If the caller on the other end of the line is singing to you with an Indian accent, someone probably sent you a “TajTune.” Earlier this year, Inman Square resident Dave Hui launched a new Web site — tajtunes.com — that delivers singing telegrams over the phone from workers in India. It’s a new twist on outsourcing, and Hui said the business idea started as a joke.

If the caller on the other end of the line is singing to you with an Indian accent, someone probably sent you a “TajTune.”


Earlier this year, Inman Square resident Dave Hui launched a new Web site — tajtunes.com — that delivers singing telegrams over the phone from workers in India.


It’s a new twist on outsourcing, and Hui said the business idea started as a joke.


Hui, who graduated from MIT with a business degree, started using administrative assistants in Bangalore, India, to help with his errands, such as setting up doctors’ appointments, making restaurant reservations and buying gifts online.


“There’s a lot of things they could do online while I was at work or while I sleep that I don’t have to do,” said Hui, who has a time-consuming day job doing consulting work.


One day, Hui was joking with a friend over the business trend of moving unlikely jobs overseas.


“She said, ‘You better never outsource your friendship to me!’” said Hui.


So, as a joke, Hui asked his administrative assistants in India to call his friend and wish her a happy birthday. Instead, the workers decided to sing to her. She was so amused by the call that he sent several more singing telegrams to other friends.


Now, the Indian assistants are making calls every day to deliver the catchy singing telegrams for Hui’s new business.


TajTunes advertises six different singing telegrams on its Web site to say thank you, happy birthday, get well soon, congratulations and “what’s up.” There’s even a singing telegram with a romantic message (a popular pick last Valentine’s Day), but the lyrics are always light-hearted.


The first verse of the congratulations song is: “Congrats! Hats off to you. You deserve a cookie. But hey! Why not two?”


Sunkrish Bala, a 23-year-old Los Angeles resident, received the “thank you for being you” singing telegram from a friend about a month ago.


“I heard Indian people singing and I couldn’t stop laughing, and then I sent them out to everyone I knew that same day,” said Bala.


But Bala, who has an Indian heritage, said he would probably never send the singing telegrams to his parents because they “wouldn’t get” the joke.


“People like us because we’re more raw [than other singing telegram services],” said Hui about his new venture. “I think we appeal more to a younger crowd.”


Hui said the telegram singers often improvise with instruments they find around the office during their calls.


“They’ll just take china from the cafeteria or bang on their desks for percussion,” said Hui.


Each TajTune telegram costs $5 to send, and TajTunes even records the singing telegrams and e-mails it to the senders so that they can hear the reaction of their friend or loved one.


Thomas Chan, a composer from Quincy, said he was confused at first when Hui asked him to write a few singing telegrams.


“I basically write catchy little tunes that stick in people’s heads all day,” said Chan.


Chan, one of three composers who write the taj tunes, just finished recording a new birthday song, and Hui said the workers in India take about a week to learn a singing telegram.


Hui hasn’t done any formal advertising for TajTunes yet, and is unsure whether he’ll expand the operation in the coming months.


Said Hui, “It’s just all word of mouth at this point.”