So you are looking forward to book a hall in an unknown city for you have to host some family function there. Of course, you do not know much about that city, leave at all about the halls it has got to offer you. So you try to reach out to some personal contacts of your to get some suggestion. She/he gives some references and yet you reach out to more contacts because you do not want to make a bad decision. You receive more references…Next? You are left with so many options to make a choice from but with no substantial information about any.
You agree with the above situation? If so, you will also agree that the biggest challenge or frustration in planning an event is finding ‘the perfect venue’ because without a right venue, all other efforts go in vain. That’s where Venuepick comes in picture- a venue discovery platform.
Venuepick connects people who are looking to do an event such as a wedding, birthday or a corporate event with banquet halls and restaurants. Venuepick helps you with your birthday party, wedding or any other event by closely understanding your requirements, matching that with its database and then connecting you to the right venues for FREE so that you can make informed decisions conveniently.
Through its numerous venue listings, it wants to give its client with access to unique market venues that previously would take tons of time or were impossible to find. With Venuepick, your perfect venue is just a click away to create that unique and memorable experience.
Key personalities at Venuepick
- Sandeep Kaistha -FOUNDER AND CEO
Sandeep has an MBA from University of Rochester, New York, an MS from Widener University, Pennsylvania and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from MIT Aurangabad. Sandeep, as Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for Venuepick’s day-to-day-operations, as well as guiding the company’s vision. Prior to working at Venuepick, Sandeep worked as a Project Manager at Barclays Capital in New York, where he was responsible for various IT and Risk projects.
Advisors in the legal and consulting space
Gunjan is Managing Partner with ZeusIP advocates, a mid-size law firm specializing in intellectual property laws in India and abroad. Gunjan advises Venuepick team on legal and administrative complexities that go along with a new business.
Hanish has an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode and a B.E in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology (BITS), Mesra. As an engagement manager at McKinsey and Co, Hanish has years of consulting experience and advises Venuepick team on business and product strategy.
Ideology behind Venuepick
“We want to bring a change in the way people book banquet halls and restaurant for big gatherings. Your experience should be predictable and when you spend the money, you deserve to get a good experience. We want to be that platform where people can share their experiences, good or bad, and others can benefit from it” says Sandeep.
Banqueting industry in the country is highly fragmented. There are plenty of individually or family owned halls with no streamlined processes to give users a consistent experience. Most of us use a banquet hall more than once still in this day and age; yet we don’t have a platform which one can rely on to be sure to have a good experience. Sandeep adds that he has heard horrible stories from some of the people who had have very bad experiences but did not have a place to voice it. Venuepick is here to change all that.
Today’s day and age is all about
- Time utilization
- Ease of use
- Good experience and
- Great customer service
Sandeep aims to provide a convenient solution to its client’s everyday problem. Today, we order online from flipkart, zovi and use zomato for restaurant discovery and food delivery, tripadvisor to plan our vacation, bookmyshow to buy movie tickets, so why should we not have something convenient to discover and book banquet halls as well, which we all need at some or the other point. The idea is to advance Venuepick to be a single portal which provides reliable information, photos or authentic client reviews.
Moreover, when asked about why he chose to plunge in the industry around given time, Sandeep explains that:
- Internet penetration is increasing and people are using internet more than ever before to book tickets, shop online and even look at restaurants and with coming times, this will only increase.
- Bigger disposable household incomes but less time. They are looking for convenience
Thus, Sandeep deduced that there would not have been any better time to get into this.
How divergent is Venuepick ?
“Ours is an end-user oriented base, where we are more concerned with the customer satisfaction. We don’t charge commission. We provide high quality filtered leads to the venues, which is easy to be converted further by the venues” Sandeep explains.
An extremely user-friendly service, Venuepick provides its customers, a detailed information on the venues, rather than letting them out in the wild and waste time in order to find a perfect place for its event. It has more than 500 authentic google+ reviews on venues and customer satisfaction.
Under the traditional route, you have three basic routes you can opt to make a decision:
- Word of mouth where you ask from your family and friends
- Search online
- Call up a telephonic service such as Just Dial or related.
The biggest problem with all the above mentioned approaches is that they are tedious and have limited unstructured information which, in most cases, has no relevance to the client’s requirements. For example, if you are looking for a poolside venue for a birthday party for 100 people under 1500 Rs in south Delhi , it would be very difficult to get it all this information from any of the channels above.
Recently, there are quite a few players that have emerged in the venue space like Megavenues, venueindelhi, delhivenues , venuelook , urbanrestro etc. But Sandeep found that most of them have information that is
- Not presented well
The information present on Venuepick is by far the most detailed, accurate and is presented well. In addition, Venuepick believes that its customers are its biggest brand ambassadors. So if you visit its Google+ page you would find plenty of reviews given by its happy customers. In the end, Venuepick provides a service that is convenient, informative and saves a buck or two for its customers.
Sandeep’s journey to Venuepick
Startups are bittersweet experience. Bitter because you leave the comfort of a secure zone and enter this erratic roller coaster ride. Sweet because of the amazing experiences and learning you get on the way.
“Well at the start it was not that difficult because you are charged up to make a difference, you have the finances (or savings) and even though you are aware that there is a tough path that lies ahead, it is more in theory than in experience. It’s only when you tread the path and start experiencing the hardships and the difficult choices that you have to make is when you realize that it’s not all that smooth ride. Frankly, I think it holds true for every entrepreneur and you can never be too prepared for this journey. You will face hardships but then how you deal when them is what will make you or break you” says Sandeep.
He adds that there will be times when the future looks bleak and it gets even tougher when even your friends and family start giving up but still you got to hold the ground and steer the ship because you are the captain. You don’t have the luxury to lose hope or get ‘demotivated’, even though you may be in shambles. You have to stay on, maintain a poker face and give hope to everyone that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To sum up, Sandeep utters that it’s been an amazing ride. You really rediscover yourself and your capabilities. Some parts you like more than the other but then its takes both ups and downs to make a memorable journey.
Why is Venuepick next company to watch for?
From the business expansion standpoint, Venuepick have plans to expand into other metros. It has been present in Delhi for over 2 years and recently started operating in Mumbai as well. It plans to expand to the other metros in India soon.
From the technology standpoint, Venuepick wants to make the technology work for us hard! It plans to invest further in technology and build an ecosystem where the clients and the venue owners can closely interact with each other and do the major part of venue selection online in the comfort of their home or office.
Venuepick is currently a privately funded organization and has 8-12 team members working for it.
“The best part of startups is constant change based on client feedback or at least that is the policy we follow at Venuepick. Having said that, we do have our high level goals which we would like to accomplish for our company” Sandeep concludes.