Sports Enthusiasts Dhruv Swamini and Soubir Dutta realised that pursuing sports while in school or colleges was simple, once they left academia it was tough to organise and meet others passionate about sports. It was from this need that Duplays was born. We chat with Dhruv about the venture. An Excerpt from the Interview
• What made you start your venture? Both of us, Soubir and I, have been active sportspeople during our school & college. As we worked through our corporate lives, we realised that it is hard to pursue sports. There is a dearth of sports venues (in Gurgaon) and people do not know how to connect with other sports enthusiasts in the town. So, we decided to test this concept of organized sports – we tie up with schools & colleges for their sports grounds and get people together through our website to play at specific times. We got a good response within the first couple of months and decided to launch it formally. We now organize sports for adults, in the form of friendly games/ leagues/ court bookings for football, basketball, tennis, badminton, squash, cricket, table-tennis and provide coaching for kids & adults for badminton, table-tennis, squash and long-distance running.
• What has been the key to your business’s success? As sports passionate people, we understand what people of different age/skill-level need and I think that we have been able to generate good solutions/options for them. We ensure that all games/matches are kept friendly, emphasizing fitness and recreation. Our policies have been rather flexible, keeping in mind that our players are working professionals and could have changes in plans due to work/travel. Moreover, we have tried to make our website informative, which helps understand who we are, what we offer – something we feel is important for a new concept like ours!
• What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them? The biggest challenge has been finding well-built and professionally managed sports facilities in Gurgaon. To solve for this, we tie up with schools that are open to letting their sports facilities in lieu for maintenance/ fee.
• Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business? Our partners at DUPLAYS Dubai have played a key role in mentoring and guiding us through our journey in the last 2 years. As they have built a similar business (though in a different market), they understand the challenges and opportunities in the space and advise us regularly on areas to focus and develop.
• Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Not really though if relevant, Facebook as a marketing medium works very well for us.
• What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We regularly ask all players to share their feedback rating to help us assess ‘Net Promoter Score’ and have a very high target for the same. Any complaints/suggestions/feedback is discussed thoroughly to achieve a sustainable and customer-friendly solution. I think we have been doing fairly well on this so far, and hence have a very high word-of-mouth reach!
• What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Passion, persistence and problem solving! Starting a business usually requires working on a new idea/solution. Most entrepreneurs are likely to face new or unexpected challenges as they go about building their business and it requires good problem solving skills to work out solutions, and passion and persistence to ensure you enjoy the journey and stay motivated.
Visit Their Website: www.duplaysgurgaon.playpass.com/ Like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DuplaysNCR