Turning Missed Calls Into Business – Story of EkGhanti [Startups]

What is most important to make your business successful? Capital investment; innovative ideas; hardworking team; the answer varies from person to person and all these answers are partially correct. But, there is another factor that people miss to include, customers; after all, they are the one that makes your business run. Today, finding competitors is as easy as finding potholes in streets of Kathmandu, having a good customer base and keeping them intact with you is vital. Business owners today are under constant pressure to come up different plans to give their customers a good enough reason to stay with them. If you belong to that category of the stressed out a business owner, EkGhanti might give you a sign of a relief.

EkGhanti is a missed-call based service that enables the service oriented business to connect with their customers and provide information and services efficiently. Founded by two enthusiastic and hard-working co-founders, EkGhanti has already hit the market and has been successful to mark its importance among its customers.

Pradeep and ShaswotSher @EKGhanti (left to right)

Pradeep and ShaswotSher, the co-founders of EkGhanti, have different educational backgrounds. ShaswotSher Adhikari completed his computer engineering back in 2008 from Nepal College of Information Technology(NCIT) whereas; Pradeep completed his Master from India and worked there for about four years.

Pradeep was ShaswotSher client when they first met each other. Later they worked as colleagues for about six months in a company before establishing Vimvox Lab together. EkGhanti is one of the products of the same company.

Despite their differences, there was an instant connection between ShaswotSher and Pradeep; their urge to establish a startup in Nepal and make a difference in IT industry in Nepal. Both have been involved with many IT companies and startups throughout their career. And today, they proudly present EkGhanti, the first and only toll-free missed call based service in Nepal.

About EkGhanti

ekghanti logo
EkGhanti @A VIMVOX LAB PRODUCT

EkGhanti provides you a unique EkGhanti Toll-Free number for your business that you can use to expand and grow your market, engage your users and provide great customer experience – just on missed calls. It consists of two enterprise software:

  1. EkGhanti CAT (Customer Analytics Tool): It is completely used for analytics and reporting for businesses who require analytics and graphs of missed call based customers, and marketing campaigns.
  2. EkGhanti Callback: It is a call back software which records the missed calls received in your server and later you can call back to them. You don’t miss any records of missed calls coming o your number.

A business can subscribe to EkGhanti for the nominal charge of Rs 10,000 for three months and choose to send any message that they want to send to their customers. Anyone from anywhere can get an SMS for free after they give a missed call.

The main aim of EkGhanti is that businesses are provided with an authentic and accurate data of their consumers whereas consumers will be able to voice their opinions and requests without paying a single penny.

The Idea

In Nepal, SMS notifications are quite popular and it covers a large number of population. But the problem with the SMS service is that people have to pay a high amount of money while using these services, ridiculous to hear.

“Even for things like knowing your results, participating in polls conducted by different news channel a significant amount is reduced from the mobile balance. I had to go a similar situation once, and that is when we decided that we needed to find a proper alternative for this. While inquiring with a friend of mine who works as a media person, he said that the media houses were generating revenue from the amount being deducted from users balance. Then I approached Pradeep Dai and we started working on EkGhanti”, ShaswotSher said talking about the reason behind initiating EkGhanti.

Today, we can see that GSM service has reached to almost all the rural areas where other media of communication has not reached. ShaswotSher and Pradeep figured out that the missed call services have a great scope in Nepal. This is not an entirely new concept, as the businesses on missed calls services have proved to become a giant business in South Asian countries. Even in India, these services are widely used in getting political opinions, reality shows etc.

They realized the need of a similar platform in Nepal, hence decided to build an application that is a missed call based service that also provides a marketing platform to the consumer’s business. This enables the businesses to have a better reach to their customers. They started developing the application from October 2015 and after a long year of development; they finally hit the market in January 2017.

Struggles in the Beginning

Needless to say, the beginning days are always challenging. Convincing people for an entirely new technology is extremely difficult and EkGhanti too had their own share of difficulties. It was difficult to convince the business owners to shift to a new technology that charged them for sending SMS, whereas using the SMS services they could generate a good amount of money.

