Before we start, let me just quickly salute the entrepreneurial spirit of Gujarat. We got a chance to meet and discuss some of the topics which anyone hardly talks about. The topic is very gentle yet quiet engaging, and these 2 persons have handled it so delicately and sensitively. The topic is about preserving the memories of our departed family members.
Mr Vivek Vyas and Mr Vipul Popat, from Rajkot, have built an online memorial platform called Shradhanjali.com where in registered users can host detailed biography of the departed one along with ancestry details, photographs, videos and music (details of the services are given below).
Let’s dive directly into the interview part,
To start with, tell us about yourself
Vimal Popat: I’m a commerce graduate with a view to offer something exciting and useful to the society; I left the well settled job and took plunge into entrepreneurship. I hold in access of 12 years of experience into sales and man management and developing successful dealerships and agencies. I believe in raising the bar and challenge the limits.
Vivek Vyas: I’m a first generation entrepreneur having 7 years plus experience in sales and training. I hold various professional qualifications and believe constant learning as a part of professional life. I am an initiator and a team player who had been frequently assigned leadership tasks. I was instrumental in developing and training Baroda module bancassurance team of SBI and taking it nationally no.1 during his tenure. My core competency lies in training, relationship management and network development.
Thanks guys, fantastic. Is Shradhanjali.com your only business?
No, we intend to provide various innovative, useful and engaging web based services under the company Unique Concepts Web Marketers LLP. One of which is Shradhanjali.com which is India’s first ever memorial portal. In future we aspire to provide such services which Indian consumers have not yet experienced.
Let’s talk a bit more about Shradhanjali.com, when did you start it?
In 2010 we conceptualized the whole thing and it took more than 1 year to execute it successfully.
And how did it come to be?
Idea came in fluke while having snacks as the snacks were served on piece of newspaper obituary column page. We felt bit disturbed and sad and thought “can’t these be presented in some more respectable and presentable manner” and (to take it one notch further) “which can also stay forever and can be accessed globally and be remembered and referred?” these questions gave birth to Shradhanjali.com.
Are your families involved in the business?
Parents and siblings have always been of great support in whatever we have done so far. They imposed trust in us and provided us all the support required. None of them are involved in this venture.
What kind of planning you guys did to kick start the project?
Some ideas click without any planning. This too happened in a similar fashion. But, yes going forward we have plans to flourish this service and portal.
And your target customers are..
Every single person who has lost any of his loved ones is the prospect or the targeted customer. Since, the service has emotional appeal it touches every single individual. As far as affordability is concerned we have taken immense care in deciding the pricing that anyone can afford this noble service
How do you market your services?
We don’t have budgets to market and promote this service aggressively yet, we try in our limited capacity via social media, little bit of radio, print medium etc.
Do you think you have achieved what you set out to do earlier?
We are happy with the situation of the business. Once we start market this service through various medium there is nothing stopping this. In future we aim to operate on a national scale individually or through strategic partnerships with print media houses.
That’s a great plan. Is there anyone else into this field right now?
There is no competition in this market as such if we talk about Indian market. As far as print media / obituary columns are concerned we don’t consider them as competition on the other hand we consider them as complementary to our service. Both has different viewers, tenure, features and price.
Just one last thing, any tips for newcomers into this field?
Well, we are a newcomer in this field and we are at no position to offer tips. All we can say is if you are going through the hell then keep going. Perseverance is the key which any of the newcomer/startup/entrepreneurs must possess.
That’s a great piece of advice, guys. Thanks to both of you.
Key points for readers:
Ideas come from nowhere & everywhere. Perseverance is the key. Respect the memories and cherish them
1. Detailed biography of loved ones will be kept forever on internet (multiple language options)
2. Unlimited photos & sharing of embedded videos
3. Exclusive page covering entire family details
4. Email reminders on birth and death anniversaries to all relatives
5. Anyone across the world can post condolence message
6. Choice of music piece to be played as background music on profile pages
7. Unlimited condolence messages with no content limit
8. No unwanted advertisements and pop up windows will ever appear on profile pages
9. Any of the details can be added and edited anytime with utmost ease by the user
10. Wide choice of personal message and background music
11. Narrate exclusively about their social services and charities done by the divine soul
12. This unique service can be availed offline by filling up a simple form