I am constantly surprised to what limits the young and dynamic human minds are pushing their limits regardless of the fact of their age, surrounding, and no matter how tough the conditions be. The startup I was about to interview was a piece of work done, not by a person who had tremendous experience of working with big firms like Google or Microsoft, neither he had a support from a multi-millionaire investor or is he very famous.
This startup comes right from the corridors of hostel of IIT Delhi, whose plan was not discussed in an air-conditioned meeting room, the startup that was developed while sitting on grass of the college campus, the startup that has been downloaded by over 1000+ users in just a couple of days from Aughust 2015, the day it was launched. It was just a great opportunity to interview such a young mastermind with high standards set for him. It was quite pleasant to share views and sat down for interview with one of the founders- Ashish Santhalia.
The startup comes under the name Notice-A Community Notice Board, co-founded by Ashish Santhalia, Vibhanshu Singh and Durgesh Chaudhary. So, let’s dig into their work and get answers to our obvious questions.
What is your product all about?
Simply stating, Notice is an online notice board which uses GPS and mobile technology to share and see any type of local information in a particular radius which the user can define (be it 1 km or 5 kms or more). We have come up with an idea which can potentially replace all the existing notice boards in the world and connect the societies much more deeply than they already are.
Existing social networks connects us with people around the world. We stay informed about the news of events in the far end of the world. But verily, we rarely notice that we are quite blind about our immediate locality. The only way to stay informed of our localities are public notice boards, advertising posters on walls, graffiti and banners. These ways are too crude compared to our capabilities in a technologically advanced world.
What is the USP behind your application and the main concept?
The main USP is the discovery of any kind information be it, relating to community info, finding a tutor, offers or discounts in your nearby complexes or malls or anything that a particular user has shared over the Notice app.
The features allow a particular user to choose its locality and get expose to the notices within whatever radius the user has chosen.
All the networks have been user-centric till date. That has left many problems unsolved such as problems which are location specific and not user specific. So there is a need to shift solution from user specific networks to location specific networks. This is Notice’s approach to solving problems.
How would you like to define your journey from initial days? And what are the speed-breakers you passed through?
We have been working on the idea of being an Entrepreneur rose nearly from the end of our first year of our college. Since then we discovered more and more about entrepreneurship and this idea of Notice app was evolved after going through many ideas. Notice is the first app that we launched publically and are looking forward to it. It’s our first application going worldwide.
What was the motivational factor behind this app?
There were a series of incidents that happened that led to the final idea. Vibhanshu encountered the gap in communication in our college when he didn’t find professors in their offices. I saw it in a society in Ghaziabad when my Uncle’s neighbor was unable to discover math’s tutor for his kid who was living in the same building. We then figured out that there is a communication gap between us and our immediate community. This led us to make notice.
What is the domain of your services? And what are your plans of increasing it?
The Notice app has no boundaries. For instance, if one needs a mechanic, he could post about it in the app or does he need a tutor, he could find one within the radius that he wants. The more the people use the app, the more its reach will extend.
The app is available freely over the Google Play store and anyone can download it. Currently we are hiring active college ambassadors to set up the communities around their college.
What is your team insight and how do you operate?
The team comprises of three co-founders. Their names and roles are:
- Ashish Santhalia- Ashish comes from a small town in Bihar. He developed his interest in entrepreneurship during the initial days of the college. At notice, he handles product management and business development.
- Vibhanshu Singh- Vibhanshu has lived in many places including Sikkim and Kashmir. He is a critical thinker and a creative person. He has always this instinct of making things cooler. At notice, he handles operations.
- Durgesh Choudhary- Durgesh comes from a small village near Jodhpur. Being simple is his key to success. You will either find him hearing songs or writing code. At notice, he handles technology.
The team is only 3 members and they are actively looking for good people to join them.We are currently operating from our hostel rooms and have no live working space, since we all are currently studying in the same college and have financial constraints too!
What are the challenges you have faced so far and how do you plan to deal with your rivals?
- Creating a team- You always need a strong team with the right proportion of everything to have a good start. This was one of the biggest challenges. They are a perfect team now.
- Time management- It’s hard to manage time between academics and startup. It’s like living two lives at one time. In the end, this is worth everything.
- Creating a focused community- Now that the app has been launched, the biggest challenge is to create a community on the app which relies on the app for getting information about their locality and constantly share information.
Further, it’s a new idea with no direct competitors so far. There are other startups which help people to network with people around them. But, we want to provide people a handy yet powerful tool to help them discover information around them.
What are your current goals set and future strategies?
Our goal is to have a healthy, successful company that is a leader in locality-based information services and that has a loyal customer following. Our goal is to provide you with 100% correct information about the locality you are in and become the most reliable source of information that people can trust anytime.
We are focusing primarily on high-quality content, short locality based information, freedom to post and see notices, community connection and credibility.
Our strategies include co-creation, tie-ups with other companies, building links through reciprocal links and continually adding new content and features.
So I’d like to conclude with we are putting in everything to solve the problem and fill up the communication gap in the society. We want to become the first choice for getting any community-related information across the globe. Our vision is to empower people with a technology that can make their communities their bigger homes.
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