Excl: Gaurav Kachru quits Smile Group; To start his own venture

22 Jun, 2012

Gaurav Kachru, who was earlier the chief executive and co-founder of Smile Group's daily deal site Dealsandyou, has left the group to start his own venture. In April this year, he was transferred to the group's corporate development and strategy team as an executive vice-president.

A week ago, Techcircle.in also reported the appointment of Ryan Valles as the new CEO of Dealsandyou.

Confirming the news, Kachru said, "I have a business plan in mind, which will be a blend of both online and offline models, and it will not be a pure play game."

Although he has not divulged what sector/vertical he is focusing on, his past expertise in hybrid businesses might be an indicator. "It will be a combination of digital and offline. Rather than a brick-and-mortar model, we will follow a click-and-mortal model and it will be digital-focused," he added.

Kachru will start the company with two other partners (names are not disclosed as they are still working with other companies) and is currently sorting out the business. However, he will be able to divulge the exact nature of the new venture in another 30-90 days.

Right now, he is also in talks with investors to raise a Series A funding of approximately $1.5-2 million. "After raising the desired fund, we might change a few things in our plan and the venture will go live," he added.

An alumnus of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, Kachru joined the Smile Group in June 2010. He also played an important role in the growth of the fashion shopping portal Fashionandyou.com before this. Earlier, he had worked with Genpact, GE Capital India and Manpower.

Smile Group seems to be a perfect platform for entrepreneurship and quite a few Smile employees have actually left their jobs to kick-start their maiden ventures.

In an earlier interview with Techcircle.in, Smile Group founder Harish Bahl said, "From Day I, our dream has been to create a platform for entrepreneurship. Now, we have a complete ecosystem where the top layer (by top layer, I don't mean senior people) happens to be an interesting bunch of entrepreneurial people – people who are energetic and do a lot of sharing. Perhaps, it is this culture that makes all of us at Smile really proud."

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)