You say there’s fatigue in the land of social networks, no its not, its just that you are not able to find more interesting things on that same network that you were once addicted to. Its okay, it happens and i think its good, there are more subtle and prolific networks out there that can make you discover something more.
A hyper local network like Shaukk can help you discover some appealing and amusing stuffs near you. Yes, you may never know there’s something cool happening around the corner and you are missing the kodak moments. And since the once addictive social networks are too global, why not find interesting people and activities near you and you can even create a community connecting all the awesome people you meet and bring life to your little network.
We’ll get into conversation with Aseem, CEO of Shaukk, a Hyper-Local Interest Network, where people with same interests in the same locality enjoy these interests together.
How did the idea of a Hyper-Local Interest Network came up? Whats the goal or mission behind Shaukk?
Well, it all started with my need. I am a passionate footballer. I am a music lover and a singer. When I started my job, I couldn’t find many footballers. I could gather some colleagues, but that was not enough for a regular football. I tried looking out for concerts or fellow musicians, but there was no way to connect with them.
That’s when I thought, I must find the solution not only for me, but for everyone who is passionate or wants to pursue or develop any interest. That’s how Shaukk was born & that’s when I thought that like-minded people within the same locality must be able to connect and plan things together. Additionally, people must get to know whatever is happening in the locality!
The mission of Shaukk is to promote interests in the lives of people by bringing the community together and by being a one-stop interest website.
Facebook is so extensively used that most people are already subscribed to some or the other group and even create and participate in events and activities. How is Shaukk different? How would you describe the USP?
First, Facebook has groups at a very macro level. There’s no chance that when I want to play football in my locality, I will like to put it up on the globally wide or city wide group. So in essence, the hyper local interest groups are what one needs and this is what we have at Shaukk.
Each interest group can be tagged by location, so one can create or join – Powai Music Lovers or Foodies @ Andheri.
Second, though many people create and participate in events on Facebook, these events have some problems which we are solving at Shaukk. I can’t see new events pertaining either to my interests or my locality or both. Practically, as an interest lover, I want to know – what event is happening in my interest in my locality. Even the smallest of catch up event would work for me, but that is not possible over Facebook.
Last but not the least, on a macro level – we are in some way just the opposite of Facebook.
Facebook is for bringing all your global connections online and establishing your virtual world.
Shaukk wants you to go back to the real world by encouraging you to go offline and enjoy your interests within your locality!
Facebook is too global, Shaukk is the new local.
When a person creates a plan or post a query on Shaukk, can he share the conversation on other social networks as well?
As soon as a person creates or even joins a plan, it automatically gets shared on his Facebook wall (unless he has not given us the permission or he has made a private plan on Shaukk).
Further, he can also share it on google+. We are looking forward to a deeper integration with twitter (& some additional features with Facebook) in the future.
We found a Google+ page of Shaukk, but no facebook or twitter page, why is that so? Do you have an other marketing strategies to spread the word?
We have our Facebook page & a google+ page. We are maintaining our Facebook page regularly – www.facebook.com/shaukk. Our twitter marketing will start soon too. We are also working on SEO.
We are looking forward to bring national level sportsmen or artists on board who could interact & encourage all enthusiasts – After all, the website is all about promoting interests. Arpit Bhopalkar, Sanil Shetty, Aniket Koparkar – All national/international level table tennis players have loved the idea of Shaukk and are members of Shaukk now. Other Table Tennis biggies are joining Shaukk soon. We would take this forward to other interests.
Apart from that, we are looking forward to organize some cool events ourselves. Card Fests, Hiking trips, EPL Fantasy League, Pani-Puri Competitions, many such events are in store.
We are also tying up with event management companies (brands like Out Of the Blue/Mumbai Travellers/White Peacock Dance Studio/Roshan Taneja Acting School, etc) & looking forward to some collaborative marketing initially.
Is Shaukk bootstrapped or have you received any fundings?
Yes, it is bootstrapped. We are yet to approach the investors.
Team behind Shaukk.
Aseem Khare – CEO & Founder, An IIT Bombay Alumnus, and has a 6 years of rich investment banking experience from Lehman Brothers/Nomura.
Amit Chahalia – Creatives Head. An IIT Bombay Alumnus and is studying Photography from NID, one of the best schools for photography in India.
Saurav Swaroop – CTO, He is an IIT Bombay student, He has had a rich experience of web-development in various start-ups before.
Akanksha – Marketing Head, She is a St. Stephen’s Alumnus and has a 6 years of rich corporate experience from a top investment banking.
We have hired some marketing interns from S.P.Jain Management institute, some developers from IIT & VJTI.
Future Plans for Shaukk?
On a macro picture, we want to build it up in Mumbai first and then move forward with launching it to various cities.
In terms of features, With Shaukk, We aim to make people’s lives much more enjoyable. People who are really passionate or enthusiastic should get some reward of some sorts. We will soon cover –how active a person is & then publish a local hero, along with giving him exciting offers & discounts at places he/she loves.
On the technology front, we are building our mobile app so that it is really easy for users to see what’s happening around them.