Today we bring to you an instinctively elaborate interview with the founder of Pricetree.com, about its journey and many other aspects relating to startups. PriceTree is a price comparisons site for shoppers and retailers to help shoppers on finding the best price online and help retailers to monitor their competitors’ prices to optimize pricing strategies and increase revenue.
Tell us something about the team behind Pricetree.com?Where does the idea come from and how did it get implemented?
Team: Vikash Rathee, a medium family JAAT from Rohtak, Haryana is the Co-founder and planted this money tree (PriceTree) in July, 2014 from his FLAT in Delhi. Prior to the startup, Vikash has been worked with leading data and business intelligence companies (QL2 Inc, Wunderman International – Microsoft and Xerox Corporation) for 6 years.
Other members of the team: Stackoverflow and Github, always help me when I have question on coding and for working from home data expert’s.
Idea: In early 2014 my wife bought a mobile from an online store and later I saw the same mobile was available with another sellers in low price, we spent extra on the same thing J and I was curious to know why extra money for same item and after some research I found the same story for many product I checked manually on few sites, so it didn’t took much time to understand that this was difference in their margin (same thing as we go to market and same apple can be found with 70, 80 or 100 Rs per KG) and the kind of developer I am, so decided to make a price comparison portal to help on finding the best price online across all online stores and products.
Implementation:I’ve started market research in early 2014 and wanted a theme based domain to shape my price comparisons portal dream, then found pricetree.com domain was for sale with a US based broker and I spent my 2 months’ salary to acquire this.Started the development, and sometimes it took entire day and night to code a module(that time Stackoverflow and Github helped me as my partner) and finally PriceTree was ready to launch in 11 days.
How has college/ education helped you? Or has it? Tell us about your background?
Don’t ask please 🙂 . Actually I was a back bencher and never like to attend class in school days and never got 50%+ marks in any of my academic education. And later on due to finance situation in family, I’ve started a part time job (A sales man in a cloth showroom) to finance for my graduation and pros graduation degree and completed distance MCA from MDU, Rohtak with my part time job.
What customers do you target or how has the industry response been? What difference in perspective have you observed in case of shoppers on one hand and retailers on the other?
Our target is every shoppers and retailers whether they are buying/selling online or offline
For Shoppers: PriceTree is the single price comparisons and coupons platform for maximum saving in online shopping
For Retailers: Price Intelligence tool and API for retailers to monitor their competitors’ prices and optimize pricing strategies to increase revenue.
What difference: There are many price comparison sites in India but few sites has books only and few sites has mobiles only etc. and those are for shoppers only. But PriceTree is the only price comparison site in India offers price comparisons of all e-commerce category products and have around 5 million products catalog along with coupons and offline stores locator for maximum saving and all price comparison needs.
What do you think of the whole startup culture rise in India?
It’s hard to be a startup in India when you are from a medium family and doing a few lakhs salary job. No one from the family and relatives goes agree on that. I think this is the best time to be a technology startup in India, since there are many startup platform to showcase your idea
How has the vision for PriceTree changed since you started working on it?
When we started PriceTree we launched it for shoppers only to save in their online shopping later we realized it can be helpful for retailers as well for price intelligence and competitor tracking. So now we’ve launched price intelligence tool for retailers, Android App, Store Locator and Price comparisons API and more innovative tools is on the way
Where does your group get its funding from?
No funding yet, but we are now available in market for funding. See https://angel.co/pricetree
Things you wish everyone to know before they start up?
- You don’t need to be domain expertise, there are lot of resource available to help you, (I learnt 99.9% from Youtube, stackoverflow, Codeproject and Github). But yes, you must have can do thinking
Experienced employees aren’t always better than the hungry ones, I hired 4 interns to work from home and they did better than I know about experienced ones from my 6 years corporate experience. And Yes you can always hire the experienced one later on
- Never give up, when you will start you will fail and learn a lot but there is a victory is waiting for you in the last.
Tell us about a funny moment on your journey till now?
Actually all my PriceTree journey is funny, I was never the developer and not the coder. Even I usually thought in my college classes, why this teacher is writing 10-15 lines of C language code to write “Hello World” only. Why not just open the notepad and write the hello world J
And when I was school kid and asked for pocket money, my mom always answers me with love “Paise paid(tree) pe lagte ha kya”. And see now, I planted a money tree (PriceTree)
Advise for young entrepreneurs out there.
It’s never too late to dreaming and start something for your loving ones and yourself. So start building, make mistakes and learn more and then get back to build again. So the point is not to think too much if you have decided what to do. You need to make mistakes, fail and learn more to make better next time.