How queue management startup DINGG helps users block spot in supermarkets, salons, hospitals
Social distancing is the new normal.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, everybody has been conscious about maintaining distance, avoiding touching surfaces, and not indulging in social activities. While it has been a few months of taking precautions, even a visit to the grocery store can get frustrating and challenging.
Addressing these challenges for customers is Pune-based queue and book management platform, DINGG. Launched in September 2019, the startup provides a marketplace for customers to book appointments with doctors, salons, supermarkets, and other vendors on its platform.
(L-R) Akshay Poorey and Santosh Patidar, Founders of DINGG
Founded by Akshay Poorey and Santosh Patidar, it initially worked as a spa and salon management tool. However, since the pandemic, DINGG has been addressing the challenges associated with social-distancing by introducing online app-based appointments, queue management, and token-system options.
The startup also provides end-to-end solutions like billing, staff and inventory management, and CRM for salons. For doctors, it provides services such as maintaining a patient's medical history, and prescriptions. Additionally, it also provides queue management solutions for wine shops.
“The contactless token system helps maintain social distancing while shopping for grocery and other essential services. We have served more than thousand tokens on a daily basis for a few vendors,” Akshay says.
DINGG has been shortlisted under the CAWACH Initiative by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Meet the team
Akshay, 39, comes with over fifteen-years of work experience. He has served in leadership roles across software companies in India, the UK, and the US, working for companies including Zensar, IBM, Wipro, M&S, and the US Bank. As a Co-founder at DINGG, Akshay mostly works on the growth strategy. He looks after the product development and management, sales, marketing, support, and services.
Thirty-nine-year-old Santosh spent most of his time with analytics company Comscore, spearheading the engineering team. At DINGG, he takes care of the technology. The founders met each other while pursuing their Master’s in Indore, 17-years ago.
“We often observed that when people go out for essential services, they tend to spend more time in the queue than the time required for actual service, and we firmly believe that people should use this waiting time to engage in more constructive work,” says Akshay. This gave birth to the idea of DINGG, and the duo started working on the product together in October, 2018.
The name DINGG signifies notification. The founders have bootstrapped the startup and have so far invested more than Rs 30 lakh. Currently, the team has 18 employees -- including both full-time employees and interns.
How does it work?
DINGG offers a cloud-based solution for its vendors and clients. The founders explain that it is a ‘self-solution’ and requires minimum interference from the team for daily operations.
The startup offers three products:
- DINGG contactless token system: This can be used by any business to manage its crowd. Slots or appointments can be booked either by giving a missed call, sending an SMS, or using the DINGG customer app.
- Salon and Spa software solution: This provides a complete solution that includes POS, marketing, reporting, and/or queue management or token system, as per the vendor’s requirement.
- Clinic and hospital OPD Solution: It offers solutions like POS, e-prescription, patient history, among others, besides the usual token system or queue management tool.
Once a customer books an appointment with a listed client through the app or web, it directly ends-up in the client’s dashboard.
Like every venture, DINGG initially faced challenges in terms of perfecting the product and the team. “Pivoting at each step as per the market needs is the mantra to overcome the challenges,” Santosh says.
DINGG initially offered its services on a freemium basis. However, it now operates on a SaaS model, and the base version of the product is available for Rs 25,000 for an annual subscription. Going ahead, DINGG also plans on introducing premium listing options on its customer app.
“When you give something free, people will not value it. Similarly, when we were giving our solution free of cost, vendors were not using it regularly, but when we started charging, utilisation increased significantly,” Akshay tells YourStory.
So far, it claims to have served over 320 vendors, and the app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. DINGG also claims to have facilitated one lakh bookings so far.
“We were growing at 30 percent month-on-month. There was some slowdown during lockdown, but now we have resumed growth,” says Santosh.
Some of DINGG’s clients include salons like Jazzup Salon, Niks International Salon, Louis Unisex Salon & Spa, among others. It serves hospital clients including Tamia Government Hospital, Arogya Healthcare Multispeciality Hospital, CABELLO-PIEL Hair, Skin and Laser Clinic, and the Nice Skin Clinic. On the retail front, it has partnered with a couple of supermarkets.
Market perspective and road ahead
According to Insight Partners, the Queue Management System market was globally valued at $435 million in 2019, and it is expected to reach $618.9 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.9 percent.
“Queue management is still in its nascent stages. There are about one million salons and 1.2 million doctors in India, and that itself provides a huge opportunity,” Akshay says. DINGG competes with the likes of Q UP, Zenoti, Mio Salon, Practo, Queminder, and Oxyfind.
Going ahead, the startup wants to establish its services across the country, and is exploring options to raise funds.