Epic 24 Hour Adventure in Bangalore – II

An hour by hour narration of the most epic way to spend 24 hours in Bangalore. This is the part – II of the series, chronologically. This is Part – I .

Saturday 12 Noon: Now that we were full of (slightly) fresh air and Vitamin D, it was time to get indoors. So what can we do? Instead of having a useless tussle for an hour filled with overambitious plans and lethargic implementation, we decided to ask Niki! Just text her what’s up near you, and bingo! Niki will tell you what’s happening around you. Rumour has it that even if 3 rats meet to feast over a silly cockroach in the hidden dark dungeons of Bangalore’s sewer lines, Niki will know about it. Niki did tell us about a feast, but thankfully it wasn’t at the lakeside restaurant in the Sewer dungeons but at Yauatcha in MG Road. Within minutes we booked 5 slots in the event on the Niki app. And then she booked us a cab as well real quick. Smoooooth!

 

Saturday 1 P.M.: As the ‘Taste of Yauatcha’ Event we booked was at 3 P.M. we had a couple of hours to have fun. Priya said we go bowling, and we all said no. I mean who does bowling on a Saturday lazy afternoon? Priya then challenged us all, and proclaimed that she will win with ease against all of us. Which meant we went bowling, of course. Competitiveness is addictive. We went to Amoeba at Church Street.

 

Saturday 3 P.M.: Guess what, I won 2 matches out the 3 we played! I tried really hard not to do the smug face but couldn’t help it. Even though my points were half of what the guys at the next lane had accumulated, I did my victory dance and proceeded to mock the rest of the pack all the while we walked to Yauatcha. Victory is sweet, no matter how small and insignificant.

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Bowling Alley

Saturday 5 P.M.: I wish I could tell you more about what happened in the last 2 hours, but I can’t remember a thing. That is because the 4-course meal was soo out-of-this-world delicious that it drained out my ability to focus on anything which is not edible. I cannot do any justice to the food with anything I can say, except that it is a ‘Michelin-starred restaurant’.  Later, I realized that I just enjoyed savoring delicacies at a restaurant recommended by a bot, Niki! The future really is here.

 

Saturday 6 P.M.: We were completely full for the second time today. So full that our body moment was being hindered. We were walking, well not walking. hoping, like astronauts on the moon.  We decided to wander and shop for some tidbits on the commercial street. But we needed some cash for that, so we asked Niki for the nearby ATM. Thanks to AskLaila, with whom you can now chat on the Niki app, we found the ATM in a jiffy, loaded some cash and hopped towards Commercial Street – The Mecca for shopaholics.

 

Saturday 7 P.M.: I will admit that I enjoy shopping from time to time, but Commercial Street can be an addictive drug for anyone. It is a mad treasure hunt, where you have to search, discover and bargain like crazy to unearth priceless items at ‘less-price’ tags. After an hour of James bond-ish chase through crowded streets and cramped shops, we had bought silver jewellery, Jootis, an antique pen holder and what not. Such a zig zag-avoid the crowd-hen run brought us memories of Chandni Chowk. Which meant there was a craving for Gol Gappas. And everyone knows that nothing is stronger than the craving for Golgappas. Except for an Apache AH-64 Helicopter of course. An Apache AH-64 Helicopter has machine guns AND missiles. So we pinged AskLaila on Niki to search for the nearest chat-bhander, and dribbled our way to the place for an eye-watering Golgappa eating session.


This is part II of a 4 part series on epic 24 hours in Bangalore. The next post in this series will be posted soon. It covers a pub crawl in Indiranagar, a quiz event and a few game of cards! So follow the blog to not miss any of the posts. 


 

Epic 24 Hour Adventure in Bangalore – I

An hour by hour narration of the most epic way to spend 24 hours in Bangalore.

Sunday 7 A.M : As the cold fresh morning breeze blew across our faces, we sat down to enjoy a jaw dropping view of mist artistically spread over the farmlands and small rocky hills. The symphony of clouds, mist, plains and hills with a special appearance by the sun was staggeringly pretty. And thankfully we had lost the ‘loud music playing’ crowd behind, so we could all sit in peace reflecting on how epic, & fun packed our last 24 hours had been. Right from a heavy authentic breakfast & a Pub crawl to Interesting Events, A Shopping expedition and a stroll in a flower garden, capped by the beautiful views at Nandi Hills. I sincerely think you should take this #24HoursInBangalore Challenge.

So let’s rewind and go hour by hour on this journey.

