There are been several cases where ideas behind startups have emerged in a café while sipping a coffee. However, in the case of Sameer Grover, it went a step further, as he managed to build a product based on the instant feedback from his potential customers right there. Sameer is a serial entrepreneur and a quintessential product person. He has had extensive experience creating and marketing software products for large as well as small enterprises.
After completing his BE in Civil Engineering he went on the get ample experience in various organization. He also worked in various leadership positions ranging from healthcare, technology and cloud telephony. He is a dynamic and passionate leader who has led development and launch of award winning products. All this prominence is the core reason behind his action to lead his own company Crown It. is a mobile app, which is set to revolutionize retail business in India. Customers get cash back each time they visit and spend on retail outlets through a customer club.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Crown-it is an app-only, hyperlocal merchant discovery and privileges platform. It operates an O2O (Online to Offline) platform that allows local merchants to list themselves and attract consumers. It helps consumers with their buying decision by offering them curated and personalized eating out and shopping options based on their spending habits, interests and social data, with Cash back benefits.
Crown-it also enables the merchants to create customized deals – which are dynamic, hyper local and targeted to specific audiences based on their gender, location, spending and eating habits, and day of week & time of day etc. The merchants are, in turn, charged a percentage of business driven to them.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I was always interested in the consumer deal space. As a regular user of said space myself, I felt there was a lot of friction in the coupon model, at both the merchant and the consumer end. I wanted to create a smoother deal model that is fun and engaging for the customers and result- driven for the merchants.
What is your life mantra?
It is to have fun in whatever I do. That is my true mantra to life and success!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The biggest challenge was to convince the merchants that our model is going to work. Skepticism ran high and tiding over their misconceptions over new ventures was a murky area of sorts. Earning their trust and getting them on-board was difficult.
How did you overcome those challenges?
By delivering what we had promised. We have earned the trust of the merchants now and that has solved half of the problems for us.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Crown-it had it’s inception in March, 2014. We had raised series-A funding of $5.5Mn from Accel partners and Helion ventures in May-2015. Prior to that we had raised $300,000 of Angel investment in three rounds.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We believe that the employees of Crown-it are its core strength. Every team can independently decide on product features, marketing campaigns and implementing ideas. Exciting work environment and immense growth opportunities provides the job satisfaction that the employees look for.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Making a phone call instead of sending an email.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I often find myself battling with procrastination. Ideally, I would like to adopt better discipline and prioritization.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Keep it light; Keep it fun!
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Trying to do everything alone.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Dream big and your dreams can come true.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
I plan to position Crown-it in 25 cities across India by 2018, with an approximately 20 million users and drive annual GMV of $1.2Bn across various categories.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would become an entrepreneur right out of college.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“It’s a game. I created the game. And I can change the game anytime.”