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This profile was last updated on 4/26/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.
Email: s***@***.in
Local Address: India
CEO-Digital E-Life
 
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    Digital E-Life Pvt. Ltd
  • Founder
    thatspersonal.com
32 Total References
Web References
Therefore, this is one of the ...
in.imbesharam.com [cached]
Therefore, this is one of the only industries where 100% of the market is online with 0% offline," said Samir Saraiya, founder, Digital E-Life Pvt Ltd, the owner of portal, ThatsPersonal.com.
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Samir Saraiya mimics the conspiratorial approach of a typical peddler of prurience found at Mumbai's Manish Market or Delhi's Palika Bazaar.
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"Maal chahiye"? (Want stuff?) A jocular 41-year-old, Saraiya left a cushy job as business development head at Microsoft Singapore to set up Thatspersonal.com, one of India's few organised adult product websites.
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No wonder then that Saraiya, founder of an e-commerce site selling adult merchandise, was initially hesitant to talk about his new enterprise. But once thatspersonal.com was born and attracted global and local media attention, Saraiya figured it was time to stop hiding. Now, he proudly talks of how "fun stuff like body paint, bikini shaving kits and role-playing costumes are selling out" and how "people keep sending in their resumes saying they want to work for him". RIP uptight India? The launch of websites like thatspersonal.com, buyundercover.com and the proposed launch of imbesharam.com have one thing in common - they deal in adult merchandise and indicate that there is a demand in 'uptight' India for such products. Of course there is, says Saraiya, quoting market research that shows that 5-10% of global searches for adult lotions, erotic... READ MORE
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"Last Valentine's Day we sold nearly 3,000 to 4,000 products in three weeks after having launched a month earlier," recollects Samir Saraiya, CEO of thatspersonal.com, who left his top dollar Microsoft job in Singapore in 2012 and returned to India to start thatspersonal.com.
"Initially, it did worry me as to how I would face society, my family, and my wife. Seeing the performance of the last one year, I have developed all the confidence to face anyone," he says.
'Even the courier doesn't know'
One big advantage of e-commerce in this space is the privacy it offers. "Not even the courier company or delivery boy knows what's in the package. That's the level of privacy," says Saraiya.
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Therefore, this is one of the only industries where 100% of the market is online with 0% offline," said Samir Saraiya, founder, Digital E-Life Pvt Ltd, the owner of portal, ThatsPersonal.com.
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But thanks to the likes of Rahber Nazir, Samir Saraiya, Salim Rajan and around two dozen such entrepreneurs, Arun now orders adult products at e-tailers such as Thatspersonal, Kaamastra, IMbesharam and NVgals.
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Agrees Samir Saraiya, founder of Thatspersonal, who quit his job with Microsoft Singapore in 2010 to return to India. His portal offers adult lifestyle products, including innerwear for men and women, erotic costumes, games, lubricants, contraceptives, aphrodisiacs, and erotic literature, among others. The more 'serious' stuff - dolls, vibrators and dildos - are not available on the site. "It is only because of legal challenges," explains Saraiya.
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No one had ever done this in India before and the officials had no idea what was legal and what was not," says Saraiya.
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"Investors have certain boundaries they can operate in. Things like gambling and adult products are a strict no-no," Saraiya explains.
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Samir Saraiya mimics the conspiratorial approach of a typical peddler of prurience found at Mumbai's Manish Market or Delhi's Palika Bazaar.
...
"Maal chahiye"? (Want stuff?) A jocular 41-year-old, Saraiya left a cushy job as business development head at Microsoft Singapore to set up Thatspersonal.com, one of India's few organised adult product websites.
...
The 'role play' category is especially popular among Indians, Saraiya says, pointing to uniforms of airhostesses, nurses and policewomen. Also in demand is X On The Lips, a tingling lip balm that electrifies users' kissing experience. Made in the US, the balm sells for Rs 999. "You can use it, what, a hundred times? That's just Rs 10 for a great kiss," Saraiya says.
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The first is Saraiya.
