Build in Bombay’s AMA with Navish Jain of Cirtru

Divraj Jain [4:29 PM] 
@navish: Thanks for doing this , can you tell us a bit about how you got started and what your working on at Cirtru ?

Divraj Jain [4:30 PM]4:30
@channel: Please begin your questions with Q:

navish [4:30 PM] 
Thanks for inviting

navish [4:31 PM]
Couple of years ago, while I was working at Cisco (USA), early morning at work, a news popup appeared on my laptop screen, with some title “Suzana and her 13 year old son were killed”

navish [4:31 PM]
I opened the news article to find out that they were killed because they wanted to sell their used car on Craigslist.

navish [4:31 PM]
More than 500 crimes happen every year in US alone where people are killed, murdered, molested, assaulted, just due to Craigslist alone. Shocked? so was I. Search for craigslist on news.google.com

navish [4:32 PM]
Anyways, that same morning, within few minutes an email alert flashed on my laptop screen, “SOLD: 2005 Honda Civic”.

navish [4:32 PM]
In Cisco we had an internal email-mailer list where employees used to buy/sell used items with other Cisco employees. This type of internal mailer list within companies, is pretty common in US.

navish [4:32 PM]
Often times, there were requests from friends/colleagues to cross-post their ads in other company’s mailer list.

navish [4:33 PM]
The problem is that employees either buy/sell used items within their company which is safest but is within a relatively smaller audience or they then use Craigslist which reaches to a larger audience but is extremely unsafe

navish [4:34 PM]
This is when Cirtru was incepted. There was a clear need for an Inter-Company classifieds where users are identified based on their employer without revealing any professional or personal information about the user.

Karthik [4:34 PM] 
Q:Whats the Revenue Model? And Funding?

navish [4:34 PM] 
Classifieds is all about traction first and revenue later

navish [4:34 PM]
Though we are not ignorant of it

navish [4:34 PM]
In India we are seeing a lot of interests towards Intra-Company Classifieds

navish [4:35 PM]
We have got some leads from startups with 100–5000 employees

navish [4:35 PM]
That might get us some early revenue

navish [4:35 PM]
But again its all about traction first and then reveneu

navish [4:35 PM]
Its bootstrapped until now

navish [4:36 PM]
Funding should happen sometime soon. We are looking for funding actively

Karthik [4:36 PM] 
Q:If someone like a Slack starts classifieds — won’t that affect you?

navish [4:36 PM] 
Would they?

navish [4:37 PM]
They won’t since thats not what their core is

navish [4:37 PM]
One would also ask what if LinkedIn starts classifieds

navish [4:37 PM]
would they?

Jeffery Axel [4:38 PM] 
Q: What check / processes are you undertaking to qualify seller’s / post’s ?

navish [4:38 PM] 
pretty simple

navish [4:38 PM]
email

Fisher Laishram [4:38 PM] 
Hi Navish was great meeting you at MobileSparks. Apart from verification via work / school email..what are other USP for the product?

navish [4:38 PM] 
For the time being thats pretty much it

navish [4:39 PM]
USP is a person working for a company is less prone to harm u as compared to a total stranger

Fisher Laishram [4:39 PM] 
Is the product web only? Any plan for mobile ?

navish [4:40 PM] 
I call it mobile first, since we have the mobile view as good as web view

navish [4:40 PM]
App is coming pretty soon

Fisher Laishram [4:41 PM] 
How did you get the early users ..How did you expand from company to company ?

navish [4:41 PM] 
We tried multiple strategies and very few clicked

navish [4:42 PM]
I still remember calling my friends and telling them to post items for sale on cirtru and some naive stuff which dint work

navish [4:42 PM]
I used to call users and tell them about Cirtru

navish [4:42 PM]
Email them

navish [4:42 PM]
We use Facebook groups

Fisher Laishram [4:42 PM] 
basically do things that don

navish [4:43 PM] 
Absolutely

Fisher Laishram [4:43 PM] 
don’t scale in the beginning

navish [4:43 PM] 
If you are doing things that scale in early stage, you are doing something wrong

navish [4:43 PM]
We spent some minimal amount on Facebook ads and it failed terribly

navish [4:44 PM]
You have to find where your users are and then tell them about your product

Fisher Laishram [4:44 PM] 
true !! it makes sense

Fisher Laishram [4:45 PM]
As some one who is also working on a marketplace ..where the chicken and egg problem previals …for Cirtru how did you solved it ?

