Launched in 2009, MeraEvents connects the organizers, delegates and service providers from across the country. It offers event organisers with numerous options like listing, promotions, online ticketing etc. The platform adds over 1000-1500 events per month across various categories. MeraEvents is headquartered in Hyderabad.
MeraEvents - Founder
Chennapa Naidu Darapaneni is the Founder & CEO of MeraEvents. After his engineering from JNTU-Ananthapur, Mr. Naidu moved to United States and started his entrepreneurial journey in the year 2000. On returning to India in 2007, challenges he faced in his endeavour to scout events propelled him to start MeraEvents as a solution to a grave problem in the segment. It is with great dedication and clarity in thought did MeraEvents emerge into a one-stop-solution for the event industry.
MeraEvents- Market Details
"The market size for events ticketing in India is $1 billion, but only 10% of the players are using online ticketing platforms. In other words, there is a lot of scope for the business to grow, provided the event organisers can be convinced about the utility of using the online platform.
MeraEvents- The Idea
When Chennapa Naidu Darapaneni moved back from the US in 2007 to India, little did he know that the answer to his quest of doing something in the B2C space lay in the space itself. Naidu was running Versant Technologies – an end to end system integration company specialised in Oracle Retail and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Implementations at that time. Versant was more of a B2B service company. Naidu wasn’t sure what exactly he wanted to do in B2C. Therefore, he started attending a lot of events and seminars to know what is happening in the industry.
And as they say, “What you seek is seeking you.” Naidu found that attending these events was a pain as there wasn’t much information available about the events beforehand. Ticketing, badge printing, meeting other attendees were the other challenges. Hence, he started doing research on these events, often asking attendees how they got to know about the events. Turns out that attendees had limited ways of finding out about an event beforehand, which was either through word of mouth or through scattered information on the net. There was a lack of one proper channel where everything about the event could be known.
Sensing a gap here, he started a portal in 2009 – an event listing, promotion and ticketing platform that connects organisers, delegates, and service providers from across the country. Very tactically, the portal was named ‘MeraEvent’ in order to foster that feeling of association with the event of one’s choice.
MeraEvents - Major Challenges Faced
A year before Naidu rolled out the portal, he started marketing it actively. He even spoke about it at the events he attended. People appreciated his idea which encouraged him to go ahead. But initial sales remained tepid on account of an immature market. Event organisers weren’t averse to publishing their events on the portal. However, they were not fully inclined to own the process. Most of the times, they would fail to intimate the start-up about event changes which created problems in smooth execution. Many of the event organisers were not very tech savvy, hence the MeraEvents team would publish the events for them in the beginning.
Added to that, were the troubles with the payment gateways as well as their limited number. Transaction failure rates through gateways were high, and thus it was another pain point. Initially, the portal used the EBS payment gateway along with one more. Contrast that with today, when multiple payment gateways like PayUMoney, Citrus, along with wallets like Freecharge, Oxigen, etc. are being used. Hence, in the initial days, penetrating the market took time.
MeraEvents- The Team
Over the last few years, MeraEvents has grown its staff from 6 to well over 60, expected to reach 100+ people by end of this financial year (2018-2019).
MeraEvents- Product and Services
MeraEvents provides value addition to the events of the organizers as they offer numerous options like listing, promotions, online ticketing etc. to the event organizers. The USP is that the organizers can list their events for free. Moreover, they can choose from the varying paid promotional packages, and benefit from the lowest payment gateway solution for selling tickets, etc. They offer end to end event Technology solutions to the customers.
MeraEvents is a one-stop platform for events of all kinds. They have events listed across various categories and are trying to include all the events happening across the country on their platform. Professional, Entertainment, Sports, Training, Spiritual, Campus, Trade Shows, etc., are some of the categories they have on their portal, which would help people fine tune their search and narrow down their results.
Of all these categories, events from the Professional, Entertainment, Training and Sports events tend to be the most popular of its kind. Furthermore, they add around 1000-1500 events per month across the various categories.
MeraEvents also offer services in terms of managing the services related to ticketing, online and offline; registration counter management and digital marketing.
Currently, MeraEvents offers various solutions including EasyTag, Digibroc, MoozUp, and Venues.
Coming a long way from 2009, MeraEvents has grown to 60 people in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Gurgaon. About 80% of its revenues come from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and NCR. On an average day, it sells around 1000-15000 tickets, that garners ticket sales of around 3-4 lakhs a day. MeraEvents is closely selling 1Cr worth tickets per month for now and expected to grow in the coming years.
MeraEvents is witnessing more than 200% growth, year over year with the addition of 1000+ new events every month. The company powered 10,000+ events during 2013-14.
MeraEvents- Business Model
The business model is built around commission on event deals.
MeraEvents started their process as purely a ticketing partner for different events and began taking a commission only on the tickets. However, over the years, they have emerged as event ticketing technology solution provider managing the ticket desk and also becoming an end-to-end event marketing company.
MeraEvents- Revenue Model
For revenue, the event organisers can list their events on the platform for free and create a unique URL for the event. However, they have to pay 1.99% to payment gateways, and a 2% service charge on every ticket. They also have the option to sell directly from MeraEvents wherein the service charge goes up to 8%.
MeraEvents.com has raised $1 million USD strategic round of financing from OMICS International
MeraEvents- Partnership and Tie-ups
In 2015, MeraEvents has announced their partnership with media and communications firm, Percept Live Pvt. Ltd. The deal size is approximately $10 million worth of transactions on the company’s platform.
According to the partnership, MeraEvents will offer end-to-end event technology solutions, for managing the online and offline ticketing. Along with it, they will provide ground management of entry of attendees at upcoming events of Percept Live across India.
MeraEvents.com is currently one of India’s leading 360-degree event technology solutions provider competing with Explara and Bookmyshow.
MeraEvents- Future Plans
The company will use the funding to continue expanding its reach to other cities, accelerate product growth and innovation and invest in additional sales and marketing resources.
MeraEvents- Founder’s Advice
“Have a holistic plan and talk to someone who can give blatant opinions before you start implementing it. Be open and flexible and take a look at market demands while running the business.”