Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Digital entrepreneur Jiten Thakkar talks about his platform 'Local Forever'

'Local Forever' is a Digital Platform that supports Local businesses get better visibility in the digital space & helps making offline-to-online journey easy

Published: Dec 3, 2020 10:01:16 AM IST
Updated: Dec 7, 2020 04:38:30 PM IST

Digital entrepreneur Jiten Thakkar talks about his platform 'Local Forever'
Jiten Thakkar, Founder and CEO of Local Forever

Jiten Thakkar started a venture called 'Local Forever' to help small and offline businesses. It's quite startling to know that he started his business amid the pandemic. However, that's exactly the reason what motivated him. With his company, Jiten wants to provide the best services to small companies that have no clue how to stay in the market longer and advertise themselves in larger space. 

This year, it became crucial to support the local businessmen, as they got affected the most due to the lockdown. ‘Supporting Local' was also the mantra a lot of people followed so that small businesses doesn't suffer losses. Jiten Thakkar took major steps to ensure he not only supports local businesses but also uses his expertise to launch a platform that can create their online presence & resolve their visibility issues through a unique subscription based model. While Jiten has launched the platform just this year, it has got amazing response and his story is dazzling. 

Elaborate about yourself and your business? How did the idea incept?

I am Jiten Thakkar Founder & CEO of Local Forever, a digital marketer on a mission to get local businesses online and create channels for them to promote their business at all times. After working in various domains, I found my passion in Digital Marketing space and have been in this domain from quite some time now. Having looked at the situation of various businesses amidst this pandemic & speaking to multiple business owners, I noticed their major problems are common. I had the potential solution to their larger problem which was getting them in front of their target audience. This gap created an opportunity to create something that is solving their major challenges of lumpsum capital investment, get online the easier way and increase their reach to the wider audience. Local Forever is the solution addressing all these challenges of local businesses. Its a local directory platform that helps everyone to list their business in order to acquire more audience, leads, enquires and helps them to get their business on the web at a very cost-effective monthly subscription model without large capital deposits.

How do you define local business?

For me, any business be it be small, mid-sized or large that caters to a local population in a city, state or country is a local business.

How did you come up with the name Local Forever?

Local Forever is in itself easy to understand & connect with, it's a platform with a strong vision to empower local businesses to succeed. It represents the efforts, confidence & passion the business owners put-in to sustain their business in any circumstance. Usually, people shift their preferences to buy local products as per their requirements. What we intend to promote is supporting local should be the preference forever and not an option during the time of crisis. In this way, we play our part in strengthening the economy and supporting small businesses for sustainable development.

What were the challenges you faced initially and how did you overcome them?

The original challenges included partnering with local sources , making a fully featured platform ready to launch  in a short span of time along with a workable pricing strategy. Our innovative model enables businesses to enrol in monthly subscriptions plans without any upfront deposit. This is done to ensure that small businesses regain their momentum in a short span of time.

What prompted you to start a venture that helps small businesses?

Small businesses play a vital role in every country’s economic growth, as they tend to have relatively large workforces. Small business owners usually run their business smoothly, but failure to pursue other business generation channels & platforms, their company’s survival becomes difficult during volatile times. We all know that small businesses struggled to find customers or generate adequate revenue during the lockdown. Reports of businesses collapsing during this pandemic is what prompted the need for setting up a local platform that not only serves as a meeting point for buyers and sellers but also helps small businesses to set themselves up in the digital space seamlessly.

How do you plan to grow Local Forever while helping other businesses succeed?

I always believed and focused on all-inclusive growth, whether it's at a team or customer level. Also, throughout my career, I’ve seen whoever I supported businesses in their though times, they always remembered me in their good times. For Local Forever, growth means being able to serve the maximum number of businesses possible, creating more employment opportunities & constant innovation in digital space for a better future.

Have you raised funding? 

We have not raised funding yet. This platform had to go live at the right time & raising funds would have delayed the overall launch time. We currently plan to expand in more countries & the platform requires constant advertisement in digital space to ensure it has relevant footprints of both businesses and consumers.

In how many countries your platform is operational?

Currently, we support 4 countries, India, UAE, Australia, UK. 

What are your future plans?

We have plans to expand in other countries in near future as well as increase our base in the four targeted countries. We also plan to introduce more services, apps and automation tools through the subscription model, keeping it cost effective. 

How do you see the company’s growth scenario?

With the response we have received, I am optimistic about my company’s growth. The end result I want, is to help local companies get into the online world and reach out to the audience that they can’t reach otherwise. From the inspiring attitude of local business owners to the many leaders & masses turning hyperlocal, it all adds up to the optimism about Local Forever’s growth in coming time.

What is your advice for small business owners?

Patience and Persistence always pays off. Don’t hesitate to explore new options, new markets & new ways to expand your business. Changing times require a change in mindset and adapt innovative ways to operate & market your business.

How can Readers find more about you?

They can reach out via social media @iamjitenthakkar or visit my website if they want to get their business online they can visit the platform and head to ‘Get your business online’ page.

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