Religion as a Business
The material and the spiritual generally run on parallel planes that rarely meet, at least in business. So when Gaurav Tripathi set up Vayam, an app and a platform to connect all religious institutions, organizations, and temples to their devotees and the public at large, there were many questions.
To begin with, Gaurav who is an IITB alumnus, and has been a successful entrepreneur with Innoplexus, says, “I was not particularly religious or spiritual, to begin with.” But Covid changed all that. Says he, “I saw before me an entire family get totally destroyed in a matter of one week! Death struck so many homes and I noticed that those who had some religious or spiritual leanings were the ones who managed to have some equilibrium.
“This set me thinking. I had several serious chats on religion with my father and I understood that though there are several temples, organizations, and institutions that have several activities and teachings, not many of them use the digital platform to connect with the masses. Or vice versa. If there is a Rudrabhishek puja done at say Kashi Vishwanath temple then not everyone can attend it. So why not use a digital platform to connect?”
So, what will Vayam do?
Simply put, Vayam is an app that will connect temple trusts, and organizations, to people. Or if people want to ‘attend’ a puja at Balaji temple or a Sundar Kand but cannot go physically, Vayam will facilitate that. In fact, on Sept 11th, we are organising the world’s largest online Rudrabhishek in Kashi Vishwanath temple.
All that is good, but how will your start-up make money?
Quite simple really. We will act as an aggregator. So, the Kashi Vishwanath temple charges Rs. 450 for the Rudrabhishek puja. But you have to be physically there. We will charge one-third of it, get a lot more people online and after taking care of our expenses and paying the temple we will make money. In fact, we will have One Lakh devotees attending this puja virtually on Sept 11th.” God is omniscient, we know, but now will be available at the click of a mouse!