About Mohit Saini, Co-Founder of Contree App
Mohit is the Co-founder of Contree and is a native of Haryana. He has completed his engineering from Pune University and did his MBA from Mumbai. Before starting his venture he has worked as a Team Lead with JP Morgan for 2.5 years. He discusses about his startup and what Contree is all about.
When and how did you think about Contree?
The eureka moment came when i had to collect money for a get-together from my peers who were all residing in different cities and were planning to meet in Mumbai. The problem became more complicated when few decided to pool a percentage of the entire amount which caused the calculation even more complicated. This is quiet a common story among groups during meetups/party. Moreover, there is not a single platform where group can actually communicate and collect payment for trips, movies or social gathering. This gave me a hint to device to solution which should be simple to use and can help anyone to manage and settle expense in real time. Then Contree was born.
From whom you got inspiration to start Contree and who is your mentor ?
As it is said, “Necessity is the mother of Invention”, the expense management and payment problem is quite prevalent among students and room mates. Contree as an idea was generated out of real world problem of managing group expenses and money change problem sharing, everyone is bound to contribute in one or the other way in their social circle and faces the challenge of chasing their friends to get back their share. Neeraj Gupta, CEO of TIDES incubator(IIT R) has been our guiding light since inception.
About Co-Founders and Team.
The Co- founders are four friends and three of them are batchmates from IIT Roorkee. Their active participation in the co-curricular activities made them look out for the real world problems and find their solutions. Also, student life is more prone to these issues considering the unavailability of liquid money and most of the expenses being done in groups.
Contree is an interactive group expense management and settlement app with free bank transfer facility. It is a unique way to split, manage and settle expenses among flat mates, college students, colleagues.The updated version has been launched on play store and has received positive reviews from their users. Let’s take an in-depth look at the app.
When the MVP was launched on Google Play store it saw revenues of about Rs 80,0000 without any sort of marketing expenses. Currently they have 1200+ users who have tested and reviewed the product based on which improvements were made and was publicly launched in June . Their revenue model comprises of charging a flat fee of 2.5% from merchants and by providing enterprise solutions as B2B model.
What challenges did you face while setting up Contree?
Challenges comes in every project and we have been facing the heat right from Day 1. Sometimes it takes weeks of brainstorming to figure out tech related issues which is followed by repetitive testing, you face the wrath from your beta testers which can be an issue with the product and at other times problems can be resolved well within your network. You need to use your network wisely and try to meet new people related to your business everyday. Challenges are actually fun and are a signal that you need to push more and give your 100% to your business. As rightly said by APJ Abdul Kalam ,“Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success”.
What’s the Current Path, Contree Funding Status and Future plans?
Feedback and suggestions are the core mechanisms which are the prime requirements for the improvement of the product. The team has tried to incorporate feedback within the Contree app and it is present in the navigation bar. Users are presented with a brief questionnaire on the basis of which the developer team analyzes the pros and cons of incorporating that feedback/suggestion into the app.
We were bootstrapped until June 2016. Our business plan was selected under the coveted IIT Roorkee incubator TIDES which has provided Contree seed fund for developing and scaling our product. The support from institute has been tremendous from day one and we have budgeted the fund utilization for marketing and hiring.
Our social media pages have seen whooping adoption because we are a young company which has students and youths as their focus. Our facebook page (Facebook.com/ContreeApp) has currently 5400+ followers and twitter (Twitter.com/@Letscontree) has 900+ followers that too within a short duration of 5 months.
The team has identified a niche segment (college students and flat mates) for marketing the app, which will set the base for targeted marketing approach right from the start and thereby, will help them in efficient future strategic planning. They would be launching Canteen Payments on their platform with pilot test being run in IIT Roorkee campus (their alma mater).
Contree has been released on the Android platform and will soon to be launched on iOS and Windows. The app contains management and payment features which are exclusive for Indian audiences. Download Contree App for Android.
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Website : letscontree.com