Social networks and communication, as we used to know them, are breaking down every day. When friends and colleagues Vishal and Sudhir noticed this, they decided to establish TALLUK, a social network for the neighbourhood. It is a web-based platform that aims to improve social cohesion and connections in the neighbourhood.
"I saw there was an ever-increasing gap in the way society communicated, leading to a reduction in social cohesion within the neighbourhood, further leading to an increase in the crime rate in India. Several instances of heinous crimes like rape made us think of how a system can be built wherein the neighbourhood watches for you and becomes more responsive when it is needed," says Vishal.
After doing some research, they realised that the social capital in a region is directly related to the crime rate. They also saw noticed that online socialising was a major cause for reduced human interaction. However, more often than not, the people we communicated with in the virtual world would not be able to collaborate or help when actually needed.
People know others who live thousands of miles away and are lost in connecting with them. This has led to a wide gap among the people in the real physical world. Moreover, the people in virtual world can’t collaborate or help when it is actually needed.
This led the duo to wonder if they could make people have more real-world interactions in their own neighbourhood, thereby increasing the safety and security in modern society.
A real turning point came when one day, while the duo were working on their idea of TALLUK, they received phone calls from their homes that their kids were engrossed with their laptops and not going out to play. This inspired them to develop a software that would connect people in their neighbourhood so that even kids could have real friends to play with.
TALLUK redefines the 'Private Social Network' by going a step ahead and connecting not only people in the neighbourhood, but also small businesses and service providers in a given locality.
It acts as a one-stop platform for Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), Market Welfare Associations (MWAs), communities and other groups to share and interact with each other, thus increasing cohesion and networking amongst neighbours.
Vishal's colleagues Abhishek Chauhan and Runal Dahiwade, who also worked in the tech industry, were inspired to join them after listening to their idea.
"Today, we have a strong core team of four people, one highly skilled PR person, one extremely skilled financial professional and three strong sales professionals apart from a small software development team," says Vishal.
Despite being tech veterans, the team realised that developing the blueprint of the technology stack wasn't easy. Fortunately, the founder members had a strong technical background, and after a lot of internal brainstorming, they were able to build a proper product road map and understand the technology ecosystem needed where TALLUK could thrive.
Other challenges like presenting the product to the end customers and a digital marketing strategy were addressed successfully with the help of the advisory board.
TALLUK defines itself as a 100 per cent cloud-based utility web portal that aims to simplify the functioning of RWAs, MWAs, clubs and other such groups. It helps them cut operational costs, and makes their functioning more efficient.
Some of the modules offered by TALLUK are a communication system, online resident directory, society events, online elections, vendor management, news, and nearby suppliers of hyper-local services.
TALLUK can be accessed through mobile phones, and therefore can be used anywhere anytime. The product is supported by using the single source code feature, which means that there is only one version of the solution available, and there is no need to go through the process of patches and updates every time any changes are made in the system.
Vishal says they are strategically placed as the only online private social network, which also facilitates RWA management and hyper-local services.
The provide a platform for people to get connected with their neighbourhood and enable transactions for hyper-local services. They operate the following revenue generation models:
"Within a few months’ time, we had already enrolled 44 RWAs and 7 MWAs with 2,189 users; that number is growing each month," says Vishal.
The vision now is to get funded and grow exponentially. The team believes that after the required funding is in place, they can touch one million households in less than year.