Two Odia students of National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela – Sarada Prasad Sahu and Abhijeet Sahu, have started a cashback website – PennyIndia.com.
The website pays cashback benefits to consumers who make online purchases from e-commerce websites through this portal that already has 3000-odd registered customers.
Second-year students of computer science engineering, Sarada said: “It was the zeal to do something out of the box that brought us together. We share the same room in the institute and work from there.”
“After studying online consumer behaviour for a while, we realised that even a penny matters for a customer and he/she can switch over to any website to get the maximum possible benefit with the click of a mouse. We named our website PennyIndia.com to emphasise the point that it provides the customer an opportunity to save every possible penny through the best deals throughout the year,” Sarada said.
Explaining the uniqueness of their site, which is currently doing business worth Rs 15-20 lakh a month, mostly in the form of mobile recharges, the Cuttack-born lad claimed that it offers auto-redemption option for customers to get instant cash-back.
“At this stage, we have at least 10 leading counterparts. But the uniqueness of our website is we give up to 95% cash back, the highest in the industry, to our registered consumers while others offer only 25-30%,” Abhijit stated. After 30-60 days of the completion of the product sale, the customers automatically get their cash back according to their payment preferences – either in the form of transfer to their bank accounts or coupons.
Ask them how much they have earned and Abhijeet, who had accounting and book keeping in CHS, said: “We are going to hire in future. At present, we can manage on our own. However, we are earning enough to sustain ourselves,” he said. They said their seniors were now interested in the project.
It was Sarada’s brainchild, who and worked on it for some time. When he found that he needed another hand to allow the start-up to grow, he approached his roommate Abhijeet, who readily agreed.
“On August 17, we will launch a coupon system as well as price and warranty comparison for our customers. With the comparison service, customers will get important information about a particular product,” said Abhijeet. The next step is to have an online payment system.
It is the first and the only cashback site in Odisha designed and operated by first year students of NIT Rourkela. Moreover, this is the youngest start-up in NIT Rourkela as well as in the state.
Odisha boy’s shopping comparison website worth Rs 300 crore