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South Asian Daily Deals

These days you know about one more model which is “Deal of the Day”. Now before going out of home you check for the deals through N number of sites online. Apart from daily deal you can also get the real time deals available thru Groupon. Companies in this market are going more real time and planning to come up with the real time deals based upon the customer’s interest, customer volume at particular time and even on the customer’s interest based on the season….

In this volatile economy when you think about your daily expenses you are pretty surprised with the daily activities going on and you think “Is $15 worth for this deal?”. With the recent economy turmoil the question of “is this item worth the value” has become even more important and the recent success of daily deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and BuyWithMe can be attributed to this phenomena.

When a vendor thinks about the competitive market one think which comes into their mind is “How to get new customers?”
Answer seems to be “Daily Deal Model”.

These daily deals companies collects personal information from willing consumers and then only contacts those consumers, primarily by emails, face book etc. Then they breaks into new markets by identifying successful local businesses, first by sending their employees to research the local market; when it finds a business with outstanding reviews, salespeople approach it and explain the model, and use social marketing sites such as Face book, Twitter to further promote the idea.

Well these daily deals model took over the traditional advertisement in which vendor does not have to pay any upfront cost to participate and using this model they will get a whole lot of customers on their door which they might not get with the traditional marketing. But again a key point “No guarantees if they will ever come back, but they will come at least once.”

According to one of the Mr. Agarwal’s blog:

Merchants need to know two key numbers-

1) The proportion of Groupon customers who are already their customers

2) How often new customers come back.

The higher the first number, the worse their deal will perform. The higher the second number, the better their deal does.

Statistics of Daily Deal Model:

According to a survey done by Prof. Utpal from Rice University- In a survey-based study of 324 businesses that conducted a daily deal promotion between August 2009 and March 2011, 55.5% of businesses reported making money, 26.6% lost money and 17.9% broke even on their promotions. Although close to 80% of deal users were new customers, significantly fewer users spent beyond the deal’s value or returned to purchase at full price. 48.1% of businesses indicated they would run another daily deal promotion, 19.8% said they would not, and 32.1% said they were uncertain.

This industry is a hotbed of investment and there is not doubt that along with the Groupon filling an IPO, Facebook, Living Social, and Google have already launched the daily deals eComm websites and many start ups continue to be launch their will be a time when the businesses all over the US will be making decision whether to run their promotion or not and if yes, then with which deal’s site they should go on.

On the contrary great analysis has been done over the sustainability of this model and this model came under a lot more scrutiny after the intended Groupon IPO filing. Some of the analysis revolves around the financial numbers –
1) The sequential growth rate that has been projected
2) Explosive growth of the employee base
3) Gift card liability on the books
4) Customer acquisition and retaining costs

Agarwal’s Blog has links to a bunch of articles that dissects this model. But for now this industry is a hotbed of investments. We are seeing plethora of other players like Facebook, Living Social, and Google have already launched the daily deals websites and many other startups continue to launch. Now time will tell whether the social buying phenomenon are another social fad or is this model is here for people to adopt and adapt.

Growth of this model:

This business model was made popular by Groupon that started its operations in Chicago around 2007 and with other players jumping onto the bandwagon. The beauty of this model is that one can start operations with less than 2k in investment – a website and couple of hours of free time every evening to go around local businesses to procure deals. This led to mushrooming of sites across the world and spawned another industry all together – deal aggregators which include Yipit, Deal Nation, Dealery etc. As for the recent mark there are over 400+ sites that are listed on Yipit and many more coming up daily. Most of these sites cater to local sites but there are quite a few others which are specific to a particular need like the site that offers deals on garden needs, a particular community like Jewpon (targeting Jews in NY & other cities), or sites like Mamapedia targeting moms.

Well these days I came across the name from many of my South Asian friends and UTDallas folks “DesiSauda” and here is some of the analysis done on desi sauda:

DesiSauda came up with an idea to bargain deals from South Asian catered establishments. They bargain with the South Asian community and get the best deals for our customers. “Desi” typically refers to Diasporic, from the Greek word Diaspora, which means scattering, dispersion of people from ancestral homeland subcultures of South Asians. “Sauda” in Hindi refers to bargains. Combining these two words brings the essence of this organization – bring deals to you that matter the most.

DesiSauda is social buying site that offers deals from South Asian establishments targeted at South Asian and other communities. Once they establish the brand they start approaching other businesses that South Asian’s frequent. A South Asian is a person from one of these countries – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal or Maldives. As per US Census Community Survey the number of South Asians in US is around 2.8M with 70% of this population between the ages of 17 to 64 years. South Asians are concentrated in certain cities around US – for example in the NY region (including PA, NJ & Connecticut) there are around 600,000 South Asians followed by Bay Area in California with the most South Asian population. Once established they would expand the operations to other countries where there is notable South Asian community – UK (4.2M), Canada (2.1M)

As it is pretty transparent that many deals portals are available in the market with the brand name such as Groupon, Living Social, FB deals Google deals etc. What can be the reason behind Desi Sauda to start as a niche and give a competition to Groupon and living social? Well Desi Sauda team should have definitely thought about it before starting the venture that even though after having companies who have million of subscribers already registered with them then why would the customers come to Desi Sauda and why the small businesses would give deal to them? Well you will find the competitions every where and its not about giving competition to Groupon and other companies. Desi Sauda came up with a different mind set keeping South Asians in mind. Being from South Asia, the CEO of the company thinks that you won’t get many South Asian deals available in market and that’s why we are here. Completed his MS and MBA from top schools in US, the founder of the company while doing this MS used to think twice before spending 15 bucks on a South Indian menu. Top of his mind used to say why I can’t get the food in 50% off so I can save some money and today is the day, when you go on their website you will find exciting deals from South Asian’s market which is keeping the customers really happy.

