“There is no better time to start than today. One should not stress too much about the goal and the business plans. You will figure it out along the way. Being patient is the ultimate key as good things take time. Sometimes, lots of it.”- Mangesh Panditrao, Co-founder, CEO of Shoptimize in an exclusive and engaging interview with StartupStory Media
In this interview Mangesh Panditrao enlightened us about how they, with their vision they are creating jobs for the immense talents in India and their idea is enabling innumerable brands to reach their consumers.
Initiation of the journey
“I had a valid H1 visa which was in short supply and that seemed to be my biggest asset for potential acquirers. While I waited to get an offer that would let me live in India, I had started my first company with a school friend, signed up our first customer and got our first cheque. First I decided to give it 6 months to see if I can survive as an entrepreneur. And now it’s been 13 years that I am on this journey”- Mangesh Panditrao
Though both the founders were running separate IT services organizations of their own.They saw an opportunity in the brand eCommerce space and were backed by Tandem Capital. Thus they joined hands and it marked the beginning of the journey of Shoptimize.
Creating jobs for the immense talents in India
Upon asking why Mangesh Panditrao chose entrepreneurship over any other jobs prevalent in the current time, in an exclusive interview with Startup Story Media, he said:
“I always wanted to create value and jobs for the immense talent in India. The best way to do that was through entrepreneurship. I had the ability to work a lot more than most others and thought there would be value doing that for myself than for a corporate.”
Shoptimize, Enabling brands to reach their consumers
Shoptimize began with a simple vision of enabling brands to reach their consumers in an increasingly digital world. The Shoptimize product is divided into two key offerings. The eCommerce platform and the Growth platform. The eCommerce platform is the most efficient way for a brand to set up it’s online sales channel along with deep integrations to their internal business processes.
“We not only enable the online store but the entire ecosystem around it. The Growth platform is unique in a way that it is the only platform globally that can help scale revenues for the brand. It takes a 360 degree view of growth and recommends actions on campaigns and store performance that drive growth.”- Mangesh Panditrao
Along with this Mangesh Panditrao added that with a team of 120 people spread out over Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and the Delhi NCR region the company continues to believe that the journey has just begun and the future holds even bigger challenges, learnings and rewards.
Overcoming the challenges faced ?
Upon asking Mangesh Panditrao some the challenges that he and his team faced during their journey in the course of the interview with StartupStory Media, he said that though there is no dearth of challenges in every entrepreneur’s journey but after all this time, the two biggest challenges that continue is to be able to build an A-Class team and to raise sufficient capital to reach the definite goal as an organization.
“The biggest learnings for me have been to remain true to your capabilities and your vision. You will always get all sorts of advice. You need to factor it in and do what you think is right. Not doing that hurts you in the long run.”- added by Mangesh Panditrao.
Transition from outbound sales to inbound model
Reaching out to the customers is always a biggest challenge and concern for any organization. When StartupStory Media asked Mangesh Panditrao about how they are managing to distribute their service, he said:
“We grew primarily on the back of outbound sales where we pitched our product to potential customers and won business. It is now moving to a more inbound model where customers reach out to us and we need to manage driving growth with no in-person meetings with our customers. We have done this transition quite well I think.”
Eradicating stress for everyday challenges
Magnesh Panditrao shared his tips of how in between hectic schedules he is keeping himself free from any kind of stress and pressures that comes along his way.
“Spending time with family has been the best way to deal with stress. I have two small kids who manage to cheer me up in the most stressful of situations. Along with this I have been lucky to find a spouse who is good at putting things in perspective and making me realize that everything will be well in the end. I also try to exercise and play football to keep my stress levels low. Yoga is a new passion and it is working wonders for me.”- Mangesh Panditrao
Knowing the difference between what customers want and what they ask for
Mangesh Panditrao added some of his understanding and insights, leading the interview more engaging. According to him there is always a difference between what customers want and what they ask for and it is very important for the entrepreneur and the organization as a whole to understand what this difference is.
“If you don’t understand the difference, you end up building for the customer’s current requirements. But you may not add long term value. In the early years of a startup, it is very important to find customers with whom you can co-build the solution.”- Mangesh Panditrao
Message from a successful Entrepreneur
“There is no better time to start than today. One should not stress too much about the goal and the business plans. You will figure it out along the way. Being patient is the ultimate key as good things take time. Sometimes, lots of it.”- Mangesh Panditrao
He also added that it is very important for a leader to commit to lifelong learning. The game changes regularly and one needs to be on top of it.