Q1. Firstly, a very warm welcome from Ideasmakemarket.com team. Tell us something about your background.
Thank you! And hello to all the readers on Ideasmakrmarket.com.
Snehal is a serial entrepreneur.In IIT Bombay he cofounded Hellointern.com (’07) which was India’s 1st internship portal. It was acquired by Angaros Group (’12). He has worked for 3 years as Sr. Product Developer at 3DSoc an IDG funded Stanford Alumni Startup.
Paras has worked in Zinnov Consulting for 3 years and consulted tech companies like MS, Google, Intuit for their market expansion plans. He initiated Investor Pitch and executed Eureka, Asia’s larget B-Plan competition at ECell, IIT Bombay.
Q2. Our readers would love to know about the journey of Townista. How and when did you come up with this idea?
We were bored sitting idle at home, so we decided to do something interesting. We ended up opening 8-10 sites to get a complete picture of the town, which in total suggested more than 100 things to do. We had done many of them and some had incomplete/wrong info. Clueless to decide which one is the best we gave up, bought some food, invited few friends and had a blast at home itself.
In the morning we thought if we have faced this problem then many others would have encountered the same as well. We started Townista where people can find relevant and amazing things to do in the city. We want users to discover experiences quickly and trust us with their quality.
From then, we have never looked back.
Q3. Tell us something about the business model of Townista and who your target clients are.
We believe in native ads and are exploring different revenue streams which do not interfere with user experience. Currently we earn revenues from commissions for the ticketing, “featured activity” and will be experimenting with 4-5 other options as we go further.
Q4. How have you funded your business? How do you manage the team dynamics in your company?
We have bootstrapped and have raised a round from our friends and family. We are looking forward to raise a seed round from investors. We are already talking to a few angel investors and expect to raise a round soon.
Q5. What are the challenges that you have faced while setting up your business? Any mistakes you have made in this journey?
The biggest road block you face at any moment in a startup is resource. You want to grow exponentially but you are always cut down by the resources, be it financial or human.
Q6. If you are to list down three things that an entrepreneur should keep in mind, what would that be?
- Execution is everything.
- Always be flexible: learn, adapt and repeat
- Time is the most valuable asset you have, if you have to fail then fail faster.
Q7. How do you foresee the future of mobile apps? What are the measures small enterprises should take in this regard?
We believe that Mobile Apps are the way to go and that is why we are a mobile first company. The same has been predicted by Sachin and Binny Bansal that mobile app will drive 95% of the traffic in near future. We are helping small event hosting companies to be able to push notifications, interact with their fans, and get data analytics and much more. They are collaborating with us to improve their presence on mobile and in future we predict that more and more event venues, event hosting companies will be coming onboard.
Q8. Work-life balance is an important aspect of any professional’s life. Being a startup, must be putting additional pressure on you to maintain this balance. How do you manage it?
Being an entrepreneur is not for everybody. It is not a regular 9 to 5 job. As an entrepreneur you have to work long hours as you have limited resources. Every entrepreneur has to persevere. We love working for Townista as we know that we are solving a big pain for users, event management companies and event venues. In our team, everyone enjoys working as they are very passionate about idea and every day you are learning a lot. At the end of the day we are very satisfied with what we are achieving here.
Q9. What would be your advice to young MBAs and entrepreneurs in the making?
The following quote sums it up. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply; Willing is not enough, we must do.” – Bruce Lee
Q10. One last question, what are your future plans for Townista?
We want to be “the app” you should open when you are bored and want to go out. We will be expanding to other cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. We will be releasing the app on Apple and Windows too. We are looking forward to cater the rising demand from the users.