How the Pataa App found the trust of 2.5 million+ Indians to personalise and share their addresses
Isn’t it time for busy bodies like you, to do away with the hassle of explaining your address ‘n’ number of times during the day? It’s certainly not worth the wait when that most awaited delivery or special someone turns up late at your doorstep just because you live at a complex address. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces most of us to stay indoors, online orders are among the few luxuries that we can still look forward to. However, for many of us that excitement is accompanied by the frustration of directing delivery executives to our location.
Despite being assisted with GPS trackers, delivery executives often have to call clients for more specific directions. Over a flurry of calls, you explain every turn and landmark that might help them reach your location. And, when plain directions don’t work, you don’t have any option but to walk up to a mutually agreed location nearby and receive the package. While tech-driven navigation tools might have come a long way over the years, their effectiveness is still limited by unstructured and unnamed addresses.
Rajat Jain & Mohit Jain
Indore-based entrepreneurs Rajat Jain and Mohit Jain experienced similar troubles every time they had to locate addresses or share their location with their clients. Turns out they weren’t the only ones facing the problem. According to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 80 percent addresses in India are written with respect to a landmark that are situated anywhere between 50 and 1,500 meters of the actual location, thereby making geolocating very challenging.
Sensing the need for a global solution for a day-to-day problem, the brothers roped in a team of engineers and mentors to build the Pataa app and offer users a seamless tool to share addresses and lead others to your location.
The app assigns every digital address a unique shortcode which makes it easy for users to share their location. The process to generate the shortcode is simple. One needs to drop a pin on 3*3 square metres of the entrance of their home or office and type their detailed address just once. The app converts the address into a unique shortcode that can be shared as a digital address.
Launched in 2021, the app runs on AWS architecture and is available for Android and iOS smartphones. It’s available in both Hindi and English and sports a user-friendly interface so that it can be used by anyone, be it a homemaker or an investment banker!
Manoeuvring through a startup journey
Talking about how the app takes care of data security and privacy concerns, Pataa. CTO, Gaurav Kasliwal says, “The Pataa app asks for a user’s phone number initially, but it is not visible to anyone else. The users’ information is secure and meets all data security compliances.”
The founders of the bootstrapped startup say that the app could boost the efficiency of courier and postal services and drive impact in sectors like e-commerce, warehousing, retail and manufacturing.
The app enables you to record voice notes for directions, add photos and tag locations. These features could help delivery executives save both time and fuel, while giving logistics and e-commerce companies a competitive edge. “It could even help those living in rural areas who are unable to receive deliveries without a registered address. With the Pataa app, they can procure loans, buy and sell land or equipment and conduct other business activities,” says Rajat.
Another vertical where the startup is making strides is the business to government (B2G) sector. “We aim to integrate Pataa with government departments and services. The Pataa Block Code system divides the world into 53 trillion blocks with an accuracy of 3*3 square meters. With this level of accuracy, users could call for emergency services like ambulances, police or the fire department without wasting time and save lives,” explains Mohit.
Revving up on the right track
But how easy was it to launch a product during a pandemic which hasn't been very kind to businesses? It was challenging, but worth the effort, quips Pataa, COO, Kratika Jain. “The testing, trial and launch of the app was majorly done during the lockdown period in March 2021. Our marketing team got in touch with end-users for feedback, which helped us add tailor-made features and simplify the user experience. The development team incorporated the suggestions made into the app. And, voila! we were ready to hit the market," says Kratika.
In fact, the team managed to find a silver lining in the dark clouds and turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity. “We introduced the ‘Co-Win’ feature, which could inform users about all COVID-19 vaccination centres in Madhya Pradesh, across cities like Indore, Jabalpur, Bhopal and Gwalior. When the user clicks on the ‘Co-Win’ button and enters a city’s name, he/she gets details like the name, location, the nearest landmark, route and a photograph of the vaccination centre,” says Rajat Jain.
The feature helped people in these cities locate nearby vaccination centres and avoid missing their assigned time slot.
However, the biggest challenge before the team was to keep the features simple yet useful, so that everyone could take advantage of the app. “Be it the language or the technical aspects, we invested a great deal of time and effort in perfecting the features,” explains Kratika Jain.
The app went on to receive a tremendous response from users, despite the pandemic and had more than 25,00,000 downloads within just two months of its launch. Pataa's ad films have also won the internet's heart, with all the ad films bagging over 12 crore+ views since their release in May 2021. Rajat and Mohit say that the figures are heartening and motivating for the team. “Pataa was able to strike a connect with users as it made doorstep deliveries safer and easier for everyone.”
“It was a boon for people during the lockdown as they didn't have to step out of their homes to collect packages. They could direct delivery executives through voice recordings and photos instead. The app's unique features offered respite from the frustration and repeated explanations about addresses and directions. All in all, Pataa has done well for itself in these testing times,” says Rajat Jain.
The brothers who'd learnt the ropes of entrepreneurship by running a family business say that Pataa has a long way to go. Over the next five years, they want Pataa to be on every Indian's smartphone.
“We plan to explore global markets as we believe in strong connections and want to extend this solution to be available to every global citizen,” says Mohit Jain.