Rgyan.com is India’s single online destination to illuminate the inner conscience with spiritual and devotional services. A spiritual tech platform, powered with over 4000+ temple data, they aim to spread knowledge about Temples, Festivals & Rituals, Mythology, Mantras and many more among the people. Started in the year end of 2016, Rgyan has evolved tremendously.With our inbuilt technical stack which lets user to locate the temples, they look to promote the temple tourism and awareness about the temples among the people. Powered with more than 4000+ temples, 300+ festivals, 100+Mantras & 100+ astrologers – this startup aims to promote spirituality among the today’s generation.
About the founders
There are 3 cofounders. Mr Debjit Patra (Founder & Chairman), Mr Devendar Agarwal (Cofounder & CEO) , Mr Umesh Khatri (Cofounder, COO & CTO). The idea to launch this app came to Debjit Patra while he was having lunch at a restaurant in Haridwar. A physics scholar and an army veteran, Patra noticed a picture consisting around 137 renowned sages of the country at the restaurant. He was mesmerized by the sight and thought about the gap that exists between today’s generation and the rich spiritual heritage of the country. He then started Rgyan Along with Devendar Agarwal and was later joined in by Umesh Khatri. We are publishing an interview with Mr. Umesh Khatri, Cofounder, COO & CTO:
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Ans: These were some of the points which were there in mind when we started this platform:
● Lack of knowledge in today’s generation about the ancient cultures, festivals, rituals and traditions?
● Lack of Single Social Platform for the spiritually inclined individuals to express themselves.
● Unavailability of Dedicated Platform for the intellectuals to discuss on the philosophical matters.
Most Importantly – Lack of a single online platform for Spiritually, Intellectually & Socially connected souls.
Q.: Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: Going with the numbers here’s some insights:
● India’s Spiritual market size is approx. $40 billion
● Number of Internet users in India is more than 500 million.
● Social Media Users in India is more than 300 million.
● Annual Visitors in 5 Top most Hindu Temples in India is more than 60 million.
So if we collectively see all this data, you can see that a huge number of people are involved in the spiritual market and consuming data in one way or the other. No doubt with the coming up of social media platforms, the data consumption is increased but this category has always been an underserved category. Result was a lack of a dedicated Spiritual Network for the like minded individuals. Here we tried to bridge the gap and made a platform for the users who not only can get all the information on various spiritual topics but can also express and share their thoughts socially with each other through our dedicated platform.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Rgyan was started with the listing of classified data on various holy places(Temples, Monasteries etc), festivals, rituals, aggregated news on spiritual and social matters and more. Slowly the platform was transformed and evolved into a complete Spiritual Social Network with the addition of UGC(User Generated Content)Model which includes features like Creating a Profile, Sharing(Liking, Commenting) pics/videos/gif/text in various categories(spirituality, meditation, astrology, health, motivational quotes etc) with other like minded users, engaging in a discussion/debate on various helpful questions and answer a running poll. Right now we have a running web portal and an android mobile app with all the consolidated features. With all these features user can refer this platform to as “Spiritual Instagram with a touch of Quora”.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Being one of its kind platforms which has both the Spiritual and Social Networking flexibility it is an All in one platform. Given the Nature of Content (Inhouse Content and UGC/User Generated Content), it can be referenced to as a Spiritual Instagram with a Touch of Quora, thus building a complete Spiritual Social Network which itself sounds unique.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
Ans: Going with the data points mentioned in question no.5 , we were sure that the market size is very big and with our product we have to bridge the gap which we were looking at.
We have defined our customers range which your can refer here below:
● Global audience from different sects, cultures, beliefs, customs and traditions.
● Motivated Individuals Inclined towards sharing their views, knowledge, research on the various subjects(Spirituality, health, meditation, motivation and more).
● Individuals inclined towards spirituality and bhakti.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: Being an entrepreneur both success and failure run hand in hand in daily routine. As for a big vision/dream for which we are working it is always broken down into the number of collective tasks which need to be completed accordingly. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail at it. But when you fail, you try to rework on the same so that working towards ultimate goal should not stop and that’s what I have learnt i.e TO NEVER STOP.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Right now it’s free to use. We are more focussed on increasing the engagement on the platform.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: After getting launched, it was the mouth promotion that we were doing and sending links to our relatives and friends group. Slowly with the reference the platform started getting hits and the number of users started increasing. Right now, we are having a monthly footfall on more than 0.6 million on web platform and more than 1.2K mobile downloads.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: Right now we are a bootstrapped startup and have invested around INR 1.5 cr till now. But for the expansion we are actively looking and in talks with some VCs to raise funds(Series A).
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: Success comes when you refuse to give up. There were certain points during the journey of Rgyan from mere concept to a complete Spiritual Social Network, when we faced a lot of difficulties whether it is team building, managing the technicalities or building strategies for the future growth. But together as a team, we crossed all the hurdles and created such a platform which now have a lot of users using it.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: The number of Internet users is rising and with the ease of internet, people in tier 2 – tier 3 cities have started experiencing the power of social platforms(200 -300 million approx). Among such increasing internet users, many have an interest in subjects like spirituality, meditation, astrology, ayurveda and more. Even the millenials have started inclining towards being spiritual. So not only the upper age group, but the youth are also showing an interest in the same.
Looking at all these factors, it is just like that with our platform we are giving them a dedicated channel to express themselves in various ways(sharing images, videos or participating in a debate or answer a question etc) in some meaningful categories. No doubt this is a billion dollar industry and by providing a complete Spiritual Social Network we are looking to attain 10 million users by next year.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in details:
Ans: We now have a monthly footfall of more than 0.6 millions users on our web platform and crossed 1.2K mobile app downloads.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: With the combination and different expertise of founders, altogether we have a very strong view with the user perspective of different age groups as we all are from different age groups. Using the same along with the market research what we have done, the data we have collected, we have built this unique Socio Spiritual Platform.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: We have dedicated team of 11 members with people ranging in Technical Domain(Web Developers, Mobile App Developers), Marketing(Digital and Offline), Graphics & Content Writers.
Looking forward on the product expansion, we will be adding more skilled resources to our Rgyan Family.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: Sharechat, MyMandir, HouseofGod, SpeakingTree – All these platforms can be seen as a competition. But what differentiates us from these platforms is the flexibility of being a dedicated socio spiritual network is what we are providing to the user. User can see this as a complete Spiritual Social Platform.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: Looking at the growth of users and the way people are getting into this sector, we expect In the next six months we will having around 1 million+ visitors on our web platform and more than 1 Lakh app downloads.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Just be committed to your dream and stay invested in your team.
Q.: Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: Recently our app was selected in the IIT Delhi Startup Expo to showcase our product which was organised by Entrepreneurship cell of the college. We were among some few startups that were shortlisted for the same.
Thanks Umesh. Best wishes!