CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Manu Jain, Co-Founder, VAMA
- Briefly share VAMA’s journey so far.
Established by Manu Jain, Himanshu Semwal & Acharya Dev in late 2020, VAMA is a one-stop virtual platform that provides easy access to an array of services for one’s religious/spiritual journey. The platform has over 300 experienced astrologers and other spiritual experts onboard who offer genuine and customized consultations as well as best-in-class remedies to the users of the platform. VAMA is a budding startup that has been successful in attracting new talent and is currently expanding its workforce. VAMA’s app is currently available on Android devices and has witnessed 500K+ of downloads on the google play store. VAMA is also available on iOS devices. The app has so far enabled over 50,000 online consultations and is growing at a rate of 100% month on month basis. VAMA raised $750K in a seed funding round earlier this year, marking up its total funding till date to $1 Million.
- What are the challenges that VAMA aims to address and the initiatives it has taken in that direction?
We realised there was a need to organise the faith-tech segment and deliver 360-degree virtual spiritual solutions to devotees on a single platform. Prior to VAMA, some devotees used to receive e-puja services via WhatsApp video calls that were not well-organized or followed a strict set of rules and regulations. With VAMA, one can now do any puja of their choice in any of the registered temples with complete transparency and proper guidelines. With the number of physical visits in temples slowly declining over the recent threats and more devotees shifting to the online medium, VAMA aims to capitalise on the 100x growth potential of virtual footfalls, over the next few years.
- How many astrologers and Temples has VAMA associated with so far
A devotee from any part of the country has the access to our platform and can perform any of the puja’s in the temples we have partnered with. We have partnered with over 30+ temples, so far. Some of India’s most sought-after temples such as Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, Shree Mangalnath in Ujjain, Vindhyachal Devi Mandir, Naimishranya Lalita Devi Mandir, Shiv Mandir Prayagraj, Hanuman Mandir Ayodhya among others are in partnership with the platform.
- What incentive does the platform provide to astrologers that they onboard?
We have over 300 skilled astrologers and other spiritual advisors on board that provide our users with authentic and personalised consultations as well as best-in-class treatments. We also have a few astrologers/numerologists on a revenue-sharing basis on our platform.
- What are the ways in which VAMA is leveraging technology?
VAMA’s app has a simple interface that allows a smooth and enjoyable user experience. It strives to be accessible to devotees from across the globe by eliminating any geographical or physical barriers that may stand in the way of people’s spiritual journeys.
- How has the FaithTech industry evolved in India post-pandemic? What is the growth potential for FaithTech in India?
We realised there was a need to organise the faith-tech segment and deliver 360-degree virtual spiritual solutions to devotees on a single platform. Prior to VAMA, some devotees used to receive e-puja services via WhatsApp video calls that were not well-organized or followed a strict set of rules and regulations. With VAMA, one can now do any puja of their choice in any of the registered temples with complete transparency and proper guidelines. With the number of physical visits to temples slowly declining over the recent threats and more devotees shifting to the online medium, VAMA aims to capitalise on the 100x growth potential of virtual footfalls, over the next few years. When compared to offline revenue, the FaithTech sector is expanding quickly. It will be interesting to see how the FaithTech industry is monetized because, in our opinion, people have been paying for this service and will do so in the digital sphere as well.
7. Has people’s confidence in God and the Guru grown or remained the same during or after the pandemic?
A variety of services, including online astrology consultations, online darshans, e-pujas, relevant job counselling, and e-donations to temples, are now accessible to followers throughout India owing to the fusion of religion/spirituality and technology. Especially for millennials who are always strapped for time, this mode of worship is more viable and sustainable in the long term as it is well-aligned with their fast lifestyles.
8. The future expansion and investment plans for VAMA
Since the debut of our consumer app in September 2021, we have witnessed an increase of 150,000 active monthly users. Our services, such as E-pujas and E-darshans, began in January 2022 and are rapidly expanding and doubling month on month. We plan to introduce live-streaming of ‘darshan’ and ‘aartis’ as well as the option for users to make online donations towards temples. We also plan to broaden our services this year by collaborating with over 100 temples & venturing into international markets such as the Middle East, USA, and Canada. Our app is currently available on Android as well as iOS devices. The platform has so far enabled over 50,000+ online consultations and are growing 100% month on month. Additionally, earlier this year we onboarded Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Shree Mangalnath Temple on our platform and plan to get 200 Temples on-boarded shortly.