Shradhanjali.com to soon go global
Every passing away heralds a virtual reality
Karabi, a lively and energetic girl would eagerly await the festival of Bhai Dooj the entire year. She has been the life-line of her two brothers. However, their days of happiness ended soon after the death of their father. Diwali has been like a trauma to the siblings ever since.
Such stories are pretty common to the people. Hence, entrepreneurs Vivek Vyas and Vimal Popat started Shradhanjali.com. For the first time in India, through this portal, people could now pay homage to their elders. A sprightly Vyas shares the story behind entrepreneurship with Gairika Mitra:
It all started on a normal day, as the duo stopped by a roadside food stall. They were served the eatables on a piece of paper that contained condolence messages.
And that was exactly the eureka moment for the would-be entrepreneurs. They could not come to terms with the fact that newspaper cuttings were used to pack food. They hoped they could change the existing system somehow.
“After some initial days of research we came up with Shradhanjali.com. As the suffix illustrates, it’s intends to pay homage.”
In 2010, they resigned from their jobs. The years from 2010 to 2012 remained challenging for them.
Initial Days of Shradhanjali
The first challenge we faced was in terms of finding the right kind of people. Though the initial design was quite well, the response from the mob was also praiseworthy.
However, after a few days we began to notice some technical glitches in the system. We had refined the system once more and yet the results were not too convincing. Finally, after a third try now we look like what we are now.
The founders ensure that Shradhanjali.com is not restricted to the profile of the deceased alone. It also includes a person’s biography, family tree, photo album and a video.
When a person visits a profile, a soft religious background music plays in the background. The team at Shradhanjali sends a welcome message to all once the profile goes live. Additionally, a reminder is also sent from the team on birth and death anniversaries.
Shradhanjali.com is a bootstrapped venture. When asked about the whereabouts of the company, Vyas mentioned that his firm received a government grant from the Government of Gujarat.
At present, the site fetches about 12,000 clicks per day. We are very confident that the figures would reach to lakh soon.
The Business Model
The business works on a subscription based model. The customers could register with the site on two schemes. The first one is for a year with an annual subscription of Rs 999. The second stretches for five years with a rate of Rs 3999.
After the expiry of the tenure, we don’t delete the profiles. The minor difference is that the users can’t edit them.
The Path Ahead
We now aim to take Shradhanjali to the next level. Currently, the site enjoys a pan-India presence and has subscribers from Africa, UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia.
The idea is to offer it to every household. In order to make it possible we are talking to various print media. We are coming up with affiliate marketing wherein people will be able to sell this subscription service just by sharing the link via whatsapp, email and text messages. This would include gifting cards so that the subscription plan could be gifted to the ones in need. We are coming up with the global site with the same service with international languages and international payment options.
“Let us take the plunge into the ocean of entrepreneurship only if you are confident about your product and not merely for the sake of making money.”
Do you think a memorial startup would manage to break even? Do share your views.