Start-ups and roller coasters—these terms are often used in the same breath by many entrepreneurs, and I am no different. The ride is mind numbing, nerve wracking and exhilarating and—like riding a tiger—you can’t jump off mid-ride and go home!

The journey of building ShopClues has been similar—there have been many “Aha!" moments that have worked, and many that should have been obvious successes but were complete failures. To survive in a competitive landscape where many 800-pound gorillas dominate, differentiation is key, and has to be finessed at all times. Two click moments that come to mind are:

1. #MallNahiMarketHai Campaign: This campaign showcased our true ideology—we are a marketplace, bringing the offline bazaar shopping behaviour online. Our attempt is to always reinstate ShopClues’ brand positioning as the ultimate marketplace for value-conscious shoppers. We want to emphasise on replicating the bazaar-like familiarity and experience on online and mobile platforms. Unlike most of our competitors, we are not malls, serving consumers living in metros and purchasing branded products. Instead, we are a marketplace, focusing on tier 3, 4 and beyond markets, with the widest range of unstructured and unbranded products at the most affordable prices. The campaign was very well received by our customers, and went on to win several awards for its uniqueness and humorous approach.

2. Deciding that we will not focus on vanity metrics (GMV, visits, etc.), and be focused on efficiency and true scale metrics (DAUs/MAUs, orders, margin, Ebitda). It was during the GMV hype in 2016 that we decided to look into what GMV really says about the company and its financials, and we realized that it does very little to show the real growth of the company. On the other hand, there were metrics like revenue, orders, etc., that actually showed the real growth of the company. We started focusing entirely on these numbers, and since then, have been able to accurately measure our growth more efficiently.

Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey overall, and there will be many click moments in it. As long as you work towards your end goals and just show up every day, you will find that one click moment that changes everything.

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