B Mahendra, a corporate executive, hated having to give people directions to his office. The address was not easy to locate and there were too many twists and turns for anyone to remember.

Today, he doesn’t bother. Thanks to an app developed by Hyderabad-based start-up Zippr, Mahendra simply sends an eight-character alpha-numeric code to anyone who wants to visit his office.

Simply put, Zippr provides short codes to help people find locations to a T. Like the URL shortening service Bitly, Zippr ( >www.zip.pr ) converts an address into a number that latently contains a map.

With a few keytaps, it allows a user to generate a code for his location and share it with anyone who wants to meet him, be it a friend, family, a vendor or a delivery boy.

The Zippr engine instantly identifies the user’s location on Google Maps, pins it down and randomly assigns a unique number. For example, Business Line ’s Zippr code in Hyderabad is YNKR2070.

“When you click on the number, it opens a Google map on your mobile device showing the location. With another click you get a route map,” Zippr founder and CEO Aditya Vuchi told Business Line . Users can create a whole lot of Zippr codes — permanent ones for regular destinations and temporary codes for impromptu meetings.

“We see a business opportunity as the penetration of smartphones is increasing significantly. We are going to set up operations in all major Indian cities this year to tap the opportunity,” said Aditya.

The app has just won the ITsAP (IT Industry Association of Andhra Pradesh) award for innovation.

The start-up, which put Zippr’s beta version on Google Play (Android app store) and iOS platform, says 10,000 people have downloaded the app so far.

The nine-member Zippr team operates from the premises of Vuchi’s other firm, Media Mint, in the Madhapur area, populated by scores of IT firms, big and small.

Media Mint is a digital firm that Vuchi launched in 2010 after returning from a stint in Silicon Valley.

Unique IDs The Zip.pr engine can generate 4.5 billion unique IDs for each country.

The allocation of numbers is done automatically by the engine. However, it can also assign specific IDs for premium members. Zip.pr intends to charge businesses and corporate entities for this service. Individuals, too, can buy an identity of their choice by paying a fee.

“We are already doing pilots with some corporates. It will be easy for them to reach out to customers. Just as they give web IDs and other coordinates, they can give out Zippr codes to increase footfalls,” said Aditya.