Eventila : A Tech Based Platform To Solve Vendor Discovery Around Event Celebrations
Events and Weddings in India is a huge billion dollar industry. Weddings alone is said to be a $38 Billion market with a YoY growth of 25%-30%.
Eventila, founded by Deepti Prasad in 2015, is a comprehensive tech-based event management platform, primarily created to solve vendor discovery around event celebrations (Small team outings, any celebrations to big fat Indian weddings). It aims to simplify entire event management experience starting from planning an event to finding the right vendors and then executing in a hassle-free manner.
Team BWDisrupt Interacts With Deepti Prasad, Founder, Eventila And Spoke To Her
Coming from a business family background, I helped managing and growing my family business. Even after my post graduation, I chose to work with an early stage startup, which further exposed me to the nitty-gritty workings and challenges of the start-up world.
The 'when' actually happened when I started experimenting with the idea in the beginning of 2015. I had to organise a function of 50-60 people gathering and that’s when I found how exhaustive this process could be for someone who have little context. There is a plethora of help or articles available on internet. But, none of these actually helped me choose right set of vendors for my event. I had a fair sense of idea on what kind of product I wanted to build. Taking help from one of the friends, I started development of the prototype and working model of this project that is when the real journey began.
Eventila is a comprehensive tech-based event management platform, primarily created to solve vendor discovery around event celebrations (Small team outings, any celebrations to big fat Indian weddings).
We are operational in three broad verticals:
We offer private events that cover kid's first birthday, kid's parties, birthdays, anniversaries, kitty parties, farewell, get-togethers etc. We also offer wedding event and services, and corporate parties and functions starting from small team outings, team building activities, day picnics, corporate wellness programs, client meet-ups, press releases, award nights, MICE events etc.
A customer raises a vendor need or event request on our website, where we ask them their estimated budget and requirement. If customer knows the vendor then they get the availability and other details of the vendor on platform and confirm the booking.
For event requests: Based on customer location, requirement and budget we try and match the request to the best matching filtered vendors who can best serve the needs and requirements.
We directly connect 3-4 shortlisted vendors to the customer, who follow-up with customers to personalise their requirements and give a direct quote. We even ask our customers to bargain hard with them.
While our platform was under construction, we had simultaneously started meeting vendors and on-boarding them to our platform from Gurgaon. Owing to mushrooming start-ups day in and day out, getting the famous vendors to agree to join the platform was difficult. Another major challenge that this online event business faces is the perception and attitude of customers. They are still little hesitant to trust their events services to online portal. With time constraint and growing e-commerce trend, this attitude will gradually evolve for the better.
Our competitors are distributed across segments. If we take weddings, then Wedmegood, Weddingz, Weddingplz are few names which are directly in competition. Talking about smaller private functions - Zoviti, Bookeventz etc are there. Urbanclap, and other service providers also feature certain categories of vendors on their platform such as photographers, birthday planners, mehndi artists etc. If we talk about corporate events, then there are smaller event based companies operating across many cities in India. Globally, Cvent is one of the biggest names that we are setting our eyes to.
Point of Differentiation
Unlike marketplace models where vendors are listed and customers are left on their own to choose the ones they want, we have procured set of vendors across budget ranges in various locations of the city. We provide customers a list of maximum 3-4 vendors for every category requirement. At the same time, we forward customer details to the vendor. Vendors are supposed to interact with the customers and customize their services after understanding the requirements in detail. We act as a facilitator to improve the experience of both the customers and the vendors. On the day of event, we also participate and keep a tab on the arrangements. This helps us build a long term relation with the customers. Our business model entirely depends on the repeat purchase of services from the customers. So, we take extra care in serving the needs of customers, so that they get the best experience possible for their event.
At the end of event we charge vendor a pre-determined commission, usually in the range of 5-15%. Gradually, we will convert the free featured listing on our platform to paid listing for featured partners.
Our clients are anyone who has event or party happening in their family/professional and social circle. As stated before, we are primarily operating in private party’s space (birthdays, kitty, family outings etc), weddings and corporate related events. So anyone with any kind of party needs is our client.
Currently, we are active in Gurgaon region. And, gradually we are getting visible among the customers and vendors alike. At best days we get a footfall of 100-150 visits on our portal. Social media is one of the primary sources of customer engagement for us. Last month, we generated 30-40 leads only focused on birthday parties. We are yet to do marketing for other events such as wedding and corporate services, which we will do shortly. Digital marketing is something we are yet to start. So, page ranking will pick up once we go full throttle with it.
Funding Status and Monetization
We are boot-strapped currently and completely focussed on generating good bottom-line in the business. We don't want to be a player, which spends unreasonably to acquire customers. Solid revenue based business is what we are after at. We earn commission on every booking we do on our platform. Our investments are committed for next one year till the time we aim to start generating good cash flows to sustain the business on its own. In parallel, we are in plans to look for investors with whom our synergy match.
App centric marketing: We are relying heavily on our app launch to boost our marketing. We have kept a low profile till we launch our android app, which has many new customer experience features not available on website. We are working on several app centric marketing growth hacks that will go on floor once we launch it.
We have already started working on focused content around the parties we do. Results are slowly becoming visible. Paid marketing (SEM) is something we are avoiding currently, as this will drain us of important cash that we want to spend in operations and offline sales now.
Social Media Marketing:
Our posts are usually generating good views (2-3k on average) and helping us gain visibility across vendors and consumers alike. We will continue making this as our prime source of marketing in the coming days, till SEO really kicks in.
Various channels, primary are - Distribution of Service focused Pamphlets in societies in Gurgaon, Standees at key restaurants, joints, t-shirts to vendors, Stickers in restaurants, campus outreach programs etc are few of the ways we are continuously working on.
Vendor cross promotions:
Our featured vendors are not only the service providers for us, but we are also leveraging them to spread the words about us. This is helping us get visibility as well as incremental business from these sources.
Market Size and Opportunity
Events and Weddings in India is a huge billion dollar industry. Weddings alone is said to be a $38 Billion market with a YoY growth of 25%-30%. Overall event industry in India is estimated to reach Rs. 5700 Crore by 2016-17, mainly led by personal events (weddings mainly) and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) events. Rising disposable income and aspirations level has catapulted the big ticket spending on weddings and private functions in India. Likewise, corporate too are allocating a big portion of their budgets to spend on their Events to create a brand image among competitors.
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