Offline Players are Going Online and Online Players are Going Offline, says Serial Entrepreneur Mahesh Jakhetiya

In an exclusive interaction with The Policy Times, Mr. Mahesh Jakhetiya, serial Entrepreneur talks about his ventures, relevance of data analytics in business decision making, future of E-Commerce in India and related policy issues.

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Offline Players are Going Online and Online Players are Going Offline, says Serial Entrepreneur Mahesh Jakhetiya

Mr. Mahesh Jakhetiya is serial Entrepreneur in Mobile Ad-Tech, E-commerce and Consumer Science Space, working with startups for over 5 years. His founded Ahoy, a B2B Consumer Science Company leveraging Mobile Ad-Tech and Offline Transaction Tracking proprietary solutions to the benefit of its Tier-1 clients like Unilever, Coca-Cola, GSK, Abbott etc. His another startup Shopezzy, India’s – 1st Online Grocery Comparison Marketplace allowing Cart level comparison across Online / Offline Stores. Before committing himself to Entrepreneurship, he worked for 10+ years in corporate world with global teams and spearheaded multi-million dollar projects and managed teams of 50+ people.

In an exclusive interaction with The Policy Times, Mahesh talks about his ventures, relevance of data analytics in business decision making, future of E-Commerce in India and related policy issues. 

Q. What is the role of Data analytics in business decision making?

MJ: Data and its analysis is corner-stone of every business decision being made in today’s world. While simplistic Data Analysis can tell about health of biz, growth, slippages, etc. More and More companies are trying out advanced data analytics which bring about conclusions / indications from disparate sets of data. Lots and Lots of data is now available for their own business as well as competition. Trick really is in reading / analyzing the data right to arrive at right inferences.

Q. How are big companies using data analytics for decision making?

MJ: Big and Small companies are now using data analytics to improve efficiency in every aspect of their operations, be it marketing, advertising, supply chain management, inventory management or even HR and recruitment functions.

Q. Technology for SMEs can be a strength for global competitiveness. Based on your experience, what role government is playing and should play to enable SMEs to be globally competitive?

MJ: While Gov’t is working on improving conditions for Ease of Doing Business in India e.g. single window clearances, GST, etc. For SMEs to prosper there should be tighter laws around safeguarding them from – default in payments by their clients, IPR protection, Effective Copywriting, policies / insurance to cover business risks, access to capital, closure of business, right and easy taxation for foreign investors to invest in India, policies around safeguarding entrepreneurs amongst many others.

Q. How is Ahoy contributing in all these?

MJ: Ahoy is a data science company, which is helping brands / advertisers reach the right audience at the right moment, thereby reducing Ad wastage, and improving ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend). Ahoy is only company that specialises in Offline Transaction tracking corresponding to Ad Spend [Online / TV / Print /Radio ], giving absolute view of how any campaign has impacted sales of an advertiser/brand.

Q. Don’t you think E-commerce in India is reaching to a stagnant phase? 

MJ: No this is just beginning, though yes E-Commerce only models may find it tough to scale as increasingly Offline players are going Online and Online players trying to go Offline not only in India but also globally e.g. in USA – Amazon bought Wholefoods. Hence going forward its going to be just Commerce with E being a channel among Omni-Channel strategy for retailers.

Q. Now Flipkart and Amazon buying all other players in any category, E-commerce space is turning towards a duopoly. How can we create competition in this sector?

MJ: Though at this moment its looks like a Duopoly. Competition is still coming – Alibaba is coming via Paytm Mall; Local chains e.g. Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Spencers, Reliance Retail, Future Retail etc. are improving their Online Offerings. As I said E will be a channel in Omni-Channel strategy, hence tough competition is on cards among new age E-Commerce companies and established Offline players.

Q. Can you explain business model of SHOPEZZY and its future plans?

MJ: Shopezzy is aimed at solving the grocery problem. People can compare their grocery cart across different online and offline retailers and order from wherever they feel more comfortable. We want to bring people online for buying groceries as that’s where the resistance lies (moment incentives are withdrawn, people go back to physical shopping) and earn on commissions for orders placed via us.