I was studying to be a lawyer at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. After I graduated, the obvious path for me to take was to apply to law firms or consultancies, but I never felt like it was my calling. Even when I was at University, I was interested in the idea of starting something of my own, and building something valuable from the ground up. I was itching to do something different and around this time, I started working at 91springboard, a startup incubator. My time here exposed me to a lot of new ideas and allowed me the chance to work with various startups at different stages. I got to experience what it was like to run a startup and solve new challenges every day. I had finally found what excited me; the kind of satisfaction I got working with startups I never did in my time at college or working at law firms.
It was here that I met Apurv, who ended up becoming my co-founder at SquadRun. He shared with me this idea, of monetizing excess capacity of time using crowdsourcing. I immediately loved the concept and decided to jump right in. We strongly believed in the idea and could identify with the plight of college students having way too much free time and not enough pocket money. At the same time, I felt that it was a highly scalable project with a clear value proposition even on the business side. It was an exciting new idea and I felt passionately about it. We got in touch with Vikas, Apurv’s friend from VIT and he too felt that it was an incredible idea and joined us as the head of engineering. Initially, we did a few offline experiments to validate the concept and once we got reasonable validation on both sides, we decided to take the leap and SquadRun finally came into being.
SquadRun is a gamified app that pays you for completing simple fun tasks which we call ‘missions’. Missions range from activities such as matching products or hashtagging images, categorising books etc. Every time a player successfully completes a mission he/she earns ‘SquadCoins’ which can be redeemed for mobile recharges and online shopping coupons. The app features lives, levels and various difficulty levels so the players can map their growth and do different types of activities making it a really fun way to kill time. They can play it in the metro, in a boring lecture, while waiting in queues; any free time they have can be converted into value using SquadRun! This way, we are able to provide solutions to businesses with big data problems (our client range from big MNCs to E-commerce websites) in a way that is super efficient and fun.
We launched the beta version of the app in July 2014 and since then have seen considerable success. There are over 10,000 players on the platform and constantly growing! What is most heartening is the kind of feedback we get from our players. They never fail to let us know that they love the app and are having great fun doing the missions. Of course, sometimes there are unhappy players too but we’ve got a philosophy where the entire team does customer support and this really helps us connect to and understand our player.
Even though we’re a very young startup we’ve had our share of ups and downs, have faced and solved problems that lay in our path, have been overwhelmed and also celebrated little victories, but the best part about the startup has been the learning that it has enabled. Everyday is a test of not just your skill but also your commitment and it is an absolute joyride! I am constantly fascinated by the pieces of knowledge that I learn every day just to keep the business on track.
I was a very confused law graduate, I did not know which path to choose but I’ve now come to realise that there are so many opportunities which you haven’t been exposed to yet. Even though there is yet a long way to go, I have found what I need to do, where I need to be, something I couldn’t have imagined just a couple of years ago. What I’ve learnt is that all you need to do is keep an open mind and adapt to new situations.
This is a great time for women entrepreneurs. More and more women are breaking out of conventional roles and achieving greatness in new spheres. Thanks to a great team, we have been able to maintain an environment of equality and respect in the workplace and a focus on skills, aptitude and pure hard work!
Want to be part of the Squadrun Team? They are hiring freshers! Click here for more details and apply now.
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