myBataz: Where Everyone's a Show-stopper!
He has been instrumental in building the product from scratch. A man of unique capabilities and talent, Sormy reflects the true spirit of entrepreneurship. He values his team more than anything and believes that it takes more than one person to create a healthy ecosystem for businesses to thrive. More than anything, Sormy is an excellent individual and his energy, and passion is unparalleled. He works at two shifts, one the Luxembourg time and the other the Indian time to be a bridge between the two and smoothly delivering the whole product and process.
Sharing his success mantra, he says “As a start-up, we are learning what works and what doesn’t, so learning from our failures is the key.”
In today’s consumer-driven environment, the customer is flooded with too many options while the brands continuously look to capture the mind space of the consumers with less marketing budgets. Engaging customers on a personal basis seems the only way forward. According to a market study, nearly 75-80 percent of shoppers engage with an offer depending on how they previously interacted with the brand delivering it. These customers buy the products 90 percent more frequently, spend 60 percent more per transaction, and are five times more likely to indicate that, it is the only brand they would purchase in the future. This is the scenario of a loyal customer.
The question marketers need to ask here is how effectively are they interacting with their customers and making sense of the data. By and large, the brands have to take a new approach to loyalty and put the enormous amount of data to use across various channels to make it all about the customer. One company that has been instrumental in doing the same and changing the game in the industry by bringing consumers and brands together on a single platform, which is community driven thus benefiting the entire ecosystem is myBataz.
Throwing light on the same, Sormy Curpen, Founder & CEO, myBataz says “We are a consumer-driven social platform; our primary audience is our USERS. Currently, in the fashion and lifestyle segment, the relationship between users and brand is very transactional. Consumers go for the price first rather than the brand. As our platform is authentic & highly targeted to the fashion & lifestyle community the biggest value we offer to the consumer is engagement.”
Fostering Customer Loyalty: The Start of myBataz
It all began during his professional stint, where Sormy used to work with brands using a data science technique - a mixture of attribution, media mix modeling and predictive modeling to help them make more efficient and productive decision on how to scale sales, optimizing their budget allocation across different media, and brands across different regions. “For this, you need to have a deep knowledge of the digital landscape, consumers and of course the brand's products,” asserts Sormy.
He further says “Working across several prestigious and other commercial Brands, I found that the entire ecosystem is fragmented where brands advertise their products, and multiple choices that the customers have in today's digital era is creating a lot of confusion for consumers. At the same time, brands are struggling to gain their loyalty and also meet their sales target due to the variety of products that are available in the market.”
The inception story of myBataz, however, started on a ‘not typical, unusual’ observation. One day while Sormy was shopping with his wife, she was complaining about why she can’t get everything in one place. “That’s when I started to scratch the surface and started to think how can consumers have a seamless experience from inspiration, to bragging, product discovering, purchasing, and also starting thinking about how brands can leverage these opportunities, and what brands should bring to the table to motivate the consumers to love their products again,” recalls Sormy.
Connecting consumers and brands like never before- That was the start of myBataz. Given the background, passion, and love for data by the founder, it was easy for him to incorporate data science blended with a psychology framework. Sormy says “It is true I call it a unique platform because of its seamless experience for both the consumer and brands. But also, because our ecosystem can adapt to multiple types of business from Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel, Food, and any other industry. It is going to revolutionize the way businesses thrive.”
Adding to this, Sumeet Chandhok, CTO, myBataz says “myBataz is a technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that provides data-driven solutions that disrupt the digital ecosystem for Brands.”
Most important of all, myBataz is a platform that provides a complete ecosystem for consumers to have a seamless experience that fulfills their need from inspiration to share, brag, discover and buy. On the other hand, for Brands, it gives an opportunity to interact with the consumer from product discovery to sale, right media investment and ability to scale the revenue.
The Journey of Building Brand Love
It took the founder about 12 months to formulate the solution and build a 1st MVP which rollout in December 2017. Initially, the company wanted to test with 3000-4000 users, but finally, they ended up with 10,000 users, “which was awesome,” asserts Sormy.
