We had the good fortune of connecting with Anju Divakaran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anju, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started VCYNTA as a way to connect homeowners to local home maintenance service providers in their neighborhoods in an uber like fashion. I wanted providers that my neighbors have used and trust, but I didn’t want to make several calls to get quotes and schedules. So I created VCYNTA as an app that allows you to find service providers for your home maintenance needs, get quotes, and book them.
As we launched VCYNTA during the quarantine, I also saw that there were small needs within the community where neighbors can help each other. For example, if you forgot to buy milk when you were at the grocery store, a neighbor can pick it up for you. Or if you are sick, and need a ride to your appointment, chances are someone near your home is going that way and can help you. Again, today it takes multiple texts to figure out who is available and can help. So I created a feature on the VCYNTA website that allows people to request help and for their friends/neighbors to answer that call for help in a technology aided fashion. I am really hopeful that this feature helps people connect with each other.
What should our readers know about your business?
I started VCYNTA after spending 20 years in the consulting and corporate world in various management roles. Three years ago, I started interacting more with Houston based start-ups, and I loved the start-up energy so much that I decided to start my own start-up. At VCYNTA, we aim at connecting people to the help they need. We believe in the power of community and that a lot of our service and care needs can be taken care of within our neighborhoods. We make it easy for neighbors to help each other. Our mission is to serve as a platform that facilitates human connections and enables neighbors within communities to help each other and make asking for help and getting help easily. Growing up, I saw my mom had a hard time balancing work and raising a family. I see a lot of families around that struggle with time and cannot afford to hire help. I hope that VCYNTA creates a way for them to collaborate and find a bit more breathing space in their lives.
Tell us more about yourself.
When I was a child in India, I could not have imagined that I would be doing what I am doing today. My father was a factory worker and my mom ran a home-based daycare. Our family of four lived in a single bedroom apartment with a tiny kitchenette in the corner of the room, and a bathroom shared with three other families. My parents worked very hard to make sure our basic needs were met and my brother and I got a good education. Seeing my parents work so hard to ensure that we had a good future gave me a lot of determination to succeed in life. It helped me understand the value of hard work, and also made me realize that I need to be savvy about risk-taking and investments. In my career, I have worked in various management roles at TCS, Accenture, Dell, and Nabors before starting VCYNTA.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first item on the itinerary would be to take them to Edith Moore Sanctuary for a walk, It is very close to my home, and is my happy place. We would also do bike rides on the Terry Hershey Trail and visit Memorial Park. In terms of places to visit, if they have kids NASA, Kemah boardwalk, Moody Gardens, Waterwall Park, Natural History Museum, Zoo, and Health Museum would definitely be on the list of places to go. True Foods is one of my favorite farms to table restaurant. I also love Indian food at Kiran’s and Pondicheri. I would take them to visit the Indian stores in the Mahatma Gandhi district, and we would definitely pay a visit to the Asian places near Bellaire.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband – he has been a pillar of support during my corporate career and my transition to entrepreneurship. Also, my parents who worked very hard to provide me a great education, and my daughter for her infinite patience.
Stock Images from CANVA