As classmates at IIM Ahmedabad, Suneil Chawla (right) and Anupam Agarwal always knew they were going to start something on their own. They got big-name jobs on campus, but the entrepreneurial bug clung on. In early 2011, Chawla quit his job and connected with Agarwal to start their venture. “There was no e-commerce site in India that replicates the experience of shopping with friends and family, and that’s what we set out to do: mix social shopping with e-commerce,” says Chawla.
Set up with an investment of 50 lakh, Koolkart is the first shopping application in India to closely integrate with Facebook: so, if you like or buy anything from the site, it appears on your Facebook timeline and your friends get to know what you like or are buying. Shoppers on the site can also find products recommended by their friends and other shoppers and can compare prices across retailers — the site makes a commission on the business it directs as well as sales from its own site. Koolkart went live a few months ago, covering around 180 online retailers in India and has a database of over 14 million products — the site already has 120,000 unique vistors every month.