I’m pleased to introduce Vijay Khubchandani, an entrepreneur since 8 years and the founder of MoneyLeo and MindSparx. He was the founder of MVK Financial Services Pvt Ltd, dealing with Loan Products at the age of 20, after the family business of 4 decades collapsed. Within 3 years, he clocked 100 cr worth of loan disbursal, which is an incredible achievement! Later, MVK was converted into MoneyLeo.com, dealing with online loan products. MindSparx has just released its first app – NameMyWorld, that helps parents name their baby.
We get in conversation with Vijay and dissect everything about NameMyWorld and the one advise he would love to give to all entrepreneurs..
1. What is NameMyWorld, and how does it help parents?
NameMyWorld, as the name suggests, is an app that helps parents name their baby (world) better.. It basically uses the principles of Numerology, which is a science of numbers, to determine how suitable a name will be for a baby, and whether that name is in sync with the baby’s date of birth or not.. It is calculated by a unique algorithm in the app, which returns back a percentage score for every name that parents wish to evaluate..
So parents who are in the middle of naming their baby, should first download the app for free and create a profile for themselves and their newborn.. They are then required to punch in the names that they are considering for the baby, to get the percentage result out of 100.. To assist parents further with the selection, we also provide a verdict like Best, Good, Average and Critical for different score ranges..
2. What kind of research is being done to confirm the market for this app?
At the concept stage, we did a lot of research and took feedback from many parents in urban cities, who were either in the middle of naming their baby or had just named their baby..
Surprisingly for us, these people already knew a lot about numerology and had done a good amount of reading on the subject online.. They were intrigued but confused at the same time, because the information available online was way too overwhelming and unorganized.. They were convinced about the authenticity of the science, and also confirmed the rising awareness for the same, but thought that there could be a better solution to leverage this vast knowledge.. Some of them even cross referenced multiple web sources and had given their babies a name, based on a near-safe bet..
So there was lack of a simple, definitive, and easy to use tool which could simply tell them which name out of the considered few was best suitable for their baby, without having to learn the science themselves.. This is when our idea was validated, and we began work on the app based on their inputs..
3. Why did you choose a Freemium model and how does the app make money?
There are various pros and cons of Freemium and Paid model for apps.. And the decision depends a lot on what the app needs to achieve, and who are its users..
For our app, over and above the obvious benefit of quick early adoption, the other major reason for not charging for downloads was that we wanted every parent to utilize the 3 name choices that we provide for Free by default.. That way, we can ensure that if not the best, but every baby at least doesn’t get a wrong name..
We strongly believe that every baby is special, and deserves a fair shot at life.. And a name should be the last thing to clog its path..
As for our revenue, the app offers 3 choices for Free, as a congratulatory gift to every baby from our side.. And for more choices and naming options, we offer in-app purchases starting from $0.99, and going up to $5.99 for our most premium ‘Suggest’ feature where the app also recommends suitable names for the baby from a vast database of names and origins..
4. Which parts of the world seem to be embracing the app and how is the response? Are people making purchases? Please provide numbers and stats.
The app has received some incredible and unexpected response around the world.. Following are some of the best moments, which we witnessed in the first 15 days since the app’s launch on 16th September 2013,
17th September – We reached the 65th rank in the Lifestyle category in India, within 1 day of launch..
22nd September – Apple featured our app in the New and Noteworthy apps in India..
24th September – We received a lot of love from people, with more than 30 tagged wall-shares on social media.. People have started recommending our app in the congratulation messages to near and dear ones who deliver a baby.. Watching this, we decided to felicitate our early supporters and created a Pinterest board.. Here’s the link – http://www.pinterest.com/namemyworld/namemyworld-app-testimonials/
1st October – We just went Global, by helping a parent name their baby in Singapore..
And at the time of writing this, the app is proudly ranking 1st in Lifestyle category in India, and we have just crossed 4000 downloads..
The maximum downloads (almost 81%) are from India, as that is where we have a stronger presence right now.. But other top countries in the remaining 19% are United States, UAE, United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada and Australia among others, in the descending order of downloads..
As for purchases, till now we have sold over 10 in-app purchase items, and have helped name 4 babies (1 from Singapore, 3 from India).. 🙂
5. From the Indian perspective, we still operate on “Jugaad” for getting a lot of things done. So do you think Indians will pay for virtual goods like yours?
It is true that Indians don’t buy apps, as much as people do in other parts of the world.. And this is not because we want to be a ‘Jugaadu’ (a person who finds a work-around) here, but more because the ‘Jugaad’ (Piracy) has seeped inside the apps ecosystem too in India, and things are easily available without any regulation whatsoever.. But it is only a matter of time before people start facing the bitter side effects of these practices, and chose Reliable and Trustworthy over Cheap and Shady..
