Interaction with Kamal Kishor Kumawat, Co-founder of Dealwithus
Dealwithus – a coupon-code website that offers cashback
India’s largest cashback website, Dealwithus has been started by 3 engineers from IIT Bombay. It offers savings to customers every time they shop.
What’s the Buzz?
Cashback on everytime one shops online.
- 400+ partner companies like Amazon, Paytm, Flipkart and Dominos.
- Cashback within 48 hours.
Q&A with the CMO and Co-founder Kamal Kishore Kumawat:
Ques. You are spearheading a growing startup, which is a behemoth task. Talk about the variety of roles and responsibilities it entails you to fulfill.
Ans. In startups, we need to keep innovating. When I started the company, I had to be regularly updated with the on goings of the market. So, each day we had to innovate. This requires a trusted team. There are multiple tasks that are to be done. All team members should be in place, I think. It is important to maintain an understanding between them. The members should have a complimenting skill set; you have to know their background.
Ques. Dealwithus is a one-off idea, which will have others latching on to it. Are there any competitors, if any? What does Dealwithus do differently?
Ans. If I speak about the B2C, Business-to-Consumer side, yes, there are a lot of companies also offering cashback. A few of them like GoPaisa are pretty big. But, that was what we followed earlier. Now, we have innovated and are a data driven company. We have developed a new product which is called ‘Deal With Us Intelligent Interface’. This is helping other e-commerce companies to sell their products to real customers from day one of starting their businesses. We are reducing the cost of acquiring the customer to less than Rs. 10.
We now analyse customer behavior, purchasing power and their willingness. Earlier, there was a large gap between demand and supply. There were a lot of companies coming into the market, but they did not know how to attract the right set of customers. In the existing marketing technology, we have Google adwords, Facebook adwords. These prove to be costly. Bigger e-commerce companies like Flipkart and Amazon avail these services.
On our platform, we let them directly target potential customers at a much lesser rate.
Ques. How does your website generate revenue?
Ans. When we started as a company, we were just an affiliate marketing company. Our partner websites would give us a link, and if a customer came to that portal, he would redirected to the partner website. Once the customer chose to make the purchase, we would get an affiliate commission from the partner website. Say you purchased the product from Amazon, so Amazon gave us a 10-15% commission on the product. And, a part of it was passed on to the customers by us, while the other part was retained.
But in the new model, we have tried to give complete commission to our customers. We have an additional source of revenue that is by providing a targeting marketing tool based on our Intelligent Interface model.
Ques. You have spoken about how Dealwithus is a response for the product marketing costs that customers have to bear. Do you think marketing is essential for a startup? How does Dealwithus manage its marketing?
Ans. I think marketing is the most essential thing in any startup. If one has a good product, it is necessary that it reaches the right customers. People should be able to use it. They have to be made aware of it. But, the cost of marketing is only increasing every day. So, if you spend money on a whole page of a newspaper, not only does it entail a high cost, but you also do not find out your target customers.
In the past year, we have tried out many marketing techniques and finally figured out which are suitable, and who our customers are. We have started realizing the customer behavior. Our ultimate aim is to develop an Artificial Intelligence based product.
Ques. You mentioned that the cost of marketing is exponentially increasing. Do you think startups now focus less on improving the product and more on its marketing?
Ans. Not exactly. One must always have a better product, always. If you have a good product, then that is marketing for itself on its own. I should think, developing a good product is the first step in its marketing.
Ques. Prior to this, you also co-founded FreezRealty. Do you think the Indian E-commerce segment exploited its full potential? Or do you think it is yet to establish itself over brick-and- mortar?
Ans. If one talks about e-commerce in India, its customers are still less than 15-18%. I think the potential of even Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities have not been exploited completely. We have not been able to analyse who exactly are the customers using the e-commerce websites. Earlier, it was only Tier 1 city inhabitants. I think a lot of remote areas are yet to be explored too. So, there is still a lot of potential of growth for e-commerce. A large part of Amazon’s income, for instance, can be traced back to only the United States. India forms a very small part of it.
- An entrepreneur you admire.
- Finally, when starting a startup- What should one NOT do?
Do not start a company with the wrong people.
How did you find this interaction with Kamal? Kindly comment below.
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