From silly gossips to one’s best-loved passion, everything and anything can become chitchat topics among friends. And often these conversations are not taken seriously and are rather passed as pastime chat. But these bunch of five friends have turned their passion into a business entrepreneurship.
Yes! Anish Prakash, Prasobh V, Pradeep Chandran, Renju Balu and Venkat Ramakrishnan have turned their passion for photography into an online social website named Focaloid. The website launched on August 19, the World Photography Day, within two months has got more than 1500 registrations from photographers and more than 1 lakh page visits.
And the ‘famous five’ has all the more reasons to rejoice as Focaloid recently won i-Accelerator, an all India business idea competition conducted by IIM-Ahmedabad in which around 500 companies participated from all over India.
Focaloid is an online social media exclusive to the photography community. “It is an open, safe and secure platform for amateurs, professionals and enthusiasts alike to share the images they capture, with the rest of the world and thereby bringing together like-minded photographers and photography enthusiasts,” says Anish Prakash, co-founder of Focaloid.
“It provides an opportunity to get inspired and interact with other enthusiasts from around the world. It also enables the photographer to learn new things and keep the passion for photography alive,” he adds.
Focaloid is different
When there are thousands of websites, blogs and facebook pages dedicated to photography, Focaloid allows the users to share their work and get appropriate feedback from the professionals. “Right now there are two kinds of websites catered to photographers, one is a group of stock photography websites like shutterstock, dreamstime etc which sells photographs taken by a photographer and the other is a group of photo hosting websites like flickr, picassa etc where one can store his pictures. But there exists no website now that allows photographers to share their works with fellow photographers, get their suggestions and improve their work. In other words, our website acts as a social media exclusive to photographers,” says Anish.
Recently Focaloid won i-Accelerator, an All India Business Idea competition conducted by IIM-Ahmedabad in which around 500 companies participated from all over India. The website got incubated at Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM-Ahmedabad where CIIE will act as a partner for Focaloid and will advise on business matters. “We are now attending a three-month bootcamp at IIM-A and we will be getting the opportunity to meet with industry experts and investors. “Within two month’s of its launch, Focaloid has obtained 1500+ registrations from photographers and more than 1 lakh page visits. An average user spends more than 10 mins on Focaloid per session, which is more than 80% of the websites in the world,” says Anish.
With ever increasing response, the website has closed down its open registrations and now the new registrations are only through invitations. “Website gets visits from 20+ countries on a day to day basis and already it has got 7000 fans in facebook. So to maintain the exclusivity of the community, we made the user registration only through invitation,” explains Anish.
“In future, Focaloid plans to make itself a platform that caters to professional and amateur photographers alike and also to bring in online mentorship programs as well, where in users will be able to learn more about photography from their peers,” adds Anish.