While studying in a reputed college, a young music-keen student, Piyush Pathak, wanted to join the college’s music club. However, the club was more accepting of expert musicians who had to give an audition in their first year to land a seat. Not a trained musician, Piyush failed the audition and could not take part in the club. Disappointed, he wondered why only professionally trained students were selected and not those who had a genuine interest in the subject. Piyush believed that everyone needs a fair chance even if someone could not afford/attend masterclasses like their peers. This thought inspired him to start a new club named “Gurukul” (Department of Music) that helped students learn music.
As one of the founding members, Piyush ensured that Gurukul presented at least one music night every semester, giving a chance to people who wanted to learn but not already pro. Despite having no financial support for the first two years, the team managed by renting/bootstrap. In his 3rd year, this department was recognized by the college administration and was adequately funded to buy musical instruments. Gurukul still exists. Even after 9 years, it helps young aspiring musicians tap into their genius.
Gurukul was train run for Piyush as an entrepreneur. It gave him the strength to do what he does today, pushing him to start CommerceUp. Piyush says, “When you start an e-commerce business, your customers expect the kind of experience they get with leading e-commerce marketplaces (Amazon/Flipkart). Working on multiple e-commerce platforms and building websites, I was not happy with software in the market.” Piyush realized that most e-commerce platforms were just website builders while customers were shifting to mobile and purchasing on mobile and expecting an omnichannel presence. He adds, “I wanted to build a mobile-first e-commerce platform. This also needs to be cost-effective but provide cutting edge technology in the market. That is where CommerceUp came as modern SaaS e-commerce platform, which is fast to launch and scalable to fulfil unique e-commerce business needs.”
With the mission to create the best B2B and B2C platform on the market for commerce innovators, CommerceUp focuses on a mobile-first e-commerce platform- one platform to build the website and mobile apps. CommerceUp is a DIY platform and offers complete design and digital agency experience from brief to design, build, and launch. The in-house team helps create a unique tailor-made e-commerce experience for businesses.
Angel-funded by Piyush’s ex-employer, Mr Gaurav Bhatnagar (CEO travel boutique online) & Mr Manish Dhingra (MD, Mediology software), joined hands with Mr Neelesh Bhatnagar (MD, NB Ventures) based out of Dubai in supporting commerceUp. Piyush recounts, “Mr Neelesh was quite excited over my new venture as he was running his e-commerce business in Dubai. He was not very happy with the tech stack and wanted to do something big.” When Mr Neelesh heard the idea and technology that Piyush had made a prototype on, he was on board to support CommerceUp.
CommerceUp started with a very small team that firmly believes in quality over quantity. Everybody knows what they need to do and have an essential role in the company. “Sometimes our team works on multiple roles, and that’s what startups are all about,” Piyush shares. After COVID-19, Piyush and his team have been working from home. However, CommerceUp overcame the COVID-19 challenge by expanding its client base to UAE. Piyush pinpoints, “We believe in automation and use the latest software for easy communication with clients and across the team, which helps us provide the best support with limited people itself.”
Piyush understands that entrepreneurship is truly a learning process. While researching for CommerceUp, he realized that a normal website that shows the product is also labelled an e-commerce website that displays the basic feature of buying for a one-person team to a marketplace, where tons of people are working, forex: Nykaa, Flipkart, Myntra or many more. “We took our time by experimenting with what fits best for our e-commerce platform. Is it a seller who sells on WhatsApp and wants to have a website, or is it brands who want a reliable business? That brought a few learnings. We are on the right path now and focusing on brands and businesses who are into serious e-commerce business and just need the right technology partner,” explains Piyush.
Being a mobile-first progressive website available across mobile apps supported in iOS and Android, CommerceUp avails detailed catalogue management to govern the products, collections, attributes, and brands. Having integrated with logistics and multiple payment gateways, CommerceUp is customizable. Unlike traditional e-commerce websites, CommerceUp has an omnichannel experience that provides multiple sales channels across websites, mobile web, and mobile apps that could be managed through a single dashboard. Moving forward, Piyush is excited to map out CommerceUp’s growing and expanding customer base in UAE and India. “We have plans to integrate best practices and tools of marketing to not only provide customer experience while on the website but also to reach your potential customers,” he concludes on a positive note.