Loyalie, founded by Akhil Saraf in September, is the first of its kind digital loyalty card and rewards portal to tap the Kolkata market. The startup is intent on promoting the principle of providing maximum customer satisfaction at affordable price range. It’s free reward sites aims at connecting the merchants to their loyal customers by creating unique loyalty reward program and enabling them to interact with each other in various ways. Due to its digitalized means of services, Loyalty reward program have received widespread popularity all over India.
“We believe that each business’ personality, culture, brand and objective is distinct from one another and we keep this in mind to ensure that our app can foster more personal relationships with their customers while simultaneously gaining valuable data on customer purchases, trends etc” , says Akhil.
In a candid interaction with BWdisrupt, he talked about his interesting entrepreneurial journey.
I’ve always had a very strong entrepreneurial drive since I was a kid. My father served as an inspiration for me as he along with his brother set up a tax consultancy firm that deals with Tier-1 Corporates of the country where at least 30 of them are listed companies. I was preparing for my Chartered Accountancy and had even finished my articleship when I started the venture. There was a lot of resistance as I just had C.A Finals left and I’d be part of my father’s firm almost immediately after. However, Loyalie was something I knew I had to do. When the rest of my family resisted the venture, my father encouraged me to go ahead and start.
The entire focus of our startup is the loyal customer. Even though loyal customers contribute the most to any organization, there was never a thrust to go above and beyond for them. Most businesses focused on only acquiring new business and not on retaining the business.
We first introduced a stamp system of loyalty which is proven all over the world. The stamp system allows the vendor to be dynamic with its rewards. Loyal customers rarely want a small discount or to claim points, they want to feel valued.
The biggest challenge we faced is the reluctance to shift focus from acquisition to retention. With all startups focused on customer acquisition with Search & Discovery and Deals & Discounts categories, everyone could talk about a customer who they have acquired for the business time but we didn’t have that liberty as we are dealing with their existing clients.
Who are your competitors?
We haven’t had anyone else significantly pushing the stamp system across in the country. There are multiple startups that are focusing on the points system. However, that is an outdated system of loyalty. Customers are not at all excited about such systems.
Mode of Operation
As mentioned above, we have removed the crux of the loyalty system in India which was points. We require no sing up, no download, all we need is your phone number.
Who are your clients? How do you look at expanding?
Currently in the Auto Space we have Harley Davidson Kolkata, Vespa Kolkata, and Supreme Motors – Mahindra.
In Retail we have Happily Unmarried up and running and we’re in final stages with a lot of national and international brands.
In Wellness, we have 3 major Spa/Wellness chains in the country – IOSIS Spa (A Kiran Bawa and Shilpa Shetty Venture), Aroma Thai Spa and O2 Spa.