Speaking about the Journey so far, Bhonga’s Founder Ms. Radhika Agarwal said,
I was working in stock markets & job kept me on the toes with its real-time action all the time but at the same time, I was missing the fun of going beyond numbers & doing something where I could make some difference in the life of a common man. Managing school communication & spending quality time with my children were really major problems I was facing about 3 years back. So I decided to put in money where my mouth was. I floated a company called “Linkus Infratech.” I named it Linkus as I wanted to Link child, parent & school for a meaningful purpose. We developed an APP where we could make a difference in the life of a child & parent. But unfortunately, this APP met with limited success. Dealing with this phase was indeed very difficult for me. I came out of this & spent time reflecting on my own learning. I thought to do something which was industry agnostic. I still had that innate desire to do something for the common man. Then finally after lots of discussions, thinking & iterations, I could conceptualize this idea where I could connect the people in one locality who are physically closer to each other.
I feel there are strong micro-economies which can actually prosper through my effort called “Bhonga”
Did you face any challenges?
I feel challenges & difficulties are a part of every entrepreneurial journey. My biggest challenge was to deal with the hitch of my 1st idea of Schloop. I was too emotional about my APP & was under immense pressure to digest the limited success of it. I learned it the hard way that “You either win or learn & there is nothing called as a failure”. I am very fortunate to have an extremely supportive family which supported me in this tough time.
I feel my persistence & patience level has improved now. Bhonga is just 3 months old baby now.
I have a long way to go before I make this “Bhonga” movement a success.
Bhonga APP connects all the people having this APP within a locality of 1 km. It’s a public platform for people in the physical proximity to help each other in case of emergency also to share resources, share locality related information & a strong marketing tool for small business hubs in the locality.
We named it “Bhonga”. Bhonga means a megaphone in Marathi. Bhonga tries giving reach to people for various reasons like an emergency, offer, query, etc. We are here to empower people so that their voice reaches their locality. We feel it’s a digital megaphone so we named it Bhonga.
I feel Bhonga word very aptly captures the DNA behind this APP & translates our vision of connecting people for meaningful purposes very nicely. We also felt that this word is very catchy and will connect the cord with the Indian crowd.
There are beautiful APPs available to connect friends & families but there is nothing to connect the neighborhood which holds immense value for any human being. Any individual interacts very actively with his physical surrounding for his needs. Every locality is a melting pot of people from various backgrounds & age groups. I have conceptualized this APP based on the old Indian concept of “Pados or neighborhood”. The best person who can help is the neighbor. I feel beautiful micro-economies can prosper with this reach.
How about Work-Life Balance?
I feel the work-life balance is just not for me but for everyone in my ecosystem whether it is kids, husband & overall family. My job timings are very supportive as I start early at 7 am in my office and end as well around 4:30. I do get some time in the evening to spend with kids.
I do have a solid support system at home which leaves time for thought process & its execution.
The rule is simple: You have to go beyond your comfort if you want to achieve your dreams & you need to develop a support system to outsource a few tasks. Sometimes you have to say NO to simple joys but that’s a part of this journey.
It’s tough at times but I feel everyone has accepted it wholeheartedly.
Any Plans to raise Funding?
We have developed MVP (minimum viable product) at this time & gauging user’s response & interface at this point. When we are assured of our thesis playing out we are very open to raising funds for scalability.
Any misconceptions about the industry
Start-up magazines & papers all talk about success stories & not setbacks & failures. This gives a budding entrepreneur very lob-sided view of this industry. I feel media needs to give some more space to the failures & mistakes as well where we get a more rational view of this so-called “hot” space. I feel failures teach you more than success.
I feel going beyond your comfort zone & “walking the talk” in every area is a small success in itself. Success can’t always be just quantified in terms of VCs & $$ chasing your venture. I feel it should be a combination of how much lives you are touching & $$. I feel social, the environmental impact of the start-ups needs to be celebrated & not just economic impact.
Feel free to connect with Team Bhonga at [email protected]. Make sure to not spam their inbox. 🙂
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