Startups

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Health, fintech, real-estate, travel, agriculture, Entrepreneur India brings you a slideshow of 50 start-ups and their mind boggling creations and innovations in every field in and beyond the human imagination!
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!
Image credit: Entrepreneur India
Feature Writer
116 min read
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2018 saw many changes in the start-up ecosystem. While many new start-ups emerged, a few became unicorns. Entrepreneur India brings an exclusive list of 50 start-ups. Pulling the curtain off these start-ups which have the most unique, most distinct concept and of course, they cater to the Indian millennials, these start-ups are changing the face of the nation in ways beyond the comprehension of our minds.

 
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

The Souled Store

The Souled Store
Image credit: The Souled Store

If your personality is yearning for something quirky then Souled Store is the place for you. Started in June 2013, The Souled Store, an online brand selling quirky pop culture merchandise. They are they are the official merchandisers for big-budget movies , TV Shows , WWE, IPL teams. Entrepreneur India gets chatty with this quirky brand and the man Vedang Patel, the co-founder and director

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Our plan is to make The Souled Store a global brand for pop culture enthusiasts. Our growth strategy is two-fold. First is to increase our range of products and offer more to our current customer base.
Second would be to diversify our TG by introducing more women-centric products. Our eventual plan is to also transcend into kids wear as it would be a direct extension of everything we do currently.
Lastly, there is also the plan to open pop-up stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune.

What is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Initially, one of the biggest risks we took was to quit our high-paying jobs and taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. We started out of random coffee shops in Bandra, with free wifi (because no business can start without wifi). We launched the website with t-shirts, badges, and wall art, and now have more than 17 products on the website. Now that we look back, it looks like that plunge was worth the effort.

It’s also important to note here that none of us come from business backgrounds or had any particular expertise in textiles or manufacturing. However, we took that leap of faith and have, over the years, dealt with various manufacturers and vendors, hustled and pushed through in the industry, and have now reached a stage where we have our own manufacturing facility.

How Does Your Startup Impact the Society at Large?

The Souled Store strongly stands for doing what you love to do and to just be yourself. We want people to unabashedly express themselves without any fear of judgement. So, whether you are a Harry Potter fan or a Star Wars fan, or love and adore the Looney Tunes, our products will always help you to express that.

Our goal is to give everyone something they'll love, something they can use to express themselves, and, simply put, something to put a smile on their face.
What is the Single Biggest Aspect That Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The one single thing that ensured success for The Souled Store was, as the name suggests, following your soul. We, at The Souled Store, love what we do - designs, products, content, and everything in between.

Our designs have been a key area of differentiation as our designers don’t just simply do the regular logos and copy paste merchandise.
For example, you could receive an authentic Sheldon’s roommate agreement in your Big Bang Theory order that is personalised for you. You get a personalised official Hogwarts acceptance letter exactly like the one Harry gets but with your name on it. Even when you call our customer service, you may be surprised when the call ends with a “May The Force Be With You,” if you ordered some Star Wars merchandise.
And that has been the secret sauce, as we believe that a good product and great service promises great word-of-mouth marketing.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.
My advice would be to simply keep going! There are going to be an infinite number of problems and hurdles that you’ll come across when you begin something of your own. The solution is to keep working harder and believe in what you do. The results will show.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

GXpress

GXpress
Image credit: GXpress

Gxpress is a global logistics company that enables businesses to selling products on online portals such as Amazon and E-Bay. Gxpress has grown rapidly and has created a logistics network that allows Indian exporters, wholesalers, and manufacturers to sell their products globally on platforms like Amazon and eBay. It is the only Indian company that facilitates Indian businesses that want to sell products in the global online marketplace. Entrepreneur India interacts with Praveen Vashistha about this start-up that is opening new doors and breaking paths.

Where Do You See your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We are going to set up the market with a strong base across the major location of the world. So Gxpress would be the leading e-commerce logistic company as we are going to start domestic operation as well with the international shipments.

