Shoaib Mohammed and Vijaykrishna Ramanathan appear to think so. Having been pals at some point of engineering university in Salem, a small town in Tamil Nadu, the duo walked the company stroll for the following couple of years. Vijay ended up operating in income at NIIT, Magzster, and a few other places. Shoaib learnt the nuances of coding after graduating with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.
And, of course, as most millennials in their ilk, the entrepreneurial trojan horse hit them too.
“Round one among setting out turned into a agency called ShaadiPulse, manner lower back in 2012,” begins Vijay, with a reminiscent smile. It became a marriage offerings discovery portal for busy urban folks who wished the numerous capabilities and events of their wedding catered to under one platform. “Of course, there has been no scope for this enterprise to work 5 years ago so we gave it up in the equal 12 months.”
But what it did do turned into instill a feel of partnership and the self belief of executing a business venture, within the two buddies. “We located we ought to paintings collectively.”
With this religion in friendship and a clear feel of duties, the duo founded Codemojo pivoted from their earlier version of D-Rewards – a customer engagement platform that makes use of gamification, praise and loyalty factors to deliver consumers, publishers and brands collectively.
D-Rewards: Not Very Rewarding
2014 became additionally a time whilst the tech craze changed into well and truely catching on in India, turning into more than a buzzword for geeks and nerds. Intending to cash in in this craze, Vijay and Shoaib got here up with the concept of deep diving into the fields of consumer engagement and brand loyalty for offline shops in Chennai. To begin with, Shoaib created a simple plugin dashboard loyalty programme in 3 months, for the hospitality industry.
Namely, for resorts and restaurants consisting of Tiff42, Ben’s Park in Chennai. Like any other loyalty programme, it used to reward loyalty points for every ‘occasion’ that the client participated in inclusive of checking into the power, reviewing it, recommending it to buddies. There were also built in systems for tracking normal purchasers, converting undecideds into dependable clients and greater.
The platform changed into centered closer to offline manufacturers and corporations along with lodges, spas, eating places and so on. And that they have been capable of scale it to add 150 clients throughout Chennai and Bengaluru via the give up of 2015. But there have been demanding situations. “We were able to sell clients at the idea and the generation however the restaurant commercial enterprise is infamous when it comes to payments. Neither become the idea fundable because it pertained to offline agencies and instructing, schooling grade 10 employees become now not feasible either. It’s no longer like we have been building the subsequent Capillary Technologies,” he adds.
From Offline To Online: The First Pivot
D-Rewards’ imaginative and prescient turned into trustworthy – manufacturers (mid- and huge-sized) spend a lot of sources that allows you to accumulate users, be they time or cash. But when it comes to the subsequent step, consumer retention and preventing leakage (the customer now not responding to product, branding, unappealing message) those brands flounder on two fronts – creating a system that tracks consumer records as well as thinks for them in order to interact with them.
This machine may want to thoroughly be applied to every logo underneath the sun, online or offline, and that is exactly what the duo did. They translated the identical principle onto a web business, creating a region-agnostic loyalty community for groups to better have interaction with their clients. Their learning with D-Rewards, the challenges of expertise consumer behaviour and strolling campaigns and outreach programmes for instant gratification, were included into the product replace.
“I had made a whole lot of contacts with startups and SMBs, our number one audience. So I very expectantly sent off an e mail blast to my mail list and thought, this was it. Orders could come pouring in.”
To Vijay’s dismay, no person signed up.
The crew discovered that a loyalty programme is not an answer for startups and SMBs – their new customers did not have the money to pay for the services being presented. But, there have been untapped agency customers who have been additionally facing the identical problems of making sure logo loyalty in clients.
The crew then up to date the dashboard to deal with 3 contact factors inside the purchaser lifecycle – acquisition, engagement, which leads to retention. They used referrals (factors/coins with the aid of referring a pal), loyalty points (cashbacks ordinarily) as well as gamification to exchange the behaviour of the consumer to construct a custom organisation O2O answer.
Decoding White Label Wallets, Gamifying User Behavior, And Signing Up Enterprise Clients
2015 turned into additionally whilst the crew got into GenNext Hub where they piloted the programme for 2 months throughout numerous verticals and with corporations inclusive of Reliance Retail, Tata Motors, CarsonRent, and SRL Diagnostics. As the organization solution they had been constructing was custom-made, they focussed on the kind of troubles every brand confronted.
“With Reliance Retail, it changed into all about mall engagement.” The dashboard executed a marketing campaign that blanketed engagement with every person entering the mall, franchises and sub-shops can also take part within the campaign through vouchers/reductions for products, services main to user discovery.
White labelled wallets (with no watermarks) are but every other manner for a emblem to maintain the user inside the cycle. “Our patron Cartisan, makes use of the pockets. What they do is, once they give a discount at the app as one hundred% cashback in-app, it becomes an incentive for the client to go back and utilise the cashback, make a similarly purchase to get extra discounts and so forth.” White label wallets play at the patron psyche of ‘getting something extra for some thing.’
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On the other hand, gamification offers with turning dormant clients or casual customers into loyal ones. Gamification guarantees this end-aim by using either incentivising sports and events in the app and, at a later degree, flip the equal right into a addiction.
But the timeline for final these enterprise customers took anywhere from 3-6 months – required the purchase in of all the stakeholders in the organisation chain and teaching them approximately the new era. “Plus, they continually predicted a assertion like ‘We will do it free of charge,’’ he provides. He cites the instance of patron Thomas Cook which came about through bloodless-calling and become closed in a length of six months over eight conferences – plus, the invoicing cycle with corporates is a long-drawn out procedure ensuing in a less-than-best scenario for a startup that needed to generate revenue speedy.
