Necessity is the mother of invention, when there arises a need, people start finding new ways or better ways of doing things, which is followed by inventions. Similarly with the emergence of IT industry, their emerged a new set of consumers – young professionals located at IT hubs such as Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Gurgaon. Their needs and challenges such as finding life partner, apartments, buying and selling home appliances or vehicles, switching jobs, or even making new connection etc, combined with a hectic lifestyle has given rise to a new segment in the market. And despite different available channels these needs are unfulfilled and growing at a faster rate. So, Deependra Singh Bundela and Rini Kothari came up with the idea of one stop portal and helping people to make their life better.
ITChintu.com is a recreational and utility portal which is committed to make the life of IT professional easier. It was started in July2013 as a one stop solution for all the problems faced by any working professional, whether one wants to find new accommodation, rent a house, buy a bike, sell his old phone or even find their soul mate! Or even hangout on weekends. The website is being accessed by thousands of IT Professionals across India and the traffic has seen tremendous growth in just a few months of its existence.
The team started out from Pune and are continuously growing in team size. Currently, they are working in different teams handling different aspects of business.
On a typical work day, an IT professional works from 9 to 12 hours which leaves very little time for their hobbies or interests. To add to their woes, most young IT professionals are often required to move to new locations as a part of their job, which can be a tiresome experience if one does not have friends living in the same city.
ITChintu Weekender is a photo sharing social networking platform which is trying to make this situation a little simpler by providing such IT professionals a place to meet people with similar backgrounds and interests. Weekends are sacred to any IT professional and IT Weekender is a great way to plan weekends with people who share similar interests.
Here, people apply amazing image filters on their impressions, post them, get hypes on it, follow people who’s impression they like. Impressions are their own images which one posts to get hypes and claim fame.
In weekender, they have two list to claim your fame. First is the list of most hyped Impressions and second one is the list of most followed people. In the new era, where people enjoy Selfies, their concept is attracting lots of attention, where people post their Impressions to get hypes, wanting to be in the most hyped and most followed people list. Moreover people are also joining the platform to make new connections and make their weekends more happening.
Apart from the social networking aspect, the team believes that it is a one-stop-shop for all needs of working professionals. The idea is still new and the team has already have a wide range of portals offering different services, right from accommodation to carpooling. The team intends to keep expanding the scope on a continuous basis. Their strategy of focusing on specific groups in the industry will keep them in the market in the long run.
Journey so far
As a start-up, IT Chintu was self funded and a motivated start-up. But seeing the great response and feedback they have started looking for investors to strategically expand themselves.Currently, advertisement and e-commerce are their major revenue sources.
In terms of growth, ITChintu is doing fairly well. They registered in June, 2013 and went live around mid October. Since then they have received quite motivating response. Their website is accessed by thousands of IT Professionals and within few months of existence they got around 16000 registered users, 9500 posted ads, around 800 online transactions and few thousands highly engaged facebook fans.
The team has different classified portals based on the needs of working professionals. If someone is looking for job switch they can use jobs portal, similarly they provide carpool portals for professionals looking for carpool, accommodation for professionals searching flats,Vehicles, lifestyle and electronics portal for respective needs.
The team is marketing the brand in quite a unconventional way through spoofs. They have recently launched a social media campaign with the objective of reaching out to working professionals and building a brand in in an innovative, engaging and effective way.
The Campaign is engaging IT Professionals on various social media fronts. Spoofs are made on the life style of IT professionals and what goes in a typical IT work life. Majorly spoofs are crafted out on the themes on the topics which are very common among the working professionals like appraisals, issues over Leaves, bonus, hikes, riposte between employee and boss, even on daily tasks like status report, over head tasks like- filling time-sheets and even on Lunch breaks and coffee breaks.
They have also received a great response after the campaign. People are liking enjoying them. One can easily find bunch of people standing on the road side stalls near their offices and sharing phrases like “dude, you are being chintued !” or teasing their friends, saying – “Why you are working so hard. Chintu hai Kya?”. It seems that “Chintued” has been added as a new verb in IT Dictionary and these phrases has become the new parlance of IT professionals.
Thoughts around Bootstrapping
The team believes bootstrapping in initial day is quite important for entrepreneurial success. It not only makes one a smarter money manager, but also a creative and innovative marketer. It’s simple, what one will do if they have limited resources? – try different workarounds, provide better products, better services ? It actually makes the person think more, analyze more and force to come up with a innovative and better solution. It is a precious time of great learning. It gives one more freedom to do things in unconventional way and improves the decision making process.
Initially, when the founder was planning to come up with online portal for IT professionals, marketing was a big visible challenge, and with empty pockets it was even more difficult, he took a step back analyzed different ideas and this was where the idea of Spoofs (ITChintu) struck. And luckily, it turned out pretty well for them.
Right now, the team is focusing on growth and launching few more features that they have in the pipeline. And of course, their motive is to improve the after work life of working professionals, providing better services being on top of the list.
With umpteen number of social networking sites coming up, ITChintu needs to have a very clear marketing strategy to reach out to their target audience. People do have very little attention span, and the team has done good work with spoofs in attracting attention. We feel, it still needs to distinguish at some level to be able to call itself a networking portal for “IT Professionals”. We wish ITChintu a very good luck for the future!