After the horror stories of the downfall of the two most inspiring business women, we needed somebody to rekindle our hope in girl power. And, we found this amazing lady at the most appropriate time. Bhawna Agarwal is among the very few inspiring women entrepreneurs who have created a niche for herself in the technical world. She comes from the generation of startup women entrepreneurs who believe in the power of passion and hard work. Bhawna’s story is among the most inspiring success stories of women entrepreneurs that have the potential to leave a mark.
In a Feministaa exclusive, Bhawna talks about her work, passion, challenges and much more.
What is Pricee?
In this technologically advancing world, we are equipped with everything that is essential to improve the quality of our lives. And, why not? After all, humans evolved to lead a life that could be made simpler and easier. Search engines were a revolutionary development in the 1990’s with Archie being the very first search engine. And, then as we all know, Google took over the world. Pricee is another revolutionary product to join the league. It is a search engine just like Google, only with added features. And, these added features are what would make life simpler. Pricee is here to make our shopping experiences much easier and much fulfilling.
“Pricee is a thoroughgoing product that lets you search your products within a matter of seconds. Whether you are looking for a television or a pair of chappals that you spotted on someone, Pricee will help you find them for you. Pricee is developed on machine learning with keeps on improving itself with every search. Pricee currently has 20 crore products with million searches monthly in the beta phase itself. And, all this is purely organic. There are several other features that makes Pricee a product that caters all Indian needs. It recognises all Indian languages and accents.”
That’s pretty cool! So, if you feel like using your regional language, it would not discriminate you. Neither it would discriminate you on your improper English or accent. And, if you want more – it also has image search options just like Google. You see an elegant bamboo chair sitting on somebody’s lawn, click a picture and Pricee will give you a list of options you can buy it from. It incorporates not only brands but also local products.
Male dominated territory.
“The issue of gender parity exists in all domains not just tech. It is actually women who have set inhibitions for themselves. The parity in technical world is mostly self-driven; the inertia is within.”
Well, that’s true. A lot of times we women are resistant to try new things thinking they are out of our league. But, as Bhawna says we need to conquer those inhibitions and set ourselves free. Bhawna says that the trend is changing now, women are coming out as successful leaders all over, in the tech world too. And, it wouldn’t be long before we see as many female faces as males in the industry. We hope that to happen soon.
“The technical domain has so much potential. If we see, the technology has actually changed our lives. We have come a long way from carts to self-driven cars, and all thanks to technological advancements. It was the digital transformation that actually inspired me to make a career in this field. I believe women should definitely focus on the tech world to build a career; it is gong to flourish.”
About Her Experience
We asked Bhawna if she felt brave when she ventured into this male-dominated domain. And, here is what she had to say,
“Brave? Well, actually I felt quite normal. Yes, I was proud of my achievements but there was no pride about stepping into a male territory. I actually did not feel that way. When I stepped into the tech world, I did not think I was doing anything different. I am wired in a way that I always enjoy the challenge of the unknown. I like watching the skyline from different perspectives. I do not allow myself to think that I am being brave by doing something different. I believe in finding ways of transforming myself and challenges do transform you.”
Bhawna likes to challenge her own limits and work out of her comfort zone. No wonder, she was featured in ‘Power Profiles in India’ by LinkedIn. She is a true entrepreneurial spirit at heart.
Gadgets 360, today, is world’s 7th most visited tech platform in the world.
Bhawna is the CEO of Gadgets 360 since August 2015. Bhawna started her journey as an entrepreneur in 2000 by consulting clients for e-commerce solutions. Her first major challenge was in 2004 when she joined the founding team of Times Internet to create India’s 1st online travel platform -Indiatimes Travel. Since then, Bhawna has been on a tech spree and has never looked back; she is one of the most inspiring women in India.
Building the Team
Bhawna believes that for any startup to flourish, the right team is the key. She believes in the power of people and teamwork.
“Hiring technical resources for a project like this, is a challenge. It requires exceptional brilliance and execution. You need the right set of people who can execute technology. Pricee is built on machine learning that integrates data every second. The most difficult task was to groom the team to get the best quality of results; the quality has to improve every second. We are blessed to have an amazing team that works together to maintain the balance. The DNA of the company is such that every person believes they own the product. And, if you have a team that believes in that concept, you are bound to kiss success.”
The future looks bright for Pricee as it is the first of its kind; enhancing the shopping experience by comparing prices and products all over the world. It is sure to leave a mark on the consumers. Pricee not only integrates data for online stores and brands, it also integrates the local shops and producers. When we asked Bhawna about her five-year plan for Pricee she said,
“It is difficult to create five year plans for a unique product like this. It is an ever evolving product. We have to equip ourselves to match its pace and improve quality with every search result. So, instead of a long term five-year plan, we have a combination of highly important short term plans. These short term plans would eventually go on to define the long term plan.”
According to Bhawna, the most indispensable set of activity, for the success of a product like Pricee, is onboarding as many as possible good quality credible online platforms. This would help in enriching the data with more products across various segments. The current task for the Pricee team is to keep themselves on track by fixing newer technical challenges every day. It is of immense importance to transform the product each day with changing trends. Another short-term plan for product enhancement is creating awareness among the target audience.
“Right now the focus is not monetising, our current goal is to build a product that covers all segments of shopping. We would then focus on making it the largest platform, at least in the country first. We are looking for offline perspectives as well so that in the longer run we can harness their power to give results based on a person’s location. We are building a platform that could transform a user’s shopping experience whether offline or online.”
Marketing and Revenue Strategy
Bhawna says for a product like Pricee, it is important that they work on organic roots. She believes that social media plays an important role in engaging the audience. They are evolving their social media strategy to make more people aware of their unique features. They want to develop a product that works on enhancing the user’s experience and does not give biased results.
“ Our current marketing strategy is to utilise social media platforms to understand the user behaviour. We are driven through organic roots and we want to build our product the same way. The one thing we would never compromise on is organic results. We do not want to provide consumers any results that are biased. We would focus on our marketing strategies through our partners.”
“For the revenues, we would concentrate on product showcases and discovery products. We are also looking at data analysis for revenue generation. At the end of the day, it is all about data”
Bhawna comes from a background of startups. She is from the startup women entrepreneur generation and hence, believes in the concept. Bhawna is a woman whose success story could easily find a place in the list of Indian women inspirational stories. As she comes from the startup culture herself, Bhawna’s views on the startup bubble are quite interesting.
“Start up ecosystem has become much complex. Years ago when I started, the mindset of the people was different. Now, the curve has evolved and now the start ups are focusing on sustainable business models. That’s a great change. The young entrepreneurs are now actually working towards building businesses for the longer run. They are an inspiration.”
“I believe for the success of any start up you just need two things – the right idea and the right team to execute it. Any start up could be a success with little funding too. it is not about who has the bigger cheque, it only about the passion with which you build your business. The newer entrepreneurs are grounded and they want to create real businesses. They are improvising existing idea. Anybody with a good business acumen and passion can succeed.”