Interview with Sahil Sethi from KnoDues
YEF – Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Sahil – I have an exceptionally varied background. I am a Marwari guy who hails from North- Eastern India (hometown – Dimapur, Nagaland) and have had the experience & opportunity to study & live across India viz. Delhi (schooling), Bengaluru (graduation) and Manipal (MBA). I also happened to stay in Gurgaon for a year and a half while working in a corporate job.
Educational Background: I graduated in commerce from Christ University, Bangalore and then went on to complete my MBA degree (with specialization in Finance) from T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal. I worked as an Analyst with CRISIL Ratings for almost a year and a half and an equal amount of time handling business development at my family business.
YEF – Why an entrepreneur, y not a high paying job?
Sahil – The problem with a corporate job is that somehow it limits your goals – the targets/goals of colleagues around me during my job was to get a good year-end review/appraisal from their bosses & promotion. I believe these things are too insignificant to become targets or goals in one’s life.
YEF – What inspired you to start your own businesses?
Sahil – I come from a business family and so basic understanding of the nuances of business came naturally to me. Even while I was working at CRISIL Ratings, I was pre-decided that I’m working here only to gain experience and learn as to how big corporate companies are run and how they manage their massive human resources. I always wanted to start something of my own and make my mark in the world.
YEF – What is your company into and what problem does it solve?
Sahil – The Problem That We Solve: Today’s world is extremely social and we all love hanging out with our friends for movies, hang-outs, eat-outs, holidays and a lot more. Get-togethers are so much fun, but managing the shared expenses isn’t! Keeping a track of the expenses and calculating ‘Who owes how much to whom’ is definitely a pain.
Our Solution: KnoDues is an app that provides a simple & convenient solution to the problem of managing shared expenses with friends. KnoDues enables its users to Record their shared expenses, split them easily with friends, keep a track of their dues and share them with their buddies. It makes it as simple as chatting!
KnoDues seamlessly integrates the contact book of the user into the app to make it convenient to split & share expenses with friends on the go. Instant updates to friends are sent for any new expenses and a track is maintained for all dues. Also, KnoDues helps its users to avoid awkward money related talks by providing smart options such as Reminding friends for dues with just a click!
KnoDues pitches itself forward with the tagline “More Friends, Less Dues” simply because we truly value friendships and sincerely strive to never let money related issues to spoil any of them!
YEF – Tell us more about your brand name?
Sahil – The name KnoDues has been well thought out & debated. It was clear to us that the name of the app had to be something interesting and at the same time should define what the app does.
The name “K/No/Dues” was coined by with the logic that it would be a single word which could be easily remembered by people and yet smartly convey two core ideas of the app – Know All Your Dues and Keep No Dues Outstanding.
YEF – How did the idea for your company come about?
Sahil – The idea of creating KnoDues germinated in Saket’s (co-founder) mind when he was sharing an apartment me while working in Gurgaon. Constant hassles faced while tracking shared expenses for our apartment & also for regular hangouts with a common bunch of friends, led to a conviction that this was an actual pain-point.
YEF – What are key services you are providing which are differentiator from the rest?
Sahil – KnoDues is a smart phone app designed to ease out the complications faced in tracking & splitting of shared expenses with friends. Essentially, KnoDues is your Shared Expenses Buddy! KnoDues, as the name suggests, helps you to know all your dues at any point in time and also encourages you to settle them in a timely fashion.
KnoDues allows you and your friends to keep a track of all your shared expenses on the go. The app automatically syncs contact list of the user and makes it very simple to add shared expenses for friends – they can easily be selected from the contact list. KnoDues instantly sends updates to friends for any new expenses added. Also, the app provides friends access to a common shared screen where all dues can be seen and expenses can be added or edited from either ends.
KnoDues keeps a track of all the expenses, and specifies how much you owe to your friends or in case you’re lucky – how much you get from your friends!
KnoDues has an interesting feature called “Events” – users are allowed to create events and add their friends to this event. So next time around when you’re planning that exciting trip with friends, simply create a trip event on KnoDues & add your friends to this event, and then each one can record expenses paid by them. KnoDues would automatically provide an “Event Summary” of who owes how much to whom!
With KnoDues, it gets very easy to avoid awkward situations of reminding friends for their dues. Users just need a simple click on the app to remind their friends for their dues. Users can also inform their friends as to how many days they intend to clear the outstanding dues. Such clever features can certainly help save some misunderstandings!
There are no Indian product offerings in this market currently. We do face competition from a couple of International products, however their presence in India is minimal. Further, we @KnoDues are confident that we offer a much easier and comprehensive solution to the problem of shared expense management for our users.
YEF – What is the pricing strategy and marketing strategy you have been using?
Sahil – We have not yet monetized the app. The app is freely available for download on the Google Play Store. Our primary target market is Urban Indian Youth primarily in the age group of 16 to 28 years. We are planning to tap a lot of educational institutions as well as corporate offices to promote the app.
YEF – How’s the business going on and who are your key clients?
Sahil – The initial response towards KnoDues has been very encouraging. We got 500+ downloads within the our first week of launch. Its been over a month of the launch and we already have more than 1200 downloads. We have 140+ ratings on the Play store with an average rating of 4.7 which indicates that our customers like the product.
YEF – Your current target regions and future plans?
Sahil – We are currently focusing on the Indian market as this market is a blue ocean and has a vast potential. However, we intend to make our product available globally in the short to medium term.
YEF – What do you think are the most important factors that will make your company a success?
Sahil – We are not a Me-Too company. We are solving a genuine pain point for the Indian Youth and are providing a compelling & convenient solution.
YEF – Who are your role models?
Sahil – I’ve always admired Steve Jobs for his vision to create products that people actually required, yet couldn’t imagine that such a product could help them. Moreover his amazing showmanship with which he could capture the world’s imagination!
YEF – What words of advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
Sahil – If you think you have a brilliant idea then there’s no better time than now to Make It Happen!
YEF – What do you think about this initiative of youth entreprennovators forum?
Sahil – It is indeed encouraging for us entrepreneurs to see that our work is being noticed and appreciated. The Indian Startup Ecosystem is still in its nascent stage and needs support from forums such as youth entreprennovators to make it grow.
Visit Company Website: KnoDues