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With Smart Q & Hate2wait, the nightmare of queues is almost over


After having sold his first company, Tastykhana, to Food Panda in 2014, Shachin Bharadwaj was on the lookout for a new business idea. It was while waiting at a paediatrician’s clinics that he struck upon an idea for a new venture, which he would later name ‘SMINQ’ (see me in no queue).

Around the same time, Krishna Wage, an IT professional in Bengaluru, was trying to think of a way to cut the long wait that generally follows an ordered meal. We realised that despite picking the quickest option, he still had to wait for 40 minutes for his lunch. “This got me thinking on the need to shorten the time we spend waiting in lines, whether at food courts, multiplexes or in shops,” he said.

The result was SmartQ, a queue management mobile application that helps people order online and sends them a notification once their meal is ready. The app is in use at nine IT parks and offices in Bengaluru. Bharadwaj, on the other hand, is focusing on doctors’ clinics — 36 clinics and about 220 bookings daily, to start with. “The traditional appointment system is broken and you end up waiting even if you have an appointment. Here you can remotely join aqueue and you’ll get a text notification ..

Hate2wait offers a similar service in the national capital region. CEO Gaurav Khurana came up with the queue management app primarily to reduce wait time at restaurants, but soon saw the demand at clinics and even car service centres. “You can check the wait time and decide whether you want to join the queue. The app will send you alerts and you can see the live queue status,” he said.

Hate2wait is operational across 400 businesses in the NCR. Khurana is now focusing on improving the app’s capability and remains on the lookout for new verticals. The average age of users tends to be in the mid to late 20s.

Meanwhile, SmartQ, which has tied up with online wallets to enable payments for meals, has se-en its userbase rise to about 50,000, generating a gross merchandise value of Rs 2-3 lakh daily in its first year of operation. SMINQ recently introduced the option for people to pre-pay their consultation and other fees and within five days has generated payments over Rs 35,000

The core proposition though remains allowing users to better manage their time. Vaibhav Domkundwar, CEO of micro-venture firm Better, who is working with SMINQ, said: “The problem is real — queues are huge time wasters. Waiting time is unpredictable for a slew of local services. It’s frustrating for consumers, highly unproductive and is a challenge for every local business. Queues also lead to loss of revenue for businesses. My excitement is not just for the tactical queue elimination piece but ..

Perhaps this is why even an entity like the State Bank of IndiaBSE -1.94 % has introduced a ‘No Queue’ app that allows customers to book an instant queue ticket for select services at some of its branches. The business model is primarily commission based, with consumers able to access the service for free.

Wage, who recently signed up with WiproBSE -0.81 %, Accenture and Cap-Gemini to roll this feature across their campus’ in India, said: “This is saving their employees’ productive time, which is why they see value in it. For food court vendors too, long queues often result in a loss in business and a lot of people choose not to order. Further, this integrates with their existing system, making it easy to use.”

Source: economictimes