Dhiraj Jain, Co-founder and CEO at DotKonnekt
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Dhiraj Jain: My co-founder, Chandan and I have been in the Retail and Consumer tech industry for over 2 decades. It has been our lifelong passion to combine the power of digital with a deep understanding of the industry and global markets. We finally took the plunge in the middle of a pandemic with a strong conviction that Direct-2-Consumer (D2C) would witness unprecedented growth primarily due to irreversible digital adoption and Brands would need a purpose-built tech stack to grow sustainably.
Brands have been struggling to scale their D2C channel due to rising CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and their old playbook of paid ads-driven growth is not working anymore. They need to deliver a compelling experience to the consumers to encourage them to come to their website organically. Today it's possible only through custom development that cost millions and over 18-24 months to build. We believe that there’s a huge gap between uninspired templatized commerce sites and expensive custom-builds. We intend to bridge that gap by offering the power of custom experiences with the ease of a full-stack platform.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by DotKonnekt
Dhiraj Jain: DotKonnekt’s mission is to help brands scale their D2C channel organically. We are building the industry’s first, purpose-built Experiential Commerce Platform for Brands to orchestrate the 3Cs (Content, Community & Commerce).
Built using a composable architecture, the platform will combine the convenience of DIY platforms with the power and flexibility of custom development, putting brands in the driver's seat of delivering a compelling consumer experience.
Great Companies: What makes DotKonnekt different from hundreds of similar service providers?
Dhiraj Jain: We entered the build mode of our platform only after 2+ Years of extensive market research, constant hypothesis validation, and rigorous POCs with global clients. That too with a founding team with a shared ikigai and over 200+ yrs of combined global Retail & Brands experience with deep expertise in the domain, tech, sales, and marketing enabling ideation & build of products that can scale globally.
Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Dhiraj Jain: Finding the right people who can absorb our vision and bring it to life in their own creative ways was a challenge in the beginning. Also, the ability to keep up the morale of those who joined and keep them all tuned on a similar frequency. So since the beginning, we decided to have a culture that is inclusive, vibrant, and belonging, one that sets a level playing field for all.
Our team meetings have the college canteen vibes, pulling each other’s legs, arguing about apple vs android, Bangalore vs other cities (our team is spread across 3 continents), and so on.
Our brainstorming sessions can give the Big Fours a run for their money.
Our vision, approach, and prototype have been challenged, strengthened, and refined since we are all comfortable being proven wrong, unlearning, and re-learning every day. It's because everyone in the team is secure and confident that whatever they say is for the collective objective and not a comment on other team members.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What do 5 years down the line look like for DotKonnekt?
Dhiraj Jain: With the Experiential Commerce platform as the first milestone, we aspire to build a D2C Commerce Cloud underpinned by a curated partner ecosystem (solution providers, investors, influencers) to enable global & sustainable D2C growth.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Dhiraj Jain: Think Big. Start Small. Scale Fast.
Thinking big will continue to drive you forward when the going gets tough. Starting small will enable you and your team to celebrate milestones and learn from mistakes early on for you to be able to scale fast.