Jul 12, 2022 | interviews

Exclusive Interview with Saket Singhi - CEO of Quick eSelling

In this exclusive interview, He shared his experiences in IT and several more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.

1. Tell Us about yourself how you start your career in IT Sector?

I was born in Rajasthan and brought up in the United States. As I grew up, my family and I decided that we missed being in our homeland. So, we returned to India, and I completed my master's at Sukhadia University. Back then, both the entrepreneurship and technology ecosystems in India were in their very early stages. But, I took an inventory of my skills, examined the market opportunity, and decided to launch my venture that would eventually grow into JVS Group. We had an inherent differentiation from day one of operations. Most of our contemporaries were focused on services since they promised a certain baseline revenue. We understood that there was a massive gap in product-led technology solutions. And that is how we started looking at one industry after another – healthcare, eCommerce, and the rest. Since then, our focus has been on incremental, pragmatic, and applied innovation. That focus on innovation and a driven team have been central to our momentous growth thus far.

2. Tell us in brief about your company and the leadership.

Quick eSelling is a part of the JVS Group – our aggregated platform for industry-focused technology development. We have structured the firm in a manner that provides clear a directive of functional responsibilities for each individual in the company's human capital ecosystem while still creating room for seamless collaboration.

I have had the privilege of being on the management team at Quick eSelling. I look after strategic decision-making and contribute to the leadership’s view on human capital, technology, and marketing initiatives. Thankfully, I am surrounded by highly motivated, skilled, and disciplined people who want to build great products, design lasting solutions, and create a dent in the universe. One of these amazing people is Co-founder Shrenik Gandhi, who leads our sales, business development, and consulting functions. Before joining Quick eSelling, Shrenik was breaking sales records and cultivating relationships at IBM and SAP. He encompasses the very culture of our firm with his energy, focus, and drive for innovation. He has been the leading force behind several goal-based product extensions that have contributed to our unparalleled growth.

3. What is your outlook for 2021?

While the pandemic has been disruptive to most industries, it has highlighted the use-case for eCommerce adoption across the country. Every customer and retailer now values the digital ecosystem of product discovery and payments, allowing for no physical-contact customer lifecycles that are convenient and safe. The industry's $8 billion raised in private capital in 12 months validated this underlying trend.

As internet and smartphone penetration increases while the eCommerce ecosystem becomes more frictionless, the growth of the Indian eCommerce market will only grow. I would not be surprised if the market grows by 8x or 9x in the next 2-3 years in terms of the gross merchandise value.

Such a scale of manifold growth cannot come from a singular source. And that is where I see another latent trend emerging. As more retailers and small & medium scale enterprises switch or extend their channels to eCommerce, they will see the need for control available in the D2C space. The eCommerce marketplace model is great for a lot of businesses. But many merchants understand the value of having control over their store, inventory, customer experience, and customer data.

While the marketplace model will keep growing, we will also see tremendous adoption of SaaS models for launching eCommerce stores as an industry. And as that trend comes to full strength, Quick eSelling will be in a unique position to deliver tested, well-engineered, and cost-effective solutions that enable small, medium, and large scale enterprises to launch their D2C stores without any hassles.

Other than that, the more linear predictions would include increased adoption of omnichannel, AI/ML integrations on eCommerce platforms, and vernacular language support in the customer lifecycle. At Quick eSelling, we have been witnessing these salient trends for a while now and have already designed & deployed features to fulfill such needs.

4. How do you assess the role of research agencies like TopappFirms in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?

I firmly believe there is a lot of value-addition provided by platforms like TopappFirms. I started in the Indian IT industry close to two decades ago. Back then, there was practically no way to streamline the discovery of your services as a company for prospects.

Today, we are a part of an evolving and well-connected ecosystem. Yet, as far as B2B services are concerned, I see gaps in how businesses approach discovery, filtering, and onboarding technology partners and vendors.

Recommendations, ratings, and reviews play a critical role in that lifecycle. Google and LinkedIn are effective to some extent. But, especially in India, businesses want cost-effective and yet reliable services. And that requires more relatable, transparent, and industry-specific opinions from peers and comparable companies.

I think TopappFirms adds considerable value in bridging the information gap between businesses and technology developers by providing accurate information in the right context.

5. Any particular technology or industry you would be targeting? How do you plan to prepare your workforce for the upcoming technology upgrade?

The Quick eSelling platform is optimized for a wide range of industries like fashion, jewelry, restaurants, cosmetics, electronics, automotive, health & wellness, sports goods, handicrafts, and several others. We plan to add more industries very soon.

Our next frontier of innovation is adding more efficiency and accessibility for our platform using Artificial Intelligence with a greater impetus on Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. ML significantly reduces the operational workload often resting on the shoulders of data engineers, scientists, and analysts. Most small and medium-scale enterprises do not have access to such resources. Hence, by developing ML-driven features inherent to our platform, we empower their need for more automation and intelligent solutions.

