Founded by Saumya Vardhan, Shubhpuja a religious platform that specialises in offering customised puja packages to individuals and corporates who do not have the right contacts or time to organise a pujas themselves. It is is a management company that works with a team of independent pandits and astrologers registered on their network. Each pandit/astrologer is added only after qualifies certain quality parameters set by Shubhpuja. We chat with Saumya, the founder and CEO of Shubhpuja. An excerpt from the Interview:
• What made you start your venture?
Entrepreneurship has always fascinated me while growing up. Thus, while living in London, I was closely following the startup scene in India and the growth of the ventures started by my friends back home. On a personal note, a close friend’s father passed away in Delhi, with most of the family members living abroad and by the time they arrived all the arrangements had to be made. It was disturbing to see that there was no help available to the grieving family to arrange for all the necessary elaborate rituals that we follow after bereavement.
It was then I discovered a huge need for an online service that would offer the convenience of arranging religious ceremonies and perform rituals by genuine educated priests, Vedic astrologers, Numerologists, Vaastu consultants etc. I decided to tie-up with top-most Vedic educational institutes in Delhi, Benaras and other religious places. These days there are many preachers who take advantage of the ignorance of a gullible public especially young people who do not have the knowledge or time to learn about these practices. However, deep inside they believe in it. I felt there is need in the market where practices and facts based genuine services can be offered to the customers. I tried to solve the above problems and provide adequate solutions for everyone’s religious needs through Shubhpuja.
• What has been the key to your business’s success?
• Using Science and facts based approach to the Indian Traditional industry. • Hiring only the highly educated (PhD level scholars) in my venture • Unique concept and idea •
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
a. Access to highly qualified PhD level candidates who are normally unavailable to people for consultation and organizing these spiritual and religious ceremonies who follow correct and vedic procedures as described in the Vedas. b. Making the public aware of a qualified vedic highly educated astrologers and pandits. In this industry, any person who claims to be an astrologer/pandit can be treated as an expert since we do not want to enquire about their educational qualification and experience. So separating the wheat from the chaff and hiring only exclusive and qualified pandits. c.
Changing people’s mind-set about making a booking and paying online for such services in advance d. Defining a set price for a customer who ends up taking our price as a reference price to negotiate with another local pandit in their area. e. Personally, it has been a huge learning curve stepping from finance to religious industry. I had to go back and revise my high school knowledge of Sanskrit to understand this industry. To further improve my knowledge of Vedas and classical Vedic astrology in a short period of time, I decided to join a year long advanced Vedic astrology professional course.
• Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
I always look up to my dad, a well known Aviation Expert and a serial entrepreneur for any advice and guidance. He has been a great source of inspiration and support.
• Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Skype has been a boon to our business.
• What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Our vision is to revolutionize the vast Indian religion industry by educating people and making it easier for everyone to appreciate the rich history and culture. We always want to educate the audience about the science and facts behind these traditions. • Providing Customer convenience (such as offering puja samagri, arranging for puja venue) • Tie up with the best-educated pandits in the business • Cost Effective so customers don’t get cheated • Extensive network of pandits for various kinds of puja not subject to any specific ones • Offering a gamut of services such as Astrology, festive gifts, gemstone healing etc Expansion In the coming year, we are expecting double-digit growth and to expand our network further.
We are waiting our first peak season given that the industry is seasonal because the festive time begins in the second half of the year. In the next two years, we are looking forward to see the change in devotee’s mind-set about making a booking and paying online for such services in advance. In the long term, as we are getting busier in our daily lives, people have less time and knowledge about the religious rituals and customs, however they passively believe in it. They are willing to pay for a genuine, science based and quality service and we definitely see unprecedented growth in the religion e-commerce market.
• What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? • Time Management and one should be organized • Prioritising and keeping your focus on key issues • Always innovating Find out more about Shubhpuja: http://www.shubhpuja.com/ Like them on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/eshubhpuja?fref=ts