Online shopping can be a daunting task if one has to find the best deals from hundreds of eCommerce companies, and no body wants to miss out on best deals. To simplify your online experience, Nagpur-based Conzumr has come up with an interesting idea of aggregating and comparing thousands of products across different categories. With Conzumr, a buyer can search any product and can get the detaied review along with analytical view of how prices have varied over the period and exactly which eCommerce company is providing the best deal.
NagpurTech decided to have a chat with Conzumr co-founder Sonali Chandorkar, to talk about the technology and people behind Conzumr, and what future holds for them.
Why Nagpur and how does Nagpur’s startup ecosystem helps?
Nagpur was the obvious choice as all the founders are from Nagpur, and after Rutwik Chandorkar and myself moved from UK, we thought it was time to move into products, as for a while we already have been running a software development company in Nagpur working for US clients.
Starting and running a software company in Nagpur has been a enjoyable experience although I must say starting a company in UK was much easier. Having friends and mentors from Nagpur who were already running software companies in Nagpur since decades definitely helped.
Challenges faces by Conzumr in terms of hiring and technical development and growth of website?
We opted for PHP-Mysql combination for Conzumr, which is more or less the defacto standard for building web applications. However, since we opted for a MVC framework, which was fairly new in PHP world, getting a readymade resource was problem. So, we had to hire freshers and then train them in the framework of our choice. Getting a trained resource is still a problem we face everyday. As you can imagine SEO is quite important for a website like ours and there is no silver bullet for that. So, we had to do lot of research on various SEO techniques and adopted many to help grow the website traffic.
Product review and comparison is being done by many startups, then how is Conzumr different and what’s the USP?
The primary focus for most of the startups in similar domains have been on price comparisons only. Although, the Indian consumer is known globally for being cost conscious, but we believe that the purchase decision of Indian consumer is not based purely on price but also on things like finding the product which is a best match for his/her requirements, which will have lower running costs etc. We realised this gap and focused on complete product coverage and not just prices.
The main USP of Conzumr is to provide consumers with a lot more information to aid their purchase decisions by means of buyer guides, text and video product reviews, detailed and accurate product specifications, top product comparisons etc and off course price comparison.
Growth plans and goals for next couple of years?
We plan to grow in terms generating more contents i.e. adding more and more products and review and buying guides. Another short-mid term growth plan is in terms of forming relationship with local retailers or hyper-local eCommerce websites to list local prices on our website, so that they get a fair chance against online retailers.
What about funding?
Conzumr is bootstrapped and it’s only now after we have proved that our model works, have some figures to back our projection that we have started looking out for angel investors. We strongly believe that bootstrapping is the way to run your start-up during initial period, that definitely puts you in a better position when you eventually seek the funding from Angels/VCs.
Cofounders and their roles?
Rutwik Chandorkar and myself are looking into development and content. I have the 14+ years of experience in software development for some fortune 500 companies, across various vertical domains like Retail, Procurement, Oil Drilling, Shipping. Rutwik has experience in high traffic applications, and utilizing best practices to design and implement the solutions in the optimum and maintainable way. He too has over 15 years of experience in software development catering to clients across the globe.
Other two cofounders, Neha and Siddharth Chandak are based in US, and they look into reviews of products on Conzumr. Neha has over 5 years of entrepreneurial experience as the sole owner of profitable company Caayraa Creations that supplied silver and colored stone fashion jewelry to designers in the US. While, Siddharth has over 12 years of experience in software development and providing consulting services to companies in manufacturing, logistics and hospitality verticals in the U.S.