News from Cass Business School

Cass entrepreneur launches new group buying website

Student tailors degree modules to learn skills for new start-up

A former Cass student turned entrepreneur has launched a new website to help consumers beat rising prices by negotiating group discounts for its members.

Hemang Patel, 23, came up with the idea for while studying for a one-year Masters in Management at Cass. He tailored his course modules to help him set up the business as well as calling on the expertise of Cass academics.

The site, the latest to harness collective buying power, encourages shoppers to group together to drive down prices on a wide range of popular electronics from laptops to televisions.

"I wouldn't have had the confidence to launch the business without doing the course," said Mr Patel. "I was able to speak to lecturers and get feedback on various aspects of the business. In particular, Professor Clive Holtham, who specialises in IT and strategy, was a big inspiration. He encouraged me to be judgemental about my business strategy which helped refine it further".

"The course also gave me the flexibility to tailor the modules I studied, allowing me to focus on the skills I needed to run the business. From strategy and digital marketing to accounting and global strategy, I'm still using this knowledge everyday."

Professor Clive Holtham added: "We have many excellent student projects every year dealing with business plans, but Hemang was unusual in that he came onto the MSc with a clear business idea. He then used a wide range of academic courses to help him test, critique and evolve the idea. Being able to make a practical difference to our students and partners, using a sound base of theory, is at the very heart of our mission at Cass."

Group buying is one of the biggest e-commerce stories to emerge from the internet in the last 12 months.

Mr Patel said: "The concept is simple. Firstly shoppers visit the Group Buy It website and find the bargain they've been looking for. Buyers then join together to create a big enough group to get the listed discount".

"This is the only site of its kind in the country. Unlike other sites, the deals aren't limited to one per day or restricted to a particular city or region - anyone in the UK can use our site as many times as they like to slash their shopping bill. Furthermore, we're enabling businesses to reach a new generation of consumers for the first time, they can use Group Buy It to advertise their products or services. For them, it's a risk-free way of attracting customers as we only earn our commission once the deal has been finalised.

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