Introduction & all about Zhopout
[Below is the english version interview of Murugan Durai – Zhopout founder, which published at tamil.yourstory.com]
What problem does your startup solve? What is the solution? Mention your pricing of the products?
Zhopout is a mobile & web application which helps shoppers to discover local brands and deals with cash points, which in-turn helps brick & mortar retailers to get more footfalls (O2O).
Shoppers would get location-based deal notifications; find brands with exclusive & non-exclusive offers /deals at their vicinity. It also helps stores to reward shoppers for their 5th or 9th walk-in based on the analytics data.
Shoppers would also discover the brands & products of the local stores like in which store they can get park avenue women shirts at OMR, donuts at royapuram, etc.
Zhopout so far curated 1000 local stores and 600 stores from shopping malls of Chennai.
Competitors of Zhopout are are Shopholix, Fashalot, kloseby & Shopsup.
A brief overview of the sector that your startup is working in. How it has evolved, size and predictions and who it caters to?
According to IBEF Retail Industry Analysis, India’s retail market’s total size was estimated to be around $672 Billion in 2015 and expected to hit $1.3 Trillion by 2020 with growth rate of 16%.
Behind the Scenes
What is the story behind the startup, that is, how did it come to be? Do you have co-founders? Mention their details?
Zhopout’s founder used to shop with his family at Chennai Shopping Malls a lot and most of the times find difficulties in finding location, their deals & their brands and almost used to buy without deals as there wasn’t any notification then. He wanted to solve this problem and founded this company as a solution.
Background of the founders. Team size (No of members started with and now working currently) and bifurcation from starting to now.
Murugan Durai – Single Founder, who previously worked at TCS, have more than 10 years of experience with software product development. Four member team, has a full stack developer who predominantly works on API, web, mobile application, back-end systems. Founder works on marketing, sales, application architecture and leading the team with daily operations.
Questions to Founder
Can you introduce yourself, your background and native, educational qualifications?
I am Murugan Durai, studied Diploma in a Chennai – Central Polytechnic College and worked at TCS before starting-up. Please refer this two minute story from my friend’s blog. https://gokoulane.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/bhajji-shop-to-buckingham-palace-my-inspiration
After completion of education where did you start your career? How many years of experience and what’s the nature of your job if you have worked?
Started my career as a hardware service engineer and within few months transferred to software development team on my request back in 2005. Had almost 10 years of experience with software product development when starting-up my own company.
What motivated you to Start-up? Is it a dream from the beginning or which was the point you decided to start-up?
I used to support my mother at fruit shop from early school days; it is not a big surprise that I always dream to starting-up which lead me to save some money during my stint at London – TCS office to invest. After returned from UK, while working at TCS – Chennai, started working in different ideas at my free times, even able to form a full-time (2 member) team & paid them to work at my ideas like cricket based game and Zhopout (then it was only a web product). After a year of that, I wanted to quit & join my own product team as our minimum viable product was almost ready.
Do you have idols, mentors and whose words to follow? If any pls give some quotes?
Currently seeking mentorship from Balachandar Muruganantham, Head of International Operations of Voonik.com,who always advised us to focus on providing more value to the customers and revenue generation.
Is it bootstrapped or funded? Who are the investors and mentors? Funding details if received? Future plans?
Bootstrapped and invested INR 6.5 Lakhs as working capital till date. Currently we are looking to raise a smaller round as a seed round.
Any major struggles or Challenges faced during the journey?
We are working hard to get more traction with shoe-string budget for marketing without outside funding. Though Chennai is famous for its B2B startups, we wanted to be a good successful, profitable B2C startup from Chennai by 2018.
Download the app here http://bit.ly/get-zhopout-here
Visit website http://www.zhopout.com?ref=zhopout-blog-ys
Follow Zhopout at Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin
— March 22, 2017