The Man With a Vision
Raji Kalra, Co-founder and CEO of Peopletail, an innovative online product review platform, is a driven individual with a vision to change the retail/consumer industry as we know it. Entering into the retail industry in 2008, Raji and his team started working with the well-known company Whole Foods Market, who was looking for a team to manage in-store digital communications. This meant using flat panel TV screens to use as a communication medium in the store. Each department within the store was going to have its own TV station, in which they called the network “the marketplace station.” Faced with the challenge of creating a communication medium that followed the goals of keeping Whole Foods an environmentally “clean” store, and incorporating promotions throughout the store, Raji exemplified his innovative marketing skill set and successfully accomplished this task.
After the start of his work within the retail industry, Raji spent the next ten years working with a lot of the similar retailers, like Whole Foods Market, and soon realized there was a huge educational curve for a lot of the products in these stores. Raji mentions that customers don’t necessarily know about all of the products sold, such as beauty products, supplements, etc. “Everyone knows what an apple and an orange is, but not everyone knows what a probiotic is, or what certain vitamins and supplements do.” In this lack of product knowledge among customers, Raji saw an opportunity to change the way consumers review and react to products. He has a vision. Alas…Peopletail was born.
Through the advantage of technology, Raji noticed people were creating a lot more content themselves around these products, telling the online world about their personal experience and reaction to the product. Peopletail is a platform which allows consumers to be the main content source of information, photos, and videos, etc. Through his ten years of retail experience and primarily producing digital content for brands and retailers across Canada, Raji put his vision into action and co-founded Peopletail.
As part of the leadership team, Raji is a co-founder of Peopletail, along with Ming Tse. He brings more of the business modelling of the company, in terms of the products and services sold. This encompasses tasks such as: growing revenue, growing users, and overall business development. But possibly the most important aspect to Raji is building those strong, long-lasting, relationships with brands and retailers, His greatest strength is that he treats every business relationship he has, as if it’s his own business. Raji believes a lot of his business success can be attributed to the strong relationships he builds with his clients and the care and respect he shows to everyone he works with. He looks at not only how he can better his own business and sales, but also how other businesses can benefit from Peopletail and the services they provide.
As for the future of Peopletail in the retail industry, Raji and his partner, Ming, agree on two common ideas. First they believe that in the future of retail, people will no longer want to see a product “on a white background” or perfectly modelled for the consumer. People want to see others using the product, they are motivated by seeing how others are using the products and explaining different aspects, such as the value, of the product. Peopletail allows for there to be a single platform where products can be reviewed by REAL people, sharing their own product experiences with others. This is the evolution of e-commerce. Secondly, in the upcoming years, retailers are going to be pushed toward increasing efficiency, logistics, and speed.
Through his platform, Raji has exemplified his own personal growth as an entrepreneur. He differentiates himself through his ability to build long-lasting relationships and growing with those connections. A lot of the people Raji had met back in 2008, are still with him today. He says, “this has taught me that relationships are the key part of being successful in business.” “It’s not about how much you can do with a client today, it’s about going long-term and growing that client relationship.” In hindsight Raji says that building a great team is the most important thing for the company. “Whoever you’re working with, your co-partners, should have an end-goal together. Like any great sports team, there is no one person who can make it. Everyone’s contribution is necessary and valuable. The people within the company need to be aligned with the vision, and the goal at the end.”