MouthShut.com is a user-generated content and consumer review website on the Internet. At the core of MouthShut lies a global Web 2.0 social media platform. Any visitor can become a member and then can influence or be influenced by others. By writing reviews or sharing photos and diaries, members create buzz about brands and products, in turn influencing consumer decisions.
It was at a time when Orkut and Facebook did not exist; when blogging was a rarity. In the year 2000, there were very few avenues for people to voice their opinions about the products and services they bought every day. But one thing changed it all. Mouthshut.com was the first website in India that thrived on user-generated content and Faisal Farooqui, just 24 back then, was the man behind the revolution. Studying information systems and finance at the Binghamton University, New York, he always yearned to come back to India and float his own venture.
In the latter half of 2000, when he came to India for a short break, he noticed that the country’s environment was conducive for start ups. And he knew that this was his calling. He realized that there was no outlet or platform for consumers to voice their opinion about the services or products they buy; they did not have the chance to get their work published and whatever avenues did offer such services, were controlled. So he started Mouthshut.com
It is one of the leading user-generated consumer review and feedback services in the country and Farooqui has earned considerable gravitas in the entrepreneurial world. With Mouthshut, he has successfully managed to build a community of engaged individuals and is proud of what he has achieved so far.
Also, he is now slowly trying to bring some structural changes to Mouthshut.com. The site started off being a site that is driven by user-generated content and feedback services but now there are trying to reposition the brand. This new-age entrepreneur has also branched out into the booming e-commerce space as he believes that the sector is booming and has huge potential. On May 6, 2011, Farooqui beta-launched a daily deal website, Dealface.com. It connects consumers with local businesses by offering amazing deals through coupons. Dealface.com was the first deal site to offer SMS coupons, thus eliminating the need for paper printouts of coupons.
MouthShut.com was the first to use autorickshaws as a medium for marketing campaigns since 2001. MouthShut.com painted the URL of its website behind the backs of thousands of rickshaws in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata etc. Mouthshut.com’s rickshaw advertising concept has been so successful that even large companies such as Oracle have copied the idea in India.