Make your Pilots relevant to your customers business to succeed
Pankaj Guglani Founder of RedQuanta started his venture in his last trimester of MBA. When he studying in Gurgaon in 2007 , Retail industry took off and talks of investments in Brick & Mortal Retail and e-Retail happened. He knew intuitively that Retail will become big because he understood the same trends happened in the IT and in the Automobile industry where markets expanded and more competitors came in and grew the market
Pankaj saw that various industries like Laundry Chains e-Commerce , Taxi Services were also getting organized because the customer’s requirements were changing. Customer Experience was important for growth and the founders of these brands wanted to find out what customers wanted to provide those and grow their organizations. Many brands began setting up their offices in multiple parts of the country and professional managers began to take over managing a set of outlets which abstracted the founders of these companies from the actual day to day experience. Pankaj knew that Mystery Shopping was the key for the founders and the leadership team to understand what customers wanted and standardize the experience in all the branches and that was the seed thought for RedQuanta. In-spite of him starting in his third year(last trimester of MBA), the lure of campus placements took over his entrepreneur spirit and he began working for almost 20 months. This, Pankaj says was good for him because he began to understand how businesses worked because he was working with the top management in his employment and also began writing his own software and also learnt product management. He then began offering Mystery Shopping as line of business.
He started meeting his prospects and also some of the people he knew. Pankaj says that his first customer was acquired by him by doing a Pilot. The best things in this Pliot was, he did this without even telling his prospective customer. He had a senior level contact in this prospect and his contact asked Pankaj to do audit of a few customers and send a report which he will forward to the top management with his recommendations but said that there is no guarantee of a business even if the audit will be spot on. Pankaj , confident on his reports accuracy went ahead and did around 10 outlets and did 40(4) audits in each one of the outlets, made a presentation and sent it to his contact. His contact forwarded that to his top management. They were surprised with the depth of the audit even though they did not expect this presentation in the first place and called him to discuss. Pankaj went and presented his findings and they liked the entire thing and told him that they will get back to him. After multiple rounds of discussions, they took around six months to finalize and Pankaj got his first customer. Pankaj repeated that with two to three more of his prospective clients with this surprise element of audit and it paid off for him.
The other initial set of customers were the places he worked, contact. He said that the contacts he knew were able to get him just an audience but that does not guarantee any business. He continued to reach all his prospects with short, relevant message conveying the message in their language which got him lots of meetings and meaningful conversations where he was able to prove that his audits were needed by these companies. Many of his prospects delayed giving him the deal because of financial trouble, restructuring but they called him when they had the need and RedQuanta began getting deal after deal
Pankaj’s Advice to early stage founders – Don’t do too much of an Analysis Paralysis. If you get an idea of doing a product, go ahead and do it. Don’t get scared un-necessarily about the future. You will succeed as long as you have faith in what you are doing and build something for the market and be persistent.
RedQuanta, (http://www.redquanta.com/), raised a couple of rounds of Angel Funding. RedQuanta is registered with around 30,000 mystery shoppers currently servicing more than 200 clients. They have been featured by various media that includes CNBC TV 18, DNA, Hindu, Financial Express, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business World, Financial World to name a few