Most people do not have such illustrious list of startups behind their name, but when it comes to Neeraj Kumar, all you can say is that he is one true serial entrepreneur. After completing his B.Tech in computer sciences, he started his career as a software engineer at Infosys. After gaining much credence, he took the leap and started his first company Essenso Labs. After that, it was just a flood of other companies from his stable. The list includes Container Solutions India, Skyavi, Toiletfirst.org and the latest Pricemojo.
PriceMojo mobile app is a revolution in e-commerce and retail business. It provides buyers a way to negotiate with multiple sellers without actually visiting retail stores. Neeraj is an enterprising person, having a knack of picking technology trends very early which has been the deciding factor behind his success.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
PriceMojo is a hyper-local, e-commerce mobile application which allows customers to bargain with sellers in real-time. One can bargain with retail stores for cameras, electronics and home appliances (to start with). With PriceMojo, you can name your price for any item and if seller accepts your offer, then the item is yours. Seller too has a say in this negotiation process. Seller can revise your offer to a more reasonable one if you have asked for a price, at which, he just cannot sell. Both buyer and seller get only one chance to name their price. This makes the whole process very simple and interesting as well.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Bargaining or negotiation has always been an area of fascination for me. It is something which people love, but still not everyone is good at. We want to eliminate the hassle from the entire negotiation process. Current market has become a seller’s market, we buy at the price at which seller has listed an item. We want to shift the balance in buyer’s favour. We want to give the power of naming a price to everyone. We have every right to get the best value for our money.
What is your life mantra?
Life is a daring adventure or nothing.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
On the product front, I think it would have to be getting the early adopters. They are a critical bunch. Idea is easy, execution is easy, and launching is easier, the difficult part is to reach the critical mass.
How did you overcome those challenges?
I wouldn’t say that we have completely overcome these challenges yet, but we are working on it. We found some interesting bunch of people who were very impressed with the concept and they believed in it. They have become our product enthusiasts and evangelists. They helped us a lot in getting the word out and in getting the early adopters. We did a bit of growth hacking as well.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
As of now PriceMojo is bootstrapped. We are trying to take it as far as we can. But it’s a reality that the money is running out.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
By having people who believe in the startup concept (uncertainty, ambiguity but also a rewarding experience), who want to work with you and not for you. Brain Drain happens for a variety of reasons, some can be avoided but at times we just need to let go.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Ability to accept failure
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- Google products
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Work in shorter bursts but with intense focus.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
To work on many ideas simultaneously. I should focus on a few.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Rapid Prototyping – Whether it is an Idea or a business model.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Never leave your regular job just because you got an awesome idea. Moonlight on it, at least for sometime.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Sleeping over an idea works. Talk to people, get more and more feedback on your prototype.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Build PriceMojo and ToiletFirst, visit at least 6 new countries, climb an 8a route, finish a 10k in under 45mins and work with some non-profit organizations.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would work with people from different countries, different skill sets and contrasting styles.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“I may not be the only one, but still I am one. I may not do everything still I CAN do something. Since I cannot do everything I would not refuse to do something I CAN do.”