NLP is one area that excites everyone at Quick eSelling. Our platform is already available in multiple languages and supports transactions in several currencies. As an industry, we saw $4 billion worth of sales across the market in the October 2021 festive week. Over 55% of the sales came from Tier-II cities where vernacular languages can streamline the discovery to conversion cycle. Building on that need, we plan to enhance our NLP capabilities and fulfill this systemic demand for vernacular eCommerce.

6. What all services do you think you would add to your offerings in 2021?

Our central focus is on business automation since it aligns with our vision, capabilities, and growth plans for 2021 and beyond. Development rigor is at the core of everything we do. And that is sharpened by the feedback, recommendations, and problem statements we proactively collect from our clients and partners. This helps us evolve into a better and comprehensive eCommerce solutions company. We ensure that our ownership of the process is not limited to deploying the product. We go well beyond that and ensure that our customers have a satisfying experience of working with us.

We are pushing the envelope even further on the business automation front and focusing on end-user and seller experience enhancement. We plan to integrate a rich list of features like AI-based research, dynamic re-ordering, behavior-based product recommendations, etc., on the UI/UX end to make the ordering lifecycle seamless. We will soon integrate ERP-like features that include AI-based inventory management, automated billing, multiple warehouse management, etc., that add more value to their business for the sellers.

7. What are the challenges you see in the outsourcing industry, and how much are you prepared to face those challenges?

In early 2020, the pandemic started emerging as a systemic issue. Most Indian IT outsourcing industry incumbents faced a unanimous problem – their clients were facing a downward cycle expected to be much worse than the 2008 global financial crisis.

Most of these clients were in the UK and the USA and had their outsourcing partner or captive center in India. So, as the growth projections became conservative and then negative, the technology budget naturally reduced. The Indian IT industry has been centered around services.

Hence, even the most established players in the industry were suddenly concerned about retaining the people they had hired while projecting sustained demand for their offerings.

I have my sympathies for people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. And for a lot of these people, there is not much they could have done to be in a different position. The industry dynamics are rooted in the days when we started JVS Group, and the industry was focused on services to have sustained revenues. We did not take that approach.

Our goal has been to deliver incremental value with innovative features, industry-focused products, and value-adding services such as custom functionalities & integrations engineered on top of our product suite.

So, while we witnessed some slowdown, we are not in the same boat as several service-centered outsourcing businesses in India.

The difference in approach between value-adding products and on-demand but undistinguishable services will decide the growth and survival of several incumbents in the Indian IT ecosystem.

8. How helpful are the Web and mobile apps developed by your team for enhancing your clients' business?

All our offerings are engineered to make eCommerce management as effortless as possible for the small, medium, and large-scale enterprises using our technology.

1. Deploy an engaging, customized, and dynamic frontend eCommerce solution. The store frontend often decides whether the customer will continue exploring or not. That is the key reason why we provide a wide range of responsive themes that can be deployed with a simple drag and drop.

2. Remove the friction out of the product, order, and catalog management process. We have developed a robust backend system with advanced features like grid & list view, product tags, sorting, hidden prices for call inquiries, multi-level filtering, related items, inventory management, return management, and order lifecycle management.

3. Enabling product discovery by building on customer behavior insights. Our customers can attract their audiences from conventional channels and leverage innovative features like voice search, social media, ad scanners, and barcode scanners.

4. Providing an integrated CRM helps to see the big picture while providing tools for drilling down to the insights.

CRM tools often add overheads and complexity to eCommerce management. Our Customer Relationship Management tool helps our customers get high-level and granular insights from both their website and application on one platform.

5. Augmenting the impact of customer acquisition strategies. Quick eSelling supports email marketing, SMS marketing, integrated discount coupons, codes, banners, push notifications, product ratings, abandoned cart recovery emails, price drop alerts, Google Analytics integration, and several other features.

6. Enhancing payments and security. The platform integrates with PayPal, Razorpay, PayU Money, Amazon Payments, Paytm, and several other gateways. Not just this, it comes with enhanced securing at the data, transaction, and server level with advanced encryption, firewalls, SSL certificates, and other in-built functionalities.

9. What, according to you, are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?

Client satisfaction is a measurable concept at Quick eSelling. We actively seek feedback and incorporate it across our offerings. But, if I have to distill it down to a framework, here is how I would do it: 1.Provide solutions that inherently work for their business. 2.Use their problems for today to direct innovation for tomorrow. 3.Iterate and scale. 4.Technology for solutions, humans for the value-add. 5.Long-term relationships over short-term engagements.