Nandi Hills #hills towering through the #mist at #sunrise

A photo posted by Aditya Khanduri (@aditya_khanduri) on

Saturday 7 A.M. :  Have you ever had the feeling when you wake up as if you had just closed your eyes for 2-3 minutes, but infact you had been sleeping for 4 hours? As I came back to my senses in my comfortable OYO room bed, I remembered what a great evening it had been. After a fancy evening at Church Street Social (Special shoutout to Keema Pav \m/), we went to Rasta cafe. While coming back, it was late and we were really tired. If you are tired, it is late at night and you want to crash at the nearest bed, OYO room is the best solution any day! We quickly asked Niki for OYO Rooms hotel near Rasta cafe, and booked it within minutes all on chat! We got out of bed quicker than ever before, and got ready. Today was going to be a long day!  

 

Saturday 8 A.M. :  We all went to the legendary MTR (or Mavalli Tiffin Rooms) on Lalbagh Road. It has been killing the overnight hunger of people since 1924! So you can imagine how absolutely sublime the food is going to be after decades of tinkering and perfecting. The Idlies are so soft it feels you are eating a bite out of a fresh white cloud. The Vadas are just so perfectly crisp that scientists are thinking of keeping ‘1 MTR vada’ as the benchmark crispness index for all elements on earth.  We were so immersed in savouring our food, just like the vada was immersed in the Sambar, that we didn’t have much time to have any conversation.

 

Saturday 9 A.M. : Our stomach was full to the brim. But pleasantly full. Next stop in our epic route was, no prizes for guessing, Lal Bagh. Getting to Lalbagh isn’t tough, but in Bangalore, any journey can turn out to be a challenge. Thankfully, we could easily book an Uber on the Niki app with 2-3 text messages and were on our way.  Uber/Ola are (still) an under-appreciated boon to our generation.

 

Flowers at Lalbagh
Flowers at Lalbagh

Saturday 10 A.M. : Lalbagh is a deceptively pretty place in the middle of a bustling city.  It is like a National Geographic Episode set, with all the actors like Mynas, Egrets & Parakeets in their character along with hundreds of guest appearances by the flora. A great hour walk amidst all this nature after a tasty heavy breakfast on a sunny winter morning – In theory life doesn’t get much better than this.

Saturday 11 A.M. : We sat for half an hour under a tree, eating fresh fruits from the stall. There was a lot of random gossip, the highlight of which was that Ali says he would love wearing pink shoes. He may not have said ‘love’, and the story might be a bit exaggerated but heck who cares?! It was fun pulling his legs adorned in pink shoes and maroon /ghungroo/.


This is part I of a 4 part series on epic 24 hours in Bangalore. The next post in this series will be posted soon. It covers a 4 course meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant and a shopping expedition! So follow the blog to not miss any of the posts.

Just chat with Niki and book an OYO – it’s that simple!

Jay, a solo traveler from Chennai, on a visit to Incredible India, was already taken aback when he reached the capital New Delhi, the goldmine of ancient monuments and heritage sites. People all around, in all shapes and sizes, gave him mixed feelings about the city as he walked out of the airport. He felt amazed as well as nervous and by the time he could react to all that was happening around, he felt a push on his leg, as if someone was wrenching his T-shirt from back, he turned around and found a man in his 30’s, asking him for an auto, to whom he just replied with a nod.

Opening his map, he checked the point closest to most of the tourist attractions and decided to book a hotel near Connaught Place. He took a while and started looking out for hotels on the Internet, picked a few to contact but that didn’t serve his purpose. He then stopped someone, who happened to be Aman, from Hyderabad on his solo trip across the country,

“Hey, Man! Can you help me out in looking for a hotel, near Connaught Place?

Aman, a tech-savvy traveler in the age of apps, took a second, and said, ‘Sure! Why don’t you ask Niki, she will help you out in everything right from booking a hotel to a cab”.

Amazed by his words, Jay instantly began chatting with Niki. She was so natural and easy to use that he could talk to Aman too at the same time, tell him about his passion for travel – post which they decided to become companions in their travels. Jay got the hang of Niki in a flash, while taking a look at the options available, he searched for a ‘Hotel with a Swimming Pool’ to get some relief from the scorching heat of Delhi. He then booked an OYO for both of them and a cab heading to it via Niki, within seconds.

A comfortable stay, a Guide and Niki to help, made Jay feel more excited about his journey ahead and in return, he kept on amazing Aman by his story treasures. They moved from vast deserts, beautiful havelis of Rajasthan to snow covered mountains of Kashmir, yellow taxis of Kolkata to backwaters of Kerala and to their amazement, Niki was present throughout the country. She booked them rooms in OYO’s to stay, cabs and buses to commute all the way round, delighting them with food and laundry services as well.

