This interview is part of our #CoRiser Experiment where we are hosting the series of candid interviews with #CoRisers.
Today's featured #CoRisers are : Amit Panchal & Ruchit Patel, Co-Founders, AllEvents.in.
Amit is the Co-Founder of AllEvents.in - world's fastest growing event discovery and promotion platform. Allevents.in is an event discovery portal with a mission to simplify the way people discover events happening in their cities.
They have been doing this since last 6 years and they have got more than 100 million events posted on AllEvents.in across 30k cities of the world. Currently they have more than 4 million people exploring events through AllEvents.in platform every month.
Amit is a computer graduate from LD college, he graduated in the year 2010 and just in 2 months started his own company called Amitech Business Solutions.
They started Amitech as an IT services company initially and completed multiple projects with various technologies. While they were serving their clients, they started shaping some of the interesting ideas into products and built many products. Some of them worked and some of them failed completely.
Out of this, AllEvents.in become the most successful product of the company.
Here's an an insightful and candid conversation - an eChai with Amit.
Early Years : When did it first strike you to begin this venture and why? Your Eureka Moment (the moment you decided to be an entrepreneur).
It was 1st Jan 2011, when I attended an event called “Ahmedabad Tweet Meetup” where I met all the exciting entrepreneurs from Ahmedabad. I got a chance to talk about our first company Amitech which I started along with Ruchit Patel. That was the moment when I thought of attending all the events happening in Ahmedabad.
And we started looking for other events happening in the city and we could not find any option to explore all the events happening in Ahmedabad. So we thought of building a website where we can get the list of all the events happening not only in Ahmedabad but in any city.
So the idea was to develop a website where a user can select the city and get the list of events happening in that city and we wanted to make it scalable and global.
Business Venture : What is your business model and what problems does it solve? What are market opportunities? How is it different from your competitors? How do you generate revenues ?
When Amit and Ruchit realized there is no event discovery portal to keep people update about the happenings of the city, they tried to solve this problem and came up with a simple way to discover events - by city and interest; they named it All Events in City.
The uniqueness of Allevents lies in the way it simplifies the whole process of sharing and viewing events. By shortening it to just one step (Facebook connect) and automating the burden is shifted from the user to the service. This automated system also helps increase the pool of events available. Currently we have a pool of more than 23 thousand events being posted every day and accessed by more than 3 million users every month. The variety of events available to the user, when coupled with tagging helps us satisfy the demands of both: a businessperson and a sociophile.
Event services like Eventbrite are our primary competitors. But what differentiates us from them is at All Events in City we cover all the happenings in the city unlike our competitors who focus more on major events and saleable events and we also aggregate events from multiple sources, hence creating a pool of events on our portal.
The primary source of income is through “Featured Events Category”; the featured events is a category wherein an organizer pays to get his event a higher visibility and boost his online event visibility. For secondary income sources we have Google Ads on our portal.
Sales : How did you make your first sale and how much time it took you from starting up to closing the first sale ? How long is your sales cycle ?
It just took 2 months to get the first cheque. We launched the website and in just 1 month we started getting 500 hits/day and we integrated Google Adsense. And from the second month we started generating revenue. And we got the first cheque of the earning in the third month.
For Ads, the payout cycle is one month. And For Featured Events we get paid instantly.
For featured event it took only 1 day to get the first paying Organizer. We launched the promote functionality and got the first payment on the first day. That’s the beauty of running a portal with lots of traction. The moment you make something live, people starts using it instantly.
Company Culture : What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
All in all we are free minded, fun loving team. All Events in City is not merely a workplace, it gives you a platform to experiment with new things; learn, ideate and innovate. We are excited by Mondays because of the love for our team and work the weekends are never monotonous with so many events to attend.
The prime reason to have an extrovert friendly culture was to keep our Team, we call it family, we didn’t want to be another place where employees get suffocated in a cubicle, we provide them with a space to ideate, build and add value to themselves as well as the company.
Partnerships : What are your views about finding the right Co-Founder ? How did you find your business partner? According to you who is the ideal business partner?
An ideal business partner is one who has the same vision as yours.
Hiring - How did you hire your first employee ? And in general what's your hiring policy ? How important have good employees been to your success?
Nayan was the first person to join the company. He came for the interview and we asked him only one questions “From when can you join us?” He said - I am coming from Mehsana so I can start working right now. We handed him the PC and he started working with us :) He is still with us and also one of the stakeholders at All Events in City.
All the Employees we have, are never treated as employees because they themselves are all entrepreneurs at heart; this way they have the choice to think out of box without restricting themselves to the possibilities. This is the prime reason why our team unanimously has worked to achieve great milestones and break new records in the year 2015.
All the successes and milestones that we achieved in past 3 years are because of our team. They keep the servers running, they make the website and app look beautiful, they make sure that we have all the events listed on our platform, they make sure that 2m people exploring events through us are happy and resolve all the issues that our users are facing, they make sure that whenever someone searches about any event on the internet, finds that on allevents.in, even if I am busy with something, I can rest assured because my team is always making progress.
We have a strong PR and communication team to make sure they give the event seekers and organizers an instant solution to their queries. Our backend team is always on their toes to keep the world updated about the happenings in the city. The front end part is made so user interactive that the users enjoy the process of event discovery. The beasts running behind our portal (i.e the servers) are managed by Ruchit and I and we have always alarms to make sure the site is never low.
Learning : How did you handle your disappointments and failures?
The 3rd month of the startup was stressful, when Google stopped serving ads on our portal. The first revenue stream which we were exploring was Blocked. Traction was rising rapidly causing servers to run down the revenue had come to halt for a while. It was really a tough time for us. But eventually things got working.We learnt a quick lesson from this and found our second revenue model in the business, Google also enabled ads for our website. We scaled our server infrastructure to cloud.
Vision: What's your vision for your venture. What do you want to accomplish in your life ? What are your future aspirations?
Our vision is to outstand in Event Discovery and Promotion, we have been good in both the areas.
We believe every event seeker should be aware of events happening in their city with personalization of event listing, expanding global network, customer acquisition and awareness are the next in focus.
We believe that people should connect to each other in real world instead of virtual world and attending event is the best way to connect to people and build new relations and explore new things. And we are doing that through All Events in City.
Work-Life Balance : How do you find a balance between work family and social life?
It’s very hard to manage work, family and social life. You can’t attend all the marriages, social functions and I believe you don’t need to. But I think it can be easily managed if you schedule your day properly. I start my work at 7 in morning and I work till 10 in the night and spend time with family on weekends and holidays trips.
Risks : Which was the boldest decision you ever made to have this venture work?
Most of the startups keep on talking about funding and investment all the time. We were 1.5 years old startup and got a funding offer of 2 crore. That was exciting moment for all of us and we signed the termsheet with the investor and then we decided to continue bootstraping and withdrew from the investment offer. That was tough for us but we did that and we could scale and progress even without taking that funding.
Here's Amit's entertaining 1 minute pitch at eChai Demo Day at Vibrant Gujarat Startup Summit 2016:
This product video briefly introduces about what AllEvents.in does.
The BusinessLine from The Hindu covered the journey of AllEvents pretty well in the year 2015. You can read the entire interview here.
Also recently Tango Films made a short documentary about AllEvents.in Journey.
They were earlier featured in CNBC Young Turks also:
Feedback from the community.
Also, you can use the comment section to ask any questions to Amit and Ruchit about their entrepreneurial journey, how they are building a global consumer internet product company from Ahmedabad, their experiences of successfully bootstrapping, rejecting the offer from angel investor and any other interesting aspects of building a venture.
About #CoRise Experiment in April/May 2017: