Abhishek Jain, Founder, Fidelus Solutions Pvt. Ltd
“Fidelus Solutions-Bright ideas everyday”
The Indian wedding is one occasion that never flags or downscales from the grandstanding event that it is. There are many famous names and brands that have made a mark in the wedding industry but they had all better improve their game plans to factor in Abhishek Jain. The industry might be big enough to accommodate them all but this Young entrepreneur is going for the big leagues with fidelussolutions.com, his business idea aimed at people getting married in India and other sectors related to the wedding industry.
His venture fidelussolutions.com has come up with a wedding portal product to beat them all with myshaadi.in (that offers 100% free wedding websites) and he promises that it is just the first of many to come.
Yourstory learnt from Abhishek on how he plans to be a force to reckon with in the wedding industry with fidelussolutions.com
How have you turned the old matchmaker matrimony concept into a Business idea?
Fidelus Solutions is a web based solutions enterprise. The entire team is currently working on in house products for the wedding industry e.g. myshaadi.in.
MyShaadi.in is one of the only wedding resources that offers 100% free wedding websites with an Indian look and feel. Features include Photo Albums,Guestbook, Events (mark on map),Wedding Blog,Online Guest list,SMS & Email updates for Guests,Invitation Card, Wishlist and many more ...
What services is myshaadi.in creating to serve the needs your customers?
The entire wedding ecosystem in India can be divided into 3 different entities
a. Couple getting married / Families involved. (B2C)
b. Service providers like event management companies / wedding planners (B2B)
c. Vendors (B2B)
As part of the plan for the company we intend to be creating products, tools for all the three entities mentioned above and provide them with a platform to interact.
What are makes myshaadi.in a unique wedding portal and business model?
Others in this area though are many and mature - but lack somewhere or the other - simplicity, ethnicity of designs, being ad-free etc are some of them. We are one of the wedding portals who turn the task of wedding planning from a formidable challenge into an interactive piece of cake!. At MyShaadi.in our vision is to become a one stop solution for people getting married in India (Including NRIs). We intend to become one of the most comprehensive online wedding media channels.
What new offerings can you create with the wedding business idea?
Along with MyShaadi.in which is primarily for couples getting married, we intend to come up with more tools, products for wedding planners, vendors etc. In order to scale up our business we are also planning to tie up with experts / vendors from all over the country, to create an ecosystem where we can create a platform for them to be able to showcase their expertise, products etc to potential users and in return offer our users discounts / gift vouchers etc.
What motivated you to be a wedding entrepreneur and not seek a 9 to 5 job?
My first stint with entrepreneurship was actually before even getting into my first 9-to-5 job. Having run a team of close to 20 students (Team Innovations) during my graduation, we had worked on a project with the Government of Rajasthan - “Jaipur - A Wi-Fi City".
There were couple of motivations behind the decision to choose to be an entrepreneur rather than sticking to a regular 9-to-5 job. Being someone who had an inclination towards both technical and management, I could have the opportunity to be able to work on both by only being an entrepreneur. Also the spectrum of challenges offered by entrepreneurship ranging from technical to selling what you have build, to keeping yourself and people working with you motivated to name a few, were so lucrative that I had to make a switch from a regular 9-to-5 job to entrepreneurship sooner or later. On top of all these I have a strong belief that a market for something exists only for a given span of time and if we can leverage it during that span we would be able to create a brand for the business. And after having spoken to couple of people from the wedding industry, I realized that a business potential existed NOW.
In an industry with many competitors what were your biggest challenges?
Not having the first mover advantage our challenges were two fold
a. Telling people that we exist, spreading the word.
In order to reach as many couples as possible, along with running campaigns on various AD networks like Google Adwords, we are also running viral campaigns on various social networks.
The last viral campaign was run as a facebook application; it was used by more than 1.8L users in a span of 5 days.
b. Giving out users incentives to choose us from someone else.
Others in this area though are many and mature - but lack somewhere or the other - simplicity, choice of designs, being ad-free etc are some of them. We are also in the process of tying up with vendors across India for discounts / gift vouchers.
What goof ups do you attribute to your inexperience as an entrepreneur?
Being from a technical background, the creative satisfaction that you get by adding newer features to your product ends up converting your startup into a science project. This is what happened with us too initially.
What do you think is needed to make more successful (Indian) entrepreneurs?
There is this joke doing rounds “Dad: My son is unemployed, oh he is an entrepreneur”.
When your relatives, friends hear that you have started a venture of your own, the first thing they ask is “How big is your company?” Its small talk, but they're not looking for a small answer, but at the same time the good news is this attitude is changing. We as entrepreneurs need to learn how to embrace failure and learn from it.
However unlike Silicon Valley we still lack the entrepreneurial culture that encourages risk-taking and the kind of innovation that produces the big idea. With angel investor networks, VCs like Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angel Network, things are still better in Tier I cities like Mumbai, Bangalore etc, however these changes are yet to be seen in Tier II cities where one can find entrepreneurs abound. What we also need is greater participation by our government by creating financial funds and infrastructural facilities for budding entrepreneurs.
What achievement has made you feel that it has all been worthwhile?
Our biggest achievement so far has been the feedback from our users which we are glad has been positive and motivating till now. We try speaking to as many users of ours as possible, asking for their feedback and improvising on the features as much as possible. Lot of features on the site have been recommended by our users. Mentioned below is feedback from one of our users.
“Before finalizing to use your website, I had seen many other portals with similar services. Surely you expect all to search the net for options. But finally, it was your website that me and would-be-wife chose as it was the best for sure. The best part being the approach from your side was welcoming, the design of the site and progression into creating the website was very nice. And another main reason for choosing your website was the designs on offer here! simply very good! and traditional for Indian consumer requirement.”
How do you intend to keep MyShaadi.in fresh and relevant in the coming 2 years?
At MyShaadi.in, in the coming 2 years we intend to start sections like trends, experts and gift voucher / discounts for couples getting married and have already started the process of tying up with companies for the same. The articles they write and the queries they answer will in a way showcase their work and the expertise they have to users who could be their prospective clients. This would also provide an opportunity for the vendors to be able to showcase their products to a very targeted audience.
Along with that we also intend to come up with tools for wedding planners and vendors associated with the wedding industry.
What has your experience as an entrepreneur taught you about the right way to start up?
There is no good / bad time to start a business from how I look at it, there are two paths that lead to entrepreneurship. First is, you work for couple of years, learn, gain the experience and then hop on to the entrepreneurship bandwagon. Second is, you start early and learn, gain experience along the way. Either path is equally good. If you think you can start today and can survive for a year or so without causing too much trouble for people around you (people you care for and who care for you), I would say go for it.Consider starting a venture to be similar to giving birth to a child, there is a chance that the process might turn out be a little painful but I can guarantee that the result will be equally beautiful.
Unless you're a fortune teller, long term business plan is a fantasy. There are too many factors that are out of your hands: market conditions, competitors, customers etc. What separates successful startups is not necessarily starting with a better initial plan (Plan A), but finding a plan that works before running out of resources. Until you actually start something, your brilliant idea is just that, an idea. And everyone's got one of those. :) Once your product does what it needs to do, get it out.
Yourstory wishes Abhishek Jain and Fidelus Solutions much success and luck with their ventures. We are sure that their rise is imminent and wish them a speedy ascension. To get your own free wedding site check out http://www.myshaadi.in/main/ to learn more on Fidelus Solutions check out http://fidelussolutions.com/