Interview with Jash Choraria

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Team: Unifynd

How did you come up with the idea of Unifynd?

Our vision was to transform the traditional physical retail experience by eliminating the hassles that come with it, and to integrate the unique benefits offered by online shopping. Unifynd was initially established as a big data analytics start-up in 2015. However, when head of product Anish Jain and chief marketing officer Jeevika Tyagi came on board in June 2017, they reinvented Unifynd, making it a company focused on building holistic, user-centric technology products.

Who are the major investors in the company? What was the initial seed-fund that you began with?

Unifynd has received a strategic round of funding from Crest Ventures group, who not only provide us with capital, but, also back-end and administrative support, expertise and guidance. Our growth is driven by multi-pronged strategic partnerships that go beyond financial support.

What kinds of solutions do you offer?

Unifynd is dedicated to building technology products, both proprietary as well as custom solutions, for other businesses. We offer tech-driven services ranging from big data analytics to programmatic marketing. Currently, we are retailing our suite of products called futureretail.tech to shopping malls in India. Our first deployment is scheduled to go live in June 2019 at Phoenix Marketcity and Palladium in Chennai. As of today, we have six live custom technology development projects for clients in India and abroad. In India, we are working with West Coast Fine Foods Pvt Ltd (Cambay Tiger) and Argos Greens, to name a few. For both clients, we are building solutions to centralise data collection and augment it with artificial intelligence- (AI) and machine learning (ML)-driven decision-making capabilities.

Tell us briefly about futureretail.tech and how it works. How many malls in India use the service now?

Futureretail.tech is a cutting-edge suite of products taking care of aspects like customer-experience, loyalty and management products for large-scale retail enterprises with customer tech solutions, customised data model and creative and marketing services. The outcome of two years of intensive research and development, it provides a seamless retail experience harmoniously blending the online and offline retail with customer satisfaction at its core. FutureRetail.tech is a comprehensive, one-stop solution for all retail technology requirements.

How do your solutions plan to improve physical retail in India in the times of online shopping?

Our approach to realise our vision is very straightforward: how do we blur the lines between offline and online experiences by embedding technology in physical retail? We are enabling retailers to provide a holistic technology experience without making customers download a mobile application. The Indian shopper is evolving and takes for granted certain comforts that the online retail boom has provided. Our goal is to leverage those habits and deliver a superior customer experience alongside increasing engagement and sales for retailers.

How many retailers/brands currently use your loyalty programmes? What percentage among those is from apparel and footwear categories?

At present, we are in the process of retailing our technology suite of products, futureretail.tech to shopping malls in India.

Besides, loyalty programmes what other methods do you provide to pull crowds to your stores?

Apart from the loyalty programme, we have a host of modules that help troubleshoot problems for retailers and give superior shopping experience to mall goers.  Some of the things our suite does to enhance the customer experience are providing baggage handling, easy parking solutions, mall navigation screens and many more. These services create a stress-free experience and encourage customers to spend more time at the mall.

What is next in the pipeline?

Fiscal 2019-20 is a big year for Unifynd with respect to realising our business and revenue targets. We plan to have three live deployments of futureretail.tech across India, with two proposed deployments already in the pipeline. In addition, we plan on adding three new modules to our suite of offerings in the near future. (HO)