Mason, founded in Ontario and Bengaluru by Kausambi Manjita, is a no-code, automated website-based technology that helps shops operate their companies online.
Does a street food seller or a confectionery manufacturer make enough money to live? What if they want to sell their stuff online but don’t know how?
Kausambi Manjita had these ideas before she chose to democratise India’s retail industry.
In 2020, Kausambi co-founded Mason with Barada Sahu, a former Myntra colleague.
The platform automates product releases, daily sales, clearances, store performance statistics, cloud-based storage, and more.
Having an epiphany
Kausambi’s family moved throughout the nation when she was a child.
She had several contacts with tiny merchants who sparked her interest in the area.
After ISB, Kausambi worked for Paytm and Myntra, when she had an epiphany.
“I realised I was helping the top 1% of merchants expand. ”But what about the other 99% who require the same technology?” “Kausambi”
implications Mason started with 100 shops. It took the firm from Ontario, Canada, with a Bengaluru office six months to reach 1,000 shops.
However, although the retail automation industry is expected to reach $23.58 billion by 2026, small merchants are competing with giants like Amazon and Flipkart that can afford to maintain automated storefronts.
Kausambi believes most technological solutions — Shopify, WooCommerce, SAP — are either designed for huge corporations or for niche markets.
Faced with increasing competition, tiny merchants have just one option: combine with larger firms. But Kausambi intended to democratise retail through Mason.
A typical request we had from shops was to automate their operations to compete with the big boys. These are tiny teams that can’t do everything. So we developed as a product by responding to market changes,” she explains.
Automating a platform Kausambi’s main challenge at first was self-doubt. Despite working on an automation project and hiring tech grads, she questioned her effect without a BTech.
“Growing up in a tiny town in India has its drawbacks. My question was, “Can I, a non-techie, contribute anything useful?” FutureSharks says.
She also had to deal with the innate stigma against female co-founders – they only succeed if their co-founders are male.
“I used to have to explain to potential partners and investors that Barada and I are not related. “Every female entrepreneur has to deal with the stereotype that a woman can only thrive as an entrepreneur if her spouse is also a co-founder,” says Kausambi, co-founder of Mason.
But Kausambi is inspired by women like Falguni Nayyar, who started her business later in life and established a billion-dollar company like Nykaa.
The Gender Identity Debate
Gender identity has played an important part in the evolution of Mason’s team, adds Kausambi.
“Last year, an employee posted “Hey guys…” on Slack. “Hey, there are ladies on the team,” said one female engineer. ‘Guys’ is a phrase used interchangeably by men and women, she argues.
‘Folks’ instead of ‘guys’ started a dialogue that led into another one when one of our workers said she liked to be addressed as ‘they/their’. We were startled that we had never considered a person’s preference.
Mason soon had to ask colleagues, team members, and customers for their pronouns and preferred manner of address. So the startup team may respect people and their gender identities.
Nonetheless, Kausambi aspires for more female tech professionals.
“We have an almost equal male-female staff. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough profiles of women in STEM fields to fill the void. Kausambi said they are working hard to increase the ratio.
Organizes Mason intends to recruit more women in product, sales, and marketing roles throughout North America to reach a 50% female leadership ratio.
Shopify, Dukaan, Bolt, and Shopgate lead the automated retail platform market. The Swiggy PMSVANidhi programme just collaborated with local street food sellers.
Mason distinguishes noteworthy because to its no-code automation. Mason plans to power 100,000 retailers by 2022.
“We want to empower teams to manage their own online stores without having to rely on many programmes. ‘We help you automate your shop,’ adds Kausambi.
Mason began providing a freemium subscription model in 2021, where users sign up for free and pay a nominal monthly charge depending on use. With over 50,000 retail establishments online, 1,200 of them are paying members.
Skechers, Him.Her., Eme-te, Smith & Jones, etc.
With over 50,000 retail establishments online, 1,200 of them are paying members. Skechers, Him.Her., Eme-te, Smith & Jones, etc.
According to Kausambi, the firm has grown 20% every month over the last ten months. Over 480 Shopify buyers have given Mason a 4.9 rating.
NASSCOM Emerge 50 Awards — SaaS, Vtex #1 Product — Store Conversions, Shopify Commerce Awards — Best App UX, and eCommerce Golden Kitty, 2021.