Imagine yourself in a restaurant enjoying a scrumptious meal with your loved ones or if you are the kind who enjoys your company the most, then imagine yourself alone. You love the mouth-watering aroma and are ready to dig into the meal. It’s the perfect delight for your tastebuds. But then because it is spicy, your forehead forms beads of sweat, you wish the room was just a bit better so that you could have enjoyed your meal without being bothered by the heat or by the noise of the vehicles on the road.
And that’s when it strikes- it’s not just the food that provides joy to the soul but the entire ambience of the place that one wishes to have food from!
Keeping that in mind, Tunnn came up with an exclusive website that guides one about not only the quality of food served at a particular place but also informs one about the ambience of that place.
Team Startoholics caught up with the Director Sumit Charles from Tunnn to know more about their start-up. Sumit is a creative architect and a web entrepreneur. Currently he is also the chief creative resident at Firstbase. When he isn’t creating or breaking something, he enjoys innovating new products, listening to music, and daydreaming about going on a long vacation. With over 15 years of professional experience in various creative and technical fields, Sumit serves as the glue to the yin and yang of the design and development process at tunnn.com.
As interesting as it sounds, here’s a sneak peek into his team’s journey this far.
Tell us a bit about your background and the path that ultimately led you towards Tunnn.
I run an advertising agency. In November last year I got a call from a friend who was visiting Delhi for the first time. He’s a music buff and I wanted to take him to a place where we could have a good beer along with live music or a karaoke. I searched online for such a place but failed to locate something so specific. There were a lot of online websites with really good information on food quality but there wasn’t much detail about the ambience or the mood of the place.
When going out to spend an evening or to dine at a restaurant, we look for great food but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are times when a taste of a Dal Makhni, Chilli Chicken or a five star hotel’s buffet won’t matter as much as the ambience of the place. This was the ignition for tunnn.com – making it simple to find a restaurant based on one’s mood.
How did you take your fist step towards Tunnn? Did you receive any funding from angel investors?
Tunnn is funded by Firstbase Media
How long did it take to put together Tunnn?
The site took around 6 months from programming to User Interface. We are still very hungry and we keep brainstorming and adding new features time to time.
What is the hardest part about your job?
We got several offers for buying a data bank from various companies for Tunnn. We never accepted that and we won’t do it ever. It fails the core purpose of the site.
We are not here to give a directory of restaurants to people. The challenge here is to visit the place personally, read as many reviews as you can and then list the places.
The soul of the site is to make it easy for foodies/visitors to search for places as per their mood.
Our data bank is relatively very small in comparison to many other food directories online but we can vouch for the quality of the data.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Stay hungry Stay Foolish” from Steve Jobs from his Stanford University commencement speech.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I keep making mistakes. What I learn out of it is to keep making mistakes and keep learning. At least you would not be regretting your decision of not even trying.
What are your plans for promoting Tunnn? Also, do you have any tie-ups?
Tunnn is getting a really good response through word of mouth. We don’t have any tie-ups as yet. We don’t want to force the product on anyone and believe in word of mouth publicity. Our Facebook page is getting a good traction for us too.
Which is the one startup that has recently caught your interest (if any)?
Hipmunk.com Their User Interface and functionality is really good.
Do you have any new features in the pipeline?
We have a lot of new features to be added to the site. Our online app will be hitting the stores soon.
Who would you say is your biggest competitor?
We are truly not here for competition. This site was born out of our personal requirements. We compete with ourselves here on how to make this product more and more user friendly. We are just 1 month old and we have miles to go from here.
A piece of advice that you would like to give to young entrepreneurs would be-
So the next time one plans to dine out, we have an option of finding out about the entire ambience before actually stepping foot there. Hope it fulfils the needs of the ‘Hungry’ crowds (oh wait… This hunger is not just for food but for something more!)
Best wishes to Tunnn!