We talked to Sneh Parmar of Lucky on how they are turning big-box retailers into brand’s fulfillment center and here is what he said.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sneh Parmar: My family and I are doing well during these times. We were fortunate to take precautions early and started working from home when the news first came about the pandemic. We have since followed the rules and wear a mask whenever leaving home.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Lucky.
Sneh Parmar: I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, and spend most of my life there. I moved around a bit in the southeast; however, I eventually ended back in Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech for college. While there, I had my first experience with entrepreneurship and fell in love with the idea of building something from nothing. The pure passion, grit, and challenges the entrepreneurs I met with showed me that you could do what you really care about while providing value for others.
After college, I started an accelerator with a mentor called CyberLaunch focused on machine learning and cybersecurity companies. There I had the opportunity to work with multiple startups at different stages and learned how to approach different growth stages.
Then I left the accelerator to join a think tank marketing agency leading the consumer purchasing behavior team, where I really got interested in the commerce industry. With everything happening due to COVID, commerce was one of the most impacted industries providing change opportunities. I realized that the commerce industry was extremely antiquated and broken because retailers and brands were competing with one another to acquire the same customer. My co-founder and I worked together to create Lucky, a commerce platform that enables eCommerce brands to utilize their wholesale partners as retail distribution locations. Lucky is creating a completely new commerce model in which both retailers and brands work together to provide the best experience for the customer. In essence, a customer can now shop directly on the brand’s website and then have the option to pick up the product or get it delivered from the closest retailer near the customer.
How does Lucky innovate?
Sneh Parmar: It starts with caring about our partners, customers, and employees. We believe that the best way to innovate is by understanding the needs of the people that talk about it and face the problem the most. Our retail partners face an unprecedented challenge right now, and we do our best to speak with them often and provide value as much as possible, even if it’s not directly with our own company. Our customers are the company’s lifeblood, so we ask them how they think they could do better in this market and what else we could do to help. And of course, our employees, who are constantly working to serve our customers are key. They help us understand from their point of view what it takes to create value for these customers and how they would streamline the solution to make it easier for everyone involved.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Sneh Parmar: The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, was actually one of the key drivers of our business. Due to the pandemic’s effect on retailers and eCommerce brands’ logistics, our platform has become a necessary tool to enable better customer experiences, lower costs for brands, and increase foot traffic for retailers. We are leveraging this shift in the market to continue pushing harder as we grow.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Sneh Parmar: We did have to make difficult choices to determine how to approach retailers in this tense climate and when to be pushy and when to back up. This learning curve to understand our partners and customers more helps us become more than just a technology company. We are a community of retailers and brands that work together first and then a technology company that provides the tools for both sides to succeed.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Lucky in the future?
Sneh Parmar: I personally enjoy meditating and writing my thoughts down. I’ve realized that even 5 minutes of meditation every day does wonders for your mental health and critical thinking skills. I’m also a strong believer in projecting your thoughts into reality, and writing things down is 100x a better way of projecting your own reality than just picturing it in your head. There’s a ton of research out there that shows that when you write down what you want, you are subconsciously telling yourself to focus on those goals through every task you do.
Your final thoughts?
Sneh Parmar: I think everyone can agree that this year was most unexpected; however, I like to look at things from a positive light. The last significant stress the world was put on was during the 2008 financial crisis that affected people everywhere, regardless of where you lived. As rough as it might have been, we saw some amazing companies coming from that state of emergency. I think in the next 3-5 years, we will see some major companies that will change the world that was born from necessity during these unfortunate times. I also have seen that people now are more sympathetic and respectful of each other than ever before, which I think is a great consequence of the pandemic.