IT’S A TECHIE LIFE Metroplus

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Young techies of start-up Techray Business Solutions have come up with a cost effective way for small businesses to run websites



Increasingly, there’s a trend among small businesses – local pharmacies and clinics, interior decorators, bakeries and restaurants, and even refrigerator service centres, to go online. But for many of them maintaining a fully-fledged website is still on the expensive side. No longer, it seems.

A trio of enterprising 22-year-olds, Rahul Ramachandran, Vyshakh Aravind and Akhil Vishnu, friends, college-mates and founders of Techray Business Solutions, a start-up incubated at Technopark’s Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), have now come up with a cost effective solution to maintain a website. They’ve started MrFinders, a domain that hosts customised “mini-sites” (a capsule form of a fully functional website) for small and medium businesses, complete with a unique URL.

“It all started last year when Rahul, now chief executive officer of the company, struck upon the idea for such a solution after he came across an article on how a huge majority of small and medium enterprises across the country do not yet have websites. When we researched about it we found that lack of technical knowledge and cost of creating and maintaining a website was prohibitive for many of them. That’s when we hit upon the concept of a mini site to bring these businesses online, and in turn, customers worldwide to their doorsteps,” says Vysakh, the chief of marketing and finance of Techray. Akhil is the chief operating officer. While Vysakh and Rahul hail from Kollam, Akhil is a city lad.

Armed with the new concept and a workable model for their project, the trio went to Bangalore to meet up with Deepak Ravindran, chief executive officer of Innoz Technologies.

“At Innoz we met K.C. Chandrasekharan Nair, who is in charge of T-TBI, and he liked the concept that he offered to incubate our company then and there. We went live around six months ago and we now have 100 plus mini sites linked to our domain,” says Vysakh.

Apart from the mini site technology, their product’s USP, they say, is the app, ‘Click-to-call’. It helps customers from across the world place free calls online to the required businesses registered on MrFinders.

“All a customer needs is a set of headphones and internet connectivity. We’ve found that it’s particularly useful for customers who want to place enquiries with hotels,” says Vysakh, who, like his friends, completed engineering from a college in Mangalore.

It seems that while they were in college itself the trio were already into the IT business. “We used to develop apps for mobiles. This was before Google Play became this popular and when Nokia and Blackberry were still ruling the roost. But we had to cut our losses because the platform got too competitive and too narrow for small enterprises like us,” explains Vysakh, rather reluctantly.

But the trio seem to have found their footing with Techray and they say that it has been a tough but exciting ride. “Our main challenge has always been finding funding, which, I believe, is the same for all start-ups. Being with T-TBI has given us a direct access to the industry, which we did not have earlier. Our work is more cut out than most other IT firms because we are a product-based company and our revenues depend on the sales.”

MrFinders offers many packages (starting Rs. 1,000), which also includes a range of value added services such as social media marketing. For more information log on to >www.mrfinders.com or contact: 9633949473

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Printable version | Nov 18, 2017 11:57:33 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/click-and-find/article5221592.ece