The idea of redanar came about in mid 2011 when Sharmil went to Geoffrey’s (a popular bar in South Mumbai’s Marine Plaza Hotel) and stumbled across a leaflet saying you get 15% discount on food and beverages if you use your SBI Credit Card to settle the bill. He was surprised to learn that this offer was running for the past 9 months… being a frequent patron of Geoffrey’s, he could have saved hundreds of rupees over the past year if he had just known about the offer! After shaking his head many times he availed the offer by settling the bill with his credit card instead of cash and took advantage of the 15% discount.
On his way to home that fateful summer night, he realized that if there was an offer at Geoffrey’s, there have to be many more such offers… offers which regular consumers like him are not even aware of to take advantage of them. After coming home he took out his credit card kit and found a booklet of SBI offers. He went through it and found nice offers at many places he frequented regularly. The rest as they say was history… Sharmil decided to create a mobile app which would showcase these offers to consumers based on their location.
The app would have a list of all the credit and debit cards issued in India (and eventually globally), it would have offers linked to those particular cards, and all merchants, restaurants, shopping centers, malls, etc. would be geotagged so that consumers could discover offers in their neighborhood through their phones while on the go! It would also be advantageous to have a notification system to notify users about offers in their vicinity and applicable on their cards.
Sharmil did some more research on deals on cards and found that most banks have amazing deals for their cardholders but very poor way of communicating them to their consumers. If you take all the major banks together, there are over thousands of amazing offers which can be utilized by consumers for their everyday shopping, dining and entertainment spends. What’s great is that these offers are valid for almost the entire year (completely opposite to the daily deals which expire after a few days), so more and more people can benefit from it as and when they get time. And the best part about these offers.. wait for it.. THEY ARE ALL FREE! Banks give away these offers for free to their consumers as long as they use their cards for payments instead of cash!
redanar’s first version was quickly developed for iOS and Android platforms. The application was well received by early adopters, so he started working on a new and improved version for both these platforms. During this time he met his old friend Devang after many years (both were in the same school). Soon they got chatting and Devang loved the idea. Devang is one of the promoters of digital outdoor advertising company called Digital Signage Networks. He quickly understood how great the idea was as a media and marketing tool for banks, brands and merchants and wanted to partner with Sharmil and help develop the app further and market it. Sharmil was also happy to have him on board as a co-founder, so both teamed up and decided to make redanar the best and most loved app in the consumer space.
They soon started expanding the team and hired Akshata as iOS developer. Then came Arul as BlackBerry developer. I was hired after that to handle content. Then came Yogita and Arshad for testing. Soon Shaul was hired for designing and Ghanshyam to help put amazing content. Sharmil himself handles all the php stuff and Android app, while Devang looks after marketing and tie-ups. This is our team as of now but it’ll grow in near future as we need few more team members.
Our office is located in South Mumbai and we have pretty chilled out work culture with both bosses being really cool! I have been in this company since last four months but have never seen Sharmil or Devang being “bossy” with anyone though you are expected to put in your best. Their thinking is work as you like but give your best. And as it is a startup you have to take ownership of your work and fire all cylinders to get the work done.
We work like crazy and have already updated the app thrice, each time adding meaningful new features. Fourth version is almost ready and will be out in next week or so. That’s not all we have already started work on a new version which will be drastically different from our current version. In the new version we are trying to bring in a “social” element and are changing the complete UI. As it is a drastic change from our current app, we got truck loads of work, so ending this post here to get back to some other work, but I will be back shortly with a new, interesting post.