Dynamic duo lighting the E-commerce space
In the ever expanding space of E-commerce, brothers Pradeep Kumar and Prakash Kulasekeran’s start-up is like a breath of fresh air. In direct competition with industry giants, the Kulasekeran’s start-up – ‘Shopenzer’, stands out by focussing on products which consumers don’t know exists. “They can’t find these in retail shops or on any other regular websites. Our products are very unique, problem solving and have a wow factor. Sometimes you just can’t resist clicking on that ‘Shop Now’ button”, explains Pradeep Kumar.
While Pradeep has years of experience in varied fields such as retail sales, investment banking, risk management and commodity trading, Prakash is a seasoned professional with 15 years of experience primarily in the areas of business development and operations in India and Middle East. In addition, he is a Certified Happiness Coach!
Interestingly, the brothers came up with the idea of Shopenzer after Pradeep was inspired by a 17 year old flaunting his posh McLaren car on Instragram, which he had apparently bought from the earnings he made through his E-Commerce business!
Pradeep recalls, “I was curious and got in touch with him and he offered to sell his learnings and experiences as a course for a fee of $500. Initially I thought it was a scam, but if it was not, it could change my life. So I took the risk and it was totally worth it. I registered the domain www. shopenzer.com on August 26, 2020, and the rest followed.”
The duo, who share a great camaraderie, put all their expertise together to become the Co-Founders of Shopenzer. Their cousin Manoj Chandran was with the brothers as part of the business from the very beginning and was an expert on technology side and affiliate marketing. Looking at the potential of the business, eventually they pulled in their brother Kumaran Kulasekeran who started his career as a software engineer and has years of experience in business development and marketing. With unique items in every possible category from Home stuff and Furniture to Fashion, Health and Travel, the Shopenzer family soon swelled to 500,000 happy customers all across the world.
Speaking about their entrepreneurial journey and the challenges encumbered, the brothers share, “Any business will have challenges, and ours is not an exemption. Honestly, it is impossible to succeed without challenges. We can’t pick any particular challenge we faced in our business journey, as the journey itself was challenging and exciting. Every time we found an idea which could improve our business, it worked well for a few days until we faced some hurdle in taking it forward. We would be upset for a day but we would bounce back strongly to find more ideas to improve our business. Thus, we have always considered any hurdle a blessing in disguise.”
While there were many ups and downs, the Kulasekeran brothers never gave up, thanks to their faith in God. But does not mean they relied upon luck alone. “We have a special meaning for luck which goes like – when preparedness meets opportunity, it’s called luck. Luck is not a random factor that can suddenly take one’s life to the pinnacle. It’s a consistent effort by oneself throughout his/her life that will make him lucky one day. Hence luck and hard work both have the same meaning is what we believe,” they say.
Disciplined and hard-working, both the brothers have always excelled in their respective fields and won many awards and honours. Prakash recently received an award as ‘Top 40 CEO’ by Global Excellence Awards, while Pradeep won the Global Achievers Award by Indian Achievers Forum in recognition of outstanding professional achievement and contribution in Nation Building.
While success is everyone’s passion, Pradeep and Prakash are of the opinion that personal success is defined by how many people have succeeded because of your guidance and help. “As a certified happiness coach, I believe our happiness comes from the inside and not from the outside. My passion is the satisfaction and peace I get when I see people succeed. I always tell people not to wake up in the morning and think about what we can take from this world. This will keep you stressed and unsatisfied at the end of the day. But instead, think of ways by which you can give something to this world. This helps you keep yourself peaceful and satisfied at the end of the day. This world is a wonderful design, it gives you back whatever you sow or do. If you help someone to succeed, you will succeed too. If you help someone be happy, you will be happy too,” rationales Prakash.
And what about inspiration, we ask them. “We get inspired by everything around us. The sea tells us to stay low and calm so that the rivers come and merge with it. The tree gives fruits, shade and wood with no expectation from anyone. Our desire and goal is to live a life that can be useful to this world in some way. We are building our company so that we can help people who need a career, people who need a salary, and use the profits to help others. Also, when you need your voice to be heard, you should be on top otherwise your voice goes unheard. We want to be an inspiration and a role model and we want to grow to a height where our voice will be heard worldwide,” say the duo.
Born and brought up in Chennai, India, both the brothers have also lived in different cities at different periods. Thus well travelled and individualistic, they are already inspiring leaders for their employees, associates and other youngsters. Yet, they believe that a leader is someone who lives by his/her values, a role model, and not just a person who asks others to do something.
To manifest this leadership and subsequent success, they have been following a Hawaiian meditation technique called ‘Ho’oponopono’ throughout their journey. It’s a practice of reconciliation and forgiveness that helps one heal by accepting total responsibility for everything surrounding them. “We have adopted this as part of our office culture and most of our staff do this for one hour every day. We have seen tremendous change in everyone’s life after they started practising this. Our lives have improved a lot, both personally and professionally. We can maintain a peaceful mental state and our happiness has grown exponentially in the last few years,” say the brothers in unison as they reveal the biggest secret weapon in their journey of fulfillment.