What’s a Product?

wap

What’s a Product

“There are no mature markets, only immature minds” – Philip Kotler

Product is something we all buy. Physical products like cars, machines etc. Then there are non-physical products like software, health services, financial services etc. Every company produces these products – physical or non-physical and organisations are identified by the products that they sell. Until now.

Just consider the products that the following companies offer – Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Uber or Airbnb. Facebook or twitter do not own or produce any of the products (i.e. the content) that you read or see on them. Uber does not own any cars that you ride in nor does AriBnb own any places where you go and stay. Amazon which handles 6 crore products on its site does not design, manufacture, own or service any of those 6 crore physical products listed there.

It is time to redefine the product as a concept in this new era of ‘marketplace and sharing economy’. What then is the definition of product in the new era?

Product in the marketplace and sharing economy is all that surrounds the physical or the non-physical product that is bought by customers from these marketers. It is bringing in experiences and choices meshing with tools and service that the customer eventually experiences. To put it mathematically, the product purchased by the customer is 100 units, 50 units are the physical or non-physical product and the balance 50 units are value additions embellished by the marketer.

Zappos.com is a site dedicated to sell footwear, clothing, accessories, housewares, beauty products and more. Nothing great or different about it. They were the products that we available for sale on the site. Is that their product? Zappos asked itself this question, “we should concentrate on what we sell or on how it is sold?” By focusing how they sell, Zappos created a new product. A product called superior customer care and service. You can buy shoes anywhere, but to “experience a new way of buying shoes” come to Zappos. The differential experience is the product that Zappos created.

Technology is another tool used as a layer to create a differential product without offering anything different. Taxi cabs were booked for decades but Uber made cab booking easy with an app and advantageous pricing and convenience. Amazon brought in discounts, doorstep delivery, buy anytime facility and more to the same old products. AriBnB added choice to travel enthusiasts by connecting hosts with guests.

New product idea is to both broadcast and narrow cast at the same time. Offer a wide gamut of choices in a narrow area of interest. E.g. if you go to a furniture store you can see a small range (depending upon the physical size) of the outlet. You will be shown an old worn out catalogue with grainy images to select from. Switch to a furniture marketplace. You get full range of furniture products (broadcast) with wide range of sofas (narrow cast).

Redefining product is the lynchpin of the strategy at SabRentKaro. At SabRentKaro we are putting together the best in technology with human interface to meets customer choices that are continuously evolving. We believe we cannot build the future based on past but only with future as a drawing board. As a marketplace we are limited by the physical products available in some spaces but have a great leverage in other areas. Curate, create and communicate are the three 3C’s we follow in SabrRentKaro to meet the needs of a new breed of customers. Technology has given the edge to us to create new products to cater to the unexpressed needs of customers. New products create new customers and we are creating and serving them every day.

#Rent #Whynotrent? #sabrentkaro #marketplace

Read More

Time = Money = Rent

time-rent-money

Time = Money = Rent

 

I will share a story with you. A real one. It’s a commercial one.

A friend called on a Thursday morning sounding hassled. He got a contract to set-up a 30 seat call centre on a turnkey basis. He needed to put together everything – air conditioners, laptops, desks, chairs, IVR system, server, coffee vending machine etc.

Before I could congratulate him on landing the deal, he burst out his problem. The call centre needs to be up and running by Monday in days including Saturday and Sunday! All the vendors he checked, gave a minimum delivery time of 2 weeks which they believed was very fast and tight one. What to do asked my exasperated friend?

We are programmed as individuals to look at the obvious solution – buy. It is an irony that corporates, however big or rich are looking to reduce or cut costs. There are sometimes situations wherein to complete a job, extra (unwarranted) costs as in the case of my friend who was willing pay a higher price for his list as he had to execute the job.

