Startup Story of Dukaan Becoming Shopify Alternative in India

Ritika Deshpande

Dukaan Success Story

Dukaan is an application that provides a platform to help people launch their online stores with ease. Founded by Suumit Shah, today Dukaan is competing with Shopify and Gumroad which are the leading e-commerce platforms.

Dukaan enables people to set up an online store of their business in just under 30 seconds. And no, I’m not kidding, it’s not a marketing gimmick, you can test it yourself!

Entrepreneurial Journey of Suumit Shah

Suumit was born on 25th December 1990 in Mumbai and is the founder and CEO of Dukaan, an app that lets you create your free online store to start selling online.

He used to design websites when he was in college. His entrepreneurial journey kick-started when a guy paid him 120$ for a website design. This was a huge deal for him back in the day but Suumit says that this amount is close to nothing for him now. 

TinyOwl and Housing.com were the first companies he worked for back in 2014. He worked as a Digital Marketing Manager and helped companies with their Search Engine Optimization. He hence is highly skilled in SEO. 

He later founded Risemetric, a digital marketing agency, with his friend Subhash Choudhary in 2014. He then founded Rankz.io— a platform full of SEO tools for content marketing. And then he started up Dukaan to enable people to launch their online stores.

Startup Story of Dukaan

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Suumit had moved to Bangalore to find techies like him right when the lockdown happened. Businesses were experiencing a massive downfall in terms of their reach and revenue. Several small businesses had to, sadly, shut down.

During the peak of the pandemic, Suumit got a text message from a Jockey outlet in Indiranagar saying that they deliver to his place. He wondered why big companies like Jockey don’t use Shopify to facilitate their business.

He realized that e-commerce companies like Shopify were a bit too complicated for the common man to get the hang of and use straightforwardly.

Hence, Dukaan started as a simple idea of creating an app to assist small businesses to flourish and making the concept of selling online clearer for the common man with big pursuits.

He along with Subhash Choudhary, the CTO of Dukaan, launched the app within the first week of developing it.

Dukaan Co-founders Suumit Shah and Subhash Choudhary
Co-founders of Dukaan, Subhash Choudhary and Suumit Shah

Our core focus was that everything should work on mobile and it should be easy, that’s it”. 

Shopify needs its users to have a desktop and an email id. Dukaan needs neither. The goal was to simplify the complexities to target a larger market.

Success Story of Dukaan App

Within a week of the launch, the Dukaan app experienced massive growth. Dukaan was already #1 trending in the business section of the Google Play Store and it had already captured a huge crowd. Their customer reach was so vast that sometime around Eid, people even started selling their goats through Dukaan!

This incredible success was achieved with zero marketing as Summit’s focus is on organic growth over paid manufactured growth. Suumit is a genius in SEO as he’d been working in the SEO sector for the past 13 years.

Almost all of the canteens from the IIT Bombay are using Dukaan to run their digital storefronts and have already delivered thousands of orders even late at night. Millions of people have started selling online hassle-free instead of the arduous act of setting up an offline store. 

Dukaan has recently been listed in Deloitte India 2022 Technology Fast 50, a list of fast-growing technology companies.

Advice for young entrepreneurs

Suumit says that if you build something useful, users will find you, venture capitalists will find you, and the media will find you.

You don’t have to build your startup just because you want to get featured in a magazine. “You should be in the position where these people are running behind you to cover you up,” says he.

He also goes on to say that success will come rushing in if you just build a great product that people will actually benefit from. 

Most of the startups get killed on the ideation phase itself.

He says that you might never feel like starting your own business or company just because your friend feels like it’s not good enough or that there’s a lot of competition for your product. 

But he requests us to just launch our ideas into reality no matter the consequence.

“Who knows, maybe you could build the next big thing.”

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