Akshay Saini (31), Rahul Saini (29), and Pranav Chabhadia (29) launched an innovative platform called Tring in 2019. Tring allows fans to get short video shoutouts and messages from their favourite stars.
After having successfully run brick-and-mortar businesses, Akshay started Tring with his brother, Rahul, and friend, Pranav, with an aim to enter the digital space.
“India is a celeb-crazy country. Down south, we have temples constructed for celebrities. We realised it was difficult for fans to get in touch with celebrities, and wanted to solve this issue digitally. We chose Tring to further push and take Indian fandom to a new level,” Akshay says.
The virtual connect
Based in Mumbai, Tring’s main objective is to bring fans closer to celebrities. For this, the platform offers mainly three services. First, a personalised video shoutout where once the fan books a shoutout request, the celebrity will shoot and send a short personal video for occasions like birthday, anniversary, get well soon, all the best for exams, motivation, etc. The pricing depends on the celebrities. However, on an average, it ranges from Rs 2,500 to Rs 6,000.
The second service is the DM (Direct Message) on Instagram. Through this, the fan can receive a personal text message via DM on Instagram from the personal, verified Instagram handle of the celebrity. Here the pricing varies between Rs 500 to Rs 2,000.
The final service is the Q and A with the celebrities. The fans can list down a few short questions specifically for a celebrity, who will send a video response. The questions are screened by the Tring team, and only appropriate and acceptable questions are sent to the celebrity.
The process is simple, Akshay says. “Fans can visit our website, browse, select their preferred celebrity’s profile, and book a request by providing few basic personal details. The celeb has the option of accepting or declining the booking request. While we strive to fulfil accepted requests within 15 days, our current delivery time is two days on an average.”
However, he adds that in the current times of lockdown, the overall response time from celebs has come down as they are relatively free. Tring has also started a charity campaign for COVID-19, which also saw celebrity participation. This helped the platform to gain lot of organic and target-based traffic.
According to reports, global influencer marketing is poised to be a $20 billion industry by 2020. Influencer marketing is the latest popular space in India as well, with startups like Wysh and Tagmango coming up.
For Akshay, the USP of Tring is the content and offerings. “The USP of Tring is our count, reach, and genre of celebrities, and our audience base (the fans). We have celebrities from different arenas, including TV/film stars, regional stars, sports people, motivators, influencers, and TikTok-ers. We have onboarded about 500 celebrities in a very short duration of time,” Akshay says.
The team claims to have fulfilled close to 200 confirmed video requests, of which 50 orders are from NRIs. With a team size of 20 people, the platform is now planning to make inroads into Tier II and III cities of India, along with NRIs.
Tring has already raised over $100,000 from angel investors to build the working product and has onboarded 450+ celebrities from different domains. It aims to successfully raise a second round of funding, worth half a million dollars, of which 40 percent is secured, according to Akshay.
“We aim to onboard 800 celebrities in this quarter, and are targeting and aligning our plans to reach 10,000 celebrities by March 2021,” Akshay says.