Bootstrapped and already profitable, Wishup aims to expand to Europe and the US soon.
At a glance:
Location: New Delhi
Problem it solves: Task management
Funding: Rs.1.5 crore
Urban professionals are probably the busiest people in the world. Managing multiple tasks together takes up a lot of their time – something that inevitably affects their efficiency. Moreover, it’s not easy and affordable to get a reliable assistant. But on the other hand, there is a high availability of generalist job seekers. Why not put the two together for mutual benefit?
Two friends from IIT Madras – Neelesh Rangwani, 27, from Bhopal, and Vivek Gupta, 28, from Jaipur – figured that it makes sense to connect business owners with available smart assistants who could help them online without becoming a liability.
Having worked as a management consultant at BCG, Vivek, an alumnus of IIM-A, was experienced in operations, setting up processes, team-building across retail and procurement. Together, they brainstormed and came up with Wishup in 2015. After a couple of pivots, they launched in the current form in April 2017. The startup was launched in New Delhi and bootstrapped with their personal savings of Rs 10 lakh.
Wishup is named so because it aims to fulfill wishes in the form of completing professional tasks of entrepreneurs. Wishup hires, trains, and manages talented and experienced assistants to help you with repetitive and time-consuming tasks, for a fee of Rs 10,999 per month. It is targeting entrepreneurs aged 25-45 who earn more than Rs 1.5 lakh, with no location filter.
Modern business owners, Founders, CXOs work for 10-12 hours a day, handling multiple business functions on their own. Entrepreneurs want to focus on the core while someone smart takes care of their essential but repetitive time-consuming tasks such as managing leads, project management, online research, building email database, managing schedules, setting up meeting, and not to mention managing their inbox.
According to Neelesh, entrepreneurs prefer to outsource such tasks instead of hiring new employees. “Even when it comes to managing LinkedIn and social media updates, or tracking expenses and setting up meeting and reminders, an assistant will be a blessing. Also, they can save on the cost as these employees are shared between multiple clients,” he says.
On the supply side, they found that there are many smart professionals available who can do online and computer-based tasks. “Internet connectivity helps them work remotely for an employer without visiting his office. Remote job enables workers to simultaneously work for multiple employers saving cost for each employer,” Neelesh says.
Once they figured out the kind of tasks the business owners could need help with, through research and continuous iteration, Neelesh and Vivek drew out the master plan for the business. They charge a periodic subscription amount from clients – monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.
The subscription amount depends on the number of assistant hours consumed by the client. The clients can customise the hours they want to use the service for. The assistants are paid a monthly salary for their services.
To identify the right set of tasks for each entrepreneur, Wishup has a dedicated onboarding call with them to understand their needs. Clients communicate over chat-based mobile apps and web app with their virtual assistants (VAs). Both VAs and clients’ apps have task manager, task rating, and feedback system.
Neelesh says that getting good tech talent is hard in Delhi, compared to Bengaluru. But today they are a team of 15 who manage marketing and sales, operations, recruitment, technology, and design. They built their technology (UI/UX and app development) with the help of college interns.
For customer acquisition, social media is extremely important for them. “Most of the modern entrepreneurs spend significant amount of time on social media platforms such as Twitter Instagram; hence, it is important to be present there,” he says.
Wishup has the advantage of having zero competitors in India, Neelesh claims. “We are the only Indian company providing this service to small businesses. Although US-based Zirtual and TimeEtc are in the same space, we charge only one-third the price for the same quality.”
The team is mentored by Sumeet Kapur, (ex-CFO Nearbuy), Vinay Bansal (Founder at CXOGenie and ex-CFO at Wildcraft), and Mato Peric (Ex-Rocket Internet Asia MD).
Currently profitable, Wishup plans to target Europe and US-based entrepreneurs soon. “We have been successful in getting a large set of repeat clients with repeat revenue leading us to build a profitable business model in 12 months. We are also exploring B2B opportunities where we can provide our service to all the top management of businesses,” Neelesh says, adding that they have grown more than 500 percent since inception.
Wishup looks up to Uber in sharing economy and believes that sharing of employees (especially remote employees) will be big in near future. It aims to reach ARR of $1.5 million-$2 million through 500-2,000 clients with an annual revenue of $3 million in FY2019. To this end, the startup will be raising funds soon.