23 Dec 2016, 11:30 — 7 min read
Entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with innovation. Entrepreneurs excel at creating new products that solve existing problems. TaleSpin is one such product. A chance occurrence of the sort where one of the co-founders spent a significant amount of time fruitlessly in a store was the launchpad for the idea of TaleSpin. Former sales and marketing professional Tapan Dixit and the co-founders of the TaleSpin parent company, Atom Apps Technologies Pvt Ltd, realised that conversion rates at retail stores are low and the manner of shopping had not changed much even though there had been great leaps in technology. Customers still walked in and out of stores, not finding what they were looking for even with the intention to buy. Tapan & the founding team perceived a challenge and an opportunity here and created TaleSpin, a retail solution that incorporates the ‘endless aisle’ technology that makes shopping more seamless and makes a customer far more likely to find and buy something they would like.
After getting an initial traction in the Indian market today, they are looking to expand to the Middle East and Africa with an eye towards the North American and European markets in the future.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Tapan Dixit (TD) shares the challenges, milestones and future vision for TaleSpin.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
TD: TaleSpin is a customer focused solution that helps retail brands increase conversion.
TaleSpin leverages technology that uses learning libraries to classify images and answer three key questions for end customers, that is ‘what to buy’, ‘is there anything similar’ and ‘is this available in my size’. Finding what you’re looking for becomes easier and more interactive. Overall TaleSpin is a product that helps with image classification, customer retention, inventory management, cataloging, remarketing, reporting and what is known as conversational commerce at retail stores.
We started TaleSpin when one of the co-founders walked into a multi-storey apparel retail store, looking for a solid grey t-shirt. He and the sales assistant spent a good 30 minutes meandering through racks and racks of clothing trying to locate a plain grey t-shirt only to be told it’s not available in his size.
This experience got us thinking about a real problem that existed at such stores - brands spend millions in getting customers to the stores but the process of selling in the store has been the same for many years now. In-store shopping experience of customers depends a lot on the quality of support offered by the sales staff and the inventory on display and both have not seen any technological innovation. This gave birth to the idea of developing a solution that tackles these core issues.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
TD: The product developed by us caters to the retail sector, primarily apparel retailers and brands. There certainly is a downtick in the economy and more so in retail. In such a scenario, organisations typically cut back on innovations and new initiatives which becomes a major challenge for us. In a more recent development, demonetisation has impacted retailers adversely as consumers have cut down on their spending. This has further impacted retailer revenues.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
TD: With TaleSpin, brands get to execute the ‘endless aisle’ strategy without the associated capital costs. Moreover, it integrates seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure so brands don't have to worry about any additional hidden costs or any effects on the functionality of their current in-store technology solutions.
As for customers, TaleSpin offers much higher chances of coming out of a store with what they went in for. TaleSpin allows customers to get what they want immediately - even if it is not available in the store. Using our advanced image classification engine, it gives customers instant information on what to buy and similar products. It also lets the customer know whether or not a selected product is available in their size and allows them to make their purchase immediately.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
TD: We were selected as one of only 8 startups out of more than 400 applicants who got the chance to pitch themselves in the ‘Startup Launch’ segment of the Winter Edition of UnPluggd this November. We are currently in a closed beta launch in 7 stores.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?
TD: Our target audience also includes SMEs. SMEs are always looking for ways to adapt to newer trends and adopt newer technologies without spending too much on it. GlobalLinker helps connect these SMEs to startups like us which offer them the solutions they are seeking.
GL: What is your big business dream?
TD: We’re looking to go global with TaleSpin, and expand the range of products and brands we cover. We are already looking to go to the Middle East and South East Asia markets with Europe and North America planned next.
We're gearing up to launch TaleSpin for designers. It will be a means by which users simply have to scan a QR code in order to see a designer's entire catalogue on their mobile. We would also be targeting the jewellery sector which is a huge market in India. Jewellers use a POS and accounting software but that's about it. There's no other technology in the jewellery industry and there is no issue whatsoever in integrating TaleSpin with the current technology used.
We also plan to move on to different domains – sports, footwear, and more. We’re looking to revolutionise the world of retail.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
TD: Don't be afraid to embrace change. Machine learning is the future and technology is poised to take us places we could never have imagined. And if you want to start something new of your own - leave your current job.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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