Which is the Biggest Risk you Have Taken as a Start-up?

There was a lot of players in the market who all were offering the same thing that we have done, but we have changed the way of offering, as we have designed the product that is customized and tailor-made for every customer, so that was on risk that to compete in front of the major competitors like FedEx, TNT, UPS, DHL because they are already providing global door delivery solution, where we have also started selling.

 How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We are involved with our sellers deeply. We are well aware of all the ground works, we are focusing to give them new market, exposure, opportunities for their products who they make it at small units, so for those people for whom this was impossible earlier, to get to sell online, to showcase their product, we help them to move this directly instead of any mediators, because the maximum margin was taken by mediators, so we make it directly, now we have lots of small sellers available in the country, they are from small places like UP, Meerut, Badhoi, Banaras etc. There are so many small sellers who are making incense sticks, handicrafts, steel etc. So, now we try to showcase each and every product on online platforms which is available internationally.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The biggest aspect that ensures the success of a start-up is Focus. Focus on the core, Whatever you have decided, whatever you have your expertise, you should not move your eyes from your goal, you suppose to focus on your strength, what all core strength you have, you need to develop the core strength ,you need to focus yourself on the final goal so that’s what an exactly success mantra for the start-up is.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

First, you need to understand that what service you are going to offer, you need to have interest in that particular business, it’s not like that somebody was doing good and just seeing that you have started. Entrepreneurs or start-up founders should have very good market research, they should have clear identification of the problem, they should have clear identification of solution, they should have known about the behaviour of the consumer, and in short, they should have a micro analysis before entering the market.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Planet Spark

Planet Spark
Image credit: Planet Spark

PlanetSpark is making traditional tuitions obsolete through powerful and gamified learn-tech products and certified teachers. It partners with qualified and smart homemakers and opens tech-enabled tuition centres from their homes. In conversation with Entrepreneur India is Kunal Malik, CEO and co-founder of PlanetSpark.

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line?   

A few years from now, I see PlanetSpark as the complete ecosystem for after-school learning with our learning app, teacher app, workbooks and most importantly, our network of the best tutors in the locality.

The PlanetSpark learning app is on the path to becoming the ubiquitous learning app with a learning game, a learning cartoon and quizzes for each and every concept that exists. Lastly, I see a PlanetSpark tutor in every locality of the top 20 cities of India and every major locality of the other cities. We also plan to expand across South East Asia and Europe.

What is the Biggest Risk you Have Taken as a Start-up?

The biggest risk that we have taken as a startup is to invest crazily on technology to solve problems. This meant that we had to forego some short-term gains and divert our funds in favour of our longer-term vision of building a technology platform for tutoring.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Our startup was born with the vision of making children fall in love with learning. Till now, learning has been seen as a boring activity that is aimed at achieving a particular grade in exams. Our model of learning through games makes the process fun and removes the fear of failure. The child can practice again and again till the time mastery is achieved. Hence, we are helping in not only improving learning outcomes but also making them lifelong learners and problem solvers.

At the same time, our startup is transforming the lives of lakhs of smart and intelligent women to restart their careers and become entrepreneurs. They get the opportunity to derive immense satisfaction from teaching young children through innovative methods and balance their family life at the same time.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The single biggest aspect that ensures the success of a startup is a team of hustlers who can execute the vision to perfection.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

The message would be simple.  Be really passionate and be ready to eat, live and breathe your startup. Try to be a good talent scout. Startups are a team sport and one person (or a few individuals) cannot run it alone. You must try to get "A Players" early.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Avenue 11

Avenue 11
Image credit: Avenue 11

With the growing demands of contemporary life, millennials don’t have to struggle to squeeze time for groceries. Avenue11 sells high-quality fresh produce and grocery to online customers, its B2B arm supplies fruits and vegetables to merchants and institutions. Entrepreneur India chats with Nakkyun Chong, the CEO and Chairman of Board on what makes Avenue 11 the one-stop solution for grocery shopping.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

As a start-up catering to Bangalore, our main priority is to completely capture the entire city and become the no.1 food and grocery player in the market.