As far as our app is concerned, it is free for download anyways, and thankfully the in-app purchases are routed through Apple servers for authentication, before a sale can be completed..
Also, our product offering is Unique and offers the best Value for money.. So yes, we are pretty bullish that parents will not only buy from us, but also recommend the app to other expecting and new parents..
6. How are you marketing the app? What has worked so far, and what else in planned?
In terms of Paid marketing, we are only running an App Install campaign on Facebook, which is specifically designed to get you more downloads.. The average daily budget for this, is in the range of INR 400 – 500 per day.. We lower the daily spend during weekdays, and increase it in the weekends.. And so far, we have got some amazing results from it.. To give you an example, if Facebook shows our AD to 5000 people, around 100 people click on it, and we easily end up getting 55 – 60 downloads out of that..
Apart from this, we are also doing some activity on social media for creating awareness.. On a daily basis, we scan the internet to check if any Public Figure or Celebrity has given birth to a baby in the last couple of days.. So when we find out about any such news, we create a profile of that baby in our app, and extract the Top 4 names starting with every alphabet from A to Z, based on the origin of parents.. Once that is done, we take snapshots of these name suggestions and pin them on a dedicated board created for the baby on Pinterest.. The link to this board is then tagged, tweeted and shared online with the celebrity parents and their followers.. Here’s the link to one such board – http://www.pinterest.com/namemyworld/namemyworld-baby-name-suggestions-daniel-j-gillies/
7. There are many different ways to do the same thing. Would like to dig deep into your brain, and understand the major design decisions behind this app.
When we started sketching the wireframes of the app, a couple of things were pretty clear-cut in our mind..
a. We were sure about wanting a profile-based system, so that users don’t have to fill their details again and again..
b. We wanted the app to strictly consist of only the default UI elements of the iOS operating system, keeping customization to the bare minimum.. This was because, a user then doesn’t require a lot of training, and the interface becomes very much predictable and comfortable..
c. We wanted all the pages to follow a uniform and symmetric structure, with emphasis on minimalistic design..
Although we followed these design preferences as much as we could, but there is still a lot of scope for improvement, and our future updates will be much more refined and intuitive..
8. Apart from baby naming, what are the other features in the app?
Apart from baby naming, we have incorporated some more features to keep users engaged and interested such as,
– ‘Name Interpretation’ for reading what the numbers in your name have to say about you, and get a deeper understanding and greater insight into your own personality, and of those close to you.
– ‘Compatibility Check’ for seeing how compatible you are with other people, based on each other’s numbers..
9. What are the upcoming features planned for the app?
There are otherwise tons of features that are in the pipeline, but some of the important one’s are,
– Meaning based Baby Name search, which will allow parents to check for baby names having a specific keyword in its meaning, for example ‘Determination’ , ’Honest’ and ‘Fearless’ etc.. This will be a unique and one of its kind offering..
– ‘Birth Date Interpretation’ for reading what the numbers in your name have to say about you.. This will be a supplement to the existing ‘Name Interpretation’ feature..
– Interpretations inside ‘Compatibility Check’ for providing more detail on why the compatibility is good or bad.. This will mostly be a paid feature, and users can unlock them only for select profiles, for example when they want to check compatibility for Marriage or Partnerships etc..
– ‘Tweet for more’ & ‘Share for more’ inside purchases, which will add 3 more name choices for a user on tweeting or sharing about us on their social networking accounts..
10. From being in business since several years and learning the entire app stuff yourself, what would you say is the one quality that entrepreneurs would need to develop to be successful?
There are otherwise many qualities that I have acquired and inculcated over the last 8 years of being an Entrepreneur, but one quality that has been the highlight of my life, and which has always helped me achieve success, is the relentless pursuance of my goals..
So that is also what I like to see in other Entrepreneurs..
My Experience with the App
I downloaded the app and gave it a good try. The app is very intuitive and addictive. If you already have few names in mind, it will help to get a numerology assessment. With their “Suggest” feature, a whole lot of names database is accessible to the parent, which means less googling and more choices at one single place. The future releases would help make the App more user-friendly.
Currently, with the freemium model – people get to try 3 baby names for free. I’d love to see some sort of freemium implemented with the “Suggest” feature as well, which is currently completely paid.
Saraswathi is the editor and partner at TheTechPanda.com, digital media catering to Indian Startups & Entrepreneurship. While maintaining a day job and a busy home, her mind is nothing short of a jungle. A strong believer in karma – Do good or bad, and it will come back to you, many-fold.