Ritwik has a unique personality of finding inspirations in the most ordinary of things. He has an expertise in not only keeping his own moral high but also motivating others for not settling for anything ordinary. He is a keen learner and his dictionary does not have the word ordinary. All these traits have led to a successful startup that has made a name or itself. It is an online event-planning marketplace, which offers vendor search and makes it easy for anyone to plan any form of function. Ritwik has an MBA in marketing management and an expertise in strategic planning, customer service and business development.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Our startup is first ever platform catering to the needs and requirements of people looking to organize any function. We enlist vendors across different categories and provide their information in a comprehensive manner. To elaborate on that I will take an example: if you are looking for a photographer and you like a photographer say xyz studio and you have an engagement party with 300 people as guests. So now on the vendor detail page of your shortlisted photographer you will see rack rates for 100 guests, 300 guest and 500 guests along with the package inclusions. This eases out your search as it shows you rack rates for your respective gathering and what you will get as deliverables. In addition, you can consider the add-ons from the faqs section and u have your approx. cost ready with you .If it suits you then now for further negotiations you can directly call the vendor and close the deal. Also, we have features like a get a quote section where if someone is in hurry, he/she can send their query to 5 to 6 vendors & ask for quotes & check availability of vendors at a single click. Also we have an option to create your own personalized website with just drag and drop options, feature like Photos section in which users can browse photos per category .Another amazing feature True stories where people can see which vendor was behind the curtains basically letting people know how others nailed everything in their function to perfection, making us the only platform doing all this .hence establishing Monopoly. We are also going to launch our shopping street section very soon
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
My own wedding. When I was organizing my wedding and I saw a lot of wedding portals all set to lure me to come and hire vendors. I browsed the web, spoke to friends and folks, but nowhere could i get an option to find a verified list of vendors and it was just not the vendors but there were some major challenges that I faced which i firmly believe that people around would also be facing. There was no verified Vendor Database available in a comprehensive manner so that one can educate themselves and choose the best one according to their budget, no option of creating e -invite website for your family & loved ones & no website where simply one can go and get suggestion for vendors that match their budget and fetch best deals without getting down with the tedious negotiation process. In addition, everything was scattered, some websites who let me create a website did not have a verified vendor list and some, which had, did not have the other option.
What is your life mantra?
Do not wish for it, Work for it.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Like any other startup, we faced challenges while and before building our product. Our biggest challenge was to find the right people for the job – be it technology or sales. Also, we had to deal with the skepticism vendors had as websites are coming up every other day with false claims and promises. When it came to Functionmania.com, to explain all the features and to make the vendors believe in our product, it was a tad difficult. However, we did not have even a single negative response, which was very heartening for us. The reason behind this would be our concept and product. Vendors are too busy but when they take out time and listen to our concept and us, they definitely sign up with us. They also trust our product so i thank all our vendors for that.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Our product did it for us. When we started generating business for our vendors, it started spreading like virus. In addition, we were very particular when it came to hiring right kind of sales force and technology team. As it is our brand going out in the market with them and we wanted to maintain what once one of our vendor said ‘’ the best thing I like about your company is that it feels that I am talking to someone educated & who knows the industry and their problems well. Therefore, I wanted everybody in my team to be very sophisticated, very cordial and energetic. I told everybody who I hired that only join the company if you believe in the product and its value and everybody who I selected believes that with conviction.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have received an investment (amount confidential) from the first investor we got in touch with which made us as team stronger as we got a validation of our product at this early stage.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
For this I would like to quote ‘’Train People well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so that they don’t want to’’ by Sir Richard Branson
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
According to me I would say if somebody wants to succeed should be having a never give up attitude, should be ambitious and street smart.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest and would recommend everybody who has a business related to consumer internet to be socially active on all of them because each one of them has brought our company value. A key point to note is to study about these various platforms and marketing techniques that benefit so that if executed in the right manner could add value to your company.
Share any one habit, which you think, makes you more productive.
It is not a habit. It is just the love and the passion for my product and company that makes me go that extra mile every day, every second.
Share any one habit, which you wish to change in yourself.
I am crazy about perfection and that sometimes brings delays in some decisions but in the end results cover up for it.
Answer in less than 50 words
Everything is sustainable if you stick to it.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Hiring wrong people
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
People will hate you, rate you, shake you & break you but how strong you stand is what makes you
What are your plans for next 3 years?
First, we want to be the market leaders when it comes to being compared by our indirect competitors. Therefore, our target would be to expand to pan in India by next year. Secondly, we will be coming up exhibition with our enlisted vendors in the cities we are present in and our own magazine going out every quarter.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would probably start my Company function mania this time even before starting my construction business.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
USA, Dubai & Thailand
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Give yourself no choice but to succeed. Let the consequences of failure become so dire and so unthinkable that you will have no choice but to do whatever it takes to succeed.”