As my profile says, I’m passionate about startups. There were times (dating back to 2004-2005) when I spent every spare moment following and profiling them, especially startups from India. I used to religiously dedicate time to profile every single startup that came to my attention.
While I’m still very much into startups, owing to my other engagements, I’m unable to write about every single startup that comes to my attention these days. But every now and then I still do and it is either because I just can’t resist the startup itch or because I believe the startup is doing something absolutely amazing that the world needs to know about and very much deserves to be on Startups ASAP.
Pricepaaji is one such and what amazes me about this young Indian startup is their unique “local” approach to a global problem. Based on what Jyotika from Pricepaaji described, the startup lets you compare prices of a given product not only between various online storefronts but also let’s you compare against the price you could get it from you local brick and mortar shop. In other words, it lets you compare the prices from your next door shop against the online only shops.
That to me is amazing for at-least two reasons. For one, it saves me time and effort by not having to visit all the local stores to see if they are offering a better deal and secondly, they are solving a genuine problem far more relevant in the local Indian context. India or US (or for that matter any other country where I haven’t lived), I personally feel it is an absolute waste of time having to drive around (or call) “n” number of stores to find the best deal when it could be done much more efficiently using the power of Internet.
Learn more about this startup in a conversation with Jyotika of Pricepaaji.
1. The Idea –
We plan to compare between local shop prices and online prices, everything aggregated at one location. Some price comparison website give online prices, other give local shops, but we give a comparison between both of them.
2. The starting point –
When Pratik came back from US, he was looking to buy a good Television and a music system. During his research he surfed a lot of websites to get details about product, prices and reviews. Not only this he went to 10 different local stores in the area but was annoyed by the lack of price parity for the same product. This was indeed a painstaking process and lost a good 3 weekends of his life, and this is what got PricePaaji started with an intention to help user in 5 ways: Product Discovery, Buying Tips, Price, Review and Compare.
3. Idea execution –
PricePaaji’s launch involved a series of individual Interviews of our target group. This is followed up with group discussions in order to understand buying behavior and patterns. Once we got a know-how in this area, we had an alpha launch, where a different set of individuals were called in to assess our business idea plus website. All the feedback was well documented and then implemented in an orderly fashion.
4. I noticed that the service was currently Mumbai centric with limited product categories. When asked about the plans on expanding to other cities and categories –
Right now our focus is to get better and better at the current thing. At present we have 6 categories up and running and we want to ensure our users complete and useful information about those categories. Obviously, we are looking to expand to many more categories, but only if we have all the necessary information that the user is looking for. We do not want to just keep adding new products and categories if we cannot help the users make the right decision. We are also looking at expanding in to other cities depending on user response and feedback.
5. Is India ready for “online” comparison shopping?
Oh yes ! The ecommerce market is growing in India per second. According to the newspapers there has been an increase of 16% as compared to last year. Thus advent of e-commerce has led to an increase in the competition and need for a price comparison website.
6. Effect of Google and social media –
Google is the God of internet and people find us through Google Facebook is also doing well for us.
7. Response so far –
We have received an overwhelming response. We have over 450 local stores associated with us in India and the number is growing every month. We have queries about our prices and products coming from all over the world. Last week, received a mail from Zimbawawe asking if we had an outlet there. 🙂
8. The visionary –
Pratik Adani went to the University of Southern California for a Masters Degree in Computer Science and was working in a Digital Advertising company in US before he decided to leave the American dream and come back to Bharat. Based out of Mumbai, Pratik has launched PricePaaji to connect customers to stores, both local and online.
Editor’s note: (Updated #8 based on new details from Pricepaaji.)
9. The mercenaries –
Apart from them, we have a technical team with a combined experience of 25+ years in Java, PHP and database systems & structures.
A highly competent sales team or foot soldiers as we call them who are experts in concept selling sales.
A data team whose experience in various firms helps us to define robust processes and best practices to ensure validated, cross-checked data reaches our end user.
Lastly, we have a small unit whom we call the flying falcons, whose job is to ensure that the innovation engine keeps rolling to add user friendly features to our system
10. Experiences starting up –
Inertia in Indian markets has been high for any change. People still prefer outdated techniques to work, even if they have a better and far advanced solution with help of technology, they have no intentions to change . With this mentality it has been very tough to convince people.
11. Future plans –
Everyone wants to grow and reach the pinnacles of success and we plan to do the same.
However, for now we are concentrating on adding more products on our site and improving it. After that we will go national.
12. Startup gyaan –
Being Entrepreneur is tough and trying to do everything yourself is not possible. Try learning everything but find the right people to do things . If you try to do everything chances are you will end up not finishing things on time . Build a good team and trust them.
Help them make India a better place (to shop). Check out Pricepaaji.
(If you are an amazing Indian startup and would like to be interviewed or featured on Startups.in then we’d be happy to talk to you. Contact us right away.)
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