Brand Stories

Vepaar: Brand Story by Kaushal Gajjar (Founder and CEO)

Vepaar Brand Story by Kaushal Gajjar (Founder and CEO)
Images Source: Kaushal Gajjar

My name is Kaushal Gajjar and I’m the Founder and CEO of Vepaar. I would love to share how we launched the Vepaar free business app to help SMB owners run their businesses easily.

It all started with a dream conceived by a group of graduate students working at TCS. The dream we shared among ourselves was to inspire and support people worldwide to become self-sufficient individuals.

We unanimously believed in creating a space where people of all ages and from different walks of life could become financially independent and also learn important soft skills that would guide them in the long run. Therefore, the inception of Vepaar was based on our commitment to creating an all-inclusive online business platform.

Everything Begins with an Idea

In the decade of the 2020s, it is impossible to address any topic or initiate a discussion without referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unforeseen outbreak wreaked havoc over every aspect of human civilization – health, economy, education, transportation, industries, hospitality, tourism, and so forth. 

However, some of the worst-off includes the local businesses, both small and medium. As 2020 witnessed a four-month lockdown in India, grocery stores, vegetable shops, electronic outlets, and various other vendors remained closed or unavailable throughout this period.

With unemployment skyrocketing during the pandemic, the options to earn money were dwindling at an alarming rate. The situation worsened in the earlier part of 2021 when India was stifled by the crisis of oxygen cylinders and basic medicines for sustenance and life support.

Kaushal Gajjar with his Vepaar team
Kaushal & Team Members

This is when social media, especially WhatsApp, became an important medium to connect distant buyers with suppliers to procure these necessities during emergencies. 2021 proved to the world that all hope is not lost yet, that we will endure and go on with our respective lives.

We at Vepaar (formerly known as WhatsHash) discovered an opportunity in these dire times – to help small and medium businesses to go online to sell their products and wares to a bigger audience, specifically when online shopping gained more popularity.

See Also: – Brand Story by Johannes Larsson (Founder & CEO)

Big Things Have Small Beginnings

We began our entrepreneurial journey in 2015 with BOT, one of the earliest WhatsApp chatbots to be launched in India, way before WhatsApp came up with its chatbots! The BOT on WhatsApp was programmed to send automatic responses based on Tags, i.e. any keyword preceded by the hashtag (#). And with this, WhatsHash came into being. During this period, one of our most significant achievements was getting featured on TechCrunch.

Two years later, WhatsHash gets recognized as India’s no. 1 service provider, courtesy of our innovative WhatsApp marketing campaigns for many notable brands. And, on popular demand, we took things to the next level in 2018 and launched our first application. By 2019, we had already surpassed the 3k mark in our customer count, adding another feather in our cap. 

Finally, in 2021, we revamped WhatsHash into Vepaar to add a dash of colloquialism and familiarity for our dear customers. Our product evolved from being a mere chatbot to a perfect business tool using the powerful WhatsApp API for setting up online businesses with each new version.

Hands That Helped Us Grow

Coming this far would not have been possible without the support of some esteemed organizations. We were fortunate to get funding opportunities from well-reputed venture capital firms in India, including Sequoia Capital, Elevation Capital, Meesho, Haptik, GupShup, and other foreign VCs. Moreover, we had received massive offers from some famous competitors as well for a complete buyout, all of which we denied. 

The reason was simple – we are passionate about the product we are building and confident that Vepaar will go a long way in the days to come. After all, it is not just an eCommerce or CRM product that will help SMEs to a great extent. We have bigger plans to develop Vepaar into an all-encompassing WhatsApp marketing platform, deriving inspiration from the likes of Zoho. 

Vepaar offers a huge array of powerful tools to help you launch, run, and manage your online business at ease. We have high hopes that 2022 will be a game-changing year for Vepaar, as our team has grown more prominent over the years and more adept at developing and managing the product with perfection.

Kaushal Gajjar in Vepaar Office
Kaushal Gajjar in Vepaar Office

Challenges and Accomplishments

Every journey has its ups and downs, and ours is no exception. However, Vepaar was conceived out of a challenge we set for ourselves – making it age-inclusive. So, what is simplicity? What makes a concept or feature simple? How valuable is a simple object? Is it as priceless as something unique? Well, what I can assure you for sure is that simplicity is not equal to mediocrity. 

Simplicity is characterized by the lack of complexities and difficulties in its structure, thus making it easily understandable to one and all. That is what makes simplicity so valuable; every person can grasp the significance of the most essential nuances of any idea or object we are already acquainted with. 

Most of all, with each new technology being launched in the market, the generation gap in terms of adjusting with new gadgets and appliances is widening at a startling pace. This is what we adopted while creating Vepaar – to epitomize simplicity so that the elderly too can run their online businesses with dignity and independence. Thus, we decided to build a product that would be very simple and easy for users since SMEs constitute our target audience. 

The other challenge that we faced was during the process of developing the product. It is indeed a tense situation for scaling up the product without a massive marketing budget (a mandatory requirement) and competing with big names in the industry, having millions of funding from their respective investors.

Even in the face of crises like this, we did not falter nor did we give in to buyouts. We believed in ourselves and our product, too, a symbol of the company’s commitment towards its audience. If we have been able to come this far with over 50 million engagements, hosting hundreds of online businesses across 120+ countries, and generating a total revenue of 3.5 million US dollars solely via online payments, it is evident that Vepaar is on the right track.

See Also: ProofHub – Brand Story by Sandeep Kashyap (CEO and Founder)

Our Mission

Vepaar is a marketing app (available for Android & iOS users, and as a Chrome extension too) that allows you to create, run, and manage your online business seamlessly.

Some of the essential tools and features you can opt for as a digital store owner include WhatsApp CRM, Tags, Quick Replies, Auto-Save conversations, and an intelligent dashboard to take care of all your business stats.

With this, our company vision is to empower all small and medium businesses to become self-dependent entrepreneurs with adequate resources and transform their lifestyles in the best ways possible. 

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