Mydala.com – India’s largest discount coupon platform

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With smart phones taking a precedence and consumers increasingly resorting to mobile for buying products and making payments it is evident that flexibility to shop ‘on the move’ will become penultimate in India.

To tap this burgeoning Indian consumer class, which is increasingly connected to the mobility and internet mediums Mydala.com was established in 2009. It is now India’s largest promotion led online marketing platform for large brands, SMEs and MSMEs involved in providing consumer products and services; enabled by their 150,000+ advertiser/merchant base to target 400 million consumers across 200+ cities in India. Mydala’s footprint and reach offers customized and cost-effective solutions to advertisers/merchants to reach their target audience through attractive offers and promotional campaigns.

Techaloo got an opportunity  to have a chit-chat with Anisha  Singh, CEO  and Founder @ mydala.com. Let see what she wants to share with us.

Techaloo: When did you start your journey? What motivated you to start mydala? What was your vision/mission while starting mydala?

Anisha: mydala is actually my second company. My first company does digital content and has a JV with one of the largest real estate marketing firms in the US. I woke up one day and realized that Kinis was growing nicely and was pretty self-sufficient. I was looking at doing something more “cutting edge”. I was looking for ideas and came across the Chinese getting together and getting a discount. The same model seemed to be evolving in the US as well. Made perfect sense to try it in the Indian market where the only thing that had taken off was the experience of hybrid ecommerce in travel where you buy online but have your experience offline. However, in the first 6 months it also became clear to us that the main need was on the merchant or the small business side where they had limited options to market themselves.

Overtime we developed mydala into a marketing platform that helps all businesses especially local businesses market themselves via social media, mobile and our website. We help businesses build brand awareness and drive conversions to them. We help local businesses as well as online companies reach their right target user group leveraging mydala’s various platforms.

 

Techaloo: Where are you based out of?

Anisha: We are a headquartered in Delhi and operate in more than 150 cities.

 

Techaloo: What hurdles did you faced while starting?

mydala_logoAnisha: Being an entrepreneur the second time around, I know that any business will have its share of highs and lows. Getting people and convincing them to use a new service wasa challenge. With so many companies mushrooming up in the space, it is truly the world of mouth which will drive online sales. We don’t believe in going for heavy advertising, but have been driven by delivering good value-for-money deals to our consumers. After 5 years and being one of the only offers/deals company still around, with definitely the largest mobile reach of all B2C companies, I think we’ve let our passion and work speak for itself.

 

Techaloo: How many deals do you sell on mydala on a daily basis?

 Anisha: We sell about 1, 50,000 vouchers every day, and this includes both online and mobile numbers.

 

Techaloo: How much stake “Infoedge” has in Mydala and what role do they play?

Anisha: Since we launched in November 2009, we have raised around Rs. 28 crore investment from Info Edge and angel investors like Ajay Relan and Jayanta Basu of CX Partners until now. Info Edge owns around 47% stake in mydala.

 

Techaloo: How are you different from your competitors in various segments?

Anisha: We’re the only company that showcases local deals in over 150 cities in India and more than 75% of our business comes from mobile now. We have spent considerable time and research on understanding the pain points that the merchants had in terms of marketing themselves we built out a complete merchant marketing platform that allows the merchants to come and pick the way they want to market themselves and track the response that they get.

We aggressively focus on mobile – it has been the largest revenue and page traffic driver for us. We have exclusive partnerships with most of the telecom partners and OEMs in the country.

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Techaloo: How does it work? What is the working model for mydala?

Anisha: mydala is a pioneer in the social commerce space. This business concept holds well in view of so many customers shopping online and being driven by huge deals offered on different social platforms. We are principally in the e/m commerce space but are actively evolving ourselves in the digital space using the social network platforms available. For example, we have been jointly working with the production and the marketing team to promote movies in the online space. It not only garners visibility around the release of the movie but also helps us consolidate our presence by offering deals on products which are most sought after on the weekends. Moreover, we offer good deals for consumers on products and services in the lifestyle, food, entertainment and hardware space.

In a nutshell, we reach out to our consumers who wish to purchase online though different mode of communications including your mobile. We are working with telecom bigwigs in India to offer mobile re-couponing service on some of the best offers in your neighborhood.

 

Techaloo: You are in the discount couponing industry for long? How do you see it evolving ?

Anisha: In the U.S. vouchers account for nearly 7% of total retail sales. Vouchers are a billion dollar industry and statistics predict that one in four customers is likely to redeem a mobile voucher each year. While consumers are equally interested in discounts and deals in India, vouchers had a slow start was because the service was not organized nor was the technology advanced enough. Now with the sector getting organized and the technology gap getting bridged, I think e and m-couponing is coming of age in India.

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Techaloo: Why should a consumer/merchant choose your platform?

Anisha: We connect local merchants with customers in new ways: with promotions offered via mobile device, not just based on a customer’s location but also employing a powerful analytics engine to ensure a relevant promotion is shown to the users. The platform also enables businesses to target consumer in real time when a business has empty seats. Business also can choose exactly the kind of customer they would like to target rather and publishing promotion across the platform.

For users, it is the most convenient platform to view and purchase offers, not just on internet, but also while ‘on-the-move’ through feature phone and smartphone. Getting offers that are relevant to one’s interest areas and location based can be purchased and used instantly. The key here is the relevance of offering to the end user based on their buying behavior, location, user profile, etc. which is powered by the mydala analytics platform.

 

Techaloo: Who is your target audience? How do you engage with the youth?

Anisha: Our focus audience is anyone between18-35, but we want to engage people from all age groups to get some shopping benefits from mydala. We are very active on social media to engage with youth. Besides that we keep running quirky promotional activities to engage with the youth. For example, we organized a pub crawl that really caught the fancy of youngsters in Delhi.

 

Techaloo: How is the response till now?

Anisha: The response has been very positive. We achieved EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and amortization) positive in FY14.

 

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?

Anisha: We are the leading player in mobile coupons with a presence in over 150 cities and over 100,000+ merchants. We are planning to increase our footprint in tier-II and tier-III cities as well as consolidate our presence in the metros. A couple of years from now, we see mydala as the de-facto provider of coupons and loyalty programs with the most extensive merchant base.I foresee that every single Indian will go on mydala first when they want to shop for food, travel or anything else!

 

Techaloo: What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

Anisha: I see a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs in general. Each day the support structure for entrepreneurs and start-ups seems to be maturing. Although it’s still not the Valley, but it’s become much better from when we started. There are a lot of angel networks, forums, incubators and support systems that are helping the new entrepreneurs think innovative. I think the two things we did well were persistence, and looking at mydala from the perspective of a merchant and a user. The key was innovation and resourcefulness.

People will only believe in you when you believe yourself so don’t doubt yourself. If you set your mind and heart on to something, just go do it. What’s the worst that will happen, you’ll fail but that’s not all that bad – you just start over again.

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Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?

Anisha: I think you are doing great and we need more sites like Techaloo. In college, young people don’t really have the opportunity to think our-of-the-box or have the resources to start something on their own. Your site is like the ideal incubator for budding entrepreneurs to find ideas, inspiration and encouragement. Way to go!

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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