We are publishing an interview of Mr. Shashank Rai, Co-founder, InUni.
About the founders
Shashank Rai – Shashank is an experienced professional (10+ years) who has worked at mid and senior level marketing strategy positions in various companies like RIL, Videocon and other MNCs. He was craving for more so he joined a startup DoorStep to gain holistic knowledge about business. There he wore many hats from Marketing/Sales to Strategy for launching new stores. Later he co-founded ICAN a Real Estate focussed marketing consulting company which was later acquired by Wave group. Meanwhile Shashank was in touch with his school friend Ashutosh who wanted to start tech start-up and together with Abdullah they decided to launch InUni. Shashank holds an MBA degree and specializes in Marketing, Strategy and team building. Shashank likes to read and always ready to talk about History, Business & politics.
Ashutosh – Ashutosh is an experienced professional (10+ years) who has worked for companies like Microsoft, ST, Samsung & HCL in R&D division. Ashutosh has a very varied experience in software development he has worked on OS development, middleware, embedded devices, Server side & Mobile devices. He has been part of product development team for well known organizations and has developed products from scratch in developer as well leadership roles. Ashutosh holds several patents to his names and has delivered lectures about cutting edge technologies at leading IITs as well. He has also worked on cutting edge tech like AI, Machine Learning & IoT. Ashutosh co-founded InUni with Shashank and Abdullah with belief to enable people within a city to come closer and access information about the place they love. Ashutosh holds a degree in Engineering and specializes in Product conceptualization, development & strategy. He is an avid non-fiction reader and loves to talk about history, philosophy and psychology.
Abdullah – Abdullah has studied Civil & Environmental Engineering from Lafayette College in U.S.A. During his graduation he met Shashank & Ashutosh and seeing their entrepreneurial spirit decided to join hands to co-found InUni. Abdullah has done his education in USA and worked/interned for companies in US/India. He has varied experience from finance intern to Sales team leader. Abdullah brings fresh perspective and energy at InUni. Abdullah is an enthusiastic tinkerer & problem solver. He is experienced in conceiving initiatives, creating and leading talented teams towards end-to-end results and solutions. Abdullah has very strong customer focus and attention to details. He dons multiple hats at InUni from product conceptualization to Information Architecture to Finance and operations. Abdullah is an avid reader with interests in business, product design and geopolitics. He is an accomplished football player having won multiple championships in India and USA.
Dr. Anil Giri – Dr. Anil holds a P.hd degree in Computer Science from JNU and has served in leading universities as professor in Computer Science department. During his academic career Dr. Anil always was always in touch with latest technologies and product development stack. Dr. Anil always believed that in addition to academic curriculum one must always strive to get hands-on in developing end user products in order to get practical knowledge. Owing to this, he was instrumental in setting up industry projects and practical training of students in academia wherever he worked. Dr. Anil was itching to put his research to end user product when he met trio of Shashank, Ashutosh & Abdullah. Dr. Anil being a small-town grown up knew that idea would work with everyone and decided to join InUni. He brings load of his experience from research, teaching and industry interaction to InUni. Dr. Anil specializes in full stack development and has published several papers on learning optimization techniques, swarm intelligence and ad-hoc networks. Despite his hectic academic career Dr. Anil is a cricket lover and bowls at break-neck speed. Dr. Anil’s current research areas include AI, Recommend ation engine and intelligent network.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
On the go hyper local content discovery, social networking & utilities. 54 cities in India with 2-5 million population, with increasing appetite for digital content.
As hundreds of millions of Indians log on to internet, our platforms will provide them personalized & localized digital experiences. Low-Moderate adoption levels of news consumption make this a high growth segment. By 2021, regional language consumption will account for 75% of India’s internet user base. Growth of this user segment will complemented with increasing penetration and adoption of 4G (KPMG Indian Language Content Report).
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
Providing regional city specific, content discovery platforms, focusing on curating experiences of cities, providing localized content for users to discuss, connect, interact and share with people from all over the city on their mobile apps.
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Multi Prong Revenue – Display Ads, Branded Content, Transactions over Service, Vernacular Infotainment are few streams of Revenue.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Age Group – 20 to 55, Tier 2 & 3 cities, It will enhance there buying and consuming pattern. Digital media consumption in Tier-2 towns is ripe for innovative new habit forming products..The user base that makes up the regional language in India grew 41 percent from 2011-16 to reach 234 million users. The same segment is forecasted to grow to 536 million users in 2021.
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
The model is viable enough to easily become a Unicorn, as market is open and few players are there. It will change the social behavior of people of small cities. You can visit http://inuni.io for more details.
Thanks Shashank. Best of luck!