About DesiSauda Business Model:

With the growing market of South Asian’s in South West region we thought of getting the deals from South Asian market in Dallas. DesiSauda also thought of getting the deals from new business which don’t have existing connections in the market and thus help them introduce them to the local community. We work with the business to understand them, their customer profile and how they like to expand the business. We then create a campaign by working with the business that gives them the best bang for the buck, which includes the min and max number of deals they want to sell.

Each deal has a different tipping point. Once a deal is tipped, customer will receive an email with your coupon to print. The email will provide instructions about using the coupon. If the deal is not tipped then the customer gets the amount bank into their account.

Published: September 16, 2011

What next??

Daily social networking platforms, iPhone/Droid apps are coming up in the market. The battle for identity on web goes on and every morning a new/existing business comes up with a new innovative idea. Daily trending news like Facebook messaging system, More than 250 million users on Facebook, iPhone with Verizon, Twitter trends and Foursquare with new badges makes you think “What Next?”

Here is the next story which interested me the most this week i.e. Google Voice available on iPhone. As everyone know Google Voice gives you one number for all your phones, voicemail as easy as email, free US long distance, low rates on international calls.
Google Voice really impressed me in many ways like you get a number which you can direct to your cell phone and receive the Google voice call on your cell phone. You can also make free long distance calls within the US. Also Voicemail transcription is an existing feature through which you can get your voicemail as an email. Other features includes: Free text messaging to U.S. numbers, cheap rates for international calls.

Few months back in August 2010 Google introduced Call from Gmail, free calls to US and Canada. Now gmail has phone calls option using VoIP technology from the Gizmo5 acquisition. If you have a Google Voice phone number, Incoming calls pop up as a chat window in Gmail and you press a “Call phone” button that appears near the top of the Chat window to send an outbound call.

And now in November 2010 Google comes up with “Google Voice app” for iPhone. After been rejected from the App Store finally a free version of Google Voice web app is available. Google has put the power of HTML5 includes a few extra bonuses like a sleek design for your Google Voice inbox, with the option to create home screen icons for individual pages and the ability to display your Google Voice number as the outbound caller ID so you can easily receive return calls. You can also send and receive text messages for free. So if you are using an iPhone do check out Google Voice app.

The rivalry still continues and everyday existing businesses come up with new thought and startups comes with new idea with the common statement “that’s just going to be another social network platform” and an end user with the common question “What Next?”

Published: November 17, 2010

1 degree of Social Network

As Six degree of Separation states that each person is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth. This is a shrinking world and each person is connected to somebody else through a mutual friend or acquaintance.

I think that Social Networks help people with developing their ideas & thoughts and enable them to share it on one platform. When it comes to Social Networking, each person can be connected to somebody else in 1 degree. I think 1 degree of seperation strategy can be used to connect people through different social networking websites in a degree.

On the left nav under “1 degree of Social Network” title you can find few of the Social Networking websites through which you can connect to me in 1 step or 1 degree. Thats why I call it 1 degree of Social Network.

Published: November 3, 2010

Key to Startup Success

These points are collected from different articles posted on Mashable, TechCrunch, etc. and after reading different articles I am coming up with one common repository.

Entrepreneurs planning to start and work on new ideas shall focus on few key points described below:

Tips for Startups:
1) As an Entrepreneur you should not think my friends is starting a company shall I also start my company? I don’t have any work other work to do shall I start my company? What should I start so that I become billionaire in few months? Things just don’t happen in few days. You can’t become a billionaire in a minute. If you think you will have profits then you have to consider the loss factor also. Think about something that fascinates you. Come you with the idea, Plan and the vision.

2) Focus on the idea: Come one with the idea and focus on the idea. The idea should give you the answer for “Why will the people use this product?” If you are coming up with the common idea than ask yourself “Why will the people use your products if N number of products are in the market?” Google, Facebook, Twitter didn’t exactly started with a food of plate ready.

3) Discuss the idea, issues, and scope: Discuss the idea with the entrepreneurs with whom you are working with. Form the team that will support the product until success. Discuss the scope of the idea. Try to come up with the solution approach for it. Ask the team that why the customer will be interested in our product. How will it benefit to the customer purchasing the product. How can we give customer support after launching the products? Don’t neglect the service that will be given to customer after the product is live.

4) Meetings: Try to organize meeting with the team everyday. Team should be open to discuss all the key points. Try to follow SCRUM methodology. Discuss the issue which can come in future and come up with the approach everyday. Divide the project into sprints and come up with the progress of the project and future plans.

Published: October 28, 2010

more on SEO

1) robots.txt file
The robots.txt is a simple text file that is placed on our root directory. Search Bots, crawl each URL and the first thing they search on an URL root is the robots.txt file. A simple robots.txt looks like:

      User-agent: *



“User-agent: *” means this section applies to all robots, the wildcard “*” means all bots. The “Disallow: ” tells the robots that they can go anywhere they want.

To exclude all robots from the server:

      User-agent: *


      Disallow: /

robots.txt should have the same place where you put your web site’s main “index.html”.Also remember to use all lower case for the filename: “robots.txt”, not “Robots.TXT.


Published: August 2, 2009

SEO basics

This post discusses about search engine ranking for the pages and some simple ways to improve ranking on google.

Few basic points to keep in mind:

  • TITLE Element:
    Make sure that the TITLE Element is relevant to the content on the page. Page title elements are normally 60-80 characters maximum in length.
  • META description Tag:
    The META description tag usually consists of no more than 160 to 180 characters total . The META description also shows up in many search engine results as a summary of your site.
  • (more…)

    Published: August 1, 2009