3 years ago
PUTTING SMALL BUSINESS ON THE MAP
We turn to internet whenever we need information about names, location, phone numbers from pictures or videos as well as other minute details of a place, organization or a person. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo give us information on almost anything and everything we search. Search results are mostly correct in happening areas, but shops and small business in alleys as well as less celebrated places get neglected.
Bhetincha works similar to these search-engines, but comes with two search bars. In the first search bar, you can enter the name of place or thing you are searching for. Then in the next search bar, you can enter the location you are searching for. Using both the search bars, Bhetincha gives a need based and narrowed down results to each of your queries.
So, for those who are searching for places like small retail shops, room-based beauty parlors, plumbers, motorcycle workshops, tea shops or wholesale shops that run in alleys of Kathmandu or elsewhere, Bhetincha has been working as a platform that puts these places on the map.
In the results, you will get information including the name, landline number, contact person and mobile number, location, website link and a brief on what the place deals in. Bhetincha has put altogether 21 general categories for the data of local businesses and service organizations.
Places can also be sought using initials of their business types. Along with that, each of the results also show results of how many times it has been searched and viewed, which gives data to both the customers and the consumers on how the business is doing.
Bhetincha was first set up as a call center tending to people’s need for information by CEO/Founder Prashant Poudel and co-founder Rajesh Sitaula. Slowly, they shifted their area of work to information collection and for the next eight-10 months they collected information on local shops and places. Simultaneously, they started working on the website and designed a search engine portal that now works as a mediator for its customers and consumers to solve small daily life problems.
Day in and day out, Bhetincha’s team go door-to-door campaigning in order to collect the data. Anyone who fills up a form gets a sticker from the team letting others know that now they are on the website. Any interested business can sign up and create a profile on the website. Data of new businesses and updates of existing businesses, repeatedly sought-after and even prospective businesses get collected and then verified by a separate team. The verified data get a green tick in the website.
Bhetincha’s target is to include each and every business and provide all possible choices of services to its customers. “It’s not a revolution, we are simply trying to provide a platform to ease people’s search needs,” said Ayush Pokkhrel, chief operating officer of Bhetincha, said. “So far, people have been very cooperative. They are open to change and realize that advertisement is good for even small businesses. And it has also been beneficial for people as they can now find solutions to their problems within their vicinity,” added Ayush.
Apart from the website, where you need internet access, you can also depend on Bhetincha for the results via your phone. Bhetincha has a toll-free number where one can place their queries. An operator goes through your queries and sends you a text message on your phone with three top results including their detail; which means you don’t have to worry about pen and paper to note down.
If any of the result consists of Bhetincha’s paid customers, then they also send a text to those with your details (two-way SMS system) to guide you and make it easier for you to find the place. This is one of the many advantages for Bhetincha’s paid customers. Paid customers also get a chance to open their mini-website within the main website. The website is controlled by the customers themselves and can be used to advertise their products and services in more detail.
Each day, they are optimizing their search engine for better results. The user base has been increasing but not quite well as they had expected it to be. Nevertheless, they are working to maintain the existing number of users and make it their go-to search engine. They are also trying to expand their reach out of Kathmandu. They are already in major cities like Biratnagar, Butwal and Birgunj, among others, and they intend to reach local businesses from the east to the west of the country. “We hope to engage more local youths and give them employment,” Ayush added.