In April 2013 I got excited with an idea: to build a crowdsourcing platform for startups to validate their product ideas.
The initial wins
- From a one man show we became a full time team of 4
- Attracted a seed investment of $16K on the idea
- Selected by Intel & UC Berkeley as part of the Technology 2 Market Accelerator in the valley
We launched the product in India. About 3200+ users in the first 10 days with 0 (zero) marketing dollars spent.
The ‘product’ failed at attracting more money/ make money. The only business model was advertising, which is not really a business model until you become a Google/ command massive traffic.
The product failed and the team re-located themselves to separate opportunities.
Though, there was a much deeper learning that came through. The fact that most businesses are grappeling with 2 major issues:
- Increase Growth (customer acquisition)
- Increase Retention
From a product company to a growth and retention consulting firm
Hashtaag evolved its avatar to Hashtag Growth Partners. A growth and retention consulting firm with a simple model. Each parter with HGP will take 1 assignment every year.
Each partner will work as a full time consultant (almost an employee) with the client, address the problem and either build the capability within the organisation OR if the organisation wants to keep us plugged into the system, we will keep creating value.
The first wins
I started working Jabong.com in March 2014 as a full time consultant. I had a clear job of improving customer retention by creating an incredible experience for customers reaching the brand online.
I am now moving onto an exciting assignment which involves Indian SMEs and digital payments.
Make many positive dents in the universe.
BTW: one of the key learnings I got was that a majority of Indian startups were not willing to pay for services. Probably they don’t have that money OR may be ours were not valuable enough.
But maintaining my passion of working with startups, I take 1 startup assignment every 6 months, over weekends. March 1st I started working with India’s largest community of travelers: Kunzum Travel Cafe.