Renting is both an attractive and reliable option for all corporate needs. Leasing land or building is a common practice among corporates while the same is not the case with other paraphernalia in the office. At SabRentKaro we have successfully packaged and delivered simple and cost effective solutions for small offices and start-ups. Using our experience and needs as a start-up we curated packages that will evolve and grow as the start-up grows in size and stature. By including maintenance and customer support we’ve made the entire exercise easy, convenient and cost effective.

Precious capital deployed in depreciating assets can now be deployed for other productive purposes whereas the ‘working needs’ are met through rental route. Imagine buying a laptop every time a new employee joins the organization; don’t buy rent it. Corporates do enjoy tax benefits when they rent products for office purposes as tax deductible expenses. How sweeter the deal can get? Yes, it can.

The most important benefit of renting is the turn-around-time or TAT as it is popularly known as in corporate lingo. Renters maintain an inventory of products and also can source from various providers to meet the need of the corporate. Typically the procurement team releases an RFP, vendors submit quotes and after finalization the vendor will initiate the process of procurement and delivery. Paper work, follow-up, delays etc are standard operating problems! On SabRentKaro.com you can see the product, options, quantity available, rental value, delivery time and even book the same online. A complete digital audit trail. Need further information, pick up the phone and call to clarify and close.

That brings me back to the call from my friend. Yes, SabRentKaro helped him get hi call centre up and running though not by Monday.

But a day before!

#Whynotrent?

Raj S

Read More

Clicks and Bricks

ClicksnBricks

 

Clicks & Bricks

Your friendly neighborhood mom & pop aka kirana store is giving way to the hyper delivery app, good old tailor has been stitched out of his job by readymadewala, and malls are emptying out into the cyberworld…

People check in the shop and buy online -showrooming it’s called. Online aggregators complain of the ROBO effect – Research Online, Buy Offline. Cyberworld has taken the world by storm. E-commerce has changed the way we perceive and do business or in fact live our life. Bricks are slowly losing ground to clicks. Or is it?

Wait. Bricks have a great future. Renting is and has the potential to bring life to bricks (did they go away anytime?) in a different way. With value addition.

Renting oriented marketplace portals have built an interface for the customer to select the product of his choice to be delivered by the…place built with bricks. Only difference is that the store front has changed. Now the store front is the mobile, monitor or the tablet screen. Everything else is the same. Clicks connect with the customers and bricks deliver the goods. Renting is a perfect ecosystem in which clicks and bricks co-exist.

Why it is unique or different for renting? Because the goods have to be local in renting unlike in buying in traditional e-commerce, where the product can be shipped from anywhere to anyone in any place. In renting the physical product needs to return to the owner and hence it has to be local. Shops as we define in traditional trade mean differently in renting space. A typical shop in renting includes place to store goods and also a place to maintain the goods.

Renting has breathed in new life to the bricks and mortar space and created a new breed of entrepreneurs. At SabRentKaro while we reinvent the whole rental experience, we have successfully bridged the increasing divide between the vendors and the customer due to the online nature of shopping, by technologically enabling the brick and mortar shops, giving them online presence and e-commerce capability. Suddenly, the so called “extinguishing” brick and mortar renting shops started getting the strength to face the online market.

We have also come across entrepreneurs who have created a new line of business for themselves or their second generation with the sole purpose of servicing the rental space in the market. They have successfully integrated the technology platform provided by SabRentKaro with their traditional know-how of managing inventory, maintenance and logistics. Pre-sales and sales have been left to the ‘clicks’ and the remaining steps are being successfully managed by ‘bricks’.

E-commerce giants have bigger stakes in the bricks than in clicks space. For every click on the site, multiple steps need to be executed at the bricks team to complete the transaction. What the outside world sees the glamorous clicks interface while the real delivery is handled by the bricks and mortar world.

Renting is the new avenue in to the clicks world for the bricks and mortar players. The story has just begun.

Read More

Creating the Fourth R

Creating the fourth R

 

With the lure of offers, hitherto conservative and cautious Indian customers are indulging in mindless consumerism. Just take air conditioners for example. In most parts of India, air conditioner is used by many homes for 2 to 3 months. To meet this short term need a long term purchase is made. What is the solution?

