A wedding is a big affair and with disposable incomes fast increasing, people have started spending significant amount of money to make weddings memorable and unique. While most wedding planning still happens through offline vendors, there are a slew of startups connecting couples with quality merchants to plan their big day.
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The latest entrant into this space is Shaadisaga. It’s a one-stop wedding solution for people to share, plan and celebrate weddings. Shaadisaga started by chance. Founders Himanshu Kapsime and Manish Garg, both IIT Delhi graduates, were confused about what to gift a dear friend who was getting married when they realized that the whole wedding planning market in India is very inefficient and unstructured and hence they stumbled upon the idea of transforming it into a full blown online wedding planning platform.
Himanshu left his job after finalizing the idea, developed the product and ran the initial set up with his own savings, which quickly ran out. “Friends and family kept us afloat whenever there was a need. Wedding planning being such a complicated industry, not many people believed that we could pull it off,” he says.
He and Manish have been good friends for more than six years. Manish also cleared CFA Level III in June 2013. “In the last three months, more than 2000 couples have trusted our services for handling one of their most important days. Often, people are very surprised to know that such a service exists and wonder why they didn’t hear about it earlier,” adds Manish. On the vendor front, more than 1,500 service providers have created their online store on Shaadisaga.
Himanshu says, “We help couples plan their wedding end to end, whether it is about finding a new idea, sharing wedding excitement with friends and family through the website or finding a trusted photographer and choreographer.” With its smart filters couples can shortlist vendors who suit their needs, compare them and contact them directly.
The wedding planning industry is estimated to be a $ 38 billion market (2014) and is rapidly growing at 25-30 per cent on a yearly basis. Until recently, a major chunk of the market was being handled offline. “Our belief is that internet and technology can generate a lot of value in the sector by educating the customer, filling the information gap and giving a mechanism to compare various choices. Our focus is on couples who want to make their wedding a unique experience,” states Himanshu.
Traditionally, vendor discovery is mainly handled by offline recommendations. There are some players in the online space who are dedicated to listing service providers in the wedding market. “But due to a commission based model there is a misalignment between commission paying service providers and customers seeking quality service providers,” says Himanshu. The company competes with Wedmegood, 7Vachan and Bollywoodshaadis among several others.
Within three months of its inception Shaadisaga raised funds from Outbox Ventures. “The investment will give us teeth to get on-board some talented people to handle the expected growth and develop further capabilities,” says Manish.
Shaadisaga plans to use the funds raised for expanding to more cities and service categories, and to develop further capabilities for various service providers to better manage their business online.
Website : Shaadisaga.com