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2013-07-23 00:00:00QuickBooks Business of the WeekEnglish Shycart

Featuring Shycart

3 min read

Vivek Raja founded upon noticing the social stigma/shyness/discomfort that prevails in our country (and throughout most east Asian Countries) to buy certain personal hygiene or sexual products openly from stores. The brain behind the spark, he is an out and out techy with a flair for business. At Shycart, he takes care of everything that is online (including online marketing) and also acts as the unofficial HRM for the company. Oli, the CEO, is a co-founder and takes care of Business operations and marketing for Shycart.

What made you start your venture? When did you start it? is a child of necessity. It was for us, seeing the obvious. The problem people face while buying certain personal products. Especially in India. It can be something as simple as Sanitary or Menstrual Products for Women, to Condoms, to Innerwear. Thinking about it, these products are personal and are worn or used intimately. Typically the consumer must be allowed to learn and buy them at peace in a pleasant atmosphere. But is that the case? So from personal experiences and witnessing first-hand the problems people face, we it upon the idea of Shycart. It was conceived as a funky idea that would work, but then, as we started exploring, we found that it was, in fact an essential service the country needs. Think about the repercussions of a youngster NOT using a condom because he is too shy to buy it at his neighborhood shop, or an older couple who are too embarrassed to go to a store to buy condoms? Unwanted diseases or unwanted children, lives are turned upside down, so, Shycart actually addresses the toughest problems that the nation- AIDS and Over Population.

Have you reached break-even? What has been the key to your business’s success?

Yes. We have reached break-even. Shycart is 7 Months old. We reached break-even 2 months ago. The key to business success are the:

• Product range and market we are serving

• The complete discreetness and privacy we guarantee.

• The strong customer satisfaction values and codes we follow

What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?

Major challenges were product signup and trust-building. There are 100s of start-up/e-commerce sites opening up and quietly shutting shop as quickly as they open. So, we had/ have to continuously build the trust of customers and strive to receive positive reviews and appreciations from them.

Do you have a mentor who guides/advice you on matters of the business?

We have friends and well-wishers who have been in business for long who advise us on business and ethics. Secondly, our customers are our best teachers. We learn from them every day and with every interaction they have something new to teach us. Other than that, we as the founders, bounce ideas with each other and just go with instincts.

What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
• We follow the strict Golden Rule of “The Customer is Always Right”
• We have Product Request sections and Live support features implemented into to help and serve them best.
• We have ample information about each and every product for the customer to make an informed buying.
• Discreet Q&A or consulting with Doctors and other Qualified Professionals to clarify their personal doubts, know the products and usages.
• We are coming up with more options to protect the customer privacy, like ‘Hotspot’ pickup and ‘Self Pickup’ Options, where customer can pick up their product from a near by local landmark/hotspot like a coffee shop or similar places if they have concerns about product being delivered home.
A piece of advice for those who want to start-up or are at the initial stages of starting up. Sustenance. If you think starting the business is tough, sustaining it is 10000 times tougher. Many people have quit not knowing how close they were to success. Never Quit. A lot of patience and rapid continuous improvement is the key.
  Know more about Shycart- Facebook-
Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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