Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The out of box salesman

How the websites like Zimmber, Timesaverz and HouseJoy generate revenue ?

Revenue generation by HouseJoy,Timesaverz and Zimmber
Generating Revenue
Zimmber, Timesaverz & HouseJoy types of websites are basically aggregators of common household/business service providers e.g. Beauticians, Plumbers, Electricians, Fitness Trainers, Home Cleaning, Deep Home Cleaning ,Painting, Pest control services, AC servicing, Sofa cleaning etc. There are many more such portals or websites operating on small scale to big one like JustDial, Quickr, OLX, Locanto, etc.

In a nutshell view, basically they are classified websites where service providers can register themselves with their contact details and complete profile of their establishment.They can provide details of the services and their tariff structure, staff personnel, availability of time and location.The target customers for these portals/websites are young working professionals and migrant population new to the city who are internet savvy and having less familiarity with demographics of the locality in which they are currently staying.

Customers of these portals/websites can search and find the service provides as per their location and availability of time.

What is the business model for these portals/websites which generate revenue?

  •  Revenue generation mechanism for these portals/websites can be:
  •  Service providers can be charged for registration on the portal/website on monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription basis or each transaction happening between Service Provider and Customer can be charged on commission basis. 
  •  Contextual advertisements can be provided to advertisers which will be a source of revenue for website/portal. Accordingly, suitable payment collection mechanism Internet Banking, Payment Gateway or COD (Cash on Delivery) can be implemented.
Technologically they are internet version of newspaper classifieds or yellow pages with additional facilities like:
  •          Location or pin-code based search.
  •          Mobile App facilities (Android and iOS)
  •          24-hour call assistance
Now as far as choosing technology to implement this is concerned, there are two options:
  • Website or portal can be created by hiring PHP/MySQL/HTML/CSS developers to do it from scratch. Building the website or portal from scratch as per custom requirement is time-consuming and it requires significant resources in terms of money and infrastructure
  • Another alternative can be to select some open-source PHP based classified website scripts and tweak that with the help of developers and software engineers as per custom requirements. This is less time-consuming and requires less resources in terms of time, money and physical infrastructure.
The above tasks can be achieved technologies like JAVA or The Official Microsoft ASP.NET Site also. Choice of technology should be decided based on pros and cons of various platforms, scalability consideration and availability of respective technical skills.

Some examples of free PHP based open-source classified scripts:

Please note that just installing a classified website is not the end of task. Significant amount of content and listing of service providers on the website/portal must be loaded in order to shorten the time required to acquire a good database of new service providers and new customers. After the completion of above tasks, the portal/website can expect to start generating user traffic to be in business. Social Media Marketing can be used to increase traffic and penetration in already saturated market with small and big players.

You can also contact various vendors who sell ready-made databases of service providers and customers in order to get go.

The thoughts expressed in the article are author's personal expression and views. All the product(s) and brand(s) named in this article belong to respective companies and they are rightful copyright owner

Friday, 16 September 2016

The out of box salesman

Content and Gaming Apps for Brand Creation

Content and Gaming Apps for Brand Creation
Gaming apps for brand creation


Recently, we as a Start-Up company have launched an E-Commerce Portal  which sells nutrition and other related products like protein supplements, protein shakes, supplementary vitamins, various salts and oils, jogging and sports related apparels, super foods, snacks and good food capsules and oils.We are trying to grow social media organically, but we are currently related to Facebook and twitter.

Please suggest other methods and medium to achieve our object with least cost of investment.


Find what is nature of products/services?

 Since your products are related to sports supplements and nutrition, there are available protein supplements also. Naturally your majority of target audience is youngsters who are more sports inclined and who are physical fitness freaks. Grown up men/women are also target audience for vitamins and nutrition supplements.

Generate Educative Content via. Blogging

Creating awareness by writing content on various blogs (Blogging) related to sports, fitness and health and correlating with your products is a way to go. You may create your own dedicated blog also related to these topics and promoting the blogs/content on social media. It is possible to hire a team of dedicated content writers or bloggers for the above topics. The content generated should give scientific facts and information related to your products and it should be able to differentiate among other products available in your competitive segment. Here content of the blog should be of educative nature which should convince reader for necessity of the products.

Generate Educative Content via. Audio Visual Media

Creating a dedicated YouTube channel and videos related to sports/fitness is another way with advertisement of your products, again visual content should be of educative nature convincing the viewers about need of the products.

Co-branding with Gaming Apps

You may use another strategy loosely termed as gamification of your products/services. In fact, it is not a single strategy, but combination of multiple strategies which uses Android and iOS mobile platform.

You need to tie-up with popular mobile games running on Android or iOS platforms. Games or Apps selected must be predominantly action oriented, like car-racing type, bike racing type, counter-strike type games, body-building and fitness related Apps or any other popular games. The deal is that you can provide the access to your website and facility to do product purchase from the game or App free of cost or at discount at certain level of scores in the game. The player or user must be registered to your website as authenticated user.