In January 2018, Sormy decided to fully commit to the project and fly back to India looking for suppliers. India was a perfect place. “Why? With 430 million active mobile internet users, 230 million active social media users, and 110 million people invested in fashion and shopping, clubbed with the fastest growth of internet users in the last five years made India my pick,” justifies Sormy.
Amidst the tumult in getting the proper suppliers, hard reality struck as the Indian market was more expensive than expected, but the advantages made it look like heaven. Henceforth, the founder decided to hire a full team, where they rebuilt the Beta version. “It took us close to three months to build what you can see today, and our user-base has jumped from 10,000 to 400,000 users in six months,” states Sumeet.
Enthralled by the growth of myBataz, Nina Sarkar, Commercial Director & Brand Partnership Lead, myBataz adds “The irony is that, we have never explained how myBataz works, and its value. Now, things are getting more serious, with an influx of users flocking to our site and wanting more and more, we are planning a big introduction by using one of our Key features called Digital Fashion Interface - it was designed to run a full fashion show digitally with offline engagement events as support only. We have the first campaign starting from September to end of November which gives consumers a life-changing opportunity to sign a contract with a Fashion and Talent Agency for one whole year with an income of pay around 3-4 lacs. Purple Thoughts - our agency partner, has launched several faces including the current Kingfisher Calendar Covergirl and the lead actress in Imtiaz Ali’s new feature film. The payout for the winners is very high.”
myBataz is a platform that provides a complete ecosystem for consumers to have a seamless experience that fulfills their needs, right from from inspiration, to sharing, to bragging, discovering and buying
An Unexplored Area of Opportunity – Where Fashion meets Technology
Unique of its kind in the world, myBataz's data technological marketing platform self-serves by capturing its own customers' engagement and sales. The platform is known for turning data into golden opportunities.
Elaborating on the same, Sormy informs “We will be eliminating cash burn with our engagement channels along with our digital fashion shows. Our platform is built with so many touch points to acquire the consumers on its own that it is self-sufficient and has a low demand for cash. For example, our cost acquisition is very low, and our engagement is more due to content generated by users and brands.”
myBataz data intelligence platform offers brands an opportunity to come on myBataz at a very competitive price for the next six months to be on the platform & hedge the platform to reach out to the targeted customer in the best possible way. More than anything, the platform offers brands an engagement that is unparalleled across any other channel from a user-generated content perspective, who are hooked on to the brand. Be it through contests, offers, direct communication with the brand, this community also gives them feedback on what campaign images and trends could do well.
In addition to this, myBataz offers Brands Analytics (Brand Awareness, Market Share & Competition, Product Intelligence (personalization with deal customized deals), Audience segmentation (Marketwise & Demographics), New Product & Communication Testing, Influencer Programming (Premium users & Celebrities) for testing & feedback, Pushing direct communication & relevant offers to the loyal brand community, Access to new customers & that of the competition through predictive modeling & scalability at a click, Customizable dashboard to help see the things that are important for the user, and brands can display ads on the platform for their highly relevant and targeted audience.
The Growth Way Forward
Headquartered in Luxembourg, and currently operating in Bangalore (India), myBataz has grown exceptionally well with its active user-base of more than 400K+ users, majorly consisting of people of age-group 18-40 yrs. On the revenue front, the company has just started getting revenues from ads, affiliate marketing & is in talks with brands for further brand subscriptions. Boosting the success story of myBataz, it has mentors and investors like Mr. Manu Mathew & Mr. Jerome Dave and strategic advisors like Mrs. Luisa Munaretto Co-founder of Brands and Beyond. Their continuous guidance and support have helped to create a unique platform like myBataz.
In the years to come, myBataz has plans to go deep into India and reach almost a 3 million user-base, solidify the user base, and get more brands on board. Most importantly, it will be a one-stop fashion destination for the customer! Sormy, excited about the future, says “We aim to bring on-board and select up-and-coming Brands which have potential to be the next global brands. With our global reach and expertise, we want to bring these India-Authentic-Brands to the global level and stage in Paris and New York with our strategically placed partners.”