navish [4:45 PM] 
first comes supply and then comes demand

3
Fisher Laishram, You and Samar Tomar

Divraj Jain [4:46 PM] 
Q: Due lack of variety / depth in listing’s you probably loose out on those coming with intent , are you cross listing on other platforms ?

navish [4:46 PM] 
we are not cross listing

navish [4:47 PM]
we have users posting themselves on cirtru.com

navish [4:47 PM]
Marketplaces takes forever to see the hockeystick curve

navish [4:47 PM]
You need to stay lean and focused

navish [4:47 PM]
Its like building Rome

navish [4:48 PM]
Again we are not everything classifieds for everyone…we are classifieds for professionals and students only

Karthik [4:49 PM] 
Q:Have you thought of something like Kwench? Will help you get some traction..

navish [4:49 PM] 
I have not heard about them

navish [4:49 PM]
Will take a look

Karthik [4:50 PM] 
kwench.in — Its a book sharing site for corporates..

navish [4:50 PM] 
I just saw that

navish [4:50 PM]
Might not be helpful in our bigger vision

Divraj Jain [4:51 PM] 
Q: Do you plan to get into inspection / verification as a value add for certain vertical’s in the future ?

navish [4:51 PM] 
It works for an individual vertical but not for classifieds providing multiple veritcals

Fisher Laishram [4:51 PM] 
Q: How do you plan to expand further in India?

navish [4:52 PM] 
carwale or cartrade doing car inspection makes sense

navish [4:52 PM]
Quikr getting into it, I am not sure if its a brilliant idea. They have money and resources to do it but thats not the only vertical they are into

Karthik [4:52 PM] 
Q:Ridesharing?

navish [4:52 PM] 
Ridesharing? Possibly

navish [4:53 PM]
Again ridesharing in India is altogether a different AMA topic :simple_smile:

Karthik [4:54 PM] 
Q:Where in Mumbai is your office located?

navish [4:54 PM] 
Borivali

navish [4:54 PM]
West

Samar Tomar [4:56 PM] 
Q: when Cirtru was started

navish [4:56 PM] 
dec 2014/jan 2015

Samar Tomar [4:57 PM] 
wow, achieved good numbers in short period of time

navish [4:57 PM] 
we are slightly ahead of other marketplaces given the time frame but we still have a long way to go

navish [4:58 PM]
I meant as compared to what other marketplaces achieved in their first few months

Samar Tomar [4:58 PM] 
:simple_smile:

Karthik [4:58 PM] 
Q:How big is your team

navish [4:59 PM] 
Myself and Sandeep are core members and we have got 2–3 full time interns who keep helping us on rolling basis

navish [4:59 PM]
Our team size have been 2–5

navish [4:59 PM]
currently 4

Samar Tomar [5:00 PM] 
Q: what you think is main reason for such a fast adoption, any unique market tactic, it would help us all

navish [5:00 PM] 
what do you mean by fast adoption?

Samar Tomar [5:01 PM] 
suck good number in few months

Samar Tomar [5:01 PM]
such*

navish [5:01 PM] 
which metric are you talking about?

Samar Tomar [5:01 PM] 
750 colleges and companies

navish [5:01 PM] 
Got it

navish [5:02 PM]
So we added the first 50–100 companies domain

navish [5:02 PM]
The rest started coming from users request

navish [5:03 PM]
So someone hears about Cirtru and if they don’t have their company listed, they request us to add

navish [5:03 PM]
I personally curate and each and every request for a new company or university

1

navish [5:03 PM]
If i see something fishy I dont add that company or university

navish [5:03 PM]
Its all about curation and maintaining high standards for your early adopters

navish [5:04 PM]
Dont try to please everyone

navish [5:04 PM]
Just please your early target users

Divraj Jain [5:04 PM] 
Thanks guy’s for your question’s and thanks again @navish , hope it was insightful ! Will put it up on talk.buildinbombay.com shortly

Samar Tomar [5:04 PM] 
quite a work, thanks for explaining

navish [5:04 PM] 
Thanks Divraj.

navish [5:04 PM]
Thanks all

Samar Tomar [5:05 PM] 
thanks Navish

Karthik [5:05 PM] 
All d best

navish [5:05 PM] 
Thanks

Fisher Laishram [5:06 PM] 
Thanks Navish