Meet ITchintu: A Serious Startup With a Sense of Humour
Busy IT life bogging you down? This startup wants to make it easier for you — from helping find an apartment to a life partner — all with a heavy sprinkling of funny spoofs
ITchintu is a startup with a sense of humour. If you live in India, you would understand that the name itself is somewhat of a jape. It is actually derived from the frequent jokes that go around in the office. People often tease each other for being a ‘Chintu’ — a person who works really hard but gets few words of appreciation during appraisals. A common situation, if you work in the IT industry.
With the rapid growth of the IT sector in India, young working professionals migrate to hubs such as Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. Thrust into a new environment, they need to find apartments, home appliances, vehicles, jobs, or even life partners. Coupled with their hectic lifestyle, they hardly have enough time to do so. Despite the different available channels, these needs do not get addressed to a large extent. Thus, ITchintu has created a one-stop online portal to help people and make their life better. The online portal offers various utilities and serves as both, an online marketplace and a social networking platform.
Spoofing its way to popularity
As it is crucial that people can easily connect with the concept, ITchintu has employed humour in its marketing to try to win over customers. The company recently launched a social media campaign with the objective of reaching out to working professionals. The brand is being promoted in an unique way through spoofs made on the lifestyle of IT professionals and what goes in a typical tech work life. ITchintu has crafted out spoofs on themes such as appraisals, issues over leaves, bonus, hikes, conversational riposte between employee and boss and various daily tasks.
Perhaps more startups could learn from its humour as the impact of the campaign is substantial, in terms of brand awareness and user engagement. ITchintu is used by thousands of IT professionals, with over 15000 registered users and 9000 posted ads. Its Facebook page has more than 5000 fans. Not bad for a startup with no money spent on advertising.
The people behind the funny
Co-founders Deependra Singh Bundela and Rini Kothari shared that the idea for the startup came from personal experience. The core team has spent few years in the IT field and faced these problems first-hand.
The aim was to help people by providing a marketplace for different utilities and make their life easier. The team brainstormed on various utilities and realised that, quite often, after returning from office, people just want to relax and enjoy. Hence, they thought that it would be great if there was a one-stop portal combining marketplace with social network, added with humourous spoofs. With this, professionals can not only find solutions to frequent needs, but also connect with others to expand their network.
Co-founders Rini Kothari and Deependra Singh Bundela
Talking about the challenges they faced, Bundela said that launching a new startup is like being a juggler. You cannot afford to lose focus from any aspect — be it product development, marketing, finance or team building.
With new unforseen issues to tackle everyday, Bundela says that it is the most exciting part of his startup life. “Working becomes a lot more fun and it keeps me motivated as every day is full of excitement,” he said.
Show me the money
ITchintu shared that its financial journey has been pretty smooth. It is self-funded and has already put in place a financial plan to continue services. After receiving great response and feedback, it has also started looking for investors to strategically expand, the company said.
When questioned about its business model, it was shared that like any other internet startup, advertisement is its major revenue source. Apart from it, ITchintu will also venture into e-commerce. However, as of now, the company is only focusing on growth and providing quality service to customers.
The company is planning to launch a few new features in 2014. Moving forward, ITchintu would like to target not only IT professionals, but any working professional who wants to use their services. The idea is to help people solve their problems.
“I value business not just in monetary terms but also in societal aspects. What impact it has created on society and how useful it is. So I’d like ITChintu to be one of the leading brands in country helping people to make their lives easier,” concluded Bundela.