It’s a beautiful Sunday and you wish to bathe and laze around the swimming pool in your clubhouse. But your family wants to go out for the weekend lunch out. What do you do? Options are restricted and you do not want to disappoint your family. High chances are you drop your plan and set out for a luncheon with your family. That’s passé …folks we are in 21st century now.
How would it be if you could go out for a lunch date with your family and at the same time enjoy your swim too! But what are the options available? Are there any such by-the-pool side restaurants that could suit your needs? How will you know?
Welcome Hudku, ‘hood’ ‘ku’, Kannada verb for ‘search, the global local search engine for all your needs. And it’s not for restaurants alone! So whether you are in your city or travelling around the globe you can search your favourite hotspot in just a few clicks. Imagine a tribal in Orissa who has this exquisite palm leaf painting or a toy maker in a village 60KMs from Bangalore or an African tribe, being able to sell their ware in the global market. Hudku eliminates the constraints of geographical boundaries to be found by anyone, anytime and at anyplace in the globe.
So how is Hudku better than Google or all the local search engines prevalent today? There is no local search engine today with global data. Every local search engine present today is for a particular country. In that country also a city has to be fixed by the user before issuing the search query. Also existing local search engines mainly target users with very basic queries such as those who are looking for restaurants, furniture, courier service and other small local businesses. Hudku.com aims to target all netizens without any geographical boundaries (the company sourced initial data from Yulop), covers all segments from corporations, government, NGOs, traders, manufacturers, products, brands, materials, artists, professionals, schools down to your local craftsmen such as a plumber and electrician
Hudku.com has been founded by Arun Kumar and his panch pandavas from IITs and RECs. Here is a candid conversation we had with Hudku.com.
We understand that today in all spheres such as software engineering, mechanical, electrical, telecommunication, etc. suppliers of products or services could be from any part of the world and the customers or consumers also could be located in different part of the world. We felt that there should be an International business / product search engine that could be used by firms, industries, manufacturing plants, etc as well as a house wife or any other ordinary citizen.
In today’s world which is a global village, the business community can always find certain products more competitively priced in some other parts of the globe like an Indian might find electronic goods cheaper in Japan and China, a European can find dry fruits, spices, herbal medicines more competitively priced in India and certain other countries. In as much as the cargo services and logistic services have also been improved to a great extant the businesses can always plan to import such goods at competitive prices and get benefited. From this perspective Hudku.com is attempting to provide global information on a local basis in a single window interface saving the hassles of selecting country, city and locality from multiple windows.
We are the only global local search website. Our search interface is extremely simple with a single input box where the user has to type the query.
Search can be for businesses in a particular: Locality, City, State, Country.
We did not want the search to be restricted to Yellow Pages search. We have combined Classifieds also so that users can sell used items such as cell phones, laptops, furniture, pets, etc as well as used vehicles and real estate property. Thus Hudku.com is the only local search engine that combines Yellow Pages and Classifieds covering search needs of people across the globe, on a single platform.
Our website is not specific to a City or a Country, and is already available online to all the internet users around the globe. Users are using it and we intend to expand our reach by popularizing our website.
Pi: How is Hudku.com funded and how do you plan to generate revenue from the business model?
We are currently self funded and provide our services free as of now. We intend to first focus on improving the services we are providing and reach out to as many users from as many countries as possible. However when we see increased traffic we plan to charge a subscription fee for what we call as “Premium” Advertisement listings. A simple basic listing that has the name and address is free, however if a business or an individual wishes to have a photograph, a banner ad, video and so on we plan to charge a fee for this premium listing. In short subscription and advertisement is the model to generate revenue.
Our marketing efforts have been focussed at increasing traffic to our site. To that extent we are leveraging popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo search along with small investments in Google adwords.
First we want to popularize our website by making our existence known to more and more users. We definitely have plans to take it forward from there by offering several innovative and highly useful features that would benefit businesses as well as users.
At every step of the way we want the users to perceive that the features offered are of world class and keep accumulating several such features.
When we launched our site end Feb this year we had 50+ visitors per day. Today in a little over 1 month we are seeing about 1200+ visits each day. From a total number of around 100 visitors in end Feb, today as of April 10th we have close to 40,000 visitors at Hudku.com. We are very encouraged with the response we have seen so far.
We plan to increase traffic to over 25,000 visits per day and procure global data for a few countries. We are working on a mobile app that would be available for use very shortly. Thereafter Hudku could also be accessed on mobile devices through an easy download of the application. Soon you could obtain results by sending your search query as SMS to Hudku. We are also working towards setting up a call center so that you could obtain the services by calling our call center number. Users of Hudku would be able to avail any services or buy or sell anything sitting at the comfort of their room and accessing Hudku on the internet or by using our mobile application or by sending a SMS.
7. Any other details/info you would like to share
Our intent is to make “User-Search” experience an easy and enjoyable one, and our aim to continuously improve our site to ensure users achieve an energizing experience at Hudku.com. This is our goal and we have miles to go to achieve this goal. We have made a beginning and we believe we have the technology and the vision to achieve this goal.
Currently user experience at using Hudku.com means – No more multiple clicks required to search; just a single window allowing users to search in simple natural language.
We provide improved Quality of Content & Information presented as a result of search. Example if someone is searching for an apartment for rent; search may also show ads for associated services such as house maintenance services, TV Rentals and so on. Our intention is to serve all the citizens worldwide and satisfy them by providing fast and relevant search results with a very simple to use search interface and provide them a rich and enhanced user experience.
We have filed for a patent. Our patent is about handling large number of users to a website at any given instant and efficiently and quickly fulfilling the users’ requests so that more computing resources are made available to handle large number of website visits / request as every request is fulfilled and disposed efficiently.
Hudku is trying to make a considerable change in the way we search for stuff on the internet. Although indirectly, it faces stiff competition from Quikr.com, OLX.com, asklaila.com and the big daddy, i.e. justdial.com. However, there is a fine line they need to match. Unlike other websites they need to ensure that data when searched for, exactly matches the requirement of the user.
For example if a user searches for Multi-cuisine restaurants for Navi Mumbai the search should throw up only the desired details minus the information of restaurants in other areas (We understand that is under the considerable push from the sales team). These simple forces and tweaks could make Hudku a game changer in the entire race. How big it will become only time will tell but the prospects seem quite bright.
Do you think a global local search is really needed ? Or is there a need for more vertical local search engines?
Do give Hudku a spin and share your feedback with us.