Chauka, a Cricinfo for amateur cricket: Even ‘galli cricketers' can have a record of scores now
Cricket is the national sport of India… Err… or perhaps hockey, but cricket is beyond the status of a sport in India. As they call it, it’s a religion. And it was surprising in a way when Manoj Iragavarapu told me that all matches below the level of Vijay Hazare Trophy (Ranji One Day Trophy) are still recorded on paper. Recording all tournaments is obviously a herculean task but this is precisely where an entrepreneur find inspiration.
An engineer from NIT Warangal and MBA from IE business school, Spain, Manoj has worked in with corporations in various nations for more than a decade. But more importantly, he is a cricket fan(atic). Post his MBA in Spain, Manoj came back home in May 2012 and observed the sport he loved so much. He organized a tournament in his vicinity as well and realized a problem with amateur cricket. Everything was being done on paper! There's no harm in it but in this age of technology proliferation, using paper to record scores even for some high profile corporate team matches sounds a bit regressive. “Even amateur cricketers would really like to see their cricket statistics,” he thought and that is how the idea of Chauka was conceptualized.
Chauka is an Android and Blackberry app along with a web version that allows tournament organizers to record local matches ball by ball. It gives each player detailed statistics from the tournament, just like Cricinfo. And with a cricket crazy nation like India, the market for this is huge. Based out of Pune and a total team size of 10 including developers and marketing guys, Chauka was launched in December last year and since then, has generated good traction.
Chauka has organized more than 9 tournaments, with more than 500 teams and 4,000 cricketers on board and a Facebook fan base of 16,000+. Popular tournaments like the one organized by D.Y.Patil college garners a lot of attention. “That one tournament gave us more than 20,000 hits!” says Manoj.
Chauka has been built with the aim of having every cricketer (school, college, club, corporate or even at a galli level) on a single platform and score every match and every tournament. "It’s a way for amateur cricketers to find other players more easily, to play more, and to cherish for life every score you’re proud of," says Manoj. The app and platform is free to use and the current revenue stream comes via offering customized solutions to Clubs, Academies and Event organizers. Going forward, Chauka also wants to offer each player detailed statistics and chart his or her entire cricketing path. This will require hiring special scorers and more funds for which Chauka is looking out currently.A huge target market, a good idea and a good initial validation make Chauka a solid proposition. There are a few challenges wherein the bigger cricketing boards might be working with bigger established firms to develop their own product like in the case of the Karnataka cricketing board but there are many more avenues to explore. In terms of competition as well, there are global counterparts doing similar things for other sports but the field is surely wide open in amateur cricket in India.
Score with Chauka here.
On a similar note, check out Galli Grounds