Strategy for engaging customers in times like Covid: In conversation with Ashok, founder GrabOn

CIE brings to our Deeptech community,

Fire Up Founder Insights series 7th edition, hosted by our COO, Mr. Ramesh Loganathan. The series is brought to you as a part of Startup Gyan Blog series by CIE-IIITH  where we feature our founders and talk about their Startup status and the journey so far through conversation on specific topics useful for other Deeptech startups and the community at large.

In Conversation with Ashok, founder GrabOn:

 “India doesn’t have major brands in the coupon space while US in 2012 had 3 billion Dollars, public listed companies”

Having initiated and made attempts at building platforms for fashion tech and retail, with over 8 years of experience working with major players, GrabOn came to Ashok after a lot of jostling with different ideas and exploring various areas lacking innovation.

GrabOn is an online discount and coupon platform or as the founder like to call a “MarTech” company. The company offers help to online shoppers access deals and coupons from various online shopping sites.

The reception in the market:

“The competitors, although a few in numbers, were not having the intent to establish bigger brands”

With the lack of room to bring innovation, the team decided to instead focus on their USP and hence redesigned their platform for better user experience ad stand out in the customer’s perception of a customary coupon platform. (Remember rebranding of Lucky Strike from Madmen?) The Startup showcased on the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), and from then on the traffic escalated on the platform.

Shift due to Lockdown:

“There is a shift in consumer behaviour as a result of this Lockdown; people who were not using online services, are now turning to the digital platforms”

The Startup is hard-hit due to the lockdown with similar extent to that of E-commerce platforms. Nevertheless, the trends are showing a silver lining as there is an upsurge in traffic on Edtech platforms, OTTs, Sales and Online Gaming. The startup is looking at the opportunities in these new segments and claimed to have resumed 50% of its business. The Martech and digital marketing is the space that is booming amid all the crisis and stagnation.

“Apart from the 2 quarters in our books, we are expecting a jump of 70 to 100% in our revenues”

The Startup is also hiring this seasn when most of the news headlines are around Layoffs and cash crunch. All in its time, never sounded better!

The Growth Hack tip:

You must have a data/decision science team, even if it is just one person, invest in data and data mining.
That goes without saying, a definite must for Tech companies.

Know more about the startup at

Watch the complete interview for some cool anecdotes and fun facts!

Keep watching this space for more under Fire Up Series.
Stay safe and sound!

– Sunita Kumari, Team CIE