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the 3 R’s everyone is promoting for an ideal and environmentally better world. It’s time to add another R- Renting. Going back to the above example of air conditioner the solution is simple – rent an air conditioner for 3 months. Renting saves on cost, meets your need and helps reduce the need to continuously make and buy new products.

Welcome to the sharing economy! Sharing economy is the new buzz not just because it is new but because there is a value for the customer. Any idea becomes a commercially acceptable when it is tied-in with real financial benefits to the end user. If convenience, in terms of using the service, is added the product enters the option set of the customers. Options drive customers’ choice and the circle is complete.

Hiring a taxi is decades old way of travelling from point-to-point in cities and between the cities. Taxi hailing apps changed the game by connecting the user with the provider through an interface through technology. The key is not to reinvent the wheel but the way the wheel is made to rotate. New is not something that was not there before but also in the way we can do things. What is new is news, what’s news is the talk of the town!

At SabRentKaro we created a platform to do things in a new way. Renting of homes and cars is an established habit. We are pushing the idea forward to extend it to other products. Renting is a smart alternative to buying is the core idea we are sharing with customers. What’s been the response? Phenomenal. From corporates to individuals we were surprised with the response. Customers from different strata of life are now opting to rent products. From luxury bikes to air conditioners to furniture, the idea to rent has caught the imagination of the public. Renting the customer has realized is a smart choice.

What are our learnings? Technology is the interface but the final factor (frontier?) is the customer service. Not just because the idea of renting is new, but the nature of renting is different. While in online purchase the transaction comes to close once the product is delivered, in case of renting begins when the product is delivered. What’s the crucial difference between online shopping and renting?

Relationship management. As the product needs to be meet the needs of the customer and also needs to come back at the end of the rental period, we need to maintain a relationship with the customer which can last 3 to 6 months. Invest in product maintenance, customer service and product range to meet the needs and win the hearts of customers.

Renting is a solution to mindless consumerism gripping our society. Renting makes the customers life better and also the world a better place.

#Whynotrent?

 

Read More

Womens-day-sabrentkaro

Let’s honor the strongest force of our lives – The Woman

Let’s take a moment on International Women’s Day– just one moment – to remember the women in our lives. Their struggle, their compromise, and their love for us has shaped us into who we are. Could we ever be thankful enough?

Being a woman back then

Look back and you’ll notice how blotched our history is. With women being objectified and said to be “fit only for the kitchen,” it hurts to even imagine a society like that. Women had no choice but to depend on their seemingly “better” half for everything. Every life event depended on the father first and the husband later. If there was a problem (financial or otherwise), the woman had to take the brunt and live with it. Under no circumstance was a woman allowed to have dreams.

Being a woman now

Look around your workplace. Look around any workplace – school, startups, MNCs, restaurants, architecture, et cetera – you’ll find strong women working hard. Women are now eye to eye with men and it is such a pleasure to see the societal acceptance. Women are encouraged to stand on their own feet now and attain financial independence. It doesn’t matter how well-settled the husband is, just about every woman wants to step out and take on the world. This, while taking care of the family! There are many who are working remotely (from home) as well. In other words, doing whatever they can to gain that independence!

This is such a welcoming change in our society. Even housewives are taking charge and leading the family from the front, be it financially or otherwise. Financial independence is amazingly refreshing and we all love that, don’t we? Women, today, hold some of the most challenging professional positions. From KiranMajumdar Shaw (CMD, Biocon Ltd.) to ChandaKochhar (MD and CEO, ICICI Bank) to ArunaJayanthi (CEO, Capgemini India), we are seeing more and more names at top positions.

At SabRentKaro, we are proud to be a part of this change. We have helped many women achieve the much talked about “empowerment”. Through the simple process of renting items that are sparsely used at home, women are not just able to make decisions but also earn hassle-free money while focusing on their daily chores.

To woman empowerment and gender equality – to women!

Read More