As far as the geographical expansion is concerned, by early next year, myBataz plans to be in South East Asia, and replicate the success that it has created in India. Smitten by innovation and business ideas, myBataz has new things in store, which includes Digital Fashion Show, where anyone and everyone has a chance to be a model. The whole jury, selection, and all the processes of the Fashion Show will be the same except that it is Digital. Thus helping anyone to be a Star as they can upload their portfolio from anywhere to get noticed!
Sormy optimistically concludes, “Dr Bataz, our next big project -where we are on the preliminary thoughts of this now, but as we go along- this would capture all rrelevant details through our proprietary AI to give fashion advice to people anywhere in the world. Also, we have developed our own ads engine to leverage our ads opportunities.“
Sumeet Chandhok, CTO, myBataz
Sumeet is the Brain and Backbone of the myBataz ecosystem. He handles the product development team in the interim while he streamlines the team structure and processes. He believes that his experience in scaling technology-driven products, interacting closely with the business and product team at different levels and across business verticals is already shaping the product vision and roadmap.
Through his previous experience, his contribution to the company’s growth revolves around increasing the reach, engagement, and monetization (the three main tenets of an online B2C business) of the product. He is enabling that by adding AI to the mix, thereby creating a heady concoction to help achieve the three tenets.
Nina Sarkar, Commercial Director, Brand & Client Servicing, myBataz
Nina has over thirteen years of experience in the media field spanning across Web, Television, Film and Print campaigns in both Bollywood and Hollywood. Having also handled digital marketing for a vast array of brands right both nationally and internationally, she assesses which labels could be a good fit for the myBataz ecosystem and consequently oversees all Brand Partnerships.
With over a decade long career dealing with both on and off-camera talent, she also handles all Celebrity Partnerships. She has been instrumental in setting up the pilot season of myBataz TV and is currently focussing on the Digital Fashion Interface and it’s flagship campaign - The Glam Gala.
A One-stop Fashion & Lifestyle Experience Platform
Content: The platform offers people tips, news, viewpoints, trending posts and the best place to buy a product with the help of their content team alongside a community of writers, public opinion and fashion experts amongst others
Videos & Celebrities: Celebrity styles & gossip are one of the biggest things for people today, myBataz just completed season one of their chat show with celebs on their exclusvely owned channel and will keep coming back with big names soon
Innovation Contests: Consumers have a chance to participate in daily contests and win a big cash prize, every single day
Digital Fashion Show: Users have a huge chance of becoming the next big thing in the Fashion world, as the company runs a talent show for International Modelling Agencies on the app. The hunt begins in September 2018
Flaunt the Look: People often like to flaunt what they buy and show off, on Bataz people can come in and tag the brand, showcase their look and the love flows from the community
Fashion Advice on the Go: The platform helps people instantly with style tips and gives Fashion and Lifestyle advice
Shopping: The myBataz application helps consumers by curating their shopping lists based on the interests, thus helping the customers with more relevant content
Users can rise to become an influencer on myBataz to unlock potential work with brands or with myBataz itself. The most exciting part is that they have a chance to own their dream products - all they have to do is share an image of ANY product they want along with its URL and get a minimum of 100 genuine comments on it on the myBataz platform. Once they achieve this goal, they get a hefty cash voucher towards their dream product. Thirty people will win these vouchers every month.
Users can make money through the myBataz Blogging Club programme, or rise to become an influencer on myBataz to unlock potential work with brands or myBataz, where they can gain more money via affiliate programme when a user posts a look and shares URL if anyone clicks on the link and buy the product. Also, they could get points which turn into cash, opportunities to features on Brand catalog or video, provide deals for users to shop from their platform to affiliate partners in one single platform. In other words, every engagement that people do on the platform there is a reward attached to it.