If you thought locating products and sourcing things like groceries, electronics or even clothes was a tough task, Lookup will come to your rescue. A free and secure messaging app which helps consumers chat with local businesses or shops, they aim to cut down the hunt. Started by Deepak Ravindran, from Thrissur, Kerala, the idea came about when he would head to the shops to locate a particular item, only to be told it was not available. “Sometimes it can take doing a round of half a dozen local pharmacies to get you a strip of pills a specialist doctor prescribed; or the sleek new mobile phone in a particular colour,” he begins.
With Lookup, which currently has over 1,20,000 users and 7,000 verified stores, you could send a message or a photograph of the product you need, and through the database, you will be directly put in touch with the stockist. “It lists businesses, restaurants, and even police stations – but unlike Craigslist or JustDial, which would give you a number to dial, this lets you shoot off a message through the app,” explains Ravindran, adding that the store or restaurant, which also has Lookup, can respond instantly. “And, just to ensure it happens, we have a call centre tracking the messages.” You can find prices and availability of products or services, book appointments, or make reservations at restaurants.
Once you log in and locate the product, you can then go on to buying the product, Ravindran tells us. “Lookup wants to be your Google for discovering products and services offline – from a kirana store to a posh restaurant, we’ll find it for you,” he signs off, foreseeing expansion to nine other cities, and reaching one million users by 2016.
— Aakanksha Devi