When you have the desire to change the market dynamics, your ingenuity paves the path towards success. The same story is true when it comes to Ketur shah and Gaurav Wadhwani. Both met in London while doing their Masters at the Prestigious University College London. While Ketur has done his MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship and has worked in his family business of Industrial and machinery supplies for the last 2 years, Gaurav has done his MSc in Web Sciences and Big Data analytics. He was also actively involved in his family business for the past two years where they had to face problems while sourcing the spares for their machines at a cold storage unit.
Gaurav and Ketur together worked on a dissertation and business pitch while pursuing their post-graduation on how we can make use of technology and Big Data to change the way Spare parts are purchased in India. Their latest venture SpareGuru aims to eradicate the issues faced by them and many others. SpareGuru is a marketplace that enables sellers, dealers and manufacturers across the country to sell and purchase spare parts.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Searching for Spares in an industry is a tiresome process. On the breakdown of Machine, the owner/engineer needs to contact multiple suppliers for quotes, the process of getting quotes takes a long time. They might not even reach the proper supplier as there are too many people in the middle and connecting with the right supplier becomes a big task. Spareguru Solves this problem by providing instant online quotes, Tie up with multiple suppliers and best manufacturers in India helps the customer reach directly to the source.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
My family has been in the trading business for the last 35 years, Something which my grandfather and uncles started, taken ahead by the father . My Family deals in bearings and various other spares, especially for the earthmoving equipment. I could personally experience the lack of technology use in this sector. The vast opportunities that could be tapped. There is N number of intermediary and traders so the cost of a particular product would increase X times till it reaches the customers. I could sense the need for a portal which could connect manufacturers / Distributors to end users.This would help both of them in their business. Also, lack of quality was one major issue. One could not trust the spares available with the middleman so it was necessary to buy from the right source.
What is your life mantra?
Right From childhood my parents have taught me to dream big. They have taught me to take risks and not be afraid of failure. Mantra of my life would be to aim to the stars so that one day we would at least reach somewhere close.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Our target sector as we yet have not adopted technology for their day to day working efficiently. They still rely on WhatsApp calls to enquire for products and are used to verbal communication. Getting them to use a computer and surf on the web is a big task. So we are also entertaining customers on calls/ Whatsapp/ In-person or SMS. We have kept all means of communication open so that we can serve our customers the best. Also, the customers are used to paying for the products after a credit period of 60 days etc so they are not ready to pay upfront for any products. So we are working on razor thin margins and given such attractive rates that the customer is attracted to pay upfront and purchase.
How did you overcome those challenges?
As I mentioned earlier razor thin margins, and multiple means of communication are the main ways we have tried to overcome the challenge.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Spareguru.com is a self-funded business at the moment. We are bootstrapping and we have a small team working with us. My family being in the same business gives us a good head start with the suppliers and a few customers. We use the traditional means for marketing and word of mouth is one major source to fetch business.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We are very lean in our processes and are a very small firm at the moment, so we have not yet experienced the problem of Brain Drain.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
The three most important qualities according to me are
1) Love of the work they do
2) Being Honest with everything in life
3) Being patient is the key
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use Google apps the most, the free services like drive, keep and mainly search. We also make use of Slack for communication within the team and podium for the task management.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Making a note of things to be completed by the next day
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I sleep too late and can’t exercise in the morning, I wish I could change that. I feel a person needs to be fit and healthy to work hard for larger purposes of the life.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Love the work you do, Success will surely be achieved.
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Not taking risks is the biggest mistake and also we should lose patience, we should wait for the right time.
• One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Customer service is the best form of marketing, it is also cheaper than other forms
What are your plans for next 3 years?
In the next three years, our main target is to cover all the major segments on Spareguru. right now we are just covering bearings, Earthmoving spares and automobile spares. We would like to cover all major industrial sectors. SpareGuru also plans to Launch sellers centric web pages where each seller can host their personal website and products on spareguru, We are looking to also experiment with a new model where the seller can themselves take care of the payment system with the customer with Spareguru being just a hosting platform.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would Start at a very younger age with smaller projects.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
1) London ( I have done my masters from there)
2) San Fransisco
3) Leh Ladakh
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.”