Coupon & deals platform from Hyderabad looks to Machine Learning for the future

Coupon & deals platform from Hyderabad looks to Machine Learning for the future

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

6 Apr 2017, 10:12 — 5 min read

It is always a challenging task to enter a market late and achieve success. GrabOn (an initiative of Landmark IT Solutions), a Hyderabad-based online coupons and deals platform achieved this feat using innovative technology to provide the best possible deals to the end consumer. Today, the company is looking to reach greater heights by employing Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to improve the experience of their website and application.

Led by CEO and Founder Ashok Reddy, GrabOn achieved its success by bootstrapping, minimising non-essential cost and focusing on their product in the development stage. They have won a litany of awards including the top prize at the Retail Startup Awards 2017.

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Ashok Reddy (AR), the founder of GrabOn speaks about the journey of the company and its plans for the future.

GL: Tell us about your business.

AR: GrabOn is a Hyderabad-based online coupons and deals platform which lets users find genuine and validated coupons and deals with a user-friendly interface that caters to the needs of all Indian shoppers. GrabOn is the fastest growing coupons and deals website which also offers a monthly expense savings calculator, which has interactive charts and a talking mascot, giving useful saving suggestions to the users.

GrabOn was founded in September 2013 by a group led by me with a goal to facilitate online shoppers to save on everything they buy online. GrabOn is owned and operated by Landmark IT Solutions, which encourages entrepreneurship with its initiative ’Inspire Labs’ where aspirants can pitch their ideas to get seed funding. FashionLady.in is another company funded and operated by Landmark IT Solutions.


GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?

AR: We were one of the last ones to enter the coupon industry. Our competitors had a head start of more than 2 years when we established our business. Building a brand and acquiring loyal customers especially in the coupons and deals space was challenging.

GL: What is the USP of your business?

AR: Our USP is to:

  •  Identify upcoming internet and e-commerce friendly parts of India and present to them our product in the simplest possible way.
  • Be a technology leader in the space of e-commerce. Develop innovative products to solve the problem of helping users find the best coupon at the right time.
  • Be a one-stop platform for saving while shopping.

GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?

AR: Some of our milestones include:

  • IBM Startup Award
  • Your Story – Popular Reader Polls – Top 3rd website after Paytm and Flipkart
  • HYSEA Awards for India’s best Design Company
  • Startup2day award
  • TiE Global – High growth startup
  • Startup Leadership – Bootstrapped to Success
  • Retail Startup Awards - First place in startups space


GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?

AR: Small & Medium Enterprises and startups often fall short on the advantages enjoyed by the big businesses. The GlobalLinker initiative narrows down the divide by offering a large and growing network of similar businesses, thus enabling the sharing of content and ideas and encouraging discussions. Small business owners can meet up with people and build a network of individuals with similar needs. GlobalLinker also helps in the growth of businesses by providing special deals and discounts on products and services that are required by these SMEs and startups.

GL: What is your big business dream?

AR: We have entered this space with the intention of redefining the coupons and deals space. When we got in, our USP was our great user experience but then soon we have grown to become the #1 coupons and deals website. We are trying to bring in Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) into the mix and provide users with what they are searching for. This will transform the entire industry and we will try to become or even compete with some of the global players like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com in this space who are multi-billion dollar companies.

GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?

AR: In the last 2-3 years startups have seen a lot of ups and downs. Venture money was easily available and resulted in multiple startups shutting down or the valuation of the company was devalued. We at GrabOn from day one have focused on getting profits by bootstrapping. This will not only allow you to teach you many aspects of competitive strategies but also allow you to spend the money wisely and in the right channels.

Focus on your business model, financial profitability and spend quality time on developing the product during the initial stages.

 

Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.

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