Users or players can register to your website from the App also. You can also provide "Refer a Friend" concept where user of the game or player can invite other users to your website via. Game only. After certain level of referrals done by the user or player, you can give discounts or allow free of cost purchase. It is a win-win situation for both, the game publisher and your portal. This strategy relies heavily on other popular games running on Android or iOS platform and it solely depends on how you crack the deal?

Second strategy is that you create your own Apps for Android or iOS platforms related to your products. Some of the app ideas, I can think of:

  •     Click photograph of your six-packs and post on your website
  •     App related to schedule of your exercise routine
  •     App related to recipes
  •     How to choose apparels for workout?
  •     App which describes how to use protein to build six-packs and body-building
  •     And there can be many...

Second strategy is capex oriented and requires significant time/resources in development of Apps. First strategy requires less or none investment of time and financial resources and it solely depends on negotiating terms and conditions with App publisher. I think combination of both the above strategies will do a lot in generating traffic to your website organically. It is also termed as Gamification of Brand now-a-days, a term coined newly where Apps are treated as Media platform for attracting right kind of audience.

Again, these are my viewpoints and it is always open to scrutiny and criticism.

Thanking You

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The out of box salesman

INDIA needs LIGHT revolution, INDIA needs LED

LED Light
LED Light

India needs "Light revolution". We need light at cheapest cost. We need LED technology to achieve this. We need Solar technology to achieve this. We need combination of these two technologies to make sure not a single kid in a distant INDIAN village is deprived of doing homework at night, because simply there is no light in his/her hut.Forget about good house, we need "Light" first. It is one of the basic necessity after food and shelter. Because it is directly related to the education of children and future generation. It is directly related to why most of our children leave school at rural distant population ? It is related to why our rural agrarian economy is not becoming profitable ? , just because adult literacy is not increasing and there is no culture of reading at night. Simply because there is no "Light".

Just like decades before, we were at the brisk of poverty and our majority of population was going hungry, we created a "Green revolution". Now we are in a position to feed at least majority of population because we started growing variety of crops and we became self-sufficient partially.It happened because of efforts of our scientists , leaders and farmers who participated to achieve this.

Light is costly even today for majority of our  INDIAN village population considering their per capita income and economic situation.In addition to this lack of poor electrical infrastructure, the end result is that electrification is only on papers and in numbers of government files. 96% villages are electrified as per government numbers, but in reality it is far from having all homes running
all kinds of equipment(s) on it. Only 60% of INDIAN villages are able to harness full power of electricity even in 21st century. Off course, we are giant in IT and Software Industry.It is a bitter truth.

I was fascinated by LED(s) right from my engineering college days. In those days, hardly white LED(s) were available. We used to get red and green LED(s) very easily. I was surprised with the fact that a small amount of DC voltage was able to generate so much of Luminosity. A modern white LED light bulb converts more than 50 percent of the electricity it uses into Light. Please compare that to the 4 percent conversion rate for incandescent bulbs.LED(s) also last up to 100,000 hours (almost 20 years), compared to 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights and 1,000 hours for incandescent bulb. A white LED light is easy to make from a blue one. Engineers use a blue LED to excite some kind of fluorescent chemical in the bulb. That converts the blue light to white Light. Our whole world is grateful to Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura for invention of blue light-emitting diodes for which they have been awarded Nobel prize of physics, a new energy efficient and environment-friendly light source. Because of blue-led light, it is now possible to create while LED Light.

We need pencil-cell operated LED tube light(s) for our INDIAN villages where electricity infrastructure has not reached yet or simply it is not working. We need motor-bike operated LED lighting system so that in day time people can drive motor-bikes and at night battery can be used to LIGHT the house. Motor-bike batteries can be charged at petrol pumps. There is tremendous need of solar operated LED lighting at cheapest cost of ownership and almost zero recurring maintenance cost. There is lot of scope for innovation in this area e.g. developing LED lighting system for farmers where light will be automatically switched off when no human will be present in their field(s) where high-yield crops are present.Also, village street lights operated on solar power which will be switched off in day time. Off course most of the products and technologies are available in the market, but we need to develop an Eco-system where it will be produced locally at every district level of INDIAN villages.

But our cities also need to be "Energy" efficient.We not only need LED lighting system for homes and shops to con-server energy , but also for our parking lots, empty galleries, darkened streets at distant locations in cities, ATM(s),railway platform(s), bus stand(s) , you name a place where secondary lighting is  not required  ?, everywhere it is required, and so LED lighting with conservation is required.
We need to build start-up ecosystem actually developing innovative product(s) in this segment. Sadly, most of our start-ups are focusing on technologies related to software product(s) or service(s).
It is high time they realize that energy conservation for masses is one of the biggest market in our country where at one end most of our village population is not able to access it even at higher cost and at other end urban population , they do not have means to conserve and economically use it.

The thoughts expressed in the article are author's personal expression and views. All the product(s) and brand(s) named in this article belong to respective companies and they are rightful copyright owner