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Interview with Dealaday Founder Dinesh Kaku

Daily Deals websites have become a bit of a phenomenon in New Zealand. The impulse-buying nature of these sites has proved extremely popular. It seems kiwis are always after a bargain, be it in stores or online.

One of the leading NZ daily deals sites is of course Dealaday.co.nz. Started in 2008, Dealaday is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Dinesh Kaku.

OneDayDeals recently secured an interview to find out more about Dealaday. We discovered some innovative ideas and a unique approach to the business.

Dealaday logo

OneDayDeals: Hi Dinesh, I guess we’ll start off with how you got started with Dealaday. Can you remember when you first thought of the idea for your business?

Dinesh Kaku: This idea struck me while I was at a clearance store back in March 2007. Instead of doing research on the deal a day sites overseas I started creating my own plans, this helped me think a little differently than other deal a day sites. I thought I could get a better site up and running within 3 months by offering this project to university students but instead decided to outsource this to a company overseas - which turned out to be a disaster. But you learn from your mistakes.

ONE: What sort of job/industry were you in prior to starting DealaDay?

DK: I had previously worked for the UK based company Compass Group and was responsible for development of processes and systems for new and existing business. No, I don’t have a background in technology, but I have learnt a lot in past 2 to 3 years.

ONE: How long was it from the idea to the launch of the site? Did you sit on the idea for a while, or drop everything to pursue?

DK: Yes I did sit on an idea for a while but at the same time as mentioned earlier my development team overseas let me down big time. If the project had been pursued as planned we could have been the first dealaday site in New Zealand.

We missed the boat but at the same time our model is a little different than other deal a day sites in terms of functionality. We are one step ahead of other deal a day sites. Some functionalities which are different are:

  • Multiple Addresses – A user can choose to buy 3 units and has an option to get it delivered at one address or 3 different addresses unlike other websites.
  • POLI Internet Banking – Pay for your purchase instantly from your banks online banking service. Deal A Day to date is the only shopping site in New Zealand to offer Internet Banking in real time. Another mode of payment for users who do not have a credit card.
  • Deal A Day Dollars - All our registered users who buy from dealaday earn dealaday dollars, for every $200.00 spent on dealaday, users get $1.00 back in their account. Some of our users have been able to pay for products using dealaday dollars.

Deal a day Poli

ONE: What were the initial planning stages of DealaDay like?

DK: My initial planning stages were very exciting and since I had a full time job I used to come home and work till 1 am and spent most weekends planning and implementing things for the website.

ONE: Do you have any businesses partners or have you run it singlehandedly the whole time?

DK: No I have been handling this project on my own. I have 2 part time employees/consultants who handle customer support and telemarketing.

ONE: Did you raise capital to begin, or start from a small base?

DK: Started from small base and have not approached anyone so far for funding. We will be looking at some kind of funding in near future. So far dealaday has been self funded.

ONE: What was the official launch date, and how did you get the word out for the launch of DealaDay?

DK: Deal A Day was officially launched in October 2008. We had a few promotions like PS3 give away before the launch of the website and from time to time arranged promotions to increase our user base.

Deal a day competition

DealaDay’s Launch Competition

ONE: What was your first product, price, and what was the first day like?

DK: The first day was unusual; we did not expect any sales but we did 10 sales, which was avery promising start. The product was a Pinnacle USB HDTV priced at $89.99

ONE: Have you undertaken any traditional media advertising for the site? What about online advertising?

DK: From time to time we have used various online advertising e.g. Google, Facebook, advertisements on some New Zealand portals.

ONE: How long after starting DealaDay did you realize that yes, this business will take off?

DK: It took us 4 months to realise that this is a business which great potential to grow. We have a few plans in hand, which will help differentiate us from the competition.

Deal a day Twitter

ONE: DealaDay uses Twitter as a marketing tool. How effective has this been?

DK: Twitter has been a very effective tool and is the 4th most contributing site to our traffic.

ONE: The Dealaday site was obviously created with a graphic design focus. Do you have experience in design, or was the slick design something suggested by the website company?

DK: I had hired a freelancer to design the website for me, however the initial designs were not great and I started suggesting changes and also researched some websites before settling on this design.

ONE: What tends to be the busiest day of the week sales wise? Quietest day?

DK: Monday / Wednesday / Friday are our busiest days in terms of sales. Saturday and Sunday used to be quiet days but we are noticing more and more traffic on these days too. It really depends on the product on offer.

ONE: Daily deals sites are generally open every day of the year. How do you work around having a break/holiday?

DK: We load deals in advance for a week or 2, and customer service teams take control of delivery and dispatch.

ONE: On weekends are orders packed, or do you have a big Monday?

DK: Yes we do pack loads of orders from Thursdays, Fridays and weekends to be picked up on Monday morning.

ONE: How do you go about choosing the type of products for the site? Do you source mainly in China?

DK: No we source all our products locally from New Zealand and help New Zealand businesses. We are also a 100% New Zealand based company unlike some other major dealaday sites.

ONE: Have NZ businesses responded well to the concept? Do many local companies approach you directly? How is this going for you?

DK: Yes in the recent past we have been approached by a range of companies; some are big brands a pleasant suprise.

ONE: Do you have a long “to get” list of products?

DK: Yes – this list is never ending.

The DealaDay story is an inspiring one. From a chance idea while shopping, to a serious business providing real value to customers and suppliers alike. Even thru major set backs in the development phase, DealaDay launched successfully and has come thru to celebrate its 1st birthday. No mean feat for any new business.

As you can see with features like POLI Internet Banking, DealaDay.co.nz have a fierce dedication to innovation. With their product category expanding each week keep an eye on DealaDay!

Deal a day Products


Make sure you check out todays deal… www.DealaDay.co.nz

Posted: Mon 19 Oct 2009


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