[Startup Bharat] From birth certificate to passport, Chandigarh-based eSahayak.io is simplifying paperwork
The Coronavirus pandemic has made everything go virtual – from consulting doctors to education and ordering groceries. However, government-related paperwork is still scattered and not completely digitised.
Chandigarh-based eSahayak is enabling users to generate or process all their government and legal documents right from their phone by just filling out a simple form.
Launched in March this year by Gourav Manchanda and Charanjit Singh, eSahayak.io provides all government and legal documentation services to people in one place - starting from birth registration to death registration and all other registrations like marriage certificate, caste certificate, consultation with a lawyer or CA, property registration, company formation, etc.
“India has a population of 1.4 billion and you need a government document from the moment you are born to taking admission in school, to rent a house, to own a property, to set up a company, to file for divorce, and the list goes on. And we want to create a platform for all kinds of legal paperwork,” says 25-year-old Gourav Manchanda, CEO and Co-founder of eSahayak.
He says that usually, the problem with government websites is that it does not work well on the mobile. Moreover, there is no prior information about the documents required, and at times the process is complicated. eSahayak simplifies that and breaks it into a simple form for the users and aims to bring all states in India online.
“We are trying to enable everyone with a smartphone to be able to flawlessly get any government and legal documentation service for their personal and business needs without any hassle,” adds Gourav.
He says the startup has collaborated with CA, CS firms, and lawyers to make documentation processing easier for its users. It is also partnering with offline agents who can later help eSahayak's users to complete the paperwork process offline as well.
The platform currently has 100 documentation services, and Gourav says that the team of 17 is adding five new services every week.
“We want to disrupt the documentation space with technology,” says Gourav.
It all started when Gourav and Charanjit were pursuing their engineering from UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh. They were running a coding club in their college and used to build software for fun and conducting workshops to teach their peers. In 2018, their college hosted Smart India Hackathon, where Gourav and his junior Charanjit gained attention from teachers and professionals.
After this, Gourav got a request from a coaching center to build an app. “I liked the opportunity and collaborated with the coaching center,” says Gourav. This was his first stint at entrepreneurship.
“After this project, I felt I should do something on my own,” says Gourav. He decided to start his own company when he was in the final year of college and started Untether Tech to build software. Charanjit joined him a year later, after his graduation.
The duo started getting more projects from word of mouth and Gourav recalls that it was getting tough to run a company. “We were providing various IT services, but I did not have a feel-good factor, plus, we had to hire more team for more work.”
So, we decided to look at product development in 2019, because there was a larger market for tech-based products.
“Coincidentally, when we were deliberating all this, we met GPS Waraich, who wanted a tech service for his real estate business. We asked if we could collaborate and build a real estate product for his company,” shares Gourav. GPS Waraich later became eSahayak’s investor as well.
In May 2019, the duo launched Rethink UX, and started developing productivity tools for real estate companies. “In six months, we realised it would take us many years to build the suite of products with our team of two people and zero external funding,” says Gourav.
This time, Gourav and Charanjeet went back to the drawing board and started brainstorming on what would be the viable venture.
“We decided to focus on one of the tools – documentation – which can be sold as a product,” he says. They started building a platform in January 2020, and eSahayak was launched in March 2021.
According to the co-founders, the platform is powered with its in-house technology called Crove.app, a documentation engine, which enables it to create templates using logical conditions and variables to make paperwork for eSahayak’s customers hassle-free.
Funding and revenue
Gourav and Charanjit raised their initial working capital of Rs 12 lakh from GPS Waraich and had free office space in the incubation center of Panjab University, Chandigarh. This helped the duo to build technology, hire a team, and get started with the platform.
As the portal has just been launched, Gourav did not share the revenue details, but says that its revenue model is based on subscription as well as pay per document. The services start from Rs 200 and goes up to Rs 10,000. So far, the startup has processed 2,500 documents.
Market and competition
Many offline agents or specific random portals like birthcertificate.com and onlinemarriageregistration.com work in a similar space. These portals handle all the processes manually, without giving any real-time status update to their users.
However, according to the founders, eSahayak provides documentation services where the paperwork is handled by its in-house technology platform, Crove.app.
“Our in-house product automates repetitive documents and gives updates to the users via automated emails,” says Gourav. He adds that eSahayak helps people with step-by-step processes.
Going forward, the startup wants to tap the offline agents’ market as well. It is in talks with onboard documentation agencies across India and plans to onboard around 15,000 to 20,000 agents to assist people with offline paperwork.
“We are aiming to make all the government and legal paperwork in India digital in the next six months,” says Gourav.
He adds that all states in the country are not yet fully digitised and that the startup aims to become a one-stop platform in India by bringing all kinds of paperwork from all states under one platform.