Based out of Chennai, Gokulraj GK and Balaji Gopalan have been cerebrating Zapstore for more than a year now, until today, when they finally launched their e-commerce dreams with this final iteration of fun shopping @ www.zapstore.com.
In conversation with Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory.in, the co-founders tell us more about how they strive to be one of the big players in the eCommerce space with their unique shopping concept and to make sure every ‘ZAPPER’ is always a winner!
Gokul, please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us what did you do before taking the plunge into the entrepreneurial world?
I, Gokulraj GK, did my Masters at The University of Texas with my dear friend Balaji Gopalan. That’s where we met and decided to pursue our entrepreneurial goals by coming up with this new eCommerce portal Zapstore.com. I have always been passionate about starting my own business as my parents have been entrepreneurs themselves. During my days of under graduation in SRM University, I started an ITES firm, eFuture Solutions with some private capital. We deal with Digital Signatures for Private Ltd. Companies. We are successfully competing with much larger firms by providing best customer service backed up latest technology and services. After graduating from SRM University with Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, I went to USA to pursue Masters in Engineering Management. After a two year stint, I came back to India to pursue my entrepreneurial dream by cerebrating Zapstore.com with Balaji Gopalan, who came up with an idea to start an eCommerce website in India that serves the Indian customers and satisfies their needs. After completing his Bachelors in Sri Venkateswara Engineering College, he flew to pursue Master’s of Business Administration. He turned down several internship opportunities in the USA, with the sole aim of starting his own venture in India. He is always been pragmatic and wanted to make the eCommerce experience in India much more fun.
Could you tell our readers what the Zapstore is all about?
Zapstore.com is an eCommerce portal aimed at making shopping an enjoyable experience. We have brought in a new concept called ‘ZAPPING’. Zapstore gives the consumer an option to buy the product at the price that they want to. Every customer would have to ‘ZAP’ to reveal a new price. The customer would have an option to BUY the product at the price revealed. If he/she wants the price to be much lower, he/she can come back later and ‘ZAP’ again to reveal a much lower price. Overall ZAPstore.com works as an options market. If the consumer does not want to ZAP but still want to buy the product, he /she can do the same using ‘Insta Purchase’ option.
We are bootstrapped as of now and are open for investments.
Which payment gateway do you plan to provide?
EBS is our payment gateway partner and we would be offering COD facility too. We also plan to provide Paypal as an alternative payment option.
Any value added services do you plan to offer?
We plan to add a Live Chat facility, Interactive Feedback system, Customer service via SMS, Fun and rewarding challenges (in the near future), Free Shipping, Transit Insurance and a gift wrapping option as well.
Tell us about your supply chain network.
We have tied up with distributors of all the major brands dealing in electronic gadgets. We work closely with our logistics partners to make sure all products bought at Zapstore reach the customers promptly. We have a transit insurance to cover the lost or damages in the shipment.
What kind of people are you targeting through Zapstore?
Our target customers are between the age-group of 16-35yrs old. We are targeting Generation X and Y.
So what provoked you both to get into the e-commerce space?
The reason we wanted to do an eCommerce portal is because, we think all the shopping sites are boring and generic in nature. Every portal has the same layout and buying process. We wanted to have a unique colourful site that would be attractive and fun.
But, even then, don’t you think you already have a lot of established players to compete with?
There are no similar sites in the eCommerce space. We have something unique from other eCommerce websites in India. We agree that there are a lot of established players that we have to compete with. But, the major reason why we want to launch a site like Zapstore.com is because, these established players have a very generic portal and we wanted to do something different in this space providing the same level of service.
So, what, in a nutshell, is the USP of Zapstore?
Enabling our consumers to buy the products they want at the prices that they wish. We have a much more social website than others in the market. For every purchase the customers would be rewarded. We will be introducing a new feature in Zapstore.com that would enable the customers to complete some fun challenges and by doing so, gain ‘ZAP reward’ points.
For more details, please visit www.zapstore.com. As a YourStory reader, you may avail to special discounts at Zapstore. com. Click on ‘BUY ZAP PACKS’ at the header to select the ZAP Packs and Use the code : yszap30 to avail 30% discount coupon on ZAP packs. The minimum checkout price should be Rs.20/-
If you are interested in e-commerce startup, then do check-out our upcoming e-commerce startup showcase event E-Sparks 2011
- Abhilasha Dafria