MUSBA HASHMI chats up RISHIKA AGARWAL and NAVAM GUPTA, Founders of WedHaven, a wedding management app, about how the idea hit them and whether it can be a game changer in the industry
Most of us might be guilty of gatecrashing a wedding or the other both knowingly or unknowingly. However, no one would like to put himself in such an unsavoury situation. While putting a filter on the guests can be bit difficult for the organisers, but it is not much difficult to protect yourself from being one in this tech-savvy world.
Meet a 31-year-old husband-wife duo, Rishika Agarwal and Navam Gupta, who have devised WedHaven, a wedding management app that can help keep gatecrashers at bay, while also simplifying the tedious tasks that are involved in it.
Launched in late February, this year, WedHaven is a result of a lot of personal experiences of the duo. “Until we got married in 2014, we didn’t know the hassle of arranging marriages in India. It is nothing short of a Herculean task. Moreover, the other big challenge is to make sure that all the guests reached the right location. It took us hours to make sure that all our friends and relatives reach the place on time and while engaging in this we ended up missing on some of the precious moments,” Agarwal tells you. She adds that it took them a year for the ideation and research work.
The idea behind the app was to enable people to shed the burden off their shoulders and let the technology do the work.
“Traditionally, people prepare guest lists by writing down the names on paper. It is a tedious task. Now, this is when our app comes to play. One can simply download the app and with the help of our WedHaven Gold plans, they can just export their contacts and prepare a guest list in a matter of seconds,” Gupta explains and tells you that the paid plans start at `5,000. Not that one can’t experience the app for free. There are some features like preparing calendars or scheduling events that one can do for free on the app.
The app creates a digital wedding through the information provided, with details of all the events, venues, timings, real-time updates, and sending out invitations to the guests on the app. Further, one can also prepare a different guest list for all the different functions, given the limited number of guests allowed today. Not only this, to take it a notch higher, one can also track the status of baraat.
The other highlight of the app is that it prevents you from gatecrashing a shaadi. One doesn’t need Google Map, just log in to the app and you will get the directions to the venue. Hence, there is not even a slightest chance to enter a wrong venue with more or less a similar name.
Living up to the name, the duo’s aim is to make weddings as secure as possible. To cater to this, one can generate a code on the app for the guests and can always accept or deny entries as per their choice.
However, the loophole here is, which by the way the duo has decided to work upon, that there is no physical resources on the gate who can confirm the guest name and allow them entry. Moreover, it is also not mandatory for the guests to download the app.
“We are into the early stages of this process and we do have plans to address this problem. We are planning to hire people who can do the check on the entry way. But that will be at a later stage,” Gupta says.
Another fact that can prove as a disadvantage for them is the fact that everything here is online. However, for some it can be the best thing that can happen, while for others, may be for our parents or grandparents it can be nothing but pure inconvenience.
“It is true to certain extent, but now that lockdown has made us all learn the importance of going online, this will not be much of a problem for anyone. More so, since we have kept the design and feature user-friendly and extremely simple. There is no rocket science involved in it. Even our parents with a little guidance can do the trick,” Gupta explains.
He points out that the fact that they are only offering wedding management services and is not involved in organising the same. “We don’t have any intentions of eliminating wedding planners or to eat up their jobs, we are clearly a wedding management brand and our services are a proof of it. And also, only about 25 per cent of people actually involve wedding planners in India, rest of us rely on our parents and close relatives to get the job done. So, competing with wedding organisers and planners is out of context here,” Gupta asserts and tells you that people can book services on the app itself or can do it over a call.
Post the lockdown, the duo has managed 10 weddings under their Gold plan, and the feedback was encouraging. “We have received a positive response from our customers. Like we mentioned before, there are a few features that we would like to add in the near future including logistics. We will continue to update the app and make it more user-friendly and accessible,” Agarwal says.