true?

    Regards

  40. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Nopes. When an investor invests in your company, the money is in lieu of new shares issued by the company and the capital is part of the company so no taxes are applicable.

    However, if they entrepreneur sells a part of his shares, then they maybe liable for short term or long term capital gains taxes.

  41. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hey Parixit,

    Sorry for the super delay in getting back to you…Had missed this post.

    If you havent launched or want some feedback on your pitch deck, please feel free to email it to me at abhik@experiamedia.com

    Thanks

  42. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Vimlesh,

    Don’t worry about taking it to the overall market.

    First talk to a few app developers and get their feedback on your app’s usefulness and how willing they maybe to use it. Review the feedback, implement in your product and then talk to a few more developers till you feel you have found the product market fit.

    Once you find your fit, you can manually reach out to a larger set of app owners.

    Since you are in a B2B space with app owners being your target segment, you probably won’t have to spend a lot on conventional marketing since most people probably won’t even be searching for you (as its a new idea)

    Once you have got product-market fit, you can focus on content marketing to push it to app developers or companies.

    Btw, how does one analyse 1000’s of videos from users…Do you have analytics which can provide some sort of measurable data ?

    All the best. Thanks, Abhik

  43. Profile photo of Prashant Choudhari

    Hi Abhik,

    Could you please help me understand how an investor should pitch-in with seed money against equity? What is the best route in order to save taxation here.

    Regards

    Prashant

      

  44. Profile photo of Vimlesh Gautam

    Hi Abhik,

    Thank you for the advise. Initially we are going to have max 5 users providing feedback for each business process. As in the initial phase this will be running in the pre go live environment. As next phase we will have this also running on live apps providing customers feedback(but as you mentioned analyzing 1000 videos is a challenge). We are having some basic analytics in place but we are also working on video analytics & facial analysis to capture user emotions. Please let us know if would know any company which provides such technologies.

    Thanks

    Vimlesh

  45. Profile photo of Akash Hande

    Hey Abhik,

    I am Akash currently working as a BA, I love to think about new products and I was looking for a feedback on a similar product idea I am working on. I am planning to bring startup founders/co-founders and tech bloggers/publishers on the same platform.

    Overview-

    In every stage of startup journey it becomes really helpful for the founders if their startup gets more online exposure in the form of press releases. No matter how different and useful idea the startup is working on, at some point they will need some press coverage to put the idea in front of their potential users, what better way there could be than getting a blog published on a reputed tech site.

    Benefits for founders and bloggers/publishers-

    We will enable founders to carry out their own PR by connecting them with potential bloggers and writers who are expert in the specific technology/niche. This will help writers and bloggers to catch up with latest happenings on the startup ecosystem and connect directly with the members of the startups.

    Founders as well as writers will be able to build their network effectively which can be used for multiple sources of PR when its time to hit the nail (Upcoming feature, rounds of funding, acquisition, etc).

    I am looking to know your views on this product idea-

    1. Would startup founders/co founders use an product like this?
    2. Would bloggers/writers/publishers like to come on a platform which will get them in touch with founders/co founders?
    3. Any feedback on the product?

    Any help on this would be really helpful since we will be shaping the roadmap of the product on the basis of feedback received. 

  46. Profile photo of Kamal Tripathi

    Abhik,

    I am currently evaluating an idea of Social Polling. Finishing up an MVP and testing it locally with few friends. Here is the problem that I see.

    1. Even though we have Social Media like Facebook, Twitter wherein you can voice your opinion but when it comes to big issues you can not find out the macro and micro trend of people’s opinion on that topic. So let’s take a controversial topic like JNU Saga going on, there are various facets of it
      • Are the students anti-national in saying those slogans (Yes/No/Not Sure/Too early to say)
      • Did the govt do a poor job in controlling lawyers in the court?
      • Are Left and Congress parties milking the situation?

                   I don’t want to make it political but even on topic of polaziring events in sports (who is a better captain: Dhoni Or Kohli) no clear trend can be made by looking at Facebook posts or tweets.

    2. Social media has too many trolls. With just email verification, there is no sanity in expressing opinions on social sites. One can’t do responsible debating.

    I would like to give a Social platform, only for polling. It would have polls for national/regional hot topics, network would be setup like a phonegraph so people will vote responsibly.

    So is it only for debating? No, much more. You can use it to launch free private polls amongst 50 members for free, thereby gathering bigger network. You can launch a poll in your society, friend circle, colleges, school.

    Political parties too can utilize it to understand general public perception in their region (assuming the network is sizable).

    Can partner media houses for debates. Currently anyone hardly sends SMS to their questions because each SMS is charged 6 Rs per SMS.

    Brands can do quick poll to gauge the trend. Not meant to be a scientific survey. So for example, do you still think Maggi is unsafe for consumption? A quick poll amongst diverse group of young, mid age, old, men, women would be a good decision making help for brands.

    There are many more use cases but I believe I am interested in validating and taking your inputs. I understand that this may be a small use case for Facebook and Twitter like companies to solve but since they haven’t been focussing on it, I might as well solve it.

