eChunav.com provides a social engagement platform for people to voice their opinions and choices. It’s a portal which has features of both – a blog – where you speak your mind, and a social networking website – where you network with others.
The company believes that people who are the ‘haves,’ have a fiduciary obligation to provide guidance to the people who are the ‘have nots’. So, eChunav was created to give a voice to the youth of India who can not only give their votes on issues which concern them – ranging from politics to entertainment, and from technology to sports.
Their product is one of its kind that aims at fishing in untested waters. eChunav.com is CSR for Veristrat Inc., a San Francisco based technology company that builds products and provides high end technology solutions. As a CSR initiative, the company has made foray into an arena of social networking with the aim to foster social movements online.
One of their more popular products is Shaadi-e-Khas, wedding management software, first of its kind in Asia. They are also building a product for the restaurant industry, but want to keep details on that under wraps.
They intend to work with celebrities such as Kiran Bedi, Gul Panag and Anupam Kher, though they are yet to get their confirmation. The whole idea behind roping in a celebrity is to maximize the traffic on the website and create awareness which would lead to an increased number of voting, eventually helping them in achieving their goal of donating maximum to the NGO prescribed by the brand ambassador, i.e. the celebrity they rope in, via “one rupee per vote”. They feel this method they will not only create awareness but also help the fledgling NGOs financially.
“We derive the biggest joy by developing new online products and putting them on an auto pilot mode.” Says Madhawi Bisht, Manager, Corporate Communication, Veristrat , “ The online space is one of the few businesses where one can operate the entire business from a sailboat!”
They also faced plenty challenges, like in every start up, especially when there is no well defined market, no immediate buyers to chase and interestingly, no competitors either. “Besides,” adds Madhawi, “it is quite a task to convince people for any unconventional concept!” Currently, they are a team of 25 people in India and most of them being technology geeks, there are other departments including administration, marketing and human resources. They are therefore always looking for bright and energetic people, irrespective of their background. After discerning the response thereafter, they plan to chart out their next strategy.
Being a CSR initiative, it does not have any current funding requirements, as of now. However, their aim is to make eChunav a self-sufficient portal that can raise its own money via promotional marketing, which they estimate, would be easy to attain after their online traffic meets the target of a million visitors a day. As of today, they have just over 10,000 users.