Blu Beans planning for a Relaunch of CelebrationGali.com
It’s December, 2016 today and when all are planning for a long weekend, we at CelebrationGali.com (A Venture of Blu Beans) are planning for a RE-LAUNCH. Many don’t know about us; we are a platform which is made to Organise and Innovate the way celebrations are done across the World!
So relaunching for us is like the last weapon currently because we are definitely struggling but we know we have a massive business in the background waiting for an explosion. I will guide people to the journey so far and learning from CelebrationGali till now and how we will soon reach to 7 Countries.
When the idea came?
It was in the year 2009 while I was travelling from Dehradun to Delhi via bus, me and one of my friend were returning after giving our ssb test (it’s the only job interview I have given and messed it up completely). So while returning, somewhere near Delhi I saw line of Huge wedding venues. Those huge wedding venues made for those larger than life Punjabi Weddings. I was working on another plan which we launched in 2010, it was hostelsearch.in which was a portal to find hostels across India (I was later in 2012 was thrown out of the idea which was originated by me).
So with my habit of always start thinking of any random idea. I started to evaluate the pros, cons and possibilities in the idea. I thought first of just Venue, then any vendor that could be needed in Celebration, then a backend system for vendor organisation, to how innovation could change the celebration industry. Yeah! We found the scalability thing and imafined how far we could reach if we fo the right direction, it could be complete ‘Celebration Industry’.
I explained the complete idea to my then investor, who was the son of our college chairman Late Sh. Suresh Chouksey. He found it interesting and we started with the development of the web portal. We hired a freelancer as we were adamant to keep a full time php developer. So after almost an year of struggle with the freelancer (I never hired a PHP developer as a freelancer after that) we launched it with the name CELEBRATIONHUB.COM . We started gathering data, spent almost 10 months to slowly gather it from different places in Bhopal and Indore.
We started but couldn’t get the things further as I was asked to surrender from the post of Director of my company Daffodil Technologies by my investor.
The separation from the company was unplanned and I was definitely not prepared for it. The things changed completely from being CEO of the company which had around 18 employees to just me another Day. I thought of many things, few positive and many negative. So rather than thinking of the negative I thought that I have learnt a lot and I immediately started working on the idea of a new company and founded Blu Beans Tech. Sol. Pvt. Ltd. I knew how to get the work of website and social media marketing. Social media marketing for brands was just emerging at that time. So started promoting it and in a span of 1.5 months I got around 16 clients with a decent value. The things started running well as the money started coming in. The clients were satisfied by our services, but then after almost an year a thing strike me that I am working on a thing which is owned by someone else, what if facebook shuts down in a day, then I will be left with nothing. So I asked my developer to start working on the website of CelebrationGali.com . We spent around 4-5 months to develop a prototype. It was around April 2014, just around my sister’s wedding that I kept around 20 marketing guys to collect data from various corners of Bhopal, they collected data from almost every category we were working on like caterer, photographer, band, ghodi, dj, mehendi wala, dhol and everything related to celebration. We collected data of almost 2000 vendors of Bhopal but then the things went a bit quite for almost an year because I was focusing too much on celebrationgali and less on the my other work of website and social media marketing. The time was difficult as I lost few clients and the money source were getting low.
It was on 12 July 2015, Sunday. I was sleeping and a phone woke me up at around 8 A.M. The phone was from someone who needed a venue for their daughters wedding, they had a budget of around 12 lacks. For the first time we got such a lead. I came down and looked at the newspaper and found that Dainik Bhaskar has published an article about us on front page of their daily city tabloid ‘City Bhaskar’. By the time it was 10 AM, we got around 20 calls. I called Aayush who was looking after the vendor tie-up thing and started telling him the various requirements as many more started pouring in. On that single day we got leads which had the value of around 3 Cr. We could convert all, but in the next 1 month after following up with the leads we managed to close leads of around 30 lacks. Then for the next few months we got constant leads now after 1 year, we got leads worth 7-8 cr. And we have managed to do a business of around 80 lack rupee in the past one year from Bhopal. We did the marketing and tie-ups in Indore too and have covered almost every important vendor that we need for a celebration.
Till date we have just spent around 60k rupees on marketing and promotion and with a team of freshers we after one year are going global to almost 7 countries.
What’s the secret?
Very Personal Assistance: We value our customers a lot and since any celebration is very personal thing and once in a life moment, so we spend ample amount of time understanding their requirement and expectations. We gather all the minute things and then our team sit together to start giving them only options which are appropriate for them. We take them in our car for a venue visit and during the ride we know about then better and they start knowing us too and fun we have while we work. In the end even if we don’t provide them a solution, we are friends with them and we always remain in touch later on.
Customer Needs a Solution : There are many websites like JD which provides details of vendors that we are providing. As a startup business we can’t compete with them, so we used our weakness as a tool and we came to the conclusion that although JD sends in multiple numbers of vendor but the customer doesn’t always finds the solution. He had to call 10-15 vendors and it’s not important that he will find the right vendor. So we had a simple solution that the client calls us and we provide them only relevant options based on their needs. Since there are at least 10-15 things needed in a celebration from venue to even dhol, the customer who earlier had to call 30-40 people had to just call us and we do all the searching thing for them. It worked and is even working now.
What’s new in CelebrationGali?
We have made the system very easy. People can just post in the leads through website or call us on our number +91 9098-099-099, that’s it!
We will take care of all the needs and our operation team will take it further to finalise the lead.
We are also coming up with something which we believe will be a game changer. We are coming up with many new and innovative things that people will need in a celebration. Like baraat concepts, vermala concepts, decoration packages, birthday themes, anniversary themes, wedding cards etc. There is a whole lot possibility and we are making celebrationgali a marketplace for people which can provide such unique things.
There are many more things for making celebration industry organised too. We will keep updating about those things as it is something we are working on in our labs.
CelebrationGali & Lalit Maharaj:
We are coming up with Celebration Zones. The first of which is Lalit Maharaj (Elite) which will have a place for celebration, activities, theme restaurants and much more. We are planning to come up with atleast 4 in next 1 year. Two places have almost being finalised and will be launching in March, 2017.
Plan for Next 3 Years:
With failures and learnings, we have managed to grow from a single city to multiple countries. We plan to learn from the hard work we have put in and one thing which any startup should do is to go on the ground and understand every aspect of the business you are doing. There are many new areas that you will find out which you never thought of. We never focussed on getting investment for celebrationgali because whoever the investor is the concepts of a business is real money generation, valuation is just a cloud and can burst any day under pressure.
With the spirit to change the way celebration was planned earlier, we are trying to be the game changer for anyone who is involved in the process of organising a celebration. Giving them a solution at their door steps and making sure that they enjoy the celebration whether the person is in Bhopal or New York or London!
“The Journey has Just STARTED, there is a LONG WAY to go”