FirstHandle is an innovative mobile application that is meant for helping hyperlocal shoppers to meet their daily needs. FirstHandle is a hyperlocal platform for consumers to engage with retailers in real time. Simultaneously, it helps retailers to reach out to their target communities. What inspired Gaurav Sinha to come up with FirshHandle app is the frustration of not getting right deals in market. Launched in August 2015, FirstHandle is a multifeature application bridging the gap between retailers and consumers in real time.
Gaurav Sinha, founder and CEO of FirstHandle, has been into product marketing, business development and general management fuctions for over 14 years. He has pursued varius leadership roles with sharp focus on business-buidling processes. Prior to FirstHandle, he designated the National Sales Head and Business Development Head positions with Times Group and Info Edge. He took up the challenge of building a high-end ecommerce platform with the best digital technology for the business of Indian Today Group before he hit upon the idea of FirstHandle. Currently, Mr. Sinha is focused on market penetration of FirstHandle, which is his first entrepreneurial venture.
While talking about how FirstHadle app is different from other players in the same niche, Gaurav Sinha says, “Hyperlocal discovery market in India is on the verge of collapse. Various players who have been on hyperlocal platforms for a long time are making futile attempts to keep up with this space. We have a different approach towards solving the same problem in hyperlocal discovery space. FirstHandle is focused on both SMEs and brands. We are the first to empower merchants to create and target their own social communities.”
The USP of FirstHandle is its mobile application which has brought merchants and consumers on the same platform in three major cities: Delhi, Mumbai and Bangaluru. The application packs in innovative features like customer insight, QR code integration, geo fencing, beacon, etc. to revolutionize traditional shopping in a way never before. It helps consumers to find discounts and offers from retail merchants in real time. The users get in-app contextual notifications based on their locations in real time. Retailers themselves can control, modify and update their offers or deals across India through the app. The caching feature to help customers get offers and deals even when they are offline makes FirstHandle a unique application, according to Mr Sinha.
While talking about the stand of FirstHandle in competition with other businesses, Mr Sinha sounds very sanguine about his startup and team. He confidently says that superior technolgoy, worldclass team from leading colleges, efficient execution and promising strategies are the strengths of FirstHandle in healthy competition with others. What is the most interesting about FirstHandle is that it facilitates direct contact between retailers and consumers. Customers can also call retailers to get details of discounts, offers and deals available thorough the app.
“Rome was not built in a day.” Likewise, FirstHandle made its way into the market through a number of challenges. “At the initial stage, we found it challenging to convince to convince merchants about the usefulness of our application in reaching out to consumers, with their offers. We overcame the challenge by creating a robust presentation on the product and a training module online and offline. Consumer engagement at the initial level was low due to fewer numbers of offers but we have reserved the situation by signing up 20,000 merchants,” shares Mr Sinha.
While talking about the market penetration of FirstHandle from its launch till date, CEO Gaurav Sinha says, “In only five months, we have reached out to more than 100000 consumers across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Currently our merchant base has 20,000 retailers. Around 25,000 retailers are expected to join us in the coming months. Many brands have got into an alliance with us. The app has consistently maintained a fair rating of 4.3 in Google’s Play Store.”
Just as “child is the father of man,” a vision is the maker of a product in the long run. In response to what his vision of FirstHandle is, Mr Sinha says, “Our plan is to penetrate the market in more than 8 tier I cities before FirstHandle celebrates its first anniversary. Our present goal is to achieve a milestone of $1 Bn of transactions in the next couple of years and have out footprints across the country. We are hopeful that with the growing traction on on both consumer and merchant fronts, funding will surely happen.”
On a closing note, Gaurav Sinha ebullently says, “We have tracked that our users log into the application before they go out for shopping. It is a great sign of their increasing trust and reliance on our product, which we are sure, has ample potential to change the way Indians do shopping.”
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