Those clichéd images of Mumbai’s raging night life enticed many a young lamb to leave their home behind and build a life in the city that never sleeps. But anyone who followed that bait here knows the struggle. They end up spending every Saturday night since they moved in in their PJs binge watching the House Party series, instead of being in one themselves. Rather than going by the ‘more the merrier’ principle, night life in cities like Mumbai has an impenetrable, snobbish air about it.
For starters, you must know, or know of a promoter of a party, who may either be extremely elusive, or the kind that spams you with invites to every party in the city.
And that’s not it. Even once you are on that all-important list, many people have complained of being kept out because the club is packed beyond capacity. The struggle is real. Heck, we locals sometimes decide against hitting up our favorite watering holes, because the very thought of undergoing all these steps is a buzz-kill.
Akaar Mathur Ali, a socialite who also happens to be singer Lucky Ali’s brother, partnered up with Mayank Peshwani, second-time entrepreneur who has previously founded a small startup called Slick Wraps, to identify the gap in the Indian market where socialising was not as easy and accessible as it should be.“In many cities across India, a majority of people face an issue of establishing direct contact with their favorite nightclubs, raising a problem of entries into the club. They either need to search for and find out a promoter for that club or take a favour from a friend or associate. I believe this process can be very time consuming and frustrating, leading to a rather flustered customer. Furthermore, even though bars are the more accessible and convenient option these days, there is a gap of awareness. Customers struggle to locate the good ones in their city,” says Akaar.
The duo developed a free app-based nightlife platform ‘TheSocial’, with an ever-increasing list of the best scenes in town, where you can put yourself on any club’s guest list you like, with just a click.
“TheSocial is easily accessible and its user-friendly UI helps bridge the gap between customers and their preferred night-out venues. From being on the guest-list or booking a table at your favorite club to locating the most happening bars around you, it’s all a tap away,” adds Akaar, CEO and Co-founder.
Since the idea of eliminating the middleman was unheard of, convincing bars and clubs of the
benefits was a challenge. “There was no other significant platform like ours that had surfaced in India at that time. It was quite challenging convincing our clients the numerous advantages that TheSocial could provide to them as well as the customers,” says Mayank, CTO and co-founder.
The duo overcame this initial setback by producing a prototype application that helped them showcase its unique features and assure their clients of its usability. This helped generate user feedback as well.
After a three-month-long wait that consisted rigorous R&D, testing different technology stacks, the design of the wireframe was ready to take on Android and iOS with a native mobile application in January and February 2015 respectively.
Since they hit the road, the company has sealed deals with over 130 associates, crossed 4,000 downloads and received over 700 reservations in Mumbai.
Even as other platforms have surfaced that aim at replacing the promoter, TheSocial prides itself in personal touch. Once you make a booking on the app, an executive from their team will get in touch with you within 45 minutes to confirm your booking and take your personal requests into account. For example, the app does not have the provision to book stags, but the follow-up phone call will sort you out, depending on the policy of the club you choose.