Started by three IIT-Bombay graduates – Abhinav Agarwal, Rikshav Borah and Shaunak Das – Dudegenie is a chat-based personal assistant app specifically designed to help consumers meet their everyday needs with ease and accuracy. Right from buying groceries, ordering food, sending flowers, picking up laundry to booking movie/travel tickets and more, DudeGenie aims to simplify the life of its users with the use of chat.
In recent times, Indian consumers have been offered multitude of apps for food, grocery, gifts, movie, travel, essential household requirements etc. Rikshav raised the point of offering ‘holistic, convenient and hassle-free experience’ by launching a single chat-based application.
DudeGenie was founded as a pilot project on Whatsapp and launched in April 2015. The founders wanted to verify and validate the idea that there is a need to aggregate the dispersed market for users. This dispersion had been caused because of the increase in the number of vendors (both hyperlocal and app-based) in the market. With a market flooded with vendors, finding well-curated reviews and managing accounts across vendors seemed like a distant dream to the user. Abhinav says, “We have catered to approximately 20,000 unique users through our Android application and WhatsApp since the launch of the product demo.”
Based out of Kodihalli, Bengaluru, the Dudegenie team has set three goals: convenience, user-centric approach and reliability. When asked about selecting a ‘genie’ for the brand logo and its significance, the core members said it was selected for all things it stood for: the magnanimity of a mystical character, its unparalleled set of powers and characteristic appeal to get things done.
Abhinav says, “We sensed the need for a platform that serves as a single form of communication for ordering/discovery/availing services and customer services. Once the idea was verified, we chose to launch ourselves as a chat-based service. The reason we chose chat-based service over other forms of communication is because the modern day customer is well-acquainted and addicted to chatting, convenience, multi-tasking capabilities and the ease to share images location via chat.” DudeGenie essentially aims to blend into the lifestyle of the user.
Technically, the market for such a service is dependent on two pertinent factors -
The first factor contributes to an increase in the ease of order fulfillment to the last mile while also making the discovery bit easier. The second one boils down to a kind of experience that the user is already acquainted with, i.e. choosing call or chat, and which is the better/convenient of the two to use. DudeGenie uses chat over call since the founders believe that chat is more efficient, easy and convenient.
Helpchat, Haptik and Goodservice are competitors to DudeGenie. They all were into complaint redressal or service listing and have recently pivoted to this model. The founders believe that DudeGenie’s model has an edge over its competitors since the focus is more on the customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and cutting edge in-house and internal discovery platform. Abhinav says, “We are a bunch of practical, level-headed people who know that by the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you did but how much you did right. In short, we aim to stand out for simply being who we are.”
Currently with a team size of 45 members, DudeGenie is actively looking to expand it across various domains. DudeGenie has already raised a seed round and is looking to raise funds to invest in higher user-friendly technology to enhance end-user experience as well as expand footprint in existing and new markets. Talking about future plans, Shaunak says, “Our aim, eventually, is to redefine chat-based customer service in India in terms of convenience, efficiency and not to mention, satisfaction. We want to expand to more cities, strengthen our backend support and improve response efficiency.”