Started by Lima James, Gaurav Rajan Ghoota, Sumant Gajbhiye and Ritika Sharma- 4 IIM Lucknow graduates, Sharingdard.com has created an online environment where people can share their emotions or Dard. Users can express themselves on the platform and find people with similar experiences without worrying about the social consequences. We chat with the founders. An Excerpt from the Interview: • What made you start your venture? There had always been a feeling inside each of us to start something which makes an impact on human life and touches people at a personal level. The idea germinated back in IIM Lucknow where we used to share and learn from each other’s experiences in our various hangout sessions. We realized that to have a listener who understands you in the same way that you want to be understood is an inherent need. Many times, we don’t feel comfortable venting because of societal image. This is why SharingDard came into existence. SharingDard, with its free, anonymous and understanding environment is helping people get relief from their daily life stress, fears, frustrations, anxiety and emotional turmoil. • What has been the key to your business’s success? Our educational background, keen eye for identifying the need for sharing/venting out in today’s scenario and positioning our solution accordingly, trust and camaraderie between the core team have been the key pillars for our business success. Within the first year of our launch, we have got more than 1 lakh registered users on the website and it is on an upward trend. • What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them? The major challenge that we faced was to create appropriate awareness about this initiative. In our society, there still seems to be a stigma attached to emotional and mental issues. We are doing whatever it takes to bridge that gap. Another challenge for us was in managing vendors. We have worked with different vendors till now. We try to get realistic timelines so as to plan the marketing and other activities accordingly. • Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business? We have 3 Key Advisors- Dr Himanshu Rai (Professor at IIM Lucknow), Dr Kanan Khatau(13 years experienced psychotherapist), Mrs Jasmine Khattar (30+ years experienced psychologist). They play an instrumental role in the overall strategy and providing guidance to our 16 counsellors. • Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations? Our website is based on PHP platform. Here we have integrated an Artificial Intelligence module through which the website is able to match people who have faced similar experiences and who understand each other better are able to connect. Also, there are features like “Share a drink” and “Share an emotion” as an expression aid to our users. We have definitely benefitted from this framework as far as scalability is concerned. • What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion? More than 50% of our entire user bases are repeat users. The need to share and express feelings is so innate, and coupled with the anonymous and understanding atmosphere provided at SharingDard, it gives a satisfaction and relief to our users and they look forward to their next login to SharingDard. To expand the user base, we are exploring various media channels to create awareness at a larger scale. Times of India, The Hindu, Economic Times, Business Insider have covered us. We are focusing on some online channels as well. We are currently working on revamping our website. We will come up with newer and much more engaging products very soon. • What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Perseverance, Positive attitude and trust among colleagues. Explore the world of SharingDard: http://www.sharingdard.com/ Like them on Facebook: SharingDard
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