Swati Bhargava | Cash Karo
Meet Swati Bhargava, theCo-Founder of CashKaro. A small town girl with big dreams and bigger achievements that\’s what compiles Swati in a nutshell. A little incident during her honeymoon changed the way she had ever thought of her career and she came up with India\’s largest cashback and coupons site CashKaro along with her husband Rohan in 2011. CashKaro is something very Indian where people want that something extra at a little lesser pay. Today CashKaro stands as a very unique cashback site with different kinds of coupons and offers partnered with big retail names across the country. And Swati has bigger plans ahead to popularize CashKaro further.
EX: Hi Swati, tell us something about you?
SB : I am from Ambala, a small town north of Delhi which is probably famous for the fact that my friend & now Bollywood superstar Parineeti Chopra is from here! I studied at Convent of Jesus & Mary school in Ambala till 16 years of age; then got offered a scholarship to study in Singapore in 1999 to complete my high school. In 2002, I was again fortunate to get a scholarship to study at the prestigious London School of Economics in the UK. I graduated with an Honours in Mathematics & Economics in 2005 and was offered to join the Investment Banking team at Goldman Sachs, UK. I was there for 5 years until I left my job to start my first entrepreneurial cashback business Pouring-Pounds.com with my husband Rohan in 2011 and which ultimately served as the genesis point of CashKaro in India. Today, CashKaro.com is India\’s largest & fastest growing cashback& coupons site.
EX: Wow, talented lady indeed.
SB : *Smiles* Thank you.
EX: The idea of coupons and offers is always a hit with Indians. How did this concept hit you? Any initial hurdles? SB : Rohan my husband and I came across the concept when we were booking our flight to Maldives for our honeymoon and we got `25,000 in Cashback via a UK Cashback site and totally loved it. We thought it was so simple, easy… if anyone knew about a Cashback site, why they won\’t use it! We believed that the Cashback business model will be a great product/market fit for India as people here love savings and are naturally inclined to seek EXTRA whenever they shop online. The success of Cashback sites in the West was also one of our biggest motivations to start CashKaro.com. Finding the right developers and the right talent were the initial obstacles faced by us but eventually in time we managed to build a strong team who are with us since inception. Now we are a 50 member team and growing.
EX: How is CashKaro different from its contemporary sites?
SB : Visiting a Cashback site has now become a default shopping gear but when we started out it was still a novelty in India. I feel that our first mover advantage has helped us stay far ahead in the Indian Cashback ecosystem and are 3x to 10x larger than other cashback sites. We have now evolved from a Cashback Coupons only site to a singular platform where users can SEARCH, COMPARE PRODUCTS & PRICES AND EARN EXTRA CASHBACK over and above coupons across retailers. These added features help the user in making an informed purchase and save every time making CashKaro.com the cheapest way to shop online. Over the next 6 months we are also going to enlist around 50 global retailers likes of which include, Macy\’s, Bloomingdale\’s, House of Fraser, River Island, Lookfantastic etc. These strategic partnerships will enable our spirational Indian online shopper to shop from International markets too.
EX: How techie is Swati personally and professionally? Any favourite gadgets or apps?
SB : I have to be tech-savvy since I am operating two successful ecommerce entities in two different geographies. I work on Apple Macbook Air and carry an iPhone which is also synced to my laptop. I stay connected on social via Twitter which also acts a platform for users to interact with me directly.
EX: Where do you see CashKaro 5 years from now? How is it doing in Indian market at present?
SB : The E-commerce industry in India is expected to be $100 Billion industry by 2020 and similar progress is forecasted in the Cashback space. According to reports the affiliate sites such as ours contribute to 12-15% of total ecommerce sales in India today. Over the next 5 years, our efforts will be towards solidifying and cementing our market leader position in India in the cashback& coupons space. Also, we will be looking at expanding our presence in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East.In the near future we will primarily be working on extensions and derivatives of our MOBILE initiatives including launching the CashKaro app. We\’ll continue to work in parallel to grow the recently launched product comparison ecosystem while creating more partnerships with various other online businesses to build great synergies. We expect to cross `500 crores in GMV and credit more than `25 crores as Cashback in the next 9 months.
EX: Unknown facts about CashKaro that would make us go ˜woa\’.
SB : We\’ve crossed a new milestone at CashKaro. com we\’ve given out `15 CRORES Cashback to Indian shoppers as real cash. Our savings offering has expanded to cover basics like giving Cashback on mobile recharge, paying electricity, phone, mobile bills, DTH recharge something almost every individual needs!