“Hello Readers, today with me is Ravitej Yadalam who is the Founder of Pennyful.in. Let us know more about Ravitej Yadalam and what Pennyful.in is.
Hello Ravitej, Thanks a lot for showing your interest in sharing your knowledge and blogging experience with us via this Informative interview. I hope you will also enjoy this interview as much as our readers. I’ll ask you questions related to the Business and your Startup journey of your company.
Hello Ravitej Yadalam, Thanks for spending your precious time for this interview.
1)Can you please tell our readers more about yourself and your startup, Pennyful.in?
To talk about myself, I have completed by ICSE from the Valley School in Bangalore, and my B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore.
The ecommerce space has always been fascinating for me, even before it took its present shape as a very popular way to shop in India. It was this fascination that led me to the market, and I began experimenting with the idea of selling items online during my college days in the 2007-2008 timeframe, where I worked with a few vendors to help sell their products online.
This is the time I noticed a very interesting consumer behavior: Customers preferred branded products over unbranded ones, in spite of the latter being just as good at a lower price. This observation made me take the plunge towards the affiliate marketing space, where I was able to tie up with large brands to deliver to customers the products they wanted.
While this helped me solve the problem of selling the products and services of large brands, there was another challenge which needed addressing, that of customer loyalty. There were many sites which were offering the same product at the same price, so I needed a way to create customer stickiness for my service. I needed a differentiator.
The answer was to create competitive advantage by offering my customers something which my competition would not offer, thereby ensuring customer stickiness. I realized that through affiliate marketing, I make an ‘x’ amount of money as commission, and if I shared part of this to my customers as an incentive, I would be able to create the best shopping experience for my customers. And the feedback I got for this model was incredible. Online shoppers soon realized that this was much more than a discount, but actual money being offered to them.
This is how Pennyful was born and Pennyful.com was subsequently launched for the U.S. market. Through Pennyful.com, we began to give real cash back to our customers for every purchase they made through us. Based on the success we saw from the U.S. market, and the fact that e-commerce was gaining increasing popularity as a concept in India, we started to cater to the Indian market as Pennyful.in.
3)What Technology platform are you using and is thesite managed in-house?
.NET and it is managed purely in-house by a great team.
4)Could you share the number of customers who shop through Pennyful.in daily?
Though we can’t share the number of customers who shop on Pennyful daily, we can certainly say that we have given our customers over a crore in cashback so far.
5)Who is your inspiration, motivation in your life?
There are so many inspiring individuals and teams who have built amazing products and companies over the years. In e-commerce, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is certainly a huge inspiration. What’s particularly great is the focus on the customer and the execution of services based on customer needs.
6)What are the major sources of traffic of your site?
We usually focus our efforts on the online audience through means such as social media, email marketing etc. We also encourage our customers to refer their friends by giving them 10% of the cashback their referrals receive for an entire year.
7)Where are you headquartered and how many people currently work in Pennyful.in?
We are a Bangalore based company with a team strength of 15.
8)Can you share some awesome moments during this Journey?
When you are a customer centric company, every moment a customer gives us positive feedback, becomes an awesome moment for us. The journey so far has been incredible. From starting up a business based on a relatively new concept, to seeing it being accepted by our users, the ride has been a great one.
Our brand is being recognized more and more by shoppers today. When we overhear a stranger talk about our brand, it’s an amazing feeling to know that they’re recognizing and talking about the hard work and commitment of what our team does every day.
9)What are your future plans?
Currently, our focus is directed to getting our brand out to everybody who shops online. We cater to every target audience and we want to educate more and more consumers on the benefits of shopping through Pennyful online. Though we already have many registered and loyal users, I believe that this focus will always be a priority as more and more consumers are moving online at the moment. The ecommerce industry in India is growing steadily and we expect to grow along with it.
We consider the last few years as the “base building” years and the coming years will be the time where we see considerable growth. The future looks very bright.
We have also been investing in technology to deliver more services to our users. We recently announced the launch of our browser add-on, a tool which will help Pennyful users never miss a cashback opportunity ever again. As a next step, we also plan to launch a price comparison tool which will enable users to search on a product-level along with a store-level. We are very excited about this tool, and users will be able to reap the benefits of it soon.
Our customers are in for some great times, and we will definitely prove to be their one stop shopping destination for any of their needs.
10)Please give your advice/suggestions for new startups
Before one takes the leap to becoming an entrepreneur, it is very important that he takes an account of the risks involved. . Starting up is great, but you should always have a safety net. There’s no two ways about it – Entrepreneurship is always risky. But if you have something the world needs, you will always find takers for it.
Once you are ready, it is upto you to find your inner passion and focus your energies into turning that passion into an economically viable business. But always have a backup plan in case things don’t go the way you were expecting them to. Never spend all of your life savings, just in case the worst happens. But, as I said before, if you’re solving a real problem and have a real plan in place, there is enough capital out there to back you up. Welcome to the age of the entrepreneur!
Thanks a lot, Ravitej Yadalam for sharing your views and experiences via this interview. On behalf of our all readers I am wishing you all the best and best of luck for your future plans and goals.
Have a nice day!!”
As seen on Technologers with edits