What made you start your venture? When did you start it?
I had always wanted to do something of my own, rather than working at a regular job. After completing my B.E. (Electronics) from BITS Goa, I joined FIITJEE, which gave me enough time to think about and work on something on my own.
During those days, I came up with dezains.com, which has evolved into the site it is today. After few months, my college friend Prannoy, joined with me, and we decided to take it forward together. Dezains.com was officially launched on 23rd August 2011.
What is your business model?
Organic search results related to ‘gifts’ and several affiliates bring traffic to the website, and by offering personalized products, which are rarely available online, and by making the shopping interface simple and easy, we try to maintain a good conversion ratio, thus generating decent profit. Since the market is huge, the target is to bring in more free traffic (not paid ones) and take our conversion ratio to another level.
Have your reached break-even? What has been the key to your business’s success?
Yes, we reached break-even within a year of the launch of the website. The key was to develop a very user friendly website, keeping the online order process and gift selection easy and simple.
Also caricature based products was a new concept at that time (It remains a unique offering) which created good word of mouth publicity. Unique personalized products like photo and rotating crystals also contributed a lot in the early stages of success.
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Any new product launched, stands a very high chance of being duplicated by competitors. So the biggest challenge is to keep on innovating, and bringing in new and innovative products, or sometimes, just tweak a product a bit, to convert the already existing products, into a new and different gift product. Search engine rankings also contribute substantially to sales.
Hence constant efforts are made to bring dezains.com in the top results for relevant keywords, and effort is being made, to maintain the rankings as well. Since the products are customized, there are issues of picture quality, user suggestions and revisions and the additional task of creating the artwork for every order. These things consume too much energy and time. We are currently working on the removal of these hassles, by using technology to make most of the things automated.
Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
No one in particular, but friends and families always give their honest feedback and suggestions.
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Not till now, but we are working on it. The technology (basically an online tool), will make our order processing very easy.
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We ask for feedback, and give incentives as well. For customer satisfaction, we try our best to talk to them on the phone, in case of any problem. We take complaints very seriously, and take decisions as per the customer request.
We try to give accurate order tracking information, by showing them expected date of delivery. And try to maintain full transparency in order process. In terms of expansion, we ask our customers to share our pages on social media sites, for which we again give them incentives, in the form of discount coupons. Constant email, and new products updates are sent to the customers to keep them engaged and to keep them coming back to dezains.com again and again
What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
-Correctly Analyzing the market / customer trend -Ability to work extra hard in the right direction -Always ready to experiment, take risk and admit mistakes
Visit them at : http://www.dezains.com Facebook : Denzains