Startup Interview Series: Froogal

A company that drives 3x repeated purchases, 150% increase in Average Order Value (AOV) and $20 increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) with automated Customer Loyalty, Feedback and Engagement Marketing to help brands build a deeper relationship with their customers. In the words of the Founder, “Froogal helps businesses go beyond marketing!” Startup Dunya in conversation with Jeevan Chowdary M, the Founder & CEO, Froogal.

Courtesy: Froogal

Froogal is one of its kind product, a one-stop solution for an offline store’s marketing and operational needs. It helps connect brands with their customers through an automated loyalty, feedback and marketing system.

What is Froogal?

Froogal drives revenue for brick-and-mortar businesses by collecting critical customer data, then using it to deliver automated and personalised marketing campaigns that drive real ROI. We automate customer loyalty, feedback and engagement to help brands build a deeper relationship with their customers.

What problem is Froogal trying to solve?

We’ve entered into an era of “customer-centricity”, but there are millions of brick-and-mortar businesses across the globe who still do not have the much-needed technological access to understand their customers’s needs better to gain a competitive edge.

What stops more businesses from going online?

The major reason for it is the large gap between the service providers and their customers, which is primarily due to a lack of technology tools, experience and/or sufficient budget.

“Amazon knows a customer’s psyche and has the resources to engage and retain their customers; but smaller offline stores can’t all be Amazons.”

What is Froogal’s solution offering to offline stores?

With Froogal, any business owner can adopt & leverage technology easily and at a very affordable cost. We can help automate most of their marketing needs to retain and engage with their clients at a a very good ROI (Return on Investment) while driving and building more revenues and building deeper relationships with their customers. Our vision is to address similar challenges faced by millions of such companies across the globe and help turn them more successful.

What is the omni-channel methodology that Froogal is driving with its customers?

Froogal helps businesses also adopt an “Omni-channel Methodology” that gives access to more revenue channels while making sure customers get a seamless experience across every channel. We help with:

  • Increasing Purchase Frequencies & Spends
  • Increasing Profitability
  • Increasing Customer Lifespan
Courtesy: Froogal

Tell us about your core team?

Jeevan Chowdary M, Founder & CEO – From a young age, I had a keen desire to start my own company. There was that proverbial itch to find a real-time solution to the many issues faced by companies and help better their customer experience with multiple technology-based innovations. I come from a technological background which helped me get that edge early. My learnings helped me to ease and improve customer experience. While still in the 1st year of my college, I started as its Founder & CEO. This became an instant sensation and strengthened my resolve to become an entrepreneur. Then I started Froogal. After facing some initial setbacks, the startup has bounced back and has emerged as a successful business platform catering to offline customers.

Harshit Harchani, CTO – Harshit is the backbone of Froogal. Amidst the calm and composed exterior of Harshit, happens to be a genius of a human with hands on knowledge of technology. He has a keen interest to stay updated with every new trend in our field. He plans to work and invest on more futuristic technologies.

Harshith and I are both alumni of IIIT Hyderabad. What started with two friends as an ode to brotherhood, figuratively, ended up becoming a successful business partnership. We ventured out together on this entrepreneurial journey in the third year of our college. For a good part of this journey, we were on a roller coaster ride but had each other’s back through all the ups and downs.

Can you tell us about your Market Landscape?

Froogal is a SaaS based company cutting across multiple domains to create a one-stop solution for all of a customer’s marketing and operational needs. We are into CRM & Data Analytics, Automated Marketing Tools & Business Intelligence Tools.

What kind of a business model does Froogal have?

We follow the B2B2C approach. We build both B2B & consumer-focussed applications to enhance and ease the customer experience and improve the revenues of the businesses.

How do you position yourself in the domain? How do you amalgamate latest technology with business objectives?

As a one-stop solution for all brick-and-mortar businesses, we help ease our customer’s access to technology while cutting down their marketing & operations costs.

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) will make things easy for a business owner wanting to maximise revenues.

How has your company evolved over the years?

We launched Froogal in 2016 as a Payments Wallet with a “basic rewards systems“ integrated in it, which enables consumers to ‘Go Cashless’ at their nearest locations. We initially focused on turning College Campuses to Cashless Campuses.

In the course of on-boarding different businesses to our platform, we understood the challenges faced by some of the offline businesses in using technology to ease their day-to-day problems. This led us to delve deeper on how bigger brands like Reliance, Shoppers Stop, Big Bazaar, Amazon, etc. function. We tried to bring some of their best practices in the use of technology to small scale businesses, while staying economical and feasible. Froogal which is built on AI and Machine Learning platforms helps to bridge this gap.

What were the initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

Our initial hurdles can be broadly categorised into 3 buckets:

  • Developing resilience after an emotional rollercoaster: With all problems, there comes disappointment. An emotional spiral(down) built on the shoulder of, “should have, would have, could have,” will never get one anywhere. We began to appreciate life’s low points as much as we cherished its high points. Instead of being disappointed, we learnt to focus, regroup, then execute better the next time around. We learnt to stay afloat.
  • Lack of Knowledge: We don’t have the knowledge of what the future holds or even the knowledge to keep up with the present day world. We learnt that lack of knowledge should not hold you back from starting your business. Thanks to digital resources, we could educate ourselves and operate without a business degree. We brainstormed efficient ways on doing our work and came up with a number of smart solutions to tricky situations.
  • Insufficient Funds for Resources: There was a phase like any other startup when we faced a dearth of resources. I’m glad that we went through that phase, we have become much more stronger and effective since then.

What would you advice newbie startups?

As the great playwright Samuel Beckett once said, “Ever tried, ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” These are words that entrepreneurs should embrace everyday, as each failure is a chance to learn better, start better and raise above.

Courtesy: Froogal
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