    Do you think it makes sense to have a stand alone platform for polling alone? Quick and snap polls at fingertips :). Pls share as brutal feedback as possible.

    P.S. I see some players tried it in past but I think this time around phonegraph and advent of smartphones is the clincher.

  47. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Kamal,

    I think this is an interesting problem to solve and a standalone platform for polls might work…the challenge will be in attracting the first and diverse set of users and getting people to come again and again…what incentives would someone have to come and reply to polls.

    Another rodinhooder had tried something similar.. http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/my-tryst-with-rodinhoods-and-the-birth-of-opinio-debate-and-di

    It might be worth it talking to to Mohammed why they shut down since they had built a pretty slick product.

  48. Profile photo of himanshu kumar

    Hi, ABHIK 

     I am Based at muzaffarpur, my present business is farming and Truck/transport,

    I want to start up with new venture Tour & travels

     what are the regulatory issues

    we start this business in full legal manner, we how  can provide taxi, tickets local logistic support,

     

  49. Profile photo of Amit Rane

    Hi Abhik, 
    I am the Founder of  WanderMind Labs, a gaming startup dedicated to develop cross platform 2D/3D games using Unity Game Engine. I had published five own IP’s on play store and had also done servicing for few clients. Right now its a one man startup and am looking to scale up as a team. I need funds to do so and for that I want to reach out to clients who are willing to outsource games.

    My Question is how to connect with or contact the companies who will be interested in Freelance/Outsourcing Games or some tips from you to raise the required funds.

    You can have a look at my work over here – http://www.wandermindlabs.com

    Thanks, 
    Amit

  50. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Himanshu,

    I don’t have direct relevant experience in running a travel agency business.

    As a first step, since you are also a newcomer in the business, you can maybe start with taking a franchisee of MakeMyTrip. Partnering with them will not only give you business but also help you learn the ropes of the business.

    After sometime, you can decide to continue with them or setup your own brand.

    More details here: https://www.makemytrip.com/franchisee/partner_with_us.php

    All the best.

  51. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Amit,

    Had a look at your website. Seems like you are trying to do products and services together. (i.e. your own games + servicing other clients )

    However, that message is not clear – If i as a potential client landed up at your site, it would seem like you are another developer with a bouquet of games.

    If you want to go down the services route, I suggest you change the messaging on your site – and tell clients upfront the value you can bring to the table.

    Also noticed that the games which are developed for Bajaj Allianz and Renault have very low numbers – Would you know why it’s so ?

    You might also want to reach out to digital agencies offering to become their ‘games app partner’ where they can reach out to you if they have a requirement. Going after corporate clients directly is tough simply because the sales cycle is too long and it will just tire you out.

    Also, if you haven’t had a chat with Alok (alok@rodinhood.com) you might want to do so.

    How much funds are you looking to raise ? Give me a call at +91 9999334995 when you get a chance. Thx

  52. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    hey amit, i realise you’ve posted the same thing in Ask Alok Anything. am sure he will get back to everyone over the weekend. but you can still feel free to write to him as abhik has suggested at alok@rodinhood.com – do mention that you’ve posted a comment on AAA 🙂

  53. Profile photo of Amit Rane

    Thanks a lot Abhik. Would call you in short while.

  54. Profile photo of Amit Rane

    hi Asha, actually I missed the AAA session. So I posted a comment over there and then I saw your post today regarding the 13 experts. I followed the link and landed up here. Would surely discuss the same with Alok and let him know 🙂

  55. Profile photo of Prasad P L V

    Hi Abhikprasad, 

    I have been wondering for an idea and its been quite sometime to be still wondering about it.

    The problem: There is a gap in the knowledge between colleges, students and lecturers. 

    Description: What makes an iitian better than any other tech graduate? What is known to IIMiats that lacks among other B’school graduates? My last question: What is the distance of knowledge transfer from a Metro/cosmopolitan to TierI to Tier II and Tier III cities. 

    Solution: An online and offline solution ( A crowd sourced knowledge sharing social app / a web app and a printed magazine)

    Benefits of this solution: 

    – This can’t become another facebook, we have curated content.

    – This give voice to even a farmer’s son or barber’s son studying in a tier III college.

    – This enhances the global knowledge index and so on so forth.

    Please review this idea, to know more you can ask me questions and help me in rethinking it better.

  56. Profile photo of Santosh Vuppala

    Hi Abhik,

    I am Santosh Vuppala from Hyderabad. I am working on an idea where we aggregate solar rooftop installers, screen them and when a customer posts his requirement, we get the price quotation from these installers and send it to the customer. 

    It works like this: If a person has a requirement / is looking to install solar panels on his rooftop for power generation, he can call us or leave a message on our website, and we will conduct a site survey of his place, get the details and pass them to the solar installers. Once we get the price quotes from the installers, we walk the customers through the quote, make them understand and help them make an informed decision.

    We are talking to solar installers and wanted your input on:

    1. The feasibility of the idea.

    2. After receiving quote from us, how do we stop a customer from approaching the solar installer directly, to get a better price ?

    Thanks 
    Santosh Vuppala

  57. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Prasad,

    This is a big problem indeed.