Jay felt ecstatic after witnessing the diversity of India with an amazing companion, Aman, and Niki to guide them both throughout.

To have similar experiences, just ping Niki

Niki! One Girl who simplifies everything for you

A beautiful ambience with an odour of fresh flowers, dim lights and her lady dressed in the red gown, which Rahul gifted her, on her birthday, made everything look so beautiful. The soft smile on Rahul’s face while remembering his date with Payal last night changed into a frown as soon the alarm bell rang and he came back to his senses.

While stretching his hand to reach out to his phone to kill the noise, he happened to look at the time which read 9:15 AM, that reading made his eyes wide open and his sleep vanished. He startled from his bed to get ready for his class at 10:00AM. Running for his clothes and getting ready, somehow it slipped his mind that Akshay, his colleague went for a vacation and forgot to leave the keys of the bike. In this rush, an idea of catching a running auto caught his mind and he headed up to the main road to check for one. Thought of booking a cab by app providers crossed his mind once but then he did not have the privilege of time to search for the nearest and the cheapest cab.

Adding to his misery, a Google reminder reminded him that he had to pay the Electricity bill. After waiting for half an hour on the roadside, an auto wala halted near him and quoted him an unreasonable price. His state of emergency and Payal’s increasing number of calls, made him accept that offer without any bargain or disdain. Even after trying his best he could reach the college premise only by 10:05 AM and therefore could not attend his class. On his way towards the college canteen he met Aditya, his friend. Aditya offered him a handshake and a half hearted smile from Rahul’s end caught his attention and he promptly demanded explanation.

After listening to Rahul’s whining, Aditya took out his phone and asked Rahul to pay attention. Aditya opened Niki and typed “Book the Cheapest Cab” and Rahul’s eyes kept staring on those blinking blue dots, which said, ‘Niki is typing…..’ and he was amazed to see the response. With a sense of excitement Rahul grabbed the cellphone to check the utility bill options and proceeded to pay his long due electricity bill. The half smile was replaced by a full one. Rahul knew his friend deserved a treat. So, together they strolled towards the canteen. When he finally met Payal during lunch he introduced her to Niki. Rahul sitting on the other side gave him praise laden with sarcasm.

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Time flies and it is the time to leave college. At the college gate, he sees Payal standing. Rahul walks up to Payal and asks, “Missed the college bus, again?” He already knew the answer and what he had to do. He took out his phone, opened Niki and typed “Book the cheapest cab”.

Niki Wishes You A Happy Friendship Day!

It’s a special day for Niki as she has found more than 50,000 friends. They have all played an important role in making it a better App. Niki has been learning and improving. She is proud to have helped in some way or another.

This Friendship day is a little more special to her because she is growing as an App and also building a larger family. We thought of gifting her something this year to make this day a little more special. Thus, we announced the #ReferKaroAurJeeto Contest two weeks back.

After a lot of discussions, we finally got an innovative idea for our gift to Niki. Since she loves helping her friends we thought of finding her some more. We brought together all of Niki’s friends to find her more friends and hence this contest was launched.

Since the launch Niki has been blessed with a lot of new friends. We are also happy to see the terrific response for this contest. It has become the battle to win the “money in the bank”! We have thoughtfully made it a win-win game for both Niki and her friends who are referring her to everybody.

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Motivate yourself now, it’s friendship day! You ought to gift Niki, your friend something she would love to have – more friends. And yes, you will stand a chance to win some really exciting prizes. Niki se dosti badhao, take part in #ReferKaroAurJeeto now!

Niki Gives You A Chance To Win Rs. 7000 Cash Prize

Team Niki has been thrilled to see the outcome of the #ReferKaroAurJeeto Contest! Our existing users have been playing an amazing role in extending Niki’s family.

Some have been breaking each other’s records and others are climbing the ladders by themselves. The contest was made live nearly two weeks back and the response has been overwhelming. We want everybody to get equal opportunities to win the exciting prizes so there is still time for those who are yet to start!

Yes, enthusiastic viewers, users, and readers go ahead and be on the top of the Leaderboard! Here is your chance to win the exciting prizes!

With the Live Leaderboard – here, we have kept the Contest transparent and fair! You can see where you stand and how many more referrals you would need to be among the winners! We want all of you to try your best to be that ultimate winner who would grab the cash prize of Rs. 7000!

