Hashtag Loyalty, a marketing automation tool provides the small and medium scaled businesses an ultimate all-in-one customer powered marketing solution that helps them stay connected, engage with and bring their customers back in more often. Customers can use the singular platform to earn points and redeem rewards at their favorite businesses in their local communities and can also discover new businesses and avail of flash deals at places that they are yet to discover!
Surviving the cut-throat environment
Being a SaaS based platform Hashtag acts as a unique bridge, helping the businesses retain and acquire customers. Customers know how many points they have and what they can redeem. Currently, Hashtag is live in 175+ businesses at Mumbai, with few other offers in queue. They feel proud to say that there are 65,000+ consumers have amassed a whopping 225,000+ transactions on their network since March 2015.
Small battle in the long road ahead!
Constant challenges they came across had driven them to innovate and challenge the way to think in order to improve the product and its value proposition. One of the primary challenges for us at the outset was scalability. When hashtag was not completely digital, a thought process led to a solution in making it roll out to any business nationally or internationally, within a matter of hours. Now they are working on challenges that come with managing and executing the level of scale that their technology and solution is capable of.
It all started from a Cafe – Hashtag Loyalty
Krishi very oftern used to visit a neighbourhood cafe on his way home back from school. He was very much attracted to the delicious sandwiches and pastries served. The warm welcome greetings and the pastry as a compliment by the staff put a smile on his face. But this didn’t last long. A drastic change was noticed when he was back from U.S after pursuing higher education. He indeed was shocked to find all new faces with no greetings as it was earlier. This little anecdote from his early life has forced to think, what has caused this change and how he can get his childhood experience back. Over the last 5-10 years, due to globalization, we are experiencing a rapid depersonalization in the way business works. There are thousands of businesses catering to crores of customers, but these businesses are not aware of their customers. This is where the need for smart data arises for SMBs. With this interest to save SMBs from the dot com revolution and the rapid de-personalization in the way businesses are run – three of them sat together for a number of weeks looking for both a solution to this problem.That’s when Hashtag Loyalty, a consumer centric loyalty program that helps SMBs was born!
The Three Gems
The 3 core members and co-founders at Hashtag Loyalty involves the three Gems
- Dhruv Dewan (26), holds an Engineering degree (IT) and has 2 years of experience in IT industry.
- Karan Chechani (26), holds a Bachelors in Engineering (Industrial Engineering). He worked as a Research & Development Engineer for an year after which he took up a job at Teach For India as a Selection & Development Associate.
- Krishi Fagwani (26), the mechanical engineer, worked as a Systems Engineer for a year after which he jumped into IT Risk department.
At Hashtag Loyalty, Dhruv is responsible for Sales & Operations. Karan focuses on Marketing, Operations and Product while Krishi takes care of Product, Sales & Finance.
A Participant of Startup India Rocks
The team came across Startup India Rocks via the incubator ThinQbate, that they are a part of. The primary goal for participating in the event is to raise funds. Read more about Startup India Rocks.
Quiet big plan list with funds raised
Hashtag team is on a plan to raise Rs. 1 crore in seed funding giving them a runway for the next 2 years, ensuring a growth. The funds will be deployed into 3 primary areas: Sales, Product Development & Marketing. At the end of 18 months, they expect to be live at 5000+ outlets across 5 – 6 cities in India. They are looking to disrupt the SMB technology space and will be investing deep into Machine Learning & AI to build smarter systems that the clients can leverage and benefit from. And also has a plan of building a Hashtag Loyalty for business application so that business owners can now access the dashboard on the go. On the marketing front, the capital will be used to run multiple digital campaigns, content marketing & to host a few events to spread awareness about the company and enable a consumer-centric demand to rise across the businesses they work back with. Read more Startup Stories.