LOS ANGELES,CA - Manan Rokani, is the founder of Bond, an app that reminds you to keep in touch with people. Speaking with India Journal he lamented the fact that the hectic lifestyle we find ourselves embroiled in here, keeps us from ‘bonding’ with friends and family back home.
“These were all the people that I was really close to at one point but then life happened and we went in different directions and got so consumed in our new lives that we just completely lost touch. I wanted to change that. So I started looking for apps that would help me get better at keeping in touch but I couldn’t find anything good that would help. So I put together a small team and we decided to build one ourselves. Thus, Bond was born! It’s a simple app that reminds you to keep in touch with people that matter to you,” Rokani explained.
Growing up in India, Rokani moved to the US about 10 years back. He attended grad school in Chicago, lived there for about five years and then moved to California around five years back for work. He presently works out of Orange County.
Reflecting on the valuable relationships he has had, Rokani recalls how he lived in different places and everywhere he went, he met amazing people and made really good friends. Professionally too, he met some really smart people at every company he worked at. “But what I realized was that, as soon as I moved or switched jobs, I wasn’t able to keep in touch with people there,” he says.
About the app, Rokani says a beta version was first released within his immediate network. The response was pretty positive. This helped them iron out some issues early on and the feedback helped polish the app up and release it to a wider audience. Bond, which can be downloaded for free, first got featured as the #1 app on Product Hunt, which is becoming a reputed platform to launch new tech products. Following which, ABC News, BBC, Yahoo News, SF Chronicle and other publications expressed their love for the app and then the word started spreading organically. “So overall we’re pretty happy with the response we’ve got so far,” says Rokani.
Disclosing core features of the app Rokani points out that it is basically a simple app that reminds you to keep in touch with people. You have different ways to keep in touch with different people. The first version of the app had options to call, text or send someone a Facebook message. Recently a new version was released that integrates with WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Emails, giving you more ways to keep in touch with your personal as well as professional connections.
The way it works is, for each service, you simply select all the people you wish to keep in touch with and then select how often you’d like to contact each one of them. Once set up, the app schedules regular reminders for you. When you get a reminder, you simply swipe the notification open and you get an option to contact that person right away.
For people using Vonage or other international calling cards, you can save your contacts in a way that when you get your reminders you can place international calls with a single tap and you don’t have to dial the access number, pin and a long international number every time. You can even use the new calling features of WhatsApp and Facebook to keep in touch with your contacts for free.
Rokani does not envisage much competition as of now. “There are a few apps that have attempted to do something similar but we have an extremely simple user interface, which makes it really easy for users to setup reminders and take action. Also, there’s no app that gives you so many different ways to keep in touch with your personal as well as professional connections,” he reiterates.. Rokani has a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai and Master’s in Management Information Systems from University of Illinois in Chicago. He has worked with fortune 500 companies like AT&T, Accenture and Disney as a technology consultant for five years.
He also has another startup to his credit in the past, Fill the Bill, which was a social networking website to connect non-profit organizations in India with volunteers and donors and encourage people in the corporate world to give back what they do best to the non-profit world and help solve social challenges in India.
As to where he sees Bond two years on, Rokani reveals that the vision is to be the go to app for people to build meaningful and lasting relationships; from the time you first meet someone to helping that relationship grow over time. “Whether it’s just to check in and see how they are doing or to wish them on their birthday, Christmas, Diwali or any other special day, we’ll be working towards that. We are currently only on iPhone but are soon going to release the Android app.”
Visit : www.getBond.co