Our focus and differentiating factor are going to be “customer service”. We are working towards providing the highest level of service to our consumers by ensuring timely delivery, the highest quality fresh produce and a choice of international products that aren’t available anywhere else.

“Farm to fork” is an appealing concept, but we are making efforts to make this a reality in the coming years thereby ensuring food safety, food freshness and supporting local farmers.

Once we get these things right in Bangalore, we will expand to other cities in a rapid way.

What is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

We started off with a market-place model and had to take an enormous calculated risk of moving to an inventory-led model. This was the biggest risk, as such a move can either help you grow or cause an immediate backlash. But this strategy has proven successful for us. However, in the long run, our biggest risk will be reverting back to a new business model that combines Avenue11 franchise brick-and-mortar stores while still maintaining the excellent customer service and quality customers have come to expect from us.

How Does your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

For consumers, grocery shopping isn’t the most fun type of shopping rather an essential requirement. We at Avenue11 aim to improve the quality of life through convenience by providing an easy to use platform, quick checkout, good quality products and fast delivery. The objective is to ensure you spend less time shopping groceries and more quality time with your family.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?                                               

The success of any company depends on the team. For any start-up to establish in the market and bring in a change, having the right team with the right mind is the key to success.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Keep a close eye at the bottom line and constantly monitor customer feedback. A 10,000-foot aerial view has its uses, but 9 out of 10 times you need to get into the details, find out the root issues and make quick decisions.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Samunnati

Samunnati
Image credit: Samunnati

Farmers in the country have a long history of undergoing and fighting arduous battles. Samunnati is a Chennai based NBFC that focuses on providing loans to farmers and entities engaged in agriculture. They provide affordable and customized financial services like working capital, retail loans, and loans against receivables. Anil Kumar SG, promoter and CEO of Samunnati speaks to Entrepreneur India about his venture:

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We see Samunnati as a pioneer in establishing the Agriculture sector as a lendable proposition and farming as a sustainable economic activity for smallholder farmers.  This is achieved by demonstrating that a value chain finance approach is what suits lending to agriculture than a standalone cookie-cutter approach.  An "internal player" approach to the value chain financing that Samunnati is building, coupled with customised product design, deployment of Agri Tech as well as FinTech for process efficiencies and providing the much-needed market linkages as well as advisory services for productivity gains to farmers, is the approach that would make agriculture sector, lendable and sustainable.  This is the strategy of Samunnati.

 What is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Embarking on agriculture as a focus area and following the heart to make a difference to the smallholder farmers, is the biggest risk that people perceive.  For me, it is following my heart and nothing seems to be a big risk. 

 How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

It will establish Agriculture as a lendable proposition as against being perceived as the riskiest proposition for all lenders.  600 million people dependant on agriculture means a lot.  Demonstrating sustainable business proposition would entail both the policymakers in general and lenders including Banks in particular, understand how to approach lending to agriculture than what they are currently pursuing. 

Sustainability of farming as an economic activity would mean increased incomes for Small Holder Farmers thereby encouraging them to pursue farming as a viable economic activity.  This will eventually decrease the migration of farmers abandoning their farms and move to urban areas for other forms of wage employment.  But stay with their farms and do farming on their lands in a dignified fashion. 

 What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

TEAM - bringing together the right set of members into the team who share the passion to pursue the mission, is the single biggest aspect. 

