Voicetap–a unique startup

Voicetap is a startup where users can connect to experts and knowledgeable people to get information, guidance, or suggestions on various topics.

Voicetap helps you connect with relevant people over the phone to discuss any topic. Use this service to discuss absolutely anything!

Voicetap

Genesis

The idea was conceptualized by Mrigank when his niece, who passed her exam with good marks, was unable to ‘find anyone to talk to’, who could tell her about the right college and the right course for her to join. Similar to Mrigank’s niece, we find ourselves in a position where we want to connect with someone on a particular topic, but don’t know how to/where to find them. The way we connect today is constrained by the knowledge of phone numbers or the means of getting the numbers (internet, directory services etc.) and our circle of (extended) friends and family. With 600 Mn mobile subscribers (and growing) across India – it seems a bit of an irony that you should be able to connect with only 500 of them at any time.

Thus evolved the concept of Voicetap. Talk directly with someone on a particular topic, any topic of your choice, without you having to know the person or his phone number. Till now, you could only connect on the basis of a phone number – now you can connect with relevant people on the topics of your choice. Any user across India can connect with a relevant person via 3 simple steps –

1. User sends his query via SMS to 09212148888 Eg. MBA Preparation

2. Voicetap sends back an SMS with options of relevant people with whom the user can connect to by replying TAP to the SMS.

3. User replies TAP and receives a call from Voicetap and listens to the profiles and connects with the person on his/her choice

Business model

Voicetap is a value added service that will ride on top of Mobile Operators. Voicetap is following the freemium model which implies that while individual users can share their knowledge for their own vested reasons, businesses can use the platform to allow their customers reach out to them by paying a premium. Unlike the conventional modes of marketing where businesses reach out to users, Voicetap allows potential customers to connect with businesses. The best of all: We strictly follow the pay per performance model – Businesses are charged only once a user connects with them. Voicetap is a opt in model where the end users selects the relevant person they wish to connect to, thus platform becomes a marketing channel for businesses to position themselves as experts–thus generating branding for themselves and acquiring warm leads by paying a premium.

Revenue principles

Voicetap already has 40 corporate partners including the likes of NIIT, Aptech, Sadhan Helpline, Landmark Insurance, Career Launcher, Aptech India. It has so far connected over 3000 users with relevant people.

Competition

There are other voice based services in the market but they believe their product, team and execution strategy will be the differentiation factor.

Role of Innovation

India has over 600 million mobile phone users, out of which only 60 Million have access to internet. Thus majority of them don’t necessarily have the availability of all the resources required to gain relevant knowledge. The motivation behind building this innovative technology was to tap on to the knowledge pool of over 500 million people and connect them using the medium of Voice thus reducing the knowledge asymmetry that currently exists in India. It is the first such service of its kind in India and probably the world. Till now people could only connect with others if they knew the phone number of the person. Here, you can connect with people based on your requirements. Just SMS, call and connect. No more looking around for the number. The simplicity of the service has been one of the driving factors for us.

First big success

They have put in a fair bit of effort to ensure that the best of experts are available on our platform. Today, they have over 800 experts who are available to connect with knowledge seekers. Till date, they have handled over 3000 queries related to the education and finance space successfully. The encouraging part is that our repeat usage is pretty high!

The user is directly connected to an expert who then helps and guides the user with the desired information. The fact that they have connected over 3000 users with relevant people validates our model and is truly the first stepping stone for them.

Future Plans

In the coming months, the company plans to increase its user base by introducing features like conference call facility, increasing the access points, and developing special apps to support the platform on mobile phones. At the same time they would soon start expanding to more verticals beyond Education, Career, Health and Finance. They are also looking to spread our presence into newer markets like Africa, where the telecom sector is booming. At the same time they are also planning to introduce the service in other Indian languages to reach out to more people.

Team:

Mrigank Tripathi
CEO & Co-Founder

He is the one who had the idea. The ideator (he sees opportunity in everything), dreamer, social idealist, the thinker and the doer all rolled into one. He has over 13 years of experience in sales and strategy consulting and was till a year and a half ago with the Communications, Media and Telecommunications practice of Oliver Wyman (erstwhile Mercer Management Consulting) in the Middle East. He chucked it up to come back to India and do something that was his passion – become an entrepreneur. This is hi second venture. He is an engineer and holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Vivek Khandelwal
VP-Content & Co-founder

He is the IITian. Don’t know how else to categorize him. These IITians are all the same – doing multiple things at all times. You can find this fourth year guy on twitter, Facebook, Orkut and every other social media marketing tool known to mankind. He actually runs a business around social media marketing, and is leading the charge for Voicetap on that accord. Vivek is currently at IITB and was a part of the Jagriti Yatra – an 18 day train journey across India where he got to meet inspiring entrepreneurial role models – and that’s also where he met Mrigank.

Siddharth Pandey

He helped with Voicetap from the outside for a long time, and his tenacious nature, great sales skills and passionate personality got him a personal invite from M to join the core team. Siddharth has a varied background – from recruitment to embedded systems. He has worked with corporates like IBM, Infosys and others, while at the same time has sold innovative solutions to mid sized companies. S manages a few verticals for Voicetap, and is usually the first point of contact for any recruitment initiatives.

Arpit Rai

Arpit is our Mr. Marketing – Sales – Operations combined together. A cynic who likes aged Single Malts and Navy Cuts – Arpit handles some verticals for Voicetap. He is the one who is called to prepare that killer presentation, as well as go wave his hands at crowds and make those presentations or structure that new program for associates. An engineer from NUS and Stanford, Arpit has prior startup experience with GetSilicon – which got sold to e2open.

Sandip Dutta

A hard core telecom technology guy, Sandip brings with him the rare combination of business sense, commitment and great coding skills. (he actually showed us a working model of our technology during the overall interview period itself. Thats over a period of 10 days). Sandip was previously with Dialnet communications, and manages the core engine of the platform.

Sudhir Mor

Sudhir is the guy who manages the code and extensions / fancy stuff on the platform. A Jat – his subtle and sometimes not understandable jokes always ease up the atmosphere in the office. An amateur boxer in his yesterlife – he now spars with technology and knocks out code related problems in tight deadlines.

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