IT Voice:-What is the vision and USP of HokoSoko as compared to other players in the same domain?
Mr. Deepak Gera:-Hokosoko is a budding pan India e-commerce marketplace. A marketplace is an online platform wherein sellers open their online shops and list their products and buyers make purchases based on their requirements. Hokosoko offers a wide range of products in varied categories. Hokosoko is an Indian Originated brand and firmly believes in promoting locally made products. In India every business has competitors, however we aren’t here to compete with any other players in the market, there is enough room for everyone. The Industry is still young and at a very nascent stage in India. As per recent Goldman Sachs review of Indian Ecommerce market, its penetration is at just 5% and is expected to be around 11% by 2024. The game is to provide more choices to end buyer at affordable prices along with more secure payment options and timely delivery. So there is enough room for everyone to play. That one thing which is/will set up apart is being LESS COMPLICATED, that means supporting Ease of Doing business for Sellers and thus providing more options to buyers to choose from.
IT Voice:-What are the changes in policies and strategies the company has initiated to successfully run this model?
Mr. Deepak Gera:-Our Strategy is same since inception, nothing has changed, We are in our 1st year of operations; precisely it’s just been over 6 months. This year is going to be “Grow and Stable”, we want to build sustainable mechanism which will help us scale-up when the time comes be it from Tech, Resource, Finance, Payment options for Buyers, Aggressive seller On-Boarding. Presently, 60% of our monthly funding is getting invested in Brand Building and Marketing Promotions. We need people to know about Hokosoko. We are taking route of parallel marketing channels like, social media, influencers, bloggers, more of native advertising, Celebrity Endorsements, Radio ads to start with. In Phase -1, we are starting with 6 States to begin with i.e. Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Once we are able to penetrate well across these markets then we shall be opening up other states.
IT Voice:-Businesses are facing a hard time in India, how much has it affected your company?
Mr. Deepak Gera:-The initial days were the hardest and at times you are filled with the feeling of deterredness. Surpassing that hurdle is the toughest job. We used to remind ourselves that we have put in our heart and soul to it and there is nothing impossible and that is something that has kept us going. Also, while starting there are a lot of secondary factors like resources, market competition, etc. which might cause an issue. But if you have the correct co-founders and faith in the future of the project then, everything falls into place and you figure out a way.
IT Voice:-What are the expected expansions?
Mr. Deepak Gera:-This industry is here to grow, I see a 3x – 4x increment in new users adopting to move online. 2020 was a different year altogether, the massive visible push was due to buyers preferring to move to online buying options rather than opting to go to a mall or high street store. You will see M&As happening in years to come. Apart from the handful of bigger players, the smaller one who will be able to survive are the ones who adopt “Being Frugal”, having the right “Customer Obsession” and have more automation in place from Day 1. As for future plans, the venture aims to go for funding in 2021. It plans to work harder to provide better ROI to both sellers and consumers; with the goal to promote Swadeshi goods and values on a far-fetched scale.
IT Voice:-What is the company’s client base?
Mr. Deepak Gera:-Hokosoko provides a platform for sellers all across the nation to come forth and reach out to potential customers. However, our main motive is to provide a growth opportunity to local businesses and especially to those small over the counter sales business who haven’t tasted the success of Online selling. We are an e-commerce company and have categories ranging from home and kitchen, electrical appliances to healthcare, beauty to gadgets, home decor to personal care, and a lot more.
IT Voice:-Is the company planning any major collaboration, if any name it?
Mr. Deepak Gera:-Year 2021 is for us to “Stabilize and Grow”, we are looking for strategic investors / investments who can also be as a guiding force and be as supporting mentors in our growth journey. We are open to a mix of Equity and Debt funding. The fund utilizations with be majorly done in marketing and customer acquisition, tech enhancement for Buyer and Seller UI and introduce Gamification to keep the buyer glued and involved on the platform. Hiring will also be one of the area to invest as hiring right people who would like to be part of our growth journey and finally the Market expansion by targeting more Geo’s in India. On Seller side, rigorous seller onboarding so as to give more buying options to buyers.