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Saraiya agrees he faced "challenges", but he also had some amusing experiences. Sitting in his office in an untucked white shirt, jeans and grey Nikes, he narrates some in his pally, college-buddy manner. Refreshingly, he bears no trace of the snobbery one may expect of someone with a blue-chip corporate resume, schooling at Mumbai's Cathedral and a South Bombay home.
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Saraiya says, "And then we went to the Food Ministry once.
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"If you want to make crotchless underwear, you are allowed to," says Saraiya.
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Saraiya says the site has had over 10,000 customers since its launch a year ago, 31 per cent of them women. Delhi tops the list in terms of orders. Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune follow.
He adds that 20 per cent of the firm's orders are from smaller towns and cities. But value-wise, these orders are much larger as they buy an average 2.9 items per order. "We have got orders from all over the country," says Saraiya, "including Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh and Nanded in Maharashtra.
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As Saraiya says, "In the feedback that I get, there will be the odd mail that says we are corrupting India or India doesn't need this.
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This lack of privacy was a clear business opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs such as Samir Saraiya.
When Saraiya, chief executive of Digital E-Life Pvt. Ltd, which sells adult products online through Thatspersonal.com, considered moving back to Mumbai from Singapore, where he was the lead (business development) in Microsoft, he was keen to get into e-commerce but felt the space was saturated. There were sites that focused on convenience, cost and choice, but he decided to emphasize privacy.
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Saraiya says they spent time on the brand name and URL to reflect the essence of the brand and to find the same URL on both ".com" and ".in".
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When Samir Saraiya told his mother about his new business, this was her reaction: "Why can't you do something that has some prestige associated with it?"
No wonder then that Saraiya, founder of an e-commerce site selling adult merchandise, was initially hesitant to talk about his new enterprise. But once thatspersonal.com was born and attracted global and local media attention, Saraiya figured it was time to stop hiding. Now, he proudly talks of how "fun stuff like body paint, bikini shaving kits and role-playing costumes are selling out" and how "people keep sending in their resumes saying they want to work for him".
RIP uptight India? The launch of websites like thatspersonal.com, buyundercover.com and the proposed launch of imbesharam.com have one thing in common - they deal in adult merchandise and indicate that there is a demand in 'uptight' India for such products.
Of course there is, says Saraiya, quoting market research that shows that 5-10% of global searches for adult lotions, erotic lingerie, adult literature and games originate from India.
...
"The sale volumes are indicative of an unmet demand," says Saraiya.
You can buy 'sexual wellness' products like massage oils, lubricants, lotions and creams, condoms, erotic edibles, shavers, deodorants, games, gifts, literature and even men's lingerie from thatspersonal.com. "I get feedback from customers thanking me, and even suggesting other products I should stock," he adds.
Samir Saraiya, CEO of ...
www.excampionites.com, 8 Mar 2013 [cached]
Samir Saraiya, CEO of Digital E-Life which runs the site, was formerly lead (business development) at Microsoft Singapore. He had worked with Microsoft and Yahoo in India as well.
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Says Saraiya: "The sheer size of the business opportunity was the biggest driver for me to leave the high-paying job in Singapore with an amazing expat life. He pegs the current size of the sex products industry in India - mostly run illegally from crowded markets such as Delhi's Palika Bazaar and Mumbai's Manish Market - at Rs 1,200-1,500 crore. He expects the industry to grow manifold as people look to become "more adventurous with their sex lives and at the same time stay discreet". Dholakia explains that while certain sex toys may attract punishment for obscenity under Indian laws, the ones that sell won't. "As long as the products are not 'obscene' and/or displayed or exhibited in a manner which is not 'obscene', there ought not to be any serious concerns in the sale of such products," he notes. Taraporewalla, who was earlier director and country general manager at Yahoo India, says he agreed to be an angel investor immediately after going through Saraiya's project plan. "The confidence comes from the team that he (Saraiya) has assembled and with India being on the threshold to have one of the largest online audiences in a couple of years ... it is the right move in the right direction," says Taraporewalla, the Internet industry veteran.
