When you associate Shekhar Kapur and A.R.Rahman with a product, you’re bound to create waves. Good friends with Shekhar Kapur, Poonacha Machaiah has spent close to two decades in the US at leading positions with companies like Motorola and Sasken Communications before coming back to India and thinking of starting up.
The year was 2010 and looking for opportunities, Poonacha realized that there are millions of young people in India that are looking at ways to express themselves. “Youngsters coming out of the top most colleges also feel a need for a recognition in the space they really care about, like writing or painting or any form via which they can express,” says Poonacha. This is how the trio landed on the idea for Qyuki.
Qyuki had just launched when we wrote about it in December and since then, the platform has seen good progress. Funded by Cisco and powered by Cisco’s cloud infrastructure, Qyuki has a lovely office in the greener part of Indiranagar, Bangalore where 40 employees work to make Qyuki better. Qyuki is a platform for generating creative content and is targeted towards the 18-35 age group. Keeping the demographics in mind, the focus has also been on pushing on the mobile front.
Qyuki as a platform wants to discover talent and foster collaboration. For beginners, there’s a premiere section where people can start off with inspiring content they can consume and build upon. One can upload his or her own content on the individuals page or via the challenges that are frequently put up by the biggies in the game, for instance, a writing competiton by Chetan Bhagat or a logo making one from a brand like Samsung. This is what Qyuki has to offer:
Currently focused only on India, Qyuki finds competition from TouchTalent – a site more focused on talent side and targeting South East Asia. Going forward, Qyuki wants to enable collaboration more intricately where users on the platform can come together and create something.
The revenue model is four fold for Qyuki -- branded inspiration (where brands can put up requirements and use Qyuki to finds the right talent for them), branded content, marketplace and ads. Four months down the line, Qyuki already has 20,000 registered users who have contributed 18,000-plus creations. The site currently garners 2.5 million views/month and the average time spent on the site is 12 minutes according to Poonacha.
With the belief that social plus local plus mobile is going to be the way forward, Qyuki is ramping up its promotions to take the concept to youth in Tier 2 and 3 cities in India. However the larger broader goal for Qyuki is to boost creativity and find the next A R Rahman or the next Chetan Bhagat.