Case study: Shabd — Find registrable and brandable company name
Imagine you want to register a company of your own and have to come up with a name for it. One of the most intrinsic parts of your company is going to be the company name — that is how your company will be addressed or even remembered.
However, you will be disappointed to know that, there is a 70% chance that the name that you have come up with for your company will not be approved by the MCA (Govt. Registrar) — Why is that you ask?
- Your name should follow the company name guidelines*
- The name shouldn’t partially or phonetically resemble an existing company or Trademark
- The registrar has discretionary powers to either accept or reject the company name
Do you still think you can beat that? — well 7/10 entrepreneurs we worked with couldn’t on their first try.
- Overview, Problem Statement & Solution
- Team & my role
- Use Cases
- User Journey
- User Flow
- Staging the Solution
- Features with annotation
- UI design
Every year over one lakh companies are registered in India and millions of trademarks are filed across the globe, finding a unique company name has become extremely challenging. The MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) website doesn’t have an equipped search feature in place to educate the user let alone guide them.
I worked as a consultant for 2.6 years at one of the legal firms based in Pune that helped entrepreneurs register their companies. There I observed — entrepreneurs, mostly from tier II & tier III cities struggled to come up with a unique registrable name for their company. I often found myself suggesting them alternative names based on the names they previously suggested.
Entrepreneurs especially from tier I & tier II cities willing to register their company with MCA find difficulty in coming up with unique registrable names due to exhaustive guidelines and unreliable search engines.
I designed a website that searches the company name across a database of millions of registered names and trademarks to give a probability of getting the name and also, suggests similar AI-generated alternative names based on a set of predefined rules.
- Product Design — Me
- Compliance guide — CS. Aditya Sharma
- Development feasibility — Abhishek Anand
I collaborated with CS Aditya Sharma, to reiterate the major cases where entrepreneurs would need help with their name and learn more about the compliances these names should abide by.
I went one step further to understand if the proposed solution is feasible and can be developed considering the system has to be taught a set of exhaustive rules — the algorithm has to do the heavy lifting of suggesting similar yet unique registrable names.
As an entrepreneur…
I — I already have a Proprietorship/Partnership firm and I want to know if I can get the same name for my company
II — I already have a name in mind and I want to register my company with that name
III — I don’t have anything on my mind, I’m open to good suggestions
IV — I want that my company name should start with Hindi Letter “Aa”
Typically maximum entrepreneurs search the company name on Google to confirm if the name is available. Google does help, however, it doesn’t understand the nitty-gritty of the company name guidelines.
Example — Let’s say an ambitious entrepreneur wants Googal technologies as the company name, Google doesn’t show any match for companies registered with this name however it will be rejected by the MCA on the grounds of Phonetic resemblance.
A user journey will help me discover the critical pain points and map the potential opportunities.
Painpoints / Opportunities
- The major pain point occurs when the entrepreneurs get to know from the professional or from the MCA that the name that they are looking to register their company with is unavailable
- The entrepreneurs don’t want to make the same mistake twice, this time they do their due diligence before finalizing the name, however, there is no system in place that can tell them what are their chances of success
- Entrepreneurs from tier I and tier II cities find it difficult to come up with a unique name and rely heavily on the professionals to suggest them a name.
Staging the solution
In my experience working with entrepreneurs, they were not easily convinced with the suggested company name — They would listen, go back, sleep on it, come back and then choose to move or not to move ahead with the proposed name. Striking a balance between Staging the solution in a way where they are not provided with a lot of options to choose from at the same time providing enough value through the website was important.
Stage 1 — Company name not available — Suggest limited Similar names
Stage 2 — User not satisfied with the suggested names — Ask for more details about their company like words that describe their company etc and suggest accordingly
Stage 3 — The user still didn’t like any of the names suggested — Generate random brandable names that suit their type of business
Getting to Business
Future of Shabd
The most stinging problem for the entrepreneurs today while registering the company is not knowing what the outcome of the company name they want to register would be. Further, the problem of coming up with a unique name is only getting worse with companies and trademarks getting registered every day. Shabd can help these entrepreneurs build confidence with the name and also help them with alternatives.
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Behind the scenes