‘Connecting customers with brands digitally’ goes the tagline for Encash. How would you feel if someone said that you can buy a product of your choice and get cash back for the same? Well, this is precisely the idea behind Encash, a start-up by Ahamed Yaser Arafath (B.E. EEE (SW), 2008-2013) and his brother.
Encash – The CashBack App” is an application available on the android platform. Encash gives you cash back on your shopping receipts/bills in three simple steps.
1. Browse the offers available.
2. Buy the promoted products from the stores or avail the service from the partner outlets.
3. Snap a photo of receipt/ bill and submit.
Cash back accumulated can be redeemed for free mobile recharge coupons from FreeCharge and Paytm, free movie tickets from BookMyShow or free online shopping coupons from Flipkart, Amazon and Jabong. The cash back amount can also be got in real cash!
All you have to do is submit your location first and check for offers that the app will show you. Let us assume that there is an offer on apples – Rs. 10 cash back for every kilo you buy. Buy how many ever apples you want, take a picture of the receipt and upload the picture to the app. They will check and authenticate your purchase and then credit your account or card with the amount you deserve. For instance, if you buy 2 Kilos of apple at Pazhamudhir and take a picture of the bill and upload, you will soon find your account credited with Rs. 20.
How did these young entrepreneurs come up with this powerful and clever idea? Excerpts from an email interview.
Q. To begin with, where did the idea for this project spring from? Is this project long in the making?
My brother and I have always had a strong notion of becoming entrepreneurs. Every idea we arrived upon was followed by countless hot and sour discussions. Based on the uniqueness and viability of each idea, my brother discarded them until we arrived with only a handful. Carefully scrutinizing, we were able to narrow down on the idea of Encash, considering feasibility and value addition to the key concept. In addition, there is a huge potential for the project to end on a grand success, provided we have a proper channel for marketing the start-up.
Q. Tell us about your days at PSG Tech.
The college has inculcated in me a lot of ethics and effective task handling capabilities. It was an overall experience and I will forever be thankful for the knowledge that was bestowed upon me by the faculty members. Life at college was filled with excellent motivators and that includes my class mates as well. I sometimes find myself missing those days while memories remain fresh.
Q. A bit of counsel for students with ideas for a startup.
The word ‘Startup’ these days has become quite common and is being used by every teen out there. College is the place where you can debate and work on your ideas. It will definitely be the trigger that will help you with your startup. “Everybody out here is like a hungry wolf. Don’t be a lamb to be eaten up”. This is my favorite quote and it neatly sums up what I have to say. Keep fighting for what you believe in and never give-up.
Q. Some of the obstacles you faced when you started out with this project.
There is no learning without falling down. When we started with Encash, it was a huge learning curve for both of us. We had to cross many hurdles before we got here and it started right with my family. As the saying goes ‘Money makes many’. Without a bundle of those colored papers, our vision appeared blurred and we went through a hard phase. We slowly worked our way through every one of those obstacles. I am sure we will have to face many other ones in the future as well, but, I can say with some confidence that we will work our way up.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
We have many enriching developmental plans for our future. Initially, we are trying to move about the south Indian market and then make our way gradually into the south East Asian market where Malaysia and Singapore will be our best targeted locations. We are not going to stick to one product. As time passes by, we plan to include a variety of products.
Team Bridge wishes them a very good luck for their future ventures.