The wedding market place has gradually turned into a domain with many me-too versions grappling to get consumer’s attention. From getting two individuals to meet, to eventually finally arranging and organizing wedding ceremonies; today there are plenty of players at every step of the domain.
Planning a wedding isn’t a cake walk! From organizing basic amenities like electricity, venue and food, you also have to make sure that everything you do satisfies the couple and their guests. The commercially acclaimed Hindi movie Band Baaja Baarat (2010) very aptly showcases the challenges the wedding planners need to face to get things done perfectly.
When Sandeep Lodha returned to India after spending several years in the US, he had a task ahead of him – arranging a wedding in the family. While he remembered the pains of organizing his own wedding a few years earlier, he found it extremely challenging to plan his brother’s wedding – It was a tedious process to put together a list of options and go to different corners of the city just to check availability and prices. Adding to the frustration was going through endless rounds of negotiations with every single vendor. This is where the idea of his startup weddingz.in was born – to help others plan and execute their weddings.
Weddingz.in is an online market place for wedding venues and vendors. It makes everything related to wedding including comprehensive information on venues and vendors, sharing of ideas through real life inspiration weddings etc.
Working in a disrupted market
On talking about the domain, Wharton graduate Sandeep said it is very exciting! “To be able to bring order in a world of chaos is an opportunity very few have. The whole concept of making wedding planning a transparent and accountable process, thereby taking away the pain points of customers is completely new in this industry and in India. We aspire to help customers celebrate wedding planning as much as the wedding.”
Tackling me-too options
There are umpteen number of startups in this domain that are fighting it out for market share in this space. WeddingPlz, WedMeGood and PlanningWale are some of the prominent names in this sector.
When asked about competition Sandeep said, “We are the only platform which handholds customers in their wedding planning journey. We help them avoid troubles of finding and negotiating multiple vendors and not worry about whether they will turn up on the day of the event or not. We also give the best prices, guaranteed!”
Prior to starting his own venture, Sandeep had previously worked with firms like Walt Disney Co and management consulting firm Bain & Co. “With experience spanning several years in different industries, countries, etc, there is a whole lot of learning that has come in handy. From managing people, working with partners, etc, this entrepreneurial journey has been possible only due to the extremely high exposure and quality business experiences at Bain, Disney. Working on consumer products from the start has given immense insights into consumer behavior and customer psychology which has proved to be a key factor in the success of Weddingz,” Sandeep said.
The company raised its seed capital in December, followed by pre-series A funding in February. The company currently operates in 10 cities in India and plans to reach out to top 20 cities by the end of 2016 and 100 cities by 2017-end.