Being used by more than 19,000 businesses in over 78 countries, Appointy helps SMBs to get new clients and keep their appointment books full. Nemesh Singh, after not being able to find a job after graduation, founded Appointy and today it has grown to become a force to reckon with. Yourstory.in caught up with Nemesh to know more about his brilliant story. Edited excerpts:
Tell us about Appointy.
Appointy is an online scheduling software that is helping businesses to grow exponentially using social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter or Emails. You can think of Appointy as the ecommerce system for service industry like Spas, Salons, Doctors, Dentists etc. Appointy works for almost any business accepting appointments over the phone.
Think of your friend scheduling a spa service or a movie and you get a notification on Facebook to join him for a discount. 100 customers booking in a month with each having an average of 50 friends helps a business to reach 5000 customers with a social touch. We call this “Social promotion”.
Appointy also allows businesses to create deals, discounts or offers with an option to promote to their existing loyal or new customers through Facebook, Twitter or Emails. These discount coupons helps business to use their idle times to market their services to new customers. Real time discounts will be the future of daily deals industry. We call this “Discount Offers”.
Would you watch a movie referred by your friend? Most likely yes. Reviews on Appointy are promoted to client’s social networking channel and act as a personal recommendation. We call it “Social recommendation”
How did you come up with this idea and when did you launch?
Before 2006, we were an outsourcing company focused on providing software development services to our international clients. We were doing pretty well but realized early that the future of our company will be based only on products. In 2006-07, we got hundreds of request to develop an appointment system. Every business had different requirements and from here we got the idea to come up with a software-as-a-service model for online scheduling space.
I did my B.E (Mech.) from OIST College, Bhopal in. In hindsight, luckily I didn’t get a job after my college that made me start this company from my bed-room with the computer, gifted by my father, during the college days.
Having failed twice before starting the current company, I learned to survive the odds.
In 2004, we started software outsourcing and found Gabriela Lechin (Currently, US Head). During my initial struggle phase, I came across people with great minds. Invested time in convincing each one of them and formed a great team including Khushal Patel (Currently, CTO), Puneet Pathak (Currently,Sr. Software Developer ) & Rajesh Meena (Currently,Sr. Software Developer). We added 15+ team members and now we have office in USA & India.
How did Appointy gain prominence on such a wide scale?
We have built a software that not only gives the convenience of 24×7 scheduling from almost anywhere including Smart phones, tablets, PCs or Macs but also helps in growing a businesses without any extra effort. The business person can concentrate on providing services and rest is all done by Appointy.
The reason for our popularity in western countries is because Businesses in western countries follow appointment culture and Appointy gave the best scheduling experience with growth potential. I’d also attribute this to our innovative features.
What technology do you use?
We use .NET & MSSql hosted on Windows Server.
How do you market Appointy?
Initially, we made plug-ins for established and open source, free-to-use web applications like wordpress. Later, our product started spreading due to its uniqueness and viral ability. Every day 25 to 50+ new business starts using Appointy. In 2012, we are looking for our first Venture funding to increase our marketing efforts.
What is your revenue model?
Appointy is basically a free software that has all the functionality of a basic scheduling software. We offer additional premium features that help business to better manage and market their business. We have designed paid plans to suit every business needs. Our plan ranges from $9.99/month to $99.99/month. Every month, a few thousand business signup on Appointy and we convert a percentage of them into paid customers.
How much capital was required to startup? When did you break even?
Initially, we invested $18000 to develop the first version of Appointy. The breakeven was reached in April 2010 exactly one year after our premium services were launched. Today, Appointy is profitable and looking to expand.
What are the future plans?
We have just started. Opportunities in this untouched space are limitless. Scheduling software is forming the basis of deals and discounts for the service industry. Groupon has just purchased opencal (online scheduling software) which has made this space even exciting. Appointy has booked over INR 1000 crores of ecommerce services and will be playing a crucial role in future to help and understand the business practices, making it more exciting.
More about this exciting startup here – www.appointy.com and do leave any questions you have in the comments below.
– Jubin Mehta