10. Tell us something about a recent successful project.

Our team is consistently implementing and perfecting projects. So much so that this has become an essential part of our daily operational tasks. We serve a wide cohort of industries, including Grocery, Electronics, Jewellery & Fashion, Food, Automotive, and Health & Wellness.

Our project implementation scope in terms of industry-focused optimization has been perfected to an extent where we can deliver our solutions to add value across any industry in the B2B or B2C segment.

If I have to highlight one project off the top of my head, I will go into details about how we are associated with Pragati Fashions. It is an established name in the garment manufacturing industry and is located in Mumbai.

This particular industry has been witnessing tremendous stress since their sales process has historically depended on their representatives traveling from one state to another for procuring orders. Now, there are apparent impediments to that process. We deployed our solution within 20 days to help the company digitize its sales process.

And, the operations team was elated by the ease of use and functionalities like product & order management and reporting. Our platform practically eliminated the drawbacks Pragati Fashions was experiencing because of the domestic travel restrictions. The agile deployment also meant that the company was able to mitigate its business continuity risks.

The company's retailers now could explore the entire product catalog and place orders using nothing but their smartphones – without leaving their stores or awaiting sales reps' inputs. We take immense pride in how our platform has sustained and catalyzed the company's growth projections based on the application adoption rates and order growth.

11. How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for Web development?

We believe our clients are the best individuals to understand their business. Hence, we provide a very transparent mechanism for them to try our offerings. We have a free plan to help clients try our eCommerce technology. While it is free, it features sufficient to run a small-scale eCommerce operation with up to 1000 products.

If a prospective client needs assistance in choosing between our offerings or wants custom integrations & features, we are more than glad to provide them objective advice.

12. What is the price range (min and max) of the projects you catered to in 2021 after COVID 19?

We have developed a transparent pricing mechanism that includes our free plan and our enterprise edition plan that costs less than $599 per month and provides access to a dedicated Account Manager. For more information, I would highly encourage your readers to explore this page.

13. Please describe the operational structure of your company- from the moment a client walks into the product deployment.

We touch base with an introductory call. Our goal with this call is to understand the calculations and strategy driving the development for the proposed project and how they reflect the concept.

Once we have established a baseline understanding of the motives and requirements for the project, our Pre-Sales Consulting Team will draft a raw facts document. In some instances, when the client is very clear about the requirements, we will move straight to producing a comprehensive Project Scope.

Once the scope has been drafted, we share it with the client and conduct a walkthrough on a call. This session is designed to iron out any concerns, queries, and doubts the client has and to redefine the scope if necessary.

By the end of this call, we cement the scope and prepare to work on a comprehensive business proposal. As this proposal is shared and agreed upon, we sign a contract and share the copies with the client's team to schedule a business kick-off meeting that includes our Implementation Team and the client.

Our Development Process

We deploy the agile methodology and deconstruct the project into scheduled milestones. Each team will have the mandate to work on a specific module available in the accepted project plan. The team works on project and release plans approved in the kick-off meeting conducted early in the project lifecycle. In line with the PM's directed dates & modules, the respective teams continue to build and ship the modules from one milestone to another, where the cycle is repeated.

The implementation process is a structured cycle of several stages that are executed within a stipulated schedule. The roll-out time for a plain vanilla project is around seven working days.

14. After service is a necessary part of development. How do you provide customer support to your client?

We focus on being proactive – if we understand our client's business and can engineer solutions for it, we will end up with a solid solution. And then, after-sales services become an add-on to the overall process.

I am not negating the value of after-sales. But, I believe the insights, research, and feedback often sought in the after-sales process should be a part of the conversation much early in the project lifecycle.

We provide comprehensive support with an Account Manager available across channels like phone, email, and live chat. We have also published several online guides and frequently conduct training sessions to equip and educate our customers for leveraging our platform to its full capacity.

15.  Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?

The users today are spoilt for choice. They usually have dozens of alternatives in terms of technology and their underlying platforms for mobile apps. But, this width of options does not always translate into business opportunities.

Native apps are a great alternative as they are designed & developed for particular operating systems or devices. Such apps are built using the OS’ SDKs and have the full capability of interacting with the device’s microphone, camera, GPS, memory, etc.

Hybrid apps do not have an equally seamless experience. They do not provide a native feel. Possible functionalities like 3D are often restricted. Since most such apps are dependent on platforms like WebView, they cannot leverage the device’s inherent potential to deliver a better experience.

So, I strongly recommend merchants & sellers focus on native apps. Attention deficiency among target users is a genuine problem.

Native solves it by providing better performance, seamless UI/UZ, frictionless device interaction, greater security standards, consistent performance, and a broader scope of integration for features that can support offline work.

Native apps offer a better value proposition based on better performance that translates into greater user experience and directly impacts customer retention. I recommend businesses in the healthcare, garment manufacturing, fashion, and electronics industries to go for native apps.

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