We all experience the loss of somebody extremely dear at different times in our lives. The loss not only bereft of a life, but of an era and leaves behind memories of joy, love, laughter, emotions, struggles and more. There is so much history that gets lost with every generation and if those moments are penned down to create memorial profiles and achievement dashboards, these teachings and motivations can be great inspirational readings for the youth. A very interesting and engaging concept of creating an online memorable reckoner of people who have expired was started in 2010 by two experienced corporate honchos from Rajkot- Vimal Popat and Vivek Vyas under the registered company called Unique Concepts Marketers LLP. In today's cyber age, where we get all the information we want online, there is still no information about our forefathers to be found in the cyber world. But now you can make an online repository of your ancestors and information related to them on India’s first memorial portal, Shradhanjali.com.
“I still remember that day when we were eating out of a newspaper page, we could see nothing but our lunch wrapped in obituary columns. It was a sad sight indeed to see that how remembrances soil away with paper in a fraction of hours. We could not eat our lunch,” says Vivek. That was a moment of calling for both the friends to provide a platform where people could share pictures, videos, biographies, achievements, learning’s, family trees etc. to celebrate the life lived by their loved ones and create a legacy that will be treasured for generations to come. In this era of nuclear families, where all members live in different parts of the world, the portal could be a handy tool for connecting the whole family through a simple click of a button and bond the forefathers with the new generation.The site has an easy registration process wherein one can create a page for the deceased and fill in a form stating information about the entire family tree; upload unlimited photographs & videos with captions, contributions of the deceased towards community, society, family etc., special messages and condolences from anywhere across the world. There is also choice of religious background music for profile pages, eminder mails about birthdays and death anniversaries etc. The form is available in Hindi and English. The distinguishing feature in this website is that it offers multiple language options to its creators, for e.g. one can create a Shradhanjali message in Urdu or Hindi or English or any other languages available online. There is no geographical limitation on accessing the profile pages and posting messages.
Additionally, the website has taken/ purchased most of the relevant keywords to redirect them to the main portal. The portal has bought similar and rhyming domains, since Shradhanjali is a word which is commonly used in Hindi, Guajarati, Marathi, Punjabi and other Indian languages. The domains bought are shradhanjali.com, eshradhanjali.com, eshraddhanjali.com, shradhanjali.info, shradhanjali.net, marhum.com (urdu word used as prefix to late person) , jannatnashin.com (urdu word used as prefix to late person), shreejisharan.com (used in gujarati and hindi) to name a few. The membership on the portal is valid for 30 years and can be purchased for Rs 2,700 which need not be renewed for all those years. The portal is also planning to offer different packages for 1 year, 5 years and 10 years tenure.
Though there are a few players in the market like memoriesforever.com, ourlovedones.com, but these are international websites and not from India. However, Vivek believes, “As far as we are concerned we don’t have any competition in India, as we offer many more engaging features to our audience. It would not be fair to call a newspaper obituary column as our competitor but we complement the print medium.” There are close to 110 profiles registered on the website as of now including those of eminent personalities from the political world, freedom fighters, Bollywood superstars, singers etc.
“We have close to 30 sales agencies who work to propagate the importance of this concept, but the biggest challenge is awareness and convincing people about this service,” says Vimal. It gets tedious as they have to repeat demonstrations for each new client, but they are sure that once the awareness has been created, through effective advertising, business will fall in place automatically. They have not yet been very aggressive in marketing their our services as it is a self-funded venture. But they have been trying options like mailers, radio channel ads, paid facebook advertisements, advertising in newspapers, flyer insertion in newspapers etc to spread the word. Vimal says they will break even by end of 2013 and are looking for external funding to take this venture on a national scale. “Our service has gained recognition and appreciation by Shri Narendra Modi,” says Vimal proudly.
Vivek’s vision for Shradhanjali is very clear – for it to be a ready archive of all the departed loved ones from every single Indian family.
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- online obituary