One of the startups whom we met at PuneConnect 2015, if you were there – they were wearing Puneri Pheta all time, remember?. Anyway, let’s carry on and see what these guys are working on. MuhurtMaja is an online pooja booking site where you can Book and organize pooja by just sitting in your home.

Simple right! as the website, is clean and simple. Right at the homepage you will see the search box for searching from the list of pooja’s offered by them, which is nearly 140+. Or enter the name of the pooja and you will see the pooja listed or not. So, after clicking on the pooja they will display the details, interactive calendar ( to select the date ), option for with or without  ‘Samagree’ and total price required. And done, everything is set – but make sure to check the duration of the pooja before proceeding to payment.

The pandit (if – and samagree ) required for the pooja will be arranged by the MuhurtMaja team and all the items required for pooja is shared by the team with the priest and the customer. Although I didn’t see the option for altering the items in the samagree, if in the case of a tight budget. (Budgeting is offered by his competitor, WhereismyPandit)

Their revenue model is based on commissions which may vary from 5 to 10 percent per booking and remaining is paid to the priests.

You can book from MuhurtMaja via their Android, iOS apps and from their call center as well. So here are some current stats shared by them –

  1. No. of pujas offered: 140+
  2. No. of cities live: 8
  3. No. of cities to be covered: 20
  4. No. of guruji’s enrolled: 300+
  1. No. of pujas performed: 150+

MuhurtMaja is looking to expand into 20 top cities ($1 billion target market size) in India and target $ 1 million (250 Pooja per month per city) in revenue. They also state that the total Market size of this business is $30Bn per annum. MahurtMaja currently operates in 8 cities in Maharashtra – Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Kolhapur. In this 300+ gurujis there are several non-Marathigurujis as well.

The business is self-funded for the moment and guessing from a team member, Vaibhav Domkundwar (Strategic Advisor) founder of micro venture firm Better Labs based in Silicon Valley and India, they may have an investor (or funding) in place or may be in talks. They didn’t disclose said –  are bootstrapped when asked about funding, so getting back – the idea was for this business model was first conceptualized in 2012 by Sughosh Sowale and then finally launched in 2014 after extensive research in this field. Here is the short pitch and intro of the founders –

“You are planning to organize a small pooja at home. You do not know how to contact a pundit nor where and how to procure the materials needed for the rituals. Or your kid’s birthday is drawing near and you want to start the day with a religious ceremony.”

Founders’ Background

Sughosh  Sowale (Founder) : Sughosh has around 15 years of experience in Sales and marketing and worked with various FMCG & consumer durable brands in India . He possesses in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and has been working on the execution of this concept from last 5 years. He left his well-paid job decided to fully commit to MuhurtMaza and grow with it.

 Nilesh Gudhe (CTO): Nilesh has 15 years of experience and worked with TCS in past in various technologies and in management and Sales roles. He has worked with clients such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, People Bank of China, and Barclays Bank in USA, UK and China. He has a  good handle on technology, business strategy and fund raising.

Vaibhav Domkundwar –(Strategic Advisor ) – Vaibhav has around 20+ years of experience and completed his MS from UC Berkeley. He is a founder of Better Labs – a unique micro venture firm based in Silicon Valley & India where we incubate & invest in early stage startups.

MuhurtMaja stands in unique place since there are very few players in this field especially for these geographical areas, even the most closest competitor  (whereismypandit) works in different locations (besides Nagpur) and another competitor SuperPandit.com seems to close (update – not closed) their portal for maintenance purpose. There are many other local competitors as well. This space is very fragmented in India and I think these early movers need more funding to get through this, but whomever first struck the right cords will earn Billions in this market. It really is that huge! just think how many times did you organize pooja or other related activity at your home? now think of it for thousands or millions, you get it!

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