It became this pain point that brought about the next and final pivot for Codemojo.
Becoming A Customer Engagement Facilitator Between Brands And Publishers
“When we were pitching to startups (web sites) again in 2015, the primary factor that struck us became this – eighty% of them refused to do enterprise with us because they did now not realize what the points device supposed, the way it works, and a way to put into effect it within the price range they had, which was negligible,” says Vijay.
This question changed into pertinent because it made the company comprehend – what if, along with the dashboard plug and play kit for enforcing rewards, they might truely provide the rewards to the web sites too?
To this end, they approached the advertising teams in their present company customers and more recent ones explaining the manner as this: audience interest is waning with traditional modes of advertising and marketing (programmatic, display) and customer engagement calls for making sure supplying incentives as well as motives for the person to come back to a particular website/brand.
Codemojo then have become the middleman for bringing this process to fruition – they went to websites and presented the plug and play package free of charge, and went to the manufacturers to present them access to the users of these websites to growth logo attain. The dashboard now is composed of every tool that a advertising department may want – person information, footfall, frequency, length of visit. The purchaser management device carries comprehensive capabilities going into how many referrals are established/waiting, the time of clicking on a particular reward, consumer information including electronic mail, gender and greater, reward alternatives, geographical evaluation, and many others. “Think of it as taking pictures rewards captured in actual-time through our algorithms.”
“Brands use advertisement to interact with users and benefit their interest. This advertising and marketing technique now consists of app publishers i.E. Websites who are looking to gather and preserve users. With Codemojo, websites are guaranteed more than 50 seconds of engagement in step with session.”
With this cycle in location, the organisation went from signing up 20 startups and 15 brands in a month in 2016, to sixty five brands such as biggies consisting of OYO Rooms, Big Basket, Tanishq, 1mg and so forth. Publisher clients include Jarvis, Recipebook, Lokmat, and so on. Even Paypal has included Codemojo into some of its programmes including – task referrals, CSR, L&D (learning and improvement) guides.
The agency eventually appears to have gotten its product-market suit proper because the company boasts of a community of 23 Mn customers (from affiliated writer structures), powering 1,500 WiFi hotspots throughout India. They price the brands a monthly subscription fee and share sales with the publishers. Vijay is reluctant to reveal cutting-edge sales, he does point out that they may be seeking to hit an ARR of $305K (INR 2 Cr)-$343K (INR 2.25 Cr) in the coming economic 12 months and that they're growing at an M-o-M of 50% (with recognize to community customers).
“Two traces of code – that’s all it takes to plug Codemojo into your machine and be up and going for walks. That’s the splendor of having an SDK (software development kit) as opposed to an API (software programme interface). An API has 10 traces of code.”
Programmatic Rewarding: Taking It To The Next Level
Companies consisting of Paytm, Freecharge and Mobikwik are already strolling their own white label wallets, same as Ola, Uber, Zomato etc. Even larger installed manufacturers such as Thomas Cook and Starbucks have their personal loyalty programmes in area. And, of course, there are a few competition together with PERK Rewards, Tapjoy, Crownit, InLoyal and mPaani that offer the identical suite of services that Codemojo does.
“But you have to understand, most of these corporations, do it in-circle. Just for their customers, ensuring that they hold coming returned again and again again. We have taken it to the subsequent stage – thru programmatic rewarding and opened the doorways to businesses and publishers on cell, computers anywhere to connect and interact with every other and the users.”
Codemojo additionally follows the rule of 5 – best five rewards seems in keeping with web page, according to internet site. “We desired to cast off scrolling where customers get bored and on the identical time, supply them sufficient on the spectrum of choice that we will examine from too. For example, if you click on the Box8 cashback reward button as soon as, you’ll no longer get Box8 once more, you’ll get a Swiggy or a Recipebook. We are constantly studying from our customers, throughout all manufacturers and publishers. This is our principal differentiator,” says Vijay.
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It is with this attitude and the pleasure of getting product-marketplace healthy at final, that the startup plans to take their product worldwide to the UAE, after already dipping their feet in Singapore and Dubai. The seven-member crew in Bengaluru and Chennai has goals to obtain before they could think of their next fundraise – “We want to double our logo base to one hundred fifty before we take it to the following degree,” ends Vijay.
In 2013, the most important task maximum Indian tech startups faced was instructing the patron about their product and technology – be it a global organization or the average cellphone consumer. With telephone penetration in Tier II, III towns and the proliferation of the Internet via Reliance Jio, Airtel 4G and so on., the trouble has now changed to user retention.
With greater than 6 Mn web sites running stay in India itself and heaps of brands (new and hooked up) seeking out visibility and a way to have interaction their focused person’s attention, it is but herbal for corporations inclusive of InLoyal, Codemojo with their deep linking analytics to turn out to be a crowd preferred – each in phrases of providing consumer information and the added benefit of retaining the consumer engaged.
Codemojo does have an problem, even though – the founders are constantly looking to innovate, to move beyond the now and assume market needs. This has worked out to this point of their favour, along side maintaining the team lean and having a strong networking base from the founders’ corporate stints. But with new contenders which includes Tapjoy mushrooming in to take their location at the vanguard, will Codemojo manipulate to scale without any more pivots? That is what remains to be seen.