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IITians’ business model eases shopping woes

| PAWAN BALI
Published Apr 30, 2014, 7:36 am IST
Updated Apr 1, 2019, 11:06 am IST
Website offers users to share their candid product experiences to help to avoid buying mistakes
Founders of Reviews42.com, Surjendu Kuila (Left) and Neeraj Jain (Photo: DC)
 Founders of Reviews42.com, Surjendu Kuila (Left) and Neeraj Jain (Photo: DC)

New delhi: While all start-ups dream of becoming a Google or Facebook one day, the life of an entrepreneur; especially in India, is a “dog’s life”, says  Sujendu Kuila one of the co-founders of Reviews42, a consumer product research platform.

Mr Kuila IIT and IIM alumni started Reviews42 along with another IIM alumni Neeraj Jain in 2011. While both of them agreed that e-commerce is going to flourish in India, they felt there was a need for a company which could provide consumers with information like product discovery, reviews of different products and prices offered by various on-line and off-line ventures.

 

“Review is very important for purchasing,” says Mr Kuila. As far as naming the company as Reviews42 was concerned, they used the word “review” as it was going to be in review space. “42” was inspired from comic science fiction ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’  created by Douglas Adams, which is popular among fans of the genre(s) and members of the scientific community. As per the book “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.”

However, as they began setting up the company they found out that there is challenge in every step. “There is a challenge in every step you take, from getting electricity, to internet connection. Then you have to pitch with the venture capitalists to invest in the company. You have to pitch with the employees to join a company at a stage where we are no one and you have to keep motivating them. We are constantly selling our product,” says Mr Kuila. 

When quizzed about hitting a break-even point Mr Kulia was not positive about it. “We are not focused on break-even. This is because if you want to be a big company you have to plough money back into the business. If Flipkart wants to break-even, they can do it tomorrow but they are looking at growth,” says Mr Kuila.   

Talking about future plans, Reviews42, which is based out of Noida, is looking to open office in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai this year. “We want to be in 32 cities in next five years,” says Mr Kuila.

Reviews42, which is a VC funded company  received its initial funding from Nirvana Venture Advisors and Blume Ventures, in addition to a couple of Angel Investors. The company is not looking at raising loans from banks.

Reviews42 intends to empower these shoppers by making all the desired information easily available on the user’s mobile phone as well. It encourages its users to share their candid product experiences with the community to help everyone avoid costly buying mistakes.

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