Hyperlocal is the new buzz in the industry. Be it hyperlocal shopping or hyperlocal home solutions or hyperlocal navigation, the term is finding application everywhere.
As per the Wikipedia, Hyperlocal can be defined as: “services offered pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community”. In other words, hyperlocal connotes information oriented around a well-defined community with its primary focus directed toward the concerns of the population in that community. Read more about it here.
To get more insights into the ‘Hyperlocal Navigation’- challenges confronted and growth opportunities, Techstory interacted with Abhishek Sharma, co-founder of HereNow- A hyperlocal app to connect with everyone nearby.
Abhishek is an IIM-Lucknow alumnus and experienced at Management Consulting, Technology, Investment Banking and Strategy Consulting.
Abhishek has an entrepreneurial spirit and proven results. Here are the excerpts of interaction with Abhishek. Well! I and you have a lot to learn from him.
1.Tell us about HereNow
HereNow is a location-based communication platform. It connects you to people right near you, without needing to know them personally. When logged in, you can access all the important & exciting stuff around you.
It is a mobile-first product using the power of GPS on smartphones. Here is the video for more:
2.What was your vision and mission behind the firm?
We are always surrounded by so many people. Just because we are near them, we can be having similar issues, requirements or experiences. But we can’t connect with them because we don’t know them. Existing networks help us connect with people we know, wherever they are. There is no way to connect with people who are right nearby. HereNow aims to bridge this gap to enable us to help out and get help from these people around us (without needing to know anyone personally at all).
3.Describe the product feature & how it came to be?
Key features of the product:
- Hyper-local Content: You can see all the important content shared by people around you – including offers, events, traffic updates, local discussions etc
- Q&A: You can also see questions / queries from people near you about local know-how:
- Searching for good restaurant, doctor, salon nearby
- Looking for maid / cook
- Selling books / spare items to people nearby
- Spaces: These are location-based groups which enable the local community to interact with each other over a common topic of interest. We have already seen ~400 groups being formed in different part of Bangalore on topics ranging from Food to Startups to Photography
- Teleport: This is the most exciting feature of the app. Teleport lets you see what’s happening at any location in the world, not just your current location.
4.Take us through the skills of your top team members. What are their responsibilities?
- Abhishek Sharma
- Technology – Deloitte | Investment Banking – o3 Capital | Strategy Consulting – Accenture
- IIT Delhi | IIM-Lucknow
- Abhishek looks at user-acquisition, growth
- Niraj Rajmohan
- Product Manager – NetApp | Senior Engineer – Yahoo
- BMSCE |AIM Manila
- Niraj looks at back-end algorithms, web technologies
- Varun Torka
- Product Manager – NetApp
- IIT Delhi | IIM-Calcutta
- Varun looks at front-end, android
5.Why and how do you think the company can beat the competition, Keeping in mind there are many players in the industry working along the same line?
It is a complex problem we are solving with a strong focus on product design as well as robust back-end algorithms.
There are other alternate platforms like Facebook groups, which are trying to solve this particular hyperlocal communication problem, but in an inefficient manner.
6.Throw some light on key company milestones for the next 6-12 months that need to be achieved?
We are looking at continuously evolving the product based on user feedback, while also being present in multiple larger cities.
7.What keeps you up at night?
At HereNow, user experience is paramount. It’s not paranoia really but obsession we would say. We consistently keep our ears to the ground to hear what they are saying, which then acts as a guiding principle for the product and the company.
8.Summarise the problem that you are facing or trying to solve.
We take our broader mandate is: Connecting people who are near you by exploiting what we can call as Power of Proximity!
9.What’s the hardest decision made so far?
Frequently enough we have been making decisions on what product features NOT to include. It is easier to fall into the trap of trying to do everything. We want to do this one thing, really well!
Decisions are mostly driven on user feedback or recommendation. Building Teleport feature was one such decision we made when we heard our users really wanted to also “hear” to locations other than their current ones.
10.What’s the areas you’re working on right now?
We are right now trying to focus on empowering the community more by giving them more control on what kind of content they see on the app, wherever they are.
Visit HereNow to see more of the great work Abhishek and his co-founders are doing.
Click here to download the HereNow app.