Interview with Pooja Sodhi, Co-Founder and CEO of Combonation, an omnichannel retail platform with multiple brands
Pooja Sodhi is the Co-Founder and CEO of Combonation, an innovative omnichannel retail platform that encompasses multiple brands.
With her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for creating exceptional customer experiences, Pooja has played a pivotal role in the success and growth of Combonation.
Pooja’s commitment to innovation is evident in Combonation’s continuous efforts to leverage technology and data-driven insights to enhance customer engagement and drive business growth.
By adopting cutting-edge solutions, such as personalized recommendations, seamless checkout experiences, and real-time inventory management, Pooja and her team have positioned Combonation as a frontrunner in the retail space.
Tell us a little about yourself
Pooja Sodhi: I am a Delhi University graduate who has had successful leadership positions in the fields of organizational and sectoral development. At the age of 21, I started out in the corporate world at Citibank.
I was also the SPA Group’s brand director. The peak of my career, which began as Vice President of Fountainhead MKTG at Dentsu Aegis Network, was my elevation to Senior Vice President and Branch Head of Fountainhead MKTG.
I began my entrepreneurial adventure in my late thirties after working for a number of years in the corporate world.
I succeeded in turning around the financial situation of a retail outlet at the airport, making it very successful.
Despite my success, I nevertheless wanted to take things a step further and establish my own niche in the industry. With this in mind, I established Combonation, which offers customers bundle deals on a variety of products.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Pooja Sodhi: I began my professional career began at Citibank. I was also the Brand Director for The SPA Group.
My promotion to Senior Vice President and Branch Head of Fountainhead MKTG at Dentsu Aegis Network was the pinnacle of her career, which began as Vice President of Fountainhead MKTG at Dentsu Aegis Network.
Kindly brief us about your company, its specialization, and the services that it offers
Pooja Sodhi: Combonation is an e-commerce platform of multi-brands that offers the best combo deals at unbelievably discounted prices.
The online store curates the products across categories, such as Household, Personal Care, Baby Care, Beauty, Men’s Grooming, etc and offers it in a combination deals at low prices which is unavailable at any other stores.
What is your biggest USP?
Pooja Sodhi: The biggest USP of Combonation is India’s First Combo Deal Destination
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and start your own business?
Pooja Sodhi: During my first foray into entrepreneurship, I networked and noticed the demand for deals and discounts across all economic brackets.
While consumers discover new brands that might be suitable for them, I believe brands also gain exposure and entry into the mainstream market. Combonation was the first to bring bundle discounts to India.
With the goal of assisting brands, enterprises, and businesses as well as advancing my own personal development, I work to make sure that the sector develops as well.
I now plan to build a Combonation store that only hires transgender people who are marginalised in Indian culture because I do believe that the transgender community is highly talented and that by employing them, I can help them realise their full potential and make a difference in their lives.
What was your mission and vision at the outset?
Pooja Sodhi: As an entrepreneur, my mission was to identify the problems in the retail market and create a viable business to solve them.
I was able to bring this concept to life with the aid of my vision to develop a prosperous and long-lasting platform that creates value for users, employees, shareholders, and society at large.
I continued with the intention of expanding our exceptional discounts and unbeatable combo deals at Combonation while creating an amazing shopping experience for every consumer.
By providing a combo deal on their preferred brands, Combonation makes life simpler for customers from all walks of life, whether they are bargain hunters or internet shoppers. What draws customers to the platform are the deals and discounts available.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest technology and industry trends, and how has innovation played a role in your success?
Pooja Sodhi: We are dedicated to providing an omni-channel experience for our customers, which means that we strive to offer a seamless and consistent experience across all of our channels, including online and in-person.
Our technology platform is designed to support this goal, and it allows us to offer a wide range of vouchers to our customers, tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
One of the key features of our platform is its ability to offer transferable and clubbable vouchers, both in digital and printed form.
This allows our customers to have maximum flexibility in how they use their vouchers, whether they prefer the convenience of digital vouchers or the traditional feel of printed vouchers.
Additionally, our technology platform is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for customers to manage and use their vouchers.
What’s your company goals?
Pooja Sodhi: At Combonation, we believe that beauty should be for all, and we are dedicated to providing affordable beauty and health and wellness products to all of our customers.
Our goal is to provide a comprehensive shopping experience for all of our customers, regardless of their needs and preferences.
In terms of reach, we are committed to covering the full north of India by July 2023. As an omni-channel company, we are already able to deliver our products to customers all across the country, and we will continue to expand our delivery capabilities to reach even more customers in the future.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
Pooja Sodhi: My entrepreneurial journey wasn’t without its challenges. After my first startup went down due to external competition,I went back to corporate life but soon realized that my heart was in entrepreneurship. After three years, I went back into the startup and founded Combonation.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Pooja Sodhi: 1. Self-awareness is a must when it comes to good leadership. It can be very helpful if you are fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, in other words we can say that only when you know yourself, you can lead others towards the accomplishment of a goal.
2. Good leadership is where you try to communicate and eradicate all the possible barriers between you and your subordinates and make a continuous effort to get feedback from your network.
3. Leaders are very good listeners; they empathize with their employees and try hard to meet the expectations of their employees.
4. As a leader you should be able to withstand the challenges you face. You must always stick to your beliefs and principles, no matter how hard the situation is.
5. As a leader you should be always ready to face criticism with a positive attitude because with leadership comes criticism and if there is no criticism then you are not leading properly.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business, and how did you overcome them?
Pooja Sodhi: There were difficulties along the way for me as an entrepreneur. After my first startup failed due to outside competition, I returned to the corporate world but quickly realised that my true calling was in entrepreneurship.
Three years later, I returned to the startup and established Combonation. A thorough understanding of customer behavior, supply chain management, marketing, and sales is essential in the complicated field of retail.
With established firms controlling the market and new entrants attempting to carve out their own niche, it is a very competitive industry.
To flourish in such a setting, one needs a distinct vision and an entrepreneurial mentality. I was able to maneuver this intricate retail business while creating my own niche with Combonation by keeping all of these potential obstacles in mind.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Pooja Sodhi: I don’t view mistakes negatively because, throughout my entrepreneurial path, I have learned even more from them and used them to improve my business.
After failing in my first entrepreneurial endeavour, I learned from a variety of experiences, including how important it is to understand the actual issues at hand in order to successfully traverse a certain business sector.
Learning from my experiences, I realised that, as an entrepreneur, you must extensively research the market and the target audience to avoid developing goods or services that no one needs or wants.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Pooja Sodhi: Conducting market research to find a gap or need in the market is the first and most important piece of advice I would like to offer to all new business establishments as an entrepreneur.
They should then create a business plan outlining their concept, ideal customer, marketing approach, and financial estimates.
Starting a business is a journey that requires perseverance and resilience. Staying focused on your goals and never giving up in the face of setbacks is the key.
Additionally, I would advise them to keep in mind that creating a successful business requires time and effort, but that with commitment and perseverance, they can achieve their goals.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Pooja Sodhi: As an entrepreneur, you will face many challenges and obstacles. You should be willing to learn new things and modify your business plan as necessary.
As young and aspiring entrepreneurs, you should seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts.
Starting a business requires hard work and dedication. You should be passionate about your business idea and committed to making it successful.
Additionally, to be a successful entrepreneur, you must learn to be patient and then be willing to invest the time and energy necessary to see your business through to success.
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