They say a diamond is a girl’s best friend. As for the man, well, it might just be his worst retail experience yet. Cut, color, clarity and carat are the four C’s that could drive any man crazy. Rihanna might have said shine bright like a diamond, but what if you had no idea how much shine constituted for a good diamond? Founder, Ajay Anand reflected on his frustrating ring hunt and ended up creating the Kayak of diamonds known as Rare Carat.
If you are like most men out there, you wouldn’t know a thing about diamonds until those bells start ringing in your head. You found her! She is the one! Good luck on that ring, bad boy. Three paychecks down the drain, yup, all in one go. Start saving. Let the research begin!
Born to entrepreneurial Indian parents, Ajay Anand grew up in Michigan. With no real passions at that time, he described himself as someone who “used to play hockey and had no idea what I wanted to do nor did I have any ambition to do anything. I switched my major three times in college.” He finally graduated with a business background and worked for Boston Consulting Group for a year before deciding that he wanted to go out and become an actor.
The Work Life
A one-way ticket to Bombay, Ajay entered the world of Bollywood to only be disappointed. “I quickly realized that acting was not for me, even though I had a background in music it was very difficult to make it big.” Next stop? The Wharton School for his MBA.
Ajay surprised us when he mentioned his first company was launched back in 2013 called Systmapp, a cloud-based planning, tracking, and reporting solutions for enterprises. His business model was mainly B2B and lacked drama, customer feedback, and witty jokes. Don’t be fooled, it’s still fully functional and operating today under his leadership.
The Aha Moment
After dating a girl for nine months, Ajay decided that he would listen to Beyoncé’s if you like it then you should put a ring on it and seal the deal. This is also known as the avocado theory in which men, like avocados, only become ripe once (and that is when) it is show time. Not before and not after. It has to be just right.
At the age of 29, Ajay began his hunt on 47th street in New York and boy was it intimidating, so he moved online. “It was through the process of trying to find the perfect diamond at the right price with the lack of online resources available that I decided to create a platform myself. I built a regression model to try and tease out what was a good deal and used math to figure out the rest. I couldn’t believe that there weren't any good sites out there for this experience.” From conception to execution, it took Ajay one year to build out the platform while managing Systmapp and boom, in October 2016, Rare Carat sparkles.
“We are just a marketplace for diamonds, connecting users and brands.”
So how does it work? “We assume that you know what you want when you come to our website. If you don't, we have a chat bot built in by partnering with IBM to help pin down your needs and use analytics to provide recommendations. We scan the online world for retailers that match your criteria and perform analytics on what we think is a well-priced diamond on the frontier. There are no lower prices, all we do is provide visibility to the entire market in one shot by allowing you to compare and contrast.”
Self-funded, Ajay recently pitched at a Shark Tank casting, so stay tuned to see if he makes it on to the show. If you are in the market for a ring, let Rare Carat guide you and may the force be with you.
Photo courtesy of Rare Carat.