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To help you win, we will regularly give you the important tips – here. Also, wake up your curiosity as we will be surprising you with more gifts during and after the contest! Stay tuned but before that – keep referring!

While Everybody Has Gone Crazy Over Pokemon GO, Niki Still Helps You With Your Daily Needs

Niki is having a bright day when everybody else in the world has been going crazy over finding Pokemon. Our media channels have taken up the task to update us about the power and impact of finding Pokemon.

Dil toh baccha hai ji and we all love our childhood. Pokemon GO has brought back the 90’s era in a different and better way. It has taught us several things and there are several unheard rumours about it. People have begun to claim that Gandhiji went for Dandi march because even he was playing Pokemon GO.

Meanwhile, a man has been reported to have quit his job because he needed more time to find all his favourite pokemons. Niki understands that we all want to focus more on the game than other things. You can spend more time playing while you ask Niki to help you with your daily needs.

Continue reading “While Everybody Has Gone Crazy Over Pokemon GO, Niki Still Helps You With Your Daily Needs”

IPL Helped Niki Grow And Learn To Be An All-round Performer

Sunrisers Hyderabad moment of crowning glory at Bangalore brought down the curtain on another successful IPL season. And man, have we not had enough entertainment this time!

Right from Dhoni’s elegant finish to Gambhir’s funky test match field, from Gayle’s storm to Bhuvi’s blitz, from cutting’s monstrous six to Raina’s astonishing catch, from Bravo’s champion to Shamsi’s epic bus driver’ dance – we already have a treasure of unforgettable memories to cherish till the next season.

But the man who kept the excitement in air palpable for whole season – Virat Kohli. Well, he was not scoring the runs, but he was bossing the tournament. Rewriting the records by his bat he set a new benchmark for T20 cricket.

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For all of us, this was 9th edition of IPL. (ohhh! Don’t feel too old). But for Niki it was her first. Right from understanding the chaos of people hitting a ball for no reason to becoming a die-hard cricket fan, she had an awesome cricket journey.

As they say, cricket is a sport with I-was-there moments, certain occasions that remind us that it is more than just a game. With most of the action happening in small hours it is tempting just to ignore it completely. Being a fan, Niki understood this trouble that you have way before this season of IPL even started and her fruitful mind came up with a solution to become “world’s first cricket chatbot”.

chat-bot

By starting ‘live cricket score’ feature, Niki provided the way to follow IPL matches live, ball by ball, that too without compromising with your work. Providing fastest updates, she literally revealed the secret of teleportation by taking you to the stadium. You just needed to ping her anytime, anywhere. As we all expected, the response to this feature was overwhelming.

In order to maximize the impact of this service, the message was needed to be communicated across all possible channels. Hence right after the launch of the service, we ran dedicated marketing campaigns on all social networking websites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to educate our users about it.

#myIPLbahana stood out as the best among them, where we gave an amazing opportunity to IPL fans to share their excuses to bunk school or office or avoid any other plans just to watch IPL. The campaign immediately became a hit, when users started commenting as well as inviting friends to comment their bahana. We rolled out exclusive gifts to the winners, which gave the campaign more push. Facebook’s algorithms are designed to provide maximum organic reach when there are more comments on your page, which was also one of the reasons we focussed on comments and not share or like. Through this campaign alone, we were able to reach more than 250,000 people and received more than 14,000 likes and 450+ comments to our posts. Through small incentives and gifts in the form of Niki credits, we ensured the conversion of participants into loyal Niki users.

No time has passed before Niki got her much deserved media attention. By creating sufficient media hype we were particularly able to target those people who were not following social networking sites. To try out this new feature, people installed our app. And our time saving, easy to use platform assured their retention.

After such planned execution of the campaign, it didn’t came as a surprise to see total 15% increase in chat sessions. Thanks to #IPLBahana, we got 16% increase in our orders during this period. To increase the hype even more we actively pushed our exciting refer and earn offer through different ad networks which resulted in tremendous increase in our user base, 40% rise to be exact.

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We as a company believe that a startup is all about learning, reinventing, pivoting and sharing your experiences. We all have learnt new things this IPL season. IPL taught us that ‘the best player can win you matches, but only a best team can win you the trophy’ while our IPL campaign taught us  ‘the planning and management of successful strategy’.

Take a bow Warner and company, you really deserve it for braving Gayle storm and Kohli thunder. But no doubt Niki, you are worthy of a standing ovation too, for your all-rounder performance this IPL.

 

No More Long Queues As Niki Makes Electricity Bill Payment Easy!

