Today, it is a fact that many of the start-ups are unable to survive without VC funding. It becomes difficult for them to earn profits, and invest them again into the business for its growth. The kind of competition we see among the startups today, it is a task for the capitalist to decide in which idea to invest. Jaipur-based Jain brothers have set an example to the startup world. They grew their business without VC funding in the initial days and are now, are even successful or have created a brand image that they get investment offers.
At first, because of their father’s health conditions, the IIT graduate Jain brothers had to start working rather than primarily thinking for an own business idea. Amit Jain worked for an Austin-based Trilogy for over seven years, and Anurag Jain worked for Sabre Holidays for five years. While working for their respective companies, both of them realized that the IT infrastructure in the city was not finely developed. As they both, already had business mind-sets they had a business idea – a solution in improving the IT infrastructure.
They came up with an IT outsourcing unit named the Girnar Software. Amit and Anurag had experimented on many business ideas but out of all this was the only one which continued. They also started earning minimal profits in it.
They then started with online jewelry business, as their father was a gemstone dealer. A year later, they both happened to visit the Delhi Auto Car Expo in 2008, which spurred them to start a venture that would make buying cars easy. The brothers collected all the car brochures from the Expo, gathered all the information and started the website called CarDekho in 2008.
CarDekho is basically a website where user can search cars by price, manufacturer name, model number or features. The option to compare up to four cars side-by-side gives a clear idea of the pros and cons of a car. It also allows user to see how a car looks like from inside and outside with the help of videos, snapshots, and a 360-degree mode where you can zoom in for a closer and better look at the car from different angles. The video section carries launch videos, reviews and walk-throughs of the cars by company or CarDekho experts.
At the start they had to face a lot of challenges of which one was convincing the auto dealers. These auto dealers were used to the offline mechanism and so it was difficult for Amit and Anurag to convince them the potential in digital technology. When the dealers saw increased footfalls in the showroom because of tying up with CarDekho, made many others engage in the business with Amit and Anurag.
Earlier, they both handled the open source tools like the Java, PHP, MySQL and JQuery but later outsourced these services to big technology firms. Despite being a start-up, CarDekho became the leading car portal without any external investment. This was a major sign of success for the Jain brothers. The company then, by its work could attract many investors, so that every year they had a new offers coming in. But the amount they were getting did not make much difference to what Amit and Anurag already had and so they had to reject those offers.
Girnar Software is their prime company; under which the most successful is the online car sales portal CarDekho. It also has other e-commerce verticals including BikeDekho, PriceDekho, TyreDekho and CollegeDekho. All together from 2013, they have received $80 million worth investment from investors including Ratan Tata, HDFC Bank, Sequoia Capital, Google Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital, Times Internet and HDFC Bank.
The Jaipur-based company has company offices in seven Indian cities, employing over 2000 people. The user-base of the website is rising with about 35 million people visiting the website every month. CarDekho was a finalist in the business and commerce category of the Digital Empowerment Foundation’s awards in 2016. Also the Jain brothers are taking efforts to make CarDekho an international brand, for which they have recently started entering other countries. In 2015, they launched CarBay.my for users in Malaysia and Thailand. The outline and operations of that company is same as CarDekho being the leading car portal in Indonesia. “Our aim is for CarDekho to become a brand synonymous with pre and post vehicle purchase,” says Anurag.
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