Karam karo, phal ki chinta mat karo
How many times have you heard your elders repeating the same to you? Multiple times, isn’t it. But how many times have you actually stopped at crossroads and thought of it.
For most, it wouldn’t even matter shrugging the topic with ignorance. However, for Deepak Goel this was a personal motivation, causing him to bring alive this concept through a unique amalgamation of technology.
Presenting Karma Circles, which makes it easy for individuals to give and receive help for free.
However, what would this person’s Karma be who is such a staunch believer of the same. Rather good. Functioning in the startup ecosystem for the past seven years, Deepak has mentored more than 400 Silicon Valley startups translating their efforts into angel investments.
According to Deepak, Karma Circles is an added layer to LinkedIn focussing on things which the professional social media stalwart doesn’t.
Explaining the value additions of the platform from LinkedIn, the founder says
“Functioning on the concept of shared economy, Karma Circles aims to help provide professional advisory. Now, skill endorsements have a detailed perspective, letting other users know how exactly an individual has helped them. Not only does it push people to publically ask and give help but also helps you better your online reputation while increasing outreach. Unlike LinkedIn, we don’t think there is a professional connection unless there is a give and take.”
While building a give and take platform, Deepak believes that on the platform the more you give is the more you get. Moreover, with more scores the propensity of people helping you becomes more.
Did you hear scores? Yes, the platform has Karma scores.
The receivers of help can also write testimonials endorsing skills and give them Karma points, assisting to build online reputation for individuals offering the help.
How does it work?
Let’s say there are two individuals A and B. If A helps B, then the next time A asks for any help, the query is posted to not just feeds of the professionals A has helped, but also to the receivers of help from the individuals A has helped. In this case the professionals whom B has helped will also be notified about A’s query.
“The concept is true in the real scheme of things and we just got the model online. When you are in trouble, you will ask help from people whom you’ve helped and they will check in turn with ones whom they’ve helped.”
Through the platform, young entrepreneurs can message anyone without needing to strike a connection and strike an appointment with a high-flying industry player.
Deepak’s personal philosophies run into his business as well. Karma Circles runs on the principles followed to reach Swadharma. The principles being to help consistently, unconditionally as well as respecting the power of one on one, delivering tailor made and customised advices to individuals.
The traction and future plans
At present, a team of six people, the platform has no active revenue model. Calling it a social enterprise, the firm doesn’t plan to monetise the platform until 2017. Bootstrapped, the platform is currently a network of 1800 handpicked individuals who are well-known names in the ecosystem. The firm is currently looking at influencers who fall under the giver category. The platform currently consists of 90 per cent givers with only 10 per cent seeking help, receiving traffic of 3,000 visitors a month and plans to take the figure to 8,000 in the next two months.
If the founder is believed, they haven’t grown in over four months and are trying to understand their customers better. However, with the launch of their android next month, the team is positive that they will revolutionise the way things are functioning. While revamping the UI, and launching the platform on iOS in December, the firm is looking at structuring communication better.
They are also working on the Karma feed, inviting corporates and others who run mentoring programmes. Moreover, through structured communication one can integrate better while scheduling meetings and introducing chat facilities.
Moreover, focusing on the core mass right now, the platform will focus on getting other users after the launch of the application.
While telling us about what he feels about the venture, Deepak concludes
“Karma Circles is my life coming together. I enjoy helping individuals and feel alive if I can be useful to somebody. This is something I’d also like to achieve through my platform.”
Tarush is driven towards delivering unbiased and accurate reportage while engaging with as many mediums as possible to narrate a fresh perspective. Working for the past few years in the digital space with YourStory, he has covered the Indian technology ecosystem extensively, focusing on new age Fintech companies, while building strong connects within the industry.