Endless cups of coffee, tired sleepy eyes, ache and pain in every bone and fibre of your body, just a gist of what the week felt like. No matter how much you love and enjoy what you did all week long, weekends are meant to unwind and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. While for some, a walk to the park or a spa therapy sounds inviting, nothing can do outdo a night with your crazy friends at the club over some drinks and music. With a similar agenda in mind, two crazy party-goers, Ranjan and Burhanuddin, established OyeParty to rekindle the weekend experience.
The Passion that Led to OyeParty
The Co-founders Ranjan and Burhanuddin both graduated from IIT Kharagpur in ‘08 and ‘09 respectively. Though they didn’t know each other in person while in college, they shared common friends. After college, Ranjan joined ONGC and later shifted to ITC, where Burhanuddin joined after graduating. While working together at ITC on various projects and after work beer sessions, they found the synergy of thoughts and the common thirst to create something valuable. However, like for any other working professional, it was hard to get rid of salary addiction. To add, they both had decent scores and nice CVs to be in a good B-School. They ran their calculation and the summary was “Rs. 60 Lakhs loan for a 2 year MBA in US, leading to 2 years of job further to repay the loan”. At the age of 25 if you fit the above timeline, you know that your comforting salary after MBA shall be enjoyed later by your kids, not you. They realized “it’s now or never”. Hence, they resigned from their jobs to plunge into what they believed as their time to say “It’s my life.”
They were sure of one thing. They wanted to do something which is fun, low investment and fast growing. Both being party freaks used to spend weekends in big groups at Discs and Clubs, which at times were disastrous experiences, despite of the fact that they were ready to pay. A blend of passion for Nightlife and the desire to create something big led them to Oyeparty.
The Tricky Pathway
The basic groundwork for OyeParty started in Dec’11. It took them 2 months to visit 500 premium restaurants, Pubs and Clubs and to understand the market gap, potential, and the intricacies of deals and Business perspective of the game. Once that was clear, they started working on the website and services that they wanted to offer. After several rounds of troubleshoot, the website was launched in June’12. At the same time, they got OyeParty registered as a Private Limited Entity. “When I look back, it was perhaps the most difficult 5 months of our lives. It was a time when we didn’t know if our thoughts were making any business sense.” adds Ranjan.
Ranjan recalls “Our journey has been full of stories and melodramas. I belong to a service class family in Bihar, where I am still asked “How is your shop doing?” For 6 months till Dec’12, I didn’t tell my family that I have left my job at ITC. At times in the morning, it was difficult to remember who knows it and who doesn’t. Amidst the ups and downs, the finest and toughest was the New Year season.
We managed to work out deals to sell New Year Eve Passes for 19 Best resorts and Clubs in Bangalore. The challenge was to convert a good sale. We marketed aggressively on Social Media, SEO and cold calls. We were 3 people managing the show of phone calls, ticket booking, technical glitches and at times ticket home delivery on bikes. It was tough having no time to sleep and eat, but we managed 3000 Phone requests and Sales worth Rs. 6 Lacs in 5 days.”
Tie-ups and Monetization
OyeParty made around 36 Lakhs INR in year 1 of operation, which was primarily through Ticketing, Branding activity and Online Event Promotion. There are further monetization avenues of surrogate branding, Bulk Bookings, customize your own party etc. The climax is to have the customer. Money shall be the byproduct. They also have tie- ups with the best of the Clubs and Lounges in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai.
Out of the Ordinary
Oyeparty is first of its kind of Nightlife Social Media where stakeholders (Club, Clubbers, Event Organizers, Promoters, and Artists) around Events, Parties & Music can connect with each other. The agenda is to create a holistic platform where Club’s marketing effort reaches to the relevant ones, Event promoters/ Organizers get a space to connect with clubbers, Artists get a place to showcase themselves and connect with their followers, and Clubbers get to reach to the most desirable party ensuring a happy evening. Unlike any of their competitors who are trying to capture either of the above mentioned segments, they intend to create a win win marketplace for all.
The Future Wish List!
Oyeparty’s Alpha Version will be launched in a week or so with its Social media glamorous Avatar. Next to follow in September’13, is an Android App with amazingly cool features like party suggestion, tweet about ongoing party, “know where your friends are partying” etc.
That’s not the end of the list. They have even further add-ons lined up to shake the market. Five years down the line, they visualize and aspire Oyeparty being talked synonymous to partying, Clubbing & Nightlife in India and abroad.
Ranjan’s Startup Advice to budding entrepreneurs- “Being an entrepreneur is a tough and a thrilling journey and it’s perfectly ok not to be one. But if you are thirsty to be one, it’s not going to happen the “planning and reading” way. You will have to go out and dive deep without knowing the consequences, get your hands dirty and learn it the hard way. There are no short cuts and no science formulas. It’s a sheer art.”