Someone has rightly said today that ‘Network is Networth’. In the social media generation, it is very important to have connections and a community where you have a sense of belonging. The best way to form a network is to use applications and social media websites in an optimum manner. But the world is updating and with applications like LinkedIn that help you segregate your personal and professional connections or contacts, we need something better to form an engaging community.
Younited is one such platform that provides an application-based solution to build communities within associations. With Younited, associations can search for people, manage operations smoothly, take care of subscription payments, and a lot more.
In three simple steps, associations can form an interactive community and minimize the hassle of management with the help of technology. Team Sociobits, connected with the co-founder and CEO of Younited, Mr. Saad Jamal to know more about the company.
Team Sociobits: How was Younited founded?
Mr. Saad Jamal: Our founding story is interesting. It dates back to 11 years ago when Dr. Nayan Bheda was first introduced to BIA- Bombay Industries Association. Over the next 11 years, he worked with multiple associations on different fronts understanding their key functions, challenges & opportunities.
“We aim to build an OS-based ecosystem for associations & their members. Talking of this huge-untapped market, it’s not just limited to associations. But, their members too. There are 3 million associations in India alone”
During the lockdown, he took it up on himself to build a solution for associations. Mr. Prem Rajpal led the technology. MVP was first launched for BIA. Soon after, other associations started asking for solutions for them. Seeing the growing demand, Dr. Nayan Bheda realized the huge potential of the untapped market & formed a team around him. Later, I joined Younited as the Co-Founder & CEO.
Team Sociobits: What issues are you resolving through Younited?
Saad Jamal: There are 3 Million+ associations in the country. As these associations continue to grow in influence & members’ strength, it becomes much more important & challenging for office bearers to manage their associations & deliver on expectations from members.
Some of the key challenges, we’ve identified are:
- Low Member Visibility: Let’s say you’re a member of the TiE Mumbai Chapter. Let alone Delhi or Bangalore, you won’t even know who’s there with you in Mumbai Chapter. There’s no formal channel to discover, reach or connect with other members as you need. This alone, to a good extent, defeats the purpose of joining an association
- Poorly Managed Database in Excel: It’s simply too hectic & inefficient to perform basic functions like adding, removing, or updating data of 1000s & millions of member details in excel files.
- Poor Member engagement: Members often feel alienated after the initial euphoria of joining the association goes away. Associations also struggle to bring significant participation to their new initiatives. Keeping members engaged throughout the year is much more difficult than it seems.
- Hassle in Subscription collection: Many of these associations have membership fees to be collected. From their 1000s of members. Imagine, a whole team to remind, follow up, collect payments & keep track of everything over calls, texts & emails. The struggle is real.
“There are adjacent competitors like Kutumb & Commutree which are both focused on linguistic & ethnic groups/communities. However, Younited is different.”-Mr. Saad Jamal
Team Sociobits: How has your journey been so far? What are the challenges that your startup has faced or may face?
Saad Jamal: We have just begun and so far our journey has been good. Adaption is a challenge. A lot of associations rely on Whatsapp. Although everyone realizes its limitations, it’s difficult to break old habits. Especially, when the average age of your users is 40-50+. It’s difficult to migrate members to a new platform. Also, as we get it done, it’d be a good moat for new entrants to get over.
Team Sociobits: Who are the potential competitors of your company and why would users choose you?
Saad Jamal: So far, to our knowledge, there are no existing competitors. There are adjacent competitors like Kutumb & Commutree which are both focused on linguistic & ethnic groups/communities. However, Younited is different. We’re the first solution dedicated to trade & business associations. Multiple social media platforms allow group formation. However, there’s no complete solution for the end-to-end needs of an association.
Team Sociobits: Do you have any immediate goals set to be achieved this year?
Saad Jamal: Yes, our goals for this year are:
- Raise seed funds to fuel our current growth & build product further.
- Onboard 100+ associations
- To monetize the product
Team Sociobits: What is your road map for the future?
Saad Jamal: We aim to build an OS-based ecosystem for associations & their members. Talking of this huge-untapped market, it’s not just limited to associations. But, their members too. There are 3 million Associations in India alone. Taking a very very conservative average of just 100 members per association, it means 300 million members! Also, India has 63 million MSMEs. All these MSMEs are part of one or more associations. Yes, it’s that huge. Also, remember, it’s an exclusive, professional & economically strong user base. There are multiple revenue streams to be leveraged out of it.
Through Younited, businesses and associations can grow and it not only eliminates the hassle of management but also makes it interesting for members. The company has already onboarded several organizations and Saad Jamal says that this is just the beginning.