Yes, the weekend is coming up. What are your plans this time?
You must be kidding around if you say it is going to be just another usual weekend for you, especially if you are a resident of Mumbai.
Oyeweekend, a Mumbai based startup founded by IIT/IIM alumni, offers you assistance in bountiful of activities to make every weekend extremely exciting and refreshing for you. Choose activities from varied genre – Wall climbing, Salsa, Photography, Cooking, Fitness Programs, Pottery, Feng Shui, Vastu, Sailing, Painting, Belly Dancing, Air rifle shooting, and the list goes on and on..
In an interview with Pinaki, one of the founder members of Oyeweekend, knowAhead tried to unravel how the founder members landed up with Oyeweekend’s unique concept.
Oye, what an innovative concept and a name to fall for. How did you get started with it?
This idea to aggregate recreational activities and interests struck us after a white-water rafting trip to the Kundalika, near Mumbai. We observed that the entire process – from discovery of such weekend options to booking could really do with some improvement. But adventure sports alone would be too small a market; was there anything else that could be behaviourally grouped with adventure sports?
And then we reasoned why not club adventure sports with the largely unattended market of leisure activities and interests? This was a market that was wide open, probably because it was painfully fragmented. Also all of us in the founding team were inclined towards creative fields and hence this market was close to our hearts.
Oyeweeked – India, startup, online! What kind of challenges do you see in running a venture like yours? And what makes you get going?
The single biggest challenge right now is to come up with a model that delivers beyond satisfactory, is scalable and is monetize-able. We have made some inroads towards this with our current product, but there is still a lot of ground to cover. Working with limited manpower and resources only accentuates this challenge.
On personal level, how difficult is it to convince family or friends for starting a business like this, especially when an IIT/IIM alumni can easily get a high paying, respectable job?
All of us in our team are from middle-class families in Tier-II cities. Parents still dream of the day when their ward secures a stable job in an MNC or is sent on-site by the IT firm. But thanks to companies like Flipkart and BabyOye, all that is changing, however slowly. People hear about the humble beginnings of such companies, and how they are changing people’s lives today and begin to become a little less dismissive about this queer thing called a startup. Startup careers are gradually becoming kosher; our families and friends have been quite supportive of our decision.
Why did you choose this particular industry? Is India spending enough on recreation, fun, hobbies and adventure?
With rise in disposable incomes and awareness about health and life-style options people are definitely on the look-out for more rewarding experiences that they don’t mind shelling out a premium for.
What makes this market even more attractive is that it is more-or-less untouched. This market has its own unique challenges that require time and patience to understand and design a solution for.
Moreover rather than just the size, it also depends on the addressable market – how much of the market can you channel through your platform or what fees you can demand for the value-add your product does for the stakeholders; given the state of this market today, this factor could be significant.
Plans to expand your reach out of Mumbai, anytime soon?
Yes, we plan to be present in the eight largest cities of India. We are currently fine-tuning our product and processes in Mumbai, before we decide to take it to other cities.
If you want to know more about Oyeweekend, Pinaki would be happy to discuss ideas and Oyeweekend’s experiences in case anyone is interested. You can reach him at email@example.com
Oyeweekend is looking for Interns to work with them on development and marketing. If you want to have a good time learning and making new things do buzz Pinaki at firstname.lastname@example.org
knowAhead wishes a successful future to Oyeweekend.