Your friend visits your town/city and asks you where one can get reasonably priced, quality, cotton material. If you are one of those that freak out frequently, you probably will have some idea or, may be, even guide your friend to the right store. Else, without admitting your ignorance, you probably will offer to take your friend to the most advertised store in the city, right?
But Nidhya Karthikeyan, a homemaker, looks at this issue quite differently. She recalls her hunt for saree beads. “I went round the shops one day. Though I located the beads I was looking for in one or two stores, I found that there was a huge variation in the price quoted by these shop keepers. Although I finally bought the beads from a store where I found the rates reasonable, I couldn't put the issue out of my mind. I returned home and narrated the sequence to my husband, an employee in a software company. I sought his help to start an information portal — www.coimbatoremap.com,” says Nidhya, a commerce graduate.
The duo engaged two Web developers and a Web designer to kick-start their venture. Nidhya is not fluent in communicating through English but her Web designer is able to translate her ideas — providing the information that a visitor to the city would want to look up, before arriving there.
“The job is not over yet. We are deputing teams to every shop in the city to collect the necessary details, so that we can upload them. We choose a location, complete the task before moving to the next,” says Karthikeyan. The information could be about automobile dealers, two-wheeler workshops, emergency services, textile shopping and shopping malls, bank and ATM details to tourist places and important places of worship in this region.
Karthikeyan says he has invested quite a sum on this initiative. “It is still early to make it a revenue generating proposition. We are hoping to earn some money from the advertisements that are coming our way.” The portal, like a few other information portals on Coimbatore, provides basic information. But Nidhya and Karthikeyan express their desire to make it unique in their own way. “We are leaving no stone unturned. We are distributing a questionnaire amongst different sections of the people, asking them their preference, the details they would search on the Web and so on. Our effort is to plug the gap and make it an information-filled portal,” says Nidhya.
She agrees that this would not be a one-time effort, but an on-going exercise. The hunt for the saree bead has made this homemaker an information-consultant.