Big Idea

Text me why

Buzz Any Time answers queries through sms, for free

Soumik Kar

Rashmi Mehta was a management trainee and didn’t understand the jargon being thrown around at an official meeting. With no smartphone at hand, she’d wait to get home and Google the meanings. If only there were some way of getting instant answers to any questions, she thought. Less than a year later, there was. Mehta and MBA classmate Anurag Arya pooled in ₹2 lakh from their savings to launch Buzz Any Time, which answers queries through sms, for free. They developed a semi-automated system that can answer routine questions (the distance between earth and the sun, for instance) instantly. More complicated questions — like, how many songs has Lata Mangeshkar recorded since 1990 — requires human intervention. With just six employees, offering the service 24/7 is a challenge, but most queries are currently answered in under 5 minutes, which the company aims to reduce further to 2-3 minutes as it scales up operations. Tie-ups with advertisers and telecom operators will provide funding. With internet penetration increasing, is there a market for such a service? Of course, says Arya confidently. After all, there are nearly 900 million mobile subscribers in India, but just 100 million internet users.

unsub

You don’t want to be left behind. Do you?

Our work is exclusively for discerning readers. To read our edgy stories and access our archives, you’ve to subscribe