In his final year as a business studies undergraduate, Armaan Vananchal had to present a business plan before he could be awarded his BBA degree from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Vile parle. He began working on the concept of making brands student-friendly with two of his juniors Niranjan Lakhate and Karan Karnik. That assignment turned into a venture two years later with the launch of Frapp.in.
Armaan Vananchal, Karan Karnik, Pooja Shah and Niranjan Lakhate, members of the Frapp team, hope to launch a mobile app soon
“The idea of offering student discounts on brands came as a means to fill a void. As students, we were constantly running low on funds,” recalls 21-year-old Karnik, who graduated last June, a year after Vananchal. The trio found that while students aspire to eat at certain restaurants or wear certain brands, they are seldom viewed as the target audience.
“Unlike in the USA or UK, where student IDs often double up as discount cards, our country offers few concessions to students. Even though India has one of the largest student populations, they are still ignored as a target group. What brands fail to realise is that youngsters will stay loyal and grow with the brand,” asserts Karnik.
With premium restaurants such as Le Mangii, Ivy and Boveda and youth-oriented brands such as Redwolf on board, Frapp wants to bridge the gap between students and these hard-to-reach labels. Students have to register on their site, select an offer and have it emailed to them. At the outlet, they have to flash a valid student ID and the email on their smartphones to avail the offer.
In the next three months, Karnik and his partners hope to have a mobile app up and running. “We launched the website in beta to test the concept and we’ve got over 800 registrations within six weeks,” he reveals. The team, including marketing manager Pooja Shah, ran a campaign with the brands last month. “This helped brands present themselves to the students,” says Karnik, who plans to ensure the app is more social. “Users can tell us which brands they want and offer their comments to the brands already on board and so on,” he reveals.