We talked to Manthan Koolwal of Makcorps about powerful & useful market intelligence on all ASX, TSX/TSXV Resource companies & projects, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Manthan Koolwal: These are strange and challenging days. Family life, health, work, education, and wider support networks continue to be affected by life in lockdown. A sudden change in routine can be overwhelming! Accepting that this situation is stressful and beyond your control is the first step to choosing how we respond to stress. Getting enough good quality sleep is very important for all the family. Relationships are more important now more than ever and how we speak to ourselves and others plays a really big part in buffering stress and distress within our families. With social distancing, we’ve all turned to technology for connections. Everyone should take breaks from sitting or lying down using devices. But in the end, be kind to yourself.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Makcorps.
Manthan Koolwal: I have been the founder of Makcorps for 6 years now. I was working on a b2b travel solution where we wanted to compare our rates with big booking providers. So, at that point in time, we came up with this idea. I have also released some new products this year, which are Scrapingdog and FlightAPI. Scrapingdog is a web scraping tool, and FlightAPI is a flight api. I have tried to keep this Pandemic quite productive. Along with that, I love to read books. I have recently completed reading “Good to Great” and “3.0”.
How does Makcorps innovate?
Manthan Koolwal: Makcorps provide hotel api to compare hotel prices from more than 200 OTAs like Expedia, Agoda, Booking, Tripadvisor, etc. Earlier, I worked on a travel b2b platform where we wanted to compare our rates with the global booking providers to show our members that our prices are lower than them. In a single GET request, you will get all the hotels in a city with prices from the top 5 cheapest vendors in a JSON format. Using this API, you can earn a competitive advantage in a niche market. Track them and win!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Manthan Koolwal: Since we were in the travel sector, we were hit very badly. We thought of creating some new products in order to keep rolling. We came up with new ideas. We decided to create a web scraping API and a flight API. We worked hard for 3 months and launched these products. We worked on creating some fresh content to pull subscribers to our APIs. That was a tough time for us, but we pull this off very professionally. You have to be calm and tough enough to keep going.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Manthan Koolwal: We were on the verge of shutting down everything temporarily. But then we decided to start with something fresh. We decided to launch some fresh products. It was a great move as it saved us from shutting down our business. What helped us in this journey was the rate at which the decision was taken to go with a new product. I have got the best team; they know how to be smart and flexible at the same time. Throughout this journey, we have learned the role of a team effort, starting everything with questions and following a principle of “first who then what”.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Makcorps in the future?
Manthan Koolwal: In my opinion, the only solution to deal with stress is reading books. Reading gives you a purpose to live and take risks. And risks keeps you young. I call them stress busters. We are planning to reach out to more and more travel companies through ads and cold emailing. We are planning to enter into the hotel analytics industry.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Manthan Koolwal: Our competitors are olery, trawex, scraper API, etc. But the scope of expanding is very large; the market is very big. We are coming up with fresh tutorials to reach out to more and more companies as we can. Ads, Cold Emails, and fresh content can help us reach our milestone. This is the only way we can stay in-game. We also ring new features and updates every month to keep the audience engaged.
Your final thoughts?
Manthan Koolwal: Still, the Pandemic is in a scary condition all around the world. Our doctors and scientists are constantly working to bring everything to be normal. We can contribute by wearing masks and keeping a social distancing. I strongly believe we all will develop herd immunity in the next year. But till then, listen to what governments are saying, respect your frontline fighters and try to keep your day as productive as you can.