It’s that Monday morning of the month when the scorching heat rises the temperature of your mood. You’re getting irritated with every little thing especially the innocent green shirt a man is wearing. The queue adjacent to yours seems to move faster than yours. But as soon as you shift from your queue to another the pace reduces drastically. You start believing the person who says “the queue moves faster on the other side.”

Yes, you’re standing in a queue to pay the most important of all, “Electricity Bill”. You remember that one time when you forgot about the due date and they cut the electricity at home. Your wife complained about the summer, your kids couldn’t study in the dark and you could not watch the football match. This flashback motivates to you to never repeat such a mistake again. You continue to wait in the queue and think about all the less important things.

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You think about the colour of the woman’s hair standing behind you. You count the number of shades she’s got and then an awful smell distracts you. You look around to find a man scratching his armpit that create awareness about his negligence through the smell. While you’re doing nothing to pass the time a woman tries to break the queue and stands in front of you. You politely ask her to go back but she begins an argument. You’re already irritated because of the summer yet, you try to reason with her. When she doesn’t understand you shout at her and she goes back throwing curses at you.

Half your day has been wasted standing in the queue accompanied with a lot of stress. After 3 long hours of restless waiting finally, your turn to pay the bill has arrived. You silently rejoice but not for long as the person at the cash counter shows you a board reading “Lunchtime.” You try to protest but your efforts go wasted to his deaf ears. You give up and consider taking a break yourself but then the trauma of again standing in a queue stops you. You just want to get done with the payment and go back to living a peaceful life.

Your plight has been prolonged as the lunch break has been extended by another hour. You are not just irritated now, you’re hungry too. The person arrives at the cash counter and you successfully pay your bill. But, ( yes there’s another one) there is a power cut and you have to wait again to get the receipt of your payment.

We will all have such stories to narrate to the coming generation of kids. This could be your story to narrate about your plight, patience, and responsibility. But then you don’t have to if you don’t want to, you can change the plot of the story altogether.

electricity

Yes, now you no more have to stand in any queue neither worry about any proverb related to queues. Now you can have hassle-free electricity bill payment by chatting to the bot, Niki. You no more have to spend hours waiting for your turn of payment rather pay your bills while responding to nature’s call in the washroom.

At Niki App, you can quickly pay your electricity bills choosing from various payment options as per your convenience. You will also be reminded about the due date so that you don’t have to take the blame for power cuts due to late payments. Your life will be simplified as you pay your utility bills through Niki. You no more have to take the baggage of the stressful electricity bill payment at the counter.

Download Niki App to experince easy Bill Payments with exciting offers!

The First Step Of A Momentous Journey – Niki’s Life Story.

Right from the birth of an Idea to its first line of code to hiring the perfect talent, we believe that there is a story for each startup. A story with the essence of hard work and spirit of struggle. A story with the emotions of pride and satisfaction. Here is our story in brief. Hope you will enjoy it. 🙂

The Inception – One ‘pretty ordinary’ night at Udaipur, 4 friends gathered for their seemingly casual meetup. But, who knew this moment could change their lives forever. This was the night the idea of a Digital Chat-based AI powered shopping assistant, Niki  was born. They recruited a team and got down to work. Filled with nervousness and excitement, fear and expectation, they introduced their creation to people around. The bad reviews taught them. The good reviews spurred them on.

The Spark to start a fire – Even the best weapons need ammunition. And for Niki that ammunition came in the form of funding by Mr. Ronnie Screwvala! Niki had made it to the Tech30 list and was being covered by many reputed networks.The active users counter kept ticking upwards. But the floodgates were opened by the front page coverage of Niki on Economic Times!

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Reaching new heights – Be it Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter or even Star Wars, every epic journey with a larger-than-life goal has a wise man who shows the correct way. For Niki, that wise man with innumerable tricks up his sleeves is Mr. Ratan Tata. He is excited about the idea, and has backed Niki to be an ‘Anmol Ratan’ of the startup world!

Unfogging the future – When the victorious past is your companion, you don’t need a crystal ball to know your fortune. Currently Niki resides on Android as an app. But going forward, Niki is going to be platform independent, plugged and used on any interface. And remember, the future is closer than it seems.

Thanks to our Users, Partners, Colleagues, Family and Friends, we’ve built a lot of great relationships already, and we’re looking forward to strengthening them even further.

We strongly believe that the only time one should look back is to see how far they’ve come! And as we turn ONE, we take a moment to reminisce about our glorious journey so far 🙂 ‪

#HappyBirthdayNiki‬