Venkatesh Raju, founder of Kimbol, speaks on the idea behind Dial2Match
An average Indian has many needs ranging from marriage to careers and property finance depending on their stage in life. Kimbol is a venture that aims at meeting all these needs under one banner. It promises to give you a complete life cycle management solution and Dial2Match is just one of their offerings.Founded by Venkatesh Raju a BE-Computer Science Engineer, from Bangalore University, and a Management Graduate of Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Kimbol has been around since 2008. Dial2Match is a phone based match making service under this group.
YourStory spoke to Venkatesh to learn about what exactly he means by a complete life cycle management solution and what Dial2Match can do for Indians…
What is Dial2Match?
Dial2Match is a phone based match making service which matches buyers and sellers of essential consumer services from careers to matrimony, property, finance, and much more… essential, at various stages of the life of a person. We call it personal life cycle management.
How is Dial2Match more than just a matchmaking or matrimonial service?
Dial2Match is much more than a matrimonial service. These are a set of essential consumer services grouped together, under branddial2match.com, personalized to the needs of a person. This is an innovation in itself, and we are the world's first company doing this, with IP rights to the same.
We offer personalized services, a complete life cycle management solution, ranging from careers, matrimony, property, finance, travel...much more, so that a person can completely rely on us, for any of his/her necessities at various stages of his life, a natural progression, with the help of high quality services of Dial2Match.com advisors.
How did the idea for Dial2Match come about? How did you zero in on the name 'Dial2Match'?
The idea of personal life cycle management came from seeing the sufferings of people during this recession in 2007 to 2010. Also, from my own personal experience as well. I graduated during the dotcom recession 2001, so I have personal experience of the struggle to survive a recession. The recent recession, due to the financial system breakdown, was much bigger in magnitude compared to the dotcom one.
Even well educated, people were victims of a financial mess. Then what about the common man who is not very educated, and doesn't even know the path to tread. So, this idea of personal life cycle management sprouted due to this necessity, to give right guidance to people at various stages of their Life. We listed down 10 different services, which are essential, which would help a person lead a good life, by taking our qualified advice.
We needed an all pervasive and cheap medium, so that even a village farmer to a billionaire also can access our service. So, we zeroed in on the telecommunication network, since everyone has a mobile. This is how the name "Dial2Match" was born.
Tell us about your background.
I am Venkatesh Raju, BE-Computer Science Engineer, from Bangalore University, and an Management Graduate of Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Indore. I had a stint of 7 years in the IT Industry, I travelled extensively around the world, then ventured into Entrepreneurship during this recession, started "Kimbol Group", which is the parent enterprise, which operates all our business activities under its umbrella.What note worthy tie-ups do you have? Is your concept catching on?
We are currently operating in, India, USA and UK, with various telecom partnerships. We have tie-ups with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank, for education loans, for our clients. I am also a member of The Indus Entrepreneurs, Bangalore. We offered a few services to start with during the recession, since we were a startup, we had to be very conservative, now with the recession behind us, a lot of enquiries for various services have picked up, and we are already doing good bulk deals in property and finance services. We have already done deals worth 3 crores in the last 5 months.
Currently, we have close to 500 enquiries on a daily basis for various services. Since our services are viral in nature, word of mouth brings more and more clients to us. So, with good marketing and brand visibility, we intend to increase the business multifold. We are planning to extend our footprint through franchise models also.
Where do you see personal life-cycle management services and Dial2Match five years from now?
Next five years, you will see many people; reach dial2match.com, for its convenience, reliable and right guidance and solutions, for various essential services in their lives. We would like to pioneer this concept around the world, like how Bill Gates pioneered software.
Personal Life Cycle Management, as a concept will gain relevance and importance in people's minds. They reach us, with the trust factor and hope of right guidance, good deals. We foresee, dial2match.com, operating in various countries around the globe, offering personal life cycle management.
What is Dial2Match's revenue model?
We gain revenues through commissions on deals, by matching buyers and sellers on bulk transactions like property, finance, etc. since they are big ticket transactions. We have a commission structure, for all other services also. We intend to introduce a subscription model, in future.
What do you enjoy about entrepreneurship? What were the challenges as a start up?
We are enjoying our journey, because it gives great satisfaction to help people solve their problems, in a very practical way. We are also happy that, an innovative indigenous concept is being accepted by many and growing, day by day.
The startup phase during 2008, until recently also, was very challenging, since it was mostly a one man show, and also, a bootstrapped startup, with a very vague, new concept, during a financial recession.
Who make up the Dial2Match team? What kind of hires have you made?
Currently, Dial2Match team comprises of only two members. Venkatesh Raju ( Founder, Chairman, Kimbol Group and Mr. Umashankar R ( CEO, Dial2Match.com) who was my Schoolmate, best friend, and also ex-employee of Infosys, Bangalore..has joined recently.
We have many field executives, work from home agents working for us, on a commission basis. Currently we have 30 commission agents. We will be increasing this number as the business demands and based on growth. Our business offers a very good work from home alternative to people.
What expansion plans do you have in mind?
Currently, we are operating in India, US and UK. We would like to extend our services to other countries, also, by offering a universal number accessible across the globe. We plan to expand through, a franchise model, pulling in more entrepreneurs and work from home agents.
How many clients do you have and of what background? What trend do you foresee for your business?
Currently, we have 600 clients, mainly from India. In USA we are catering to only to the Indian NRI diaspora. Since, we are a bootstrapped startup; we are yet to market our brand in a big way. Currently we rely only on word of mouth publicity, from existing clients. Enquiries on a monthly basis, since the last 4 months from Indian customers are about 500 enquiries on average
Good, Educated people appreciate the concept, the common uneducated are yet to know our service. Property deals and finance are the ones we have got a lot of enquiries for, in addition to matrimony.
As the brand gains significance, with more brand visibility and marketing, all our other service lines should do good business. We have set an achievable target of at least 10 crore in revenues for this financial year 2011 - 2012.
YourStory wishes Venkatesh success with entrepreneurship and Kimbol. We will be covering their other offerings in days to come, check dial2match at http://dial2match.com/. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org