Tag Archives: Startups

Startup Diaries #3: Gharofy.com

I love the concept behind which YourStory.in was started. There are hundreds of media houses, newspapers and forums that cover already successful startups. Stats show that only about 1 in 10 startups succeed or stand the test of time. Who covers startups that are yet to hog the limelight? The startups that are still finding it challenging to establish themselves among peers/competitors who are thousand times bigger? No one, literally.That’s why (and how) YourStory was born. Let’s talk about YourStory and Shradha Sharma some other day.

Today, I’m covering one of those budding startups, called Gharofy.com, which offers a plethora of products that come under the Home & Garden category.

As soon as I visit their website (www.gharofy.com), the first thing that strikes me is their simple and elegant UI. The colors are predominantly black and white and the CTAs (Call to Action) are very evident and stand out.

They offer products in five main categories: Kitchen pack, Housekeeping pack, Bedroom pack, Study room pack and stuff for rent.

The catalog comprises a good few hundred products. The biggest categories are Kitchen and Housekeeping. There are only a few tens of products available in the other categories. “Stuff for rent” is a welcome addition, promoting need based usage among consumers without having to spend a fortune for a new product (Most products under Stuff for rent were “Out of stock” at the time of writing this blog though).

Prices are competitive for many products (compared to similar products in Fabfurnish, Pepperfry, Flipkart, etc.) but is on the higher side for few of them. They currently deliver products in and around Bangalore. And COD is the only payment option available as of now. They guarantee delivery within 48 hours and even promise a refund of Rs. 500 if this SLA is breached, which seems cool.

Gurgaon, followed by Bangalore are the top cities that have a migrant working population. That way,  I think Gharofy has hit the nail on its head by choosing Bangalore to start their business with. I’m sure they’ll expand to rest of India and scale up their Product catalog soon.

So are you just setting up your home in Bangalore? You could give Gharofy.com a try.

By the way, if you haven’t read the earlier posts on Startup Diaries series, you could read them here: PepperTap, Zomato


Startup Diaries #2: Peppertap

Imagine this scenario. Anupam Nair and Prateek Saurav are two bachelors who are working in Gurgaon, staying in a 2 BHK. Both of them are lazy by nature; so lazy that they think twice even for moving inside their house. So for them, going to the Grocery store to buy the weekly groceries was always going to be a colossal task. And in a city which has one of the maximum number of migrant employees staying away from home, Anupam Nair and Prateek Saurav are not alone.

It is this gap that Peppertap has identified and is trying to establish itself, as an Online Grocery, fruits and vegetables store. And they are slowly but surely making a mark in this space, in Gurgaon.

I heard about Peppertap three months ago, from a colleague whose friend is working there. I gave them a try. And they impressed. The Android App interface can be better and more user-friendly. There are nine Meta Categories, and anywhere between 2 to 9 sub-categories for each of the Meta Categories. So the App can be a bit tough to handle, initially. But then, their search bar is beyond awesome. I realized this only after my first 2-3 orders. After that, all I had to do was “search” for an item and add it to my cart. So instead of choosing “Fruits & Vegetables” and then choosing “Vegetables” and then choosing “Potatoes”, I could just type “Potatoes” on the search bar and add it to my cart.

And their selection is good, considering they’ve only started a few months back. I’m sure they’ll expand their category tree with time. Geography-wise, they’ve hit the bull’s eye by starting with Gurgaon.

Service is impressive. They deliver within two hours and there’s no extra charge for delivery if your basket size is above 250. I’ve had only one bad experience with them. I had ordered for 3 units of Nutrichoice 5 grain and got Nutrichoice Digestive delivered instead. To quote Deepika Padukone, it is “my choice” what biscuit I’d like to munch. Raised this issue with their customer service agent and they were quick to respond and cordial.

Google Playstore says that their Android App has 5000-10000 downloads and my latest order number was 9270. So they’re still young, but definitely growing.

Good luck, Peppertap!  Would love to see “peppertap” become a verb, like Whatsapp, Xerox.

Why go to the market to buy groceries when you can just PepperTap it.


Startup Diaries #1: Zomato

I just happened to download the Android App of Zomato a couple of days back, and fell in love with it, at first sight. The seamless interface, ease-of-use and the business problem it solves for, all made me an instant Zomato loyalist. This is for a person who is nowhere close to being a connoisseur and is very selective about his food. Makes me wonder about how useful it can be to people who actually have a thing for food.

Zomato is a perfect example of creating a business that delivers value to all stakeholders. The customer has the power to decide the best eat-out place suited for him/her in his/her locality. Restaurants get added traction because of their visibility to people even outside their locality. Zomato, obviously monetizes from the restaurants that are listed on it.

Zomato was a great business “idea” (not sure if there are older players in the same market) even before its App was launched, when it was present only in one platform – the Desktop site. With the launch of its Mobile App (in 2011), the end customer got to search and visit restaurants in and around the area where he/she was currently standing.

This gave the end customer a lot of options to choose from – ITC Grand Chola to Rahul Tea Stall, any place could get itself listed on Zomato. Deepinder Goyal (Founder) would have had a challenging time trying to accumulate the first set of restaurants to list themselves on Zomato. Once the initial barrier was breached, it was only about scaling up to add more and more restaurants, by showcasing success stories of already listed restaurants. The model built by Deepinder and Co. was easily scalable, which is why they were able to expand rapidly across hundreds of cities in India, and abroad, in so little time.

Rather than just being an online search service which aggregates restaurants in a particular locality, Zomato enabled the user to rate and review restaurants. This meant that the restaurants listed on Zomato took additional care to “delight” the customer, for they knew that the customer would use the power of social media to spread a word about them, positive or negative.

Zomato made use of the insight that “people like to talk about the places they visit, verbally or through social media”. They helped create an all new ecosystem for people who like to discuss food.

I’ve been a big fan of their marketing campaigns too, be it the “There are two kinds of people” campaign or their minimal poster designs which regularly do the rounds on Social media.

I came across an article that listed Zomato’s App as one of the most downloaded Apps in 2014 (in India). After downloading the app myself, now I know why.

Keenly looking forward to what Zomato has in store, in 2015.

Next on Startup Diaries: Ola Cabs!