Googler Ashish Agrawal starts up Scrappy Ventures with AnekLog, a free matrimonial directory
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Based of out Pune, India, Ashish Agrawal is an MBA from Carnegie Melon University, USA. Post this, he held several key positions at The University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining Google where we worked for 5 years as a manager. Feeling the itch to startup, he came back to India and started up Scrappy Ventures in May 2012.
Talking about the motivation behind starting up, Ashish says, “The key motivation was to build something from a scratch with a goal to turn it into something very big!” Scrappy Ventures focuses on building Internet products and the first offering is AnekLog. This project started back in 2007 but came to life only 6 months ago. “It was more a hobby than a real business venture”, reveals Ashish. The idea was to charge the marriage bureaus with a very nominal amount for publishing their client’s profile on Aneklog.com; while Aneklog.com could generate new customer leads for the marriage bureaus. This could allow the marriage bureaus to have a technologically sophisticated store-front for their profile inventory without having to build their own websites. But thinking it through, he decided to keep it free and let it grow organically.
Surely in need of some UI revamp, AnekLog still has managed to attract 25,000 users. “Considering the fact that over 40 million Indians are looking forward to get married every year, the matrimonial space is huge!" exclaims Ashish. "We have some of the features that other biggies in the space don't and have been able to gain traction without any push," he adds. Now, with a team strength of close to 10 people, Ashish is planning to make some more interesting products in the pipeline.
Talking about the vision for AnekLog, Ashish says, "We want to do to the matrimonial space that Hotmail did to email. And we want to be the Google Apps for marriage bureaus. AnekLog.com’s online services for completely free to end users. Anyone who wants to find a match or anyone who wants to start a business focused on helping people find a match - should use AnekLog.com as tool in acheiving their goal."
Other products in the pipeline are in the real estate and hospitality space which might make one doubt the focus of Scrappy. A larger sense of structure will definitely help going forward.