    If you look at the CVs of most freshers, they are mostly the same. That’s because most of them don’t have experience or opportunities to work on different projects. They also lack the knowledge of how to go about it.

    We had tried a project called Fresher2Coder.com to educate and train 1st and 2nd year students with on the job training online but it didn’t work out because most students werent willing to pay for it ( as they didn’t get the value of it )

    There is an NGO called http://createyourfuture.in which is doing something similar to what you have in mind. It might be worthwhile to work with them for a while to understand this space before you start out on your own directly.

    Also, if I look back at my own experience at IIM Lucknow, I think one thing which made a difference was the number and scale of projects which we got a chance to work on…the biggest learning was working under pressure and figure out how to get stuff done rather than just theory. Am not really sure how this aspect can be incorporated into an online only platform.

    One way to do this could be to tie up with local businesses and give students an opportunity to work on those projects ( the money will motivate students, small local businesses can get access to affordable expertise and you can have a monetization model )

    Feel free to call me at 9999334995 if you would like to discuss this more.

    All the best.

  58. Profile photo of Abhik Prasad

    Hi Santosh,

    What is the primary problem you are trying to solve here ?

    Is it the information problem ? Or finding a trusted installation vendor ? or the cheapest one ? or making sense of the various options and finding the most suitable solution for them.

    Also, do you want to be a marketplace or build your own service / consulting brand ?

    If its a marketplace, how do you decide between which vendor to suggest to the customer ? Also, will the vendor be willing to pay you a share of the revenue or will your fees be added on top of the vendor’s cost.

    Or will you just charge a listing fee to various vendors and just be a information provider ?

    Based on your initial idea, I would suggest building your own brand for providing consulting and services ( provided you have the consulting expertise) and outsource the installation to selected partners.

    In this way, you own the client and can control quality and service experience.

    Solar is a growing market and there are a lot of fragmented players so it should be a good opportunity to go after.

    All the best.

    Cheers

    Abhik

  59. Profile photo of Santosh Vuppala

    Hi Abhik,
    Thank you for the input.

    The primary problem we are trying to solve is to help people understand the various options provided and pick the most suitable one.

    We want to be a marketplace and are talking to vendors to pay us a share of the revenue.

    To decide between the vendors, we have a list of parameters to screen the vendors against.

  60. Profile photo of Prasad P L V

    Thanks a lot Abhik Prasad. 

    Will make time to call you one of these days. Thanks!

  61. Profile photo of Giribabu Madathala

    Hi Abhik,

    I am a long time follower of Rodinhoods and I would firstly like to appreciate all the wonderful work the team is doing for entrepreneurship enthusiasts. I am contemplating on a startup platform which can reduce the sales cycle of an opportunity in the IT industry; to begin with focus on the latest technology solutions. This will be a B2B platform (a 2 sided marketplace) which will host offerings created by System Integrators which the customers can rely on. Like an Amazon for IT solutions.

    I would like to bounce this idea with you to understand the market and impact it can have in the industry. My primary concern is takeoff and funding which I understand is hard to come for a B2B business model compared to B2C. And since, in this model, quantity of users are important (on both sides), how do you think, we can scale this? We have a basic version of the platform being built which we want to use to test the waters. What would be the most important points to keep in mind, before we go ahead with this idea? Would greatly appreciate if you can share your thoughts.

    Thank You,
    Giri.

  62. Profile photo of Gaurav Roy

    Hi Abhik,i am starting up an ecommerce marketplace.I am planning to employ models like regular online ecommerce,assisted ecommerce and direct selling.I will tie up with various retail stores to offer products in non cod areas and the known face of the store will bring trust towards online purchase in customers.I an also planning to employ various individual selling agents on commission basis to increase sales for my ecommerce marketplace.What do you say about this?

  63. Profile photo of Nadeem_nahK

    hi Abhik,
    Thanks for doing this. Appreciate if you could take time and be a devil’s advocate for the following idea:

    Consider ticket aggregators like bookmyshow, ticket4u, movietickets etc. These players sell tickets and take commission per ticket as per their agreement with service provider like PVR. All such online aggregators seem to generate ticket inventory from a booking management software deployed for service providers.

    We have an idea to come up with a similar product with technology innovation such that it reduces cost for us in terms of running the online ticketing operations. This would enable us sell the same tickets at a lesser margin. We want to keep margins with service providers almost the same as other players but pass on benefits to end consumers as discounted price (keeping minimal margin for us to make money).

    In my opinion, challenges here would be tying up with service providers to get the inventory, decide upon the % commission for us per ticket (as per calculations) and then promote our product to end consumers.

    What do you think ?

  64. hi Abhik
    Shankar Here iam looking for funding for my business venture can you help me in any ways will be highly appriciated

    • Profile photo of asha chaudhry

      hi shankar – it would help if you were more specific about what queries you have regarding funding.
      you can even use alok’s funding pitch template to create a deck and then post it on therodinhoods itself! if you search “funding” you will get all the related articles as well.
      our ask rodinhooder experts are volunteering their time to answer specific queries.

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