You didn't think I was just going to sit still, did you? So, finally after spending a truckload of time and money, I lauched my websites. I call them City Portals!
The idea for these websites kind of developed over time. I started working for a software giant in the year 2000 and in 2001 I had to go to the US for work. When I started living there I found that the best way to find anything in the new place was to search for it on the net (Google was not yet so popular so Googling was not a word). That method was quite successful in finding a lot of things from directions to deals on cellphones. Later, I moved back to Delhi and after a couple of years I moved to Poona.
Now Poona was again a new city and I needed to find a lot of things there starting from a house. To my dismay I found that my tested and tried method of searching on the net did not work in Poona. Simply because the few sites that were available had very little relevant information, mostly touristy kind of information and most of the time had not been updated in years! Over the first few weeks in Poona, after a few dozen searches I realized the sad truth - Poona was not online!
I don't know when the idea actually took form in my mind (but most great ideas start like that) but slowly I came to realize a fact following from the sad realization - If Poona was not online, I will need to take it online!
Easier said than done, right? Right! Even though I had the necessary web designing, web programming and online research skills, I did not have the massive amount of time that would be required to create a data-centric web portal that can be really useful to the general public. On top of that it has to be updated, constantly, otherwise it would fall into the same trap of presenting information that nobody could use.
Well, to cut the long story short, I hired some professionals, got the site developed and ApnaPune.Com (lovingly called APC) was born.
But what about Delhi? When I was trying to bring Poona city online, how could I forget my hometown, my city of birth - New Delhi? So, MeriDelhiMeriShaan.com (loving nickname - MDMS) was born to keep APC company.
On my birthday this year - (22nd of August for those of you who don't know), we launched both the sites, bringing them 'live'! Now, I am proud to say anybody can go to one of these sites and do a simple search to find out what movies are playing in the city on which theatres with their addresses, phone numbers and even user created reviews of the movies. There are many other categories in which information is available, readily and in a comprehensive manner.
The major source of my pride in the guarantee that the INFORMATION WILL ALWAYS BE CURRENT....as there is a dedicated team of people behind each site, people who collect information from the real world and put it online for anybody to search and use. This for me is the beginning of a dream! One day, every city in India will be online and part of this chain.
I encourage you to check the sites and let me know what you think. They are both geared towards the cities that they serve but we have created them in a way that they can offer something interesting and useful to any visitor no matter where they are coming from!
The links are: