Published on June 16th, 2013 | by Saurabh Pandey0
Interview of Sahil Shah: Co-Founder, CupoNation.in
Cuponation.in is the latest entrant in the online couponing space in India. Founded by Chirag Rakshit and Sahil Shah. CupoNation aims to become the largest coupons and deals website for Indian online shoppers.
We are pleased to publish an interview with Sahil Shah, Co-Founder below:
Please tell us about CupoNation, how it started, where are you based, and team members
CupoNation was founded in September 2012 by Chirag Rakshit and Sahil Shah.
Chirag Rakshit (year of birth 1984) was born and brought up in Delhi, India and is an alumnus of Birla Institute of Technology and the Indian School of Business. He has considerable work experience in marketing, brand management and consulting roles across India, South East Asia and the Middle East.
I, Sahil Shah (year of birth 1988) am originally from Bangalore, India and graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology with a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering. Post that, I worked in Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm.
Indian e-commerce industry has been booming for the last 2-3 years. People are always looking for discounts. The idea was to give the user a repository of the best coupons and deals before he/ she makes an online purchase.
Our team here is very young and fresh with a highly motivated and professional outlook to work. The best aspect for us as a team is that we operate on a horizontal hierarchy which makes communication much easier and less rigid. One thing common to all of us is our faith and trust in this startup and its success.
CupoNation offers discount coupons, deals and voucher codes providing up to 60% discount on a vast selection of categories – ranging from items like Electronics, Books, Apparel, Flowers and Gifts to services like Insurance, Restaurant, Movies and many more.
Since a lot of sales happen in-store in India, how does an online couponing platform scale up?
The e-commerce space has seen tremendous growth both in number of orders and average basket value. Since we get a commission on the sales value and the numbers of we deliver, this model is indeed scalable with the growth of the e-commerce space.
Given that there are so many couponing platforms already available like Couponraja, Khojguru etc., how do you differentiate?
Our coupons always work, as we have stringent quality check guidelines. Our website has also been designed in such a way that the consumer spends time and uses the coupons.
How do you compare yourself to Deal sites?
While we do not do daily deals which are available on some other platforms, but we do show ongoing deals from various retailers. This helps the user make the best decision.
Technology or content- which do you think is your USP?
It would be both. From a technology perspective we are able to try out new layouts and designs for the website which are attractive for the users. When it comes to content, we try to make it easy to comprehend and consumable for the users.
Are you planning to incorporate offline stores? If yes how would you face the challenge of hyper localization? Do you think hyper localization will matter at all?
No, currently we have no plans of incorporating offline stores.
Do you think Facebook or foursquare, twitter etc. can be a competition to you? Or do you see them as potential partners? How?
We see them as potential partners. Facebook and Twitter are an integral part of our social media activities.
Any funding so far? Details?
Yes we have received one round of funding from the Investors in EU. The funding amount is in two digit million €.
What is your monetization model?
We get a commission for every sale that we deliver to an e-commerce company. This commission is pre-decided and is either a fixed amount or percentage of the sales value.
How do you segment the overall couponing market, and what gaps do you see?
Currently the financial and the real estate sectors are not tapped by couponing players. Our aim is to enter this white space in the near future.