Dating with a difference — Kalyani Khona at IIS
Young Entrepreneur Kalyani Khona talks about her journey of making Inclov matchmaking app for people with disability.
Kalyani Khona studied finance from Mumbai’s HR College of Commerce. She also loved travelling. While her classmates were giving job interviews, Kalyani went on a solo trip to Brazil. There she had her first encounter with disability. Only 5% of Brazilian spoke English and Kalyani didn’t know Portuguese and felt handicapped. This was during the football world cup and Kalyani got mugged too. But despite this harrowing experience she came out alright. That’s when she realized that it’s alright to not know everything and you will still be alright.
After coming back to India, Kalyani started pondering, ‘What do people with disability do in their spare time? How is their social life? And how do they find social acceptance (or a life partner)?’. Some researching proved that only 5% of the 8 crore people with disabilities in India find a life partner. That set her on a journey to start Wanted Umbrella as a matchmaking service for people with disabilities. She got about 100 profiles of people with disabilities and started calling each of them to find out about their disability, medical condition, cure they are undergoing, what are their preferences, what is the level of independence they had. People shared their partner finding problems and Kalyani co-ordinated and helped them find their right partner. But when the profiles reached 200 in number she couldn’t manage remembering all of them. On seeking advice from other entrepreneurs, Kalyani realized that she now needs to build a platform (and a mobile app) that will enable her users to find a match for themselves. Kalyani went to crowdfund her project on wishberry and went on to raise 6 lakh (600K) from her backers. Ordinary people came out and generously contributed to the cause.
She then put together a team which developed the app (link below). On releasing a beta version of the app, the team found that people liked the app very much and about 30% of them wanted to use this for finding a partner whom they could love and eventually marry. Today Inclov is connecting people and the first couple who found each other on Inclov got married
Today, this young 23-year-old entrepreneur has set out on a mission to impact the lives of 200 million lives of people across the planet. Here are some great entrepreneurship lessons from her talk.
1> It doesn’t take much to Startup.
2> Always ask your customer what needs to be done and then execute on it.
3> Take the first step and get going and everything will be alright
4> Appreciating differences (amongst people, places and things) makes life worth living.
Here is Kalyani’s full talk at IIS 2015.
About Kalyani Khona:
Kalyani Khona graduated from H.R College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai in 2013. She is an AIESEC alum who is a wanderer at heart. In 2014, she started Wanted Umbrella which is now Inclov. Last year, she raised funds for project Loveability on Wishberry.in which was backed by 143 backers. She is also a consultant with the Government of India for their Accessible India campaign.
Follow Kalyani on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kalyanikhona
Follow Kalyani on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KhonaKalyani
Organization Website: http://www.inclov.com/
Inclov Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inclov.inclovapp