Lucky Stars app is an apt ‘advertising & promotional platform’ for marketers - Startup Terminal

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Lucky Stars app is an apt ‘advertising & promotional platform’ for marketers

"Lucky Stars app is an apt ‘advertising & promotional platform’ for marketers to showcase their products to their target audiences, in a highly engaging manner, across geographies". Hetin Sakhuja, Director, Interactive Max Tech Private Limited

Hetin Sakhuja, Director, Interactive Max Tech Private Limited

ST Bureau: When did you decide to take the path of 'entrepreneurship'? 

Hetin Sakhuja: The entrepreneurial bug began nearly 2 decades ago when I started IMT – a technology company to develop software, mobile solutions and web related products. A few years therafter, I got into the advertising agency business, offering creative, media planning & buying for traditonal media and later for the digital space too.

It is the expertise built in these 2 businesses that has placed us in good stead, to pool in our talents and resources, and launch the Lucky Stars mobile app.

ST Bureau: Please tell us about your venture.

Hetin Sakhuja: Lucky Stars app, a contest-based gaming app and an e-commerce platform in development, that has generated over 50,000 registered users since launch 3 months ago. It has already declared over 595 winners who have won valuable, branded gifts like smart televisions, smart phones, smart and lifestyle watches, gold coins, a two wheeler and cameras, amongother equally interesting products.

Lucky Stars app is an apt ‘advertising & promotional platform’ for marketers to showcase their products to their target audiences, in a highly engaging manner, across geographies.

The brand has multiple contest platforms within the same app, depending upon the value of the ‘prize product’ and duration of the contest. The simple to use app is based on a Q&A framework of one or more questions related to the prize product or a G K trivia, with a Yes/No and multiple choice option answers. This simplicity of usage and the valuable gifts as prize products has been one of the main reasons for the success of the Lucky Stars app.

ST Bureau: What opportunities do you see in this sector?

Hetin Sakhuja: India is a youth driven country with nearly 65% of the growing population below the age of 35 years. There are over 204 million active smart phone users and by 2020, this number is estimated to grow to over 700 million active users. At present, nearly, 78% of the total internet users in India have access to the internet on their mobile phones.

As per gaming data for India, the youth between the age group of 25 – 34 years, lead the brigade with nearly 35% amongst other age bands. For nearly 85% of all gamers, the average age is of 44 years.

Mobile advertising in India is also on an exponential growth path with an estimated expenditure of close to $242.6 mn in 2016, marking a 100% growth compared to the previous year and is expected to reach $1.2 bn by 2020 and this rise can be attributed to many parameters like increased mobile penetration across the nation, low data prices, affordable smart phones, 4G services and availability of all services in the form of apps. The growth of m-commerce in India has led many marketers to adopt a ‘mobile-only- strategy’ for brand promotions.

The smart phone has changed the way we live. The youth, today, is well aware and informed with events across the globe. Traditional practices are falling short of audiences, and marketers are continuously looking for newer options that are informative, interesting, measurable and engaging with the youth. Mobile driven campaigns have been far more effective than traditional practices.

ST Bureau: Did you face any challenge in your entrepreneurship journey?

Hetin Sakhuja: Every new venture has its own challenges and it’s fine as long as they are addressed and we don’t lose sight of the goal. However, Lucky Stars is in a relatively new category – ‘Contest-driven Mobile Apps’, that is still nascent and yet to be fully defined and developed. And that’s where the big challenge lies because there are no established benchmarks or learnings one can follow. So, in a way, we’re actually taking a leadership position in shaping the category.

The Lucky Stars app has been able to maintain a high degree of simplicity of use, while delivering an enjoyable user experience. There’s a fair amount of variety in the types of lucky draws, not to mention the high-end gifts offered as prizes, which we believe is the clincher that is drawing huge numbers to get on to the app. We’re still in phase-1 and there are big plans afloat, which we’re confident will heighten brand engagement, both, from users and marketers alike. 

ST Bureau: What are your plans for the next 2 years?

Hetin Sakhuja: Lucky Stars will soon launch its e-commerce platform. At present, the app charges a small fee along with the displayed product from the Brand, for the usage of its platform, depending upon the contest duration. Once the e-commerce platform is launched, contestants will get an opportunity to purchase the displayed products at a lower retail cost on the Lucky Stars platform, besides of course the chance to win it through the contest.

Simultaneously, we will also launch our Loyalty program for instant user gratification. Our loyalty program is based on user interaction with the Lucky Stars app and every action on the app, from logging on to entering a contest, allows the user to accumulate points which are redeemable against the product/s on the e-commerce platform. We will also allow winners to earn points against product gifts won, if they are not interested in claiming the gifts. These points too can be redeemed for products on the e-commerce platform.

ST Bureau: How do you motivate yourself?

Hetin Sakhuja: Creating and building a business from scratch is all fine, but when my vision is shared and enjoyed by the team and all those in the company, it gives me a deep sense of achievement and drives me forward.

Similarly, when we go about creating value and the end user appreciates and applauds it, that’s when I feel motivated with what has been accomplished. That’s when I feel, I’ve been able to make a difference to people’s lives.

Over the last 2 decades, we’ve had our fair share of successes, and of course failures too, and both of these scenarios motivate me in equal measure, to strive for better and better!

Interviewed by Startup Terminal Bureau