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"Besides the fact that I have asked my employees to sign a bond in this regard to keep the names of our clients secret, I have also tied up with (logistics services firm) Aramex International to ensure that customers can collect the products from Aramex offices in their hometown," says Saraiya. Which means a customer residing with, say, his/her parents can collect the "tamper-proof, unmarked package" from an Aramex office that he/she has specified while placing her order. "As soon as he (Saraiya) came up with the idea, we agreed for this arrangement," says Percy Avari, regional manager ( South Asia) at Aramex.
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Saraiya said he soon plans to introduce cash-on-delivery services and extend the reach to small towns. Among others, Digital E-Life has entered into exclusive agreements with well-known global brands such as Shirley of Hollywood, the American lingerie brand.
Viewing it as a business opportunity ...
news.thewindowsclub.com, 13 Jan 2013 [cached]
Viewing it as a business opportunity in a developing nation like India, a group of senior corporate executives, headed by a former Microsoft lead at Singapore, Samir Saraiya, has launched an online shop for adult products.
3x
Saraiya has worked with Microsoft and Yahoo earlier.
With this, we are providing an ...
www.itnewsonline.com, 26 Mar 2008 [cached]
With this, we are providing an alternative to "screen-scraping" that is equally open, but safer and more secure," said Samir Saraiya - Product Head, Windows Live Services, Microsoft India.
As part of this effort, Microsoft is introducing a new Web site, www.invite2messenger.net, where people can invite their contacts from any of these five social networks to join them on Windows Live Messenger.
"We have paid special attention to the context of relationships.Because a user has a friend on a social networking site does not mean that that relationship should be automatically imported to Windows Live Messenger.Invite2Messenger does not automatically store your contact data, it simply gives you the tools to establish relationships with your contacts on Windows Live Messenger, with your contacts' permission," added Samir Saraiya.
Welcome to Samir Saraiya's ...
www.vocativ.com, 29 Jan 2014 [cached]
Welcome to Samir Saraiya's world AUTHOR: Betwa Sharma POSTED: Jan 29, 2014 13:27 EST
Samir Saraiya remembers when the light first went off in his head. He had stumbled across the results of a survey by the condom maker Durex that asked people around the world about, among other things, their use of sex toys. In India, where Saraiya lives, talking openly about sex is still fairly taboo, and sex toys aren't exactly cocktail-party conversation.
But the survey found, curiously, that a large number of people in India, 13 percent, had actually experimented with sex toys. Saraiya, a former Microsoft executive, was sure the survey was nonsense.
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Samir Saraiya found a need and filled it. (Courtesy ThatsPersonal.com)
Saraiya decided to investigate, and he soon had his answer. Many women were indeed using sex toys-just not the kind you buy in a sex store. Bananas, carrots and cucumbers were doubling as phalluses; butter, Nivea cream and baby oil were serving as the lube.
That's when it became pretty clear to Saraiya that Indians were up for some erotic assistance. About a year ago, he launched India's first sex-toy e-tailer.
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"They want to know so they can plan whether it's financially viable to use the product," 41-year-old Saraiya explains.
Saraiya spends a lot of time educating potential customers about the benefits of sex toys-and also making sure he doesn't run afoul of the law.
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Down the road, Saraiya is thinking about doing even more to camouflage his sex aids, so that if a random person looked at a container or bottle purchased from the site, he or she would have no idea that they're staring at a sex toy. "We have to do this if we want to grow this market," he says. "Their [customer] interest and the intent is there. It's just the whole purchase aspect that is a cause of concern."
Saraiya says that over the past year, he's sold sex toys to between 10,000 and 15,000 Indians. The average customer on the site buys three products and spends a total of $35. The buyers are 70 percent male, and the average age is 24 to 30, he says.
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Saraiya has raised about $500,000 from angel investors, friends and even some family members.
Saraiya's mother, who is a doctor, would still prefer that he do something else, but he and she have made peace by agreeing not to talk about it. Saraiya, a father of two girls, ages 6 and 2, says he has no clue what he'll tell them about his work when they grow up. "I'll cross that bridge when it comes," he says.
Meanwhile, Saraiya's trying to turn India into a nation of sexual adventurers. "I wish I were 21 again and could use all the products," he says.
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