JWB Uploads Their Love On Anshul Khandelwal’s KaroSell App
- IWB Post
- December 12, 2016
What’s going to happen with that one dress you wore for your college fresher’s and never again? And what about that one saree from your school farewell? We find many items including clothing that we’ve used only a few times. Ask yourself, is that product in good condition? If yes, KaroSell app is the one stop for all your sale-worthy products!
Anshul Khandelwal is the founder of this very app. JWB spoke to her about her business venture and ideas. Here’s how it went:
What inspired you to start an app like KaroSell?
Well, I was traveling a lot and working out of Jaipur for quite some time. During that time, I noticed all those unused clothes I had in my closet. I figured that I no longer wanted them but couldn’t think of how to get rid of them. I asked my friends what they did about the same and they would say, ‘nothing.’ Eventually, we all throw away the things we don’t use. So I decided to make an app about it.
*thinks of all the clothes she should sell*
When and how did you start the venture?
So, I had the idea in mind already, and I worked on it for a while. We did our initial testing for the app in January 2016 and chose Jaipur as the pilot city.
Oh! So you’re from Jaipur?!
Yes, I left my job, my green card and moved back here to start the business.
Wow! I must say that it’s very brave of you to give up your green card! Anyway, you’re a woman in the tech start-up business. Why do you think we don’t find many women in this field?
The first reason I would blame would be the fact that many girls do not go for Science with Math in their high school years. If they do, they don’t go into engineering. In many cases, they aren’t allowed to go forward with engineering. I remember when I was in college, we had about 200 students in our batch and only 12 of us were girls. Now the numbers have increased but not so much. Girls are forced into marriage once they’re done studying and are asked to take care of their families. Women should know that their capabilities lie beyond cooking and cleaning. If they possess the interest and ability for it, they should definitely do it! I think that it is not only a woman’s job to cook and take care of the house. A man can be as good at helping manage a household as a woman can. I know that if I have a son, I will tell him to learn how to cook and clean.
YAAAS GURL! * Z snap finger formation*
Amazing mentality! I applaud you! Anywho, can you give us three reasons why we should download your app?
Well, I have one and only one very crucial reason. Open your closet. Do you have a nice bag you haven’t used?
And a nice t-shirt you haven’t worn in a while?
Exactly why you should download this app. All you need to do is open your closet and find all the stuff that is in good condition but no longer in use. That is how our app will help you.
If we take the other reselling apps, you will notice that at least 8 out of 10 resellers are dealers. You won’t find dealers on our app. You’ll find a person-to-person transaction. You will also notice that the other apps will mostly deal with appliances, gadgets, furniture, etc. Now, you have a nice necklace you want to sell, no dealer from that app would want to buy that single piece of jewellery. That’s what we provide. Also, other apps have their sales limited only to a direct transaction. We have two methods. One is the offline method where you can chat to the buyer and go see the product and pay for it yourself. Another one is the online method where you make the payment online and we ship it to your address for free.
*flicks a tear*
Whoa! That is so cool!! What will attract women most about your app?
This app is for those women who are interested in sales. Be it buying or selling their products. It will attract women who are into fashion and aesthetics. We are launching our iOS app very soon and then onwards, our app will be woman-centred. Even now, for example, if we have a thousand users, 80 percent of them are women. The others are mostly metrosexual men who are not afraid to embrace their feminine side.
Well, that’s something very new, and I like it! What are some of the problems you faced while working on the launching and development of your business?
Being in Jaipur, I have mostly noticed that women are not taken seriously. And even though my family is supportive, there’s always the societal pressure to get married
Yeah, well that’s not going to leave anytime soon.
So I would go to meet second-hand buyers and ask them if they would be interested in selling some of their products. No one would take me seriously. So, I would take a male member from my team with me and I would notice that they would listen to him! I’m guessing his voice was softer than mine *laughs*. Another problem is the fact that people cannot deal with women staying out after dark and moving out alone. If you’re in a job like mine, you will have to sacrifice your hours. Also, people are still not okay with the concept of formal clothes. When I had to go to meetings sometimes, I would don a three-piece suit and people would look at me differently but when I wore a salwar suit, everyone was okay with it. So, dealing with the condescending attitude is a little hard.
*Plans to punch patriarchy in the face*
So, you got through that one. How did you deal with the funding of your project?
The funding was not that hard as it came from my savings and some financial help from my parents.
Was there something you sold on your app?
Well, the first twenty items on sale were all mine. I sold some of my perfumes I had received about ten years ago when I was in school, and I hadn’t used them. Other items were my mom’s sarees and my cousins’ Armani perfume.
Speaking of selling, your app has a wedding category. Is it doing well considering the prejudice our country holds towards wearing used clothes at a wedding?
We thought about it too. And so far we have noticed that the items being sold were heavy sarees worn by the groom’s or the bride’s mother. We’ve also had some men selling their Sherwanis, but so far there’s no sale for a Shaadi ka Joda. But let’s see how it goes. Hope we’ll have some soon.
We need to break out of this mentality guys! Sell those Jodas that won’t come in use again!
What guidelines do you have set for your clients?
There are four main things we keep in mind. First, we ask that the clients give a proper description of their product so that they don’t mislead the buyers. We also ask them to add a number to our emotional value scale and tell the buyer a story if that product is special to the seller. Second, we ask them to click a proper picture of the product. Thirdly, we help them set a price according to their product. And lastly, we ask them to hold their meeting with the buyers during the day and at a public place to guarantee their safety.
Finally, someone who cares about their buyers’ safety!
That’s an amazing initiative on your end! Since your app sells second-hand products, what are some clothing items that are second hand but cherished by you?
I have some of my mom’s sarees that I can never sell. They hold the emotional value to me. And I also come from a joint family, so there’s this one t-shirt that my cousin wore, which was passed down to five other cousins in the family including my brother and me. That t-shirt is being worn by my nephew. So that’s something we can never get rid of.
Seven people shared one t-shirt?! Wow!
I hope it continues to pass through generations. Now, what according to you cannot be second hand?
I would say love and people cannot be second hand. You can’t use one and pass it on to the other. That’s not how it works.
So true. You mentioned that your parents helped fund your project. Are they a part of your team?
Not exactly. They’re external promoters, but that’s pretty much it. I have a team of technology specialists, a growth hacker, and a backend engineer. The rest are promoters and an outside marketing consultant that we’ve recently hired.
So, now that your project is in full speed ahead, what advice do you have for women who want to launch a start-up business themselves?
My only advice is, don’t think. Just do it!
Anyone else pictures Shia LaBeouf yelling ‘Just do it’?
And lastly, you must’ve made some mistakes while working on this project, what warning would you give to women for the same?
I did make many mistakes so I would say – Be fast! But focus on one thing at a time and don’t hang around hoping that the work will be done. An effort is all it takes.
Anshul Khandelwal is an inspiration to all those women who have a dream to become entrepreneurs. Her story tells us that if your mind is set on something, then even a green card and a big-ass corporate job do not matter.
Also, if you guys have some stuff that you’d like to sell, don’t wait! Go to the Google play store and get that KaroSell App downloading!
Picture Source: Anshul Khandelwal
This article was first published on July 6, 2016.