She calls him "the best business partner anyone can have". But don't underestimate her own business prowess even slightly! From rejecting what was once her dream (Read Oxford) scholarship and heading the business society at the London School of Economics (where she was offered an even bigger scholarship) to representing India at the President Barack Obama hosted Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 and opening one of India's biggest online cashback sites, www.cashkaro.com, Swati Bhargava has reached phenomenal heights in an extremely short span of time.
She attributes much of her success to her hunger when she says, "After graduating from London School of Economics (LSE), I was offered a full-time job at Goldman Sachs. It was a secure job and I worked there for about 5 years, but there was always a part of me that wanted more. I wanted to start something of my own." And yes, it is true as you may have great business ideas, but if you never take any action to them, you have nobody but yourself to blame and Swati never wanted this kind of feeling so she just followed her instincts and choose her own startup.
Swati, along with her husband Rohan, who was invited as a Guest of Honor at the 'National Summit on Incubation and Entrepreneurship' organized by NDIM, can easily be called the pioneers of the cashback industry in India. While many thought they were playing a blind gamble with cashkaro and their success depends on just luck, few knew that they had already applied this idea in the UK with much success.
Swati, who was honored amongst 4 women trailblazers in Indian e-commerce industry by Economic Times, tells Brainbuxa,
"In 2011, Rohan and I decided to quit our jobs and put all our energy into our Cashback business idea. We conducted thorough research in the field of Cashback as we saw a lot of potential in that area. That is how, with a lot of hard work and a little luck, we started Pouring Pounds in the UK in 2011. While the business was booming in the UK, I realized that the E-commerce industry was thriving in India as well. It seemed like the perfect time to introduce the Cashback concept in India. So, in 2013, we decided to enter the Indian market and thus, CashKaro was born!" And today, cashkaro has tie-ups with some of the biggest online shopping websites in the country, including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Jabong.
Here it is shown and proved that hard work pays off. Make goals, achieve them and replace them with new goals this how a startup can work out and Rohan and Swati sets a perfect example for it.
When asked about how their website is any different from the hundreds of sites offering cashback coupon codes and if their model has long-term feasibility, Rohan, who was a Portfolio Manager at Aladdin Capital before co-founding cashkaro, explains, "Cashkaro act as a one stop destination for online savings where members get the dual benefit of Cashback and Coupons. CashKaro earns commission for every sale/transaction, we drive to any retailer partner by promoting its product, offers, etc. A large part of this commission is then shared with our members as Cashback. Since CashKaro works on a performance-driven model, retailers recognize Affiliate Marketing as a high ROI channel at reduced customer acquisition cost in comparison to other marketing spends "Ã¢retailers only need to pay us a commission when we drive a sale."
For a couple who has achieved such heights in no time, being satisfied with their current position is the obvious choice. But like most of their earlier decisions, they chose to bid goodbye to their comfort zone and aim for more. "We are also planning to expand to South East Asia in the next two years," says Rohan, who was invited as a Speaker at the Indian eRetail Congress 2016.
The present situation may seem envious, but it wasn't always the easiest of rides of them. "Right from the start, the biggest challenge we faced was putting together a strong team. But now we have evolved into a team of 75 people, including 10 senior managers who are experts in different verticals including Technology, Digital Marketing, Operations, Customer Relations, Design & so on," she says.
No wonder, it is apt to say "Individually we are one drop, but together, we are an ocean." And that's a reason the strong team is important even if it is small. On the same side,
One of the biggest areas of concern for any startup in India is getting the initial funding. But with $5 million funding till date, cashkaro stands way ahead of its competitors. The company got a further shot in the arm when Tata Sons' Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata invested in the company in his personal capacity.
Seeing the young blood having start-up's, some are getting failed and some are doing really good, and owning a successful startup is often linked to having a top-notch college degree. But Rohan holds a different point of view, explaining, "Education isn't an imperative aspect when starting something of your own. However, it plays an essential role when it comes to comprehending the dynamics of running a startup."
But before you dismiss the significance of education, he adds, "We need basic education, irrespective of getting it from a very good university since we need to develop that analytical mindset, and to be exposed to all kinds of different methods people around us. Ultimately, what matters is, converting that startup to a company and building a business conglomerate. Education should teach us "How to Learn" and "What to Learn" in order to survive, thrive and prosper."
This is probably why he had a great appreciation for Brainbuxa, calling it a "great initiative" which helps the users in finding "anything related to Education like daily news, institutes, events, study materials, job, and results all under one umbrella."
"BrainBuxa highly appreciates the brains and efforts behind Cashkaro. If their story has inspired you as well, leave a comment below and let us know. We love hearing inspiring success stories. So if you have one, feel free to write to us so that we can take it to thousands of people out there! Who knows how many you end up inspiring!"