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Harish Bahl On The Group Buying Space In India And The Wanamo Acquisition

Serial entrepreneur Harish Bahl, who founded the Smile Interactive Group, which has developed business ventures like StudioSmile, Quasar (bought by WPP), Tyroo (minority stake picked up by Yahoo), Zoomtra & Zumtra. Bahl has since invested, alongwith the Group Deals Global AG in two e-commerce businesses - Fashion And You and Deals And You (which acquired group buying startup Wanamo recently). In a brief conversation with MediaNama, Bahl spoke about the group buying model, scaling, the differentiation and challenges the space faces: Why did you acquire Wanamo, which was launched only a few months ago? For a quick headstart. We thought it was a good business, and the founders came along-with the acquisition. There is very little differentiation between the current players in the market. For us, the plans are bigger than what exist in the market right now. Wanamo is doing fairly well: they've launched in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, with Mumbai as its main market where they're doing the highest number of coupons. These are very early days. We've got Fashion And You, and now Deals And You. We're not not trying to clone anyone, and have an independent strategy for the "And You" network. Fashion And You is in lifestyle products, while Deals And You is about lifestyle services. What's your take on the group buying model? Will this business scale? It's a hyperlocal model, not even city specific. You won't buy a deal for a haircut in the other side of town. There's a lot of VC…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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