Service providers for mobiles have a zillion different schemes and the user usually misses out on the scheme that suits him the best. Only a handful of people who are really good with their research manage to end up with schemes that are optimum for them. PlanHound targets precisely this problem; it helps you choose the best plan for yourself. Jubin Mehta for YourStory.in caught up with developer Ankit Chhajer from CheeniLabs to know more about PlanHound. CheeniLabs was co-founded by Ankit Chhajer and Jigar Doshi. Below are the edited excerpts from the conversation:
Tell us about PlanHound.
PlanHound is a mobile application, currently on the android platform, that looks at the call log & SMS log and using that makes plan recommendations. It automatically calculates the number of calls made and whether the call was local /STD, mobile/land-line, in-network/out-network and so on. On a single click and in a few seconds, it recommends the best plan for the user. The app is used by people who are looking for accurate and optimum plan recommendations based on their usage. The app also serves as a great billing utility, especially for prepaid users that constitute over 90% of the Indian mobile market.
The app has a few features that makes the process of choosing the best plan simple, accurate and completely hassle free:
It allows the user to filter the results to selected operators only
Each search result can be drilled down to know the plan, top-ups that go well with it and their respective offerings & pricing information.
It also allows the user to see usage within a custom date range or for the last day, week or month.
What features excite you the most? How much time did it take for you to build the app?
Over 90% of the mobile market does not know their usage because they do not get a monthly statement. The fact that our app can report the usage, with granularity, is great because it immediately serves as a great billing utility; a feature that is not available anywhere else in the market today. The plan recommendation on top of this makes the process of choosing the best plan dead simple. It took us about a month to develop the first version of the app. We are working to bring out more features to make it more exciting.
When was PlanHound launched and what has the response been so far?
PlanHound was released on the Android market early this month. It was in the private beta for user feedback and testing. We have received great response so far. A lot of people already want this on other platforms. We are working on the same to meet that demand.
Can you share with us some of your success stories?
When we tested this app, one user refused to believe that his STD call usage was more than 500 minutes. He thought there was something wrong with the app. We crosschecked and realized that indeed he had made so many calls. After that we matched him to a plan that saved him money. We realized that this app has a real use case.
We understand that you love to code. How and when did you come up with the prototype?
In fact, the prototype of this app was built during a startup weekend event called in50Hrs, organized by The Startup Centre in Chennai.
Anything else that you want to share with us?
People who are not on the android platform can use our utility through our site http://www.3gsimplified.com, where the user keys in their usage parameters and the 3gsimplified engine suggests them the best plan instantly. The best part is that the underlying engine serving the web and the mobile version is the same.