The wedding industry in India is worth ₹33,000 crore and is growing at 25-30% annually. The estimated cost of a wedding in India starts at ₹5 lakhs and can go up to ₹5 crores, with exceptions. It is also estimated that the per capita income will be tripled in a couple of decades and that will result in an increased budget of weddings. With half the population of India being under 29 years of age, the marriage and wedding market in the country is set to boom like never before.
The wedding industry in India is flourishing and there is a tremendous opportunity for startups to capitalize on. With every passing year, the budget and spends on weddings keeps on increasing and people want to make it luxurious and grandeur as possible.
Planning and preparation is a daunting experience for family members where arrangements, bookings, and management start way earlier than the main occasion. Several startups emerged out in this domain to make weddings a hassle-free event. One of such startups is WedEngage Solutions Pvt Ltd.
WedEngage (https://wedengage.com), founded by Michael Jeny CRK in 2016, the Chennai-based bootstrapped startup provides photographers across major cities of India as well as in foreign nations. The startup aims to cut down unwanted cost for the clients and provide them with consistency and quality in the wedding photography experience. One of the ways to cut down the cost is by having professional photographers across various cities which might reduce the travel cost to the wedding venue of the client. The startup also arranges photoshoots for clients traveling abroad.
The startup has launched a new product named www.weselect.io, a web application designed by WedEngage so that client does not squander too much time on selecting the photographs. The clients are provided with a user ID and password to select their photographs within the limit, set for them.
They have their backend editing team in Chennai to take care of the operations and editing to maintain consistency in the style and quality of their final deliverable.
The startup provides customized solutions to clients within their budget. WedEngage has the largest variety of albums to showcase to the clients which help them to choose easily from one of them.
Couples off late are interested to shoot post-wedding at their honeymoon destination. WedEngage provides them with local photographers at their honeymoon destination as this saves them a whole chunk of cash. Secondly, the local photographers know the best photoshoot destinations so the overall photoshoot experience is enhanced.
Michael says, “This idea struck me while I was planning my friend’s wedding. Although my initial thought was to go with a marketplace idea, I later changed it to provide my clients with quality in output by having every service under the brand’s control. Wedding is a one-time event we want to keep every client happy and satisfied at the end of the day. The end-result matters a lot.”
Online marketing channels like Google AdWords and social media platforms garners 30% of their clients, and the rest 70% leads are generated through referrals.
WedEngage started with providing quality services at the least possible price. Earlier, the startup sold packages below the market price and provided quality service to get initial traction. Within 6 months of their launch, they moved from a 100 sq.ft. space to a 1,500 sq.ft. space. The startup hires talent using an online platform like Indeed. They currently have 14 employees working full time with them.
Michael adds, “Our challenges made a better us. We had months where we used to manage more than 5 weddings in every auspicious date and also we had to manage them across different locations. This made us more process-driven which thereby helped to concentrate more on the operational aspects of the business. One reason for installing the IVR system was to streamline and get the best out of our team. “
In the future, WedEngage has planned to penetrate tier-II and tier-III cities. The startup currently provides wedding photography on their portal WedEngage and honeymoon packages on www.wetravelle.com. Michael plans to introduce apparels and accessories related to wedding, honeymoon, pre-wedding, maternity on their new website www.luxepasha.com.
For your information, Michael has 5 years of experience in wealth management with Citibank. He is an MBA Graduate from LIBA, Chennai and has completed his B.Tech from SRM University, Chennai.