There was a huge issue in terms of cost. But the bigger problem was that the businesses were unable to understand the value of data they were getting. To make the business owners understand the importance of data, ShaswotSher and Pradeep even offered them free services, and still, the businesses were hesitant about using the new service. But now things are changing, the businesses have started understanding how helpful EkGhanti can be, have started reciprocating well.

“The main problem is because people in Nepal do not understand the importance of data. The world has realized that the data is the next big thing, but we are yet to discern that. But now, hopefully, the scenario changes especially with the next generation getting involved in a business”, says Pradeep.

Companies Associated

EkGhanti has more than eight clients in right now, to name a few, Bajeko Sekuwa, Bibeksheel NepaliRedMud Cafe, Singha Durbar TV show. Out of these, four clients are seasonal clients whereas others have been continuously using the EkGhanti services. They have been using the EkGhanti services for a wide range of purposes. For example, a TV show named Singha Durbar which was aired on Nepal Television used the services to increase the TRP of the show they sent message alerts to the subscribed users to notify them about the show timings. Similarly, cafes like Redmud cafe use the application to collect the database of their visitors and analyze the data. In addition to that, Bibeksheel Nepali used the EkGhanti services to run campaigns during the election.

EkGhanti was recently used involved in a campaign in Saptari with INGO. They used the EkGhanti in a survey and people especially women who were hesitant about voicing their opinion in public could use this service. The INGO had used 5 numbers and for five different questions. People could just give a missed call to the number, and a representative from INGO called back and recorded their answers.

The organization using EkGhanti services have found it to be quite useful for data analytics too. The application was used for a trail to the different organization including Bajeko Sekuwa, and they have found it to be helpful. The application has proved to give some interesting results from the analysis. For an instance, Bajeko Sekuwa always thought that they have their pick hours on weekends, but while they used the EkGhanti CAT application and analyzed their results, they were able to find that they have more customers are on mid- weekdays i.e. Tuesday and Wednesday rather than on weekends.

“We at EkGhanti provide the customers with Missed call based services. We interact with them, understand their requirements and provide them with a customized solution. From our experience we have been continuously evolving in terms of business scopes and demands and will continue to do so,” says ShaswotSher.

Team

In the beginning, they had two developers in their team. Today they have grown as a company and have eight members in total. ShaswotSher leads the sales and marketing along with one other member whereas rest are working as developers.

“We are trying to establish a unique work culture in our company. Unlike other companies, we don’t believe in 9-5 work culture. People can come at whatever time they want to and work for as much time they want. We concentrate on getting the work done. Besides, everyone must know everything in our company. People at development team need to work in the sales team and communicate with clients once in a while.”

Future Plans

ShaswotSher and Pradeep aim to have EkGhanti services in each business some day. Be it hotel reservation or weather reports whereas aim that people will be able to get all the information they want through a missed call. The team is eagerly waiting for their public release, they have some amazing plans that can be implemented through missed call.

In addition to the enterprise solution they are also planning to some application for the general public, some of those are:

1. Top 5 news on Missed call
2. Horoscope on Missed call
3. Gold Price on Missed call

“Our main aim is that within next five years, everyone will be able to get all the information they need through missed call. Right now our main concern is to educate the user, rather than excelling our business. Some day in future we want to be established as a data company, not only a company providing missed call based services,” says ShaswotSher.

Their Say

Question: Why should a business consider using EkGhanti?

Pradeep: Do you love your customers? If yes, what are you doing so that the customer stays with you? Today, the main factor to keep your customers with you is the experience you provide them. You need to put so many efforts to better their experience with you so that they stay with you. EkGhanti helps you in your mission. With EkGhanti everything happens with a missed call, from getting notifications to receiving offers, everything happens with a missed call. That itself will excite your customers.

Secondly, customers get everything for free and without any hassle. They do not have to pay a single penny for the information they are getting. Plus, they are getting everything with a missed call.

And the biggest plus point for a business is that you have data about your customers. The data is accurate and reliable. You can now analyze the data and make your business strategies accordingly.

Lastly, EkGhanti is flexible. You can use the application however you want based on your business needs. We make the customized solution for your business based on your needs.

Visit EkGhanti 

TechLekh TV: TechKhabar Episode 21

Written by Prabina Neupane

Prabina Neupane is a easy going enthusiastic person. She believes in learning from experience and is always ready to try something new. She likes reading, writing and exploring new things.

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