From a humble background to the founder of Couponhaat – a reputed venture which enables shoppers to get good deals and discounts for various purchases – Vipin Kumar Yadav’s entrepreneurial journey so far has been very inspiring. In an interview with BiznessByte, Vipin shares his experience and a brief idea about the ‘deals and discounts’ business. Excerpts:
BB: How and when did the entrepreneurship bug bite you?
Vipin: I was born and brought up in Hathras, a small town in Uttar Pradesh. It was a longstanding aspiration of mine to become an entrepreneur since my childhood. After working for an MNC as a software engineer for a few years, I got the confidence or in other words, I could gather the strength and the wisdom to start my own venture. I have been very passionate about exploring new things, particularly the things that can add value to the day-to-day life of people. One day, while I was buying few products online for myself, I somehow realized that there could be an online business model in ‘coupons and deals’. From that very moment, I have been dedicatedly devoting my time for ‘Couponhaat’. I am very fortunate to have a good team on board; their contribution in shaping up the organization is enormous.
BB: Give us a little idea about the online ‘deals and discounts’ segment in Indian and in the world.
Vipin: The market for ‘coupons and deals’ is catching up fast in India. As compared to the global market, Indian ‘coupons and deals’ market is at a nascent stage. There are many reasons for this gap. The primary being: the number of online buyers in India is relatively smaller than that of the global market. However, due to the increase in the number of internet users and changing habits of shopping recently, the Indian market is poised to see an uptrend in the demand for ‘coupons and deals’.
From a valuation of USD 3.8 billion in 2009 to USD 12.6 billion in 2013, the Indian e-commerce industry has seen an unprecedented boom. According to various reports, 95% of buyers search for coupons and deals online. Out of this, almost 70% buyers view coupons and deals available at portals like us. In India, the coupons & deals business is almost 15 percent of the total e-commerce audience in India and this is growing at the rate of almost 60 percent per year. Over the next couple of years, the Indian coupons and deals market is going to become one of the largest markets in the world. As a leading player in this segment, Couponhaat focuses on delivering the best offers and deals to online buyers.
BB: How tough is the competition in the segment Couponhaat is doing business?
Vipin: In any sector, competition is pertinent, and ultimately it benefits the buyers. We never compete with other players. Rather, we focus on bringing in innovation, efficiency and customer satisfaction. Online buyers always look for value irrespective of the websites that they visit. Until or unless a customer derives value and satisfaction, we think business can’t grow fast. Hence, our focus is to offer best of the services to the buyers.
BB: What are the major challenges that you as a leader and Couponhaat as an entity, face?
Vipin: In any business, challenges are part and parcel of the journey. Irrespective of the size of the business, challenges can’t be ignored at any point in time. Initially, we had faced many challenges in terms of building up our start-up team which we managed quite well. We devote a lot of time and energy to select our team members and making them acquainted with our work culture. I think once you build good team members, other big challenges are surmountable.
BB: Give us some idea about your future plans and expansion plans.
Vipin: We are coming up with a lot of things in the near future. We’ll keep on announcing those initiatives from time to time. At this moment, we are working towards creating a solid team to scale up our operations optimally. We are already working on this aspect, which we believe, would be instrumental in providing an edge over other players in the industry in the days to come.