TastyKhana founders Shachin Bharadwaj, Sheldon Dzouza and Santhosh N have teamed up to launch Sminq (see me in no queue), a startup aimed at solving the problem of waiting in queues. As of now the platform is Android only.
The app lets users view queues at businesses like clinics, restaurants, salons and shopping malls. Users can join this queue remotely, with the app updating users of their progress in the queue. As of now, the app is only available in Pune and can be used at a few clinics although the company mentions it will soon add restaurants, salons and shopping malls in Pune and Bangalore.
To use the app, users first need to sign up with their mobile numbers. Post verification, the app displays four options – clinics, walkin interviews, food court and restaurants. For now, only the clinics option takes a user to the next screen, displaying a list of doctors in the city, their addresses, their speciality and the number of people in queue. Users can then join the queue at any of these clinics or schedule a later time for an appointment. The walk-in interview feature is also live, although it requires a private beta invite.
For vendors: Sminq has a separate app for vendors, called Sminq for business which lets vendors update customers on when their turn is due and update them in case of delays. To join vendors need to contact the company and register the business. The service will cost vendors a fee starting at Rs 2,000 a month and companies Rs 5,000 per month for 20 interview candidates and Rs 20,000 per month for unlimited candidates.
The startup mentions that it started piloting the project with 8 clinics in August this year, and currently claims that over 13,000 unique users have used the system. It claims to drive nearly 1,000 remote bookings per month for doctors that have signed up on its platform.
MediaNama’s Take: The idea is great. It lets users get an appointment for a later date or join the queue immediately. This should make it especially useful for clinics and the likes as each patient can take a different amount of time. Instead of crowding the clinic, users can be alerted when their turn is nearing. This makes ‘queuing’ a little more flexible than appointments. The interviews are also a neat aspect, the startup can tie up with companies looking to hire, and shortlisted candidates can be notified when to show up, instead of having lots of candidates wait for hours for their turn.
Note that doctor booking platforms like Lybrate, Practo etc., also let users book an appointment with a doctor. The main difference is, those platforms are vertical specific while Sminq lets users join queues as various other places (ar at least aims to do so). However, vertical specific appointment platforms do have their advantages like on-demand online patient medical history.