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Follow your heart, set a high benchmark on the dream being pursued than focusing on economic gains, valuations etc., They are all byproducts if the entity becomes successful. Making a difference to the society should be the sole purpose and driver of the entity than any other consideration. 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Medika Bazaar

Medika Bazaar
Image credit: Medika Bazaar

Medika Bazaar, a tech enabled pioneering concept aims at addressing a large segment of medical procurement & supplies. Nowadays, more and more start-ups are solving healthcare problems with the help of technology. CEO and founder Vivek Tiwari in a chat with Entrepreneur India highlights the aim and mission of this health-tech start-up.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Being a leader in the industry and empowering all medical institutions achieve greater operational efficiency.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Starting a start-up in itself is a big risk. Dreaming to make it successful is a bigger one. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

It is to reducing health care cost burden. This will specially help in Government initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat initiatives through cost efficient procurement through Medikabazzar and transparency.  

 What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

 Having a team aligned to your vision.

 A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Beyond building a great product or thinking of a great idea any start-up founder must put people at the forefront of their actions because ideas may fail and products may fail, but people will be there with you.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

InstaMojo

InstaMojo
Image credit: InstaMojo

Which is the sector in India that has a lot of potentials and whose growth can really push the trajectory of the economy? The MSME sector. Insta Mojo is a growth gateway platform for Micro, Medium & Small Enterprises (MSME’s) that enables these entrepreneurs to build, manage and grow their business online. Entrepreneur India delves deeper into InstaMojo’s journey with its, CEO and co-founder, Sampad Swain.

 Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We are building India's most trusted fintech platform for MSMEs. This year, we evolved into a full-stack fintech platform with the launch of MojoCapital (lending), MojoXpress (logistics) and few others beyond payments, for which we are already known for. We will continue our journey in building simpler tools and services to enable MSMEs to participate, thrive and grow in the digital economy.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Working with Indian MSMEs where we haven't seen many venture success stories is possibly the biggest risk we have taken during our formative years. Today, the narrative has changed. Also, our strong growth also helped to convert naysayers into brand advocates.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

India has fundamentally been a supply constraint market, which creates a unique aggregation opportunity to unlock value at economies of scale. Thus allowing businesses and consumers to participate and thrive in this ever-expanding digital economy. We at InstaMojo want to play a significant role in this transformation with technology, data and design and helping MSMEs participate, thrive and grow.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The team is the single biggest secret ingredient to a startup's success.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

We are in phase II of India's evolving internet story where we are going to see the rise of multi-billion dollar companies, solving India's aspiring consumers' problems. This is the best time to be an entrepreneur and solve India problems and create long-term value. My message for fellow entrepreneurs is not to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

BetterPlace

BetterPlace
Image credit: BetterPlace

Started in 2015 by former Pravin Agarwala and Saurabh Tandon, is on a mission to help people transition from informal to the formal economy. BetterPlace runs a digital platform aimed at the blue-collar workforce of India, which helps them get skilled, employed and become part of financial inclusiveness. As the name of the start-up suggests, it aims to “better” the situation of people by saving them from exploitation. Entrepreneur India chats with the co-founders to understand this start-up, well, better!

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We are catering to the semi-skilled or unskilled workforce ecosystem which is around 450m people in India today. Being the leader in the space, it's our responsibility to create value for the whole ecosystem. We would be touching the lives of more than 50 million people over the next 4-5 years through our B2B or B2C products around Jobs, skilling, HR, Finance, health and other lifecycle management solutions.                  

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

At BetterPlace, we believe that taking no Risk is the bigger risk. Every day we take some risks, learn some more and life goes on. Nevertheless, leaving our Fat jobs and dedicating our efforts towards the vision of making billions smile itself was a big risk. Looking back, it seems to be the best decision so far. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Most of the people in our addressable segment don't have access to the right opportunities, access to credit or health etc. Through our data-driven technology platform, we address all those issues to move people from informal to the formal economy. So far we have enabled 1.8m people who can have access to credit, 2.1m people who can have jobs of their choice and so on.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Start-up is made of its people and tech. It is true in our case too. We believe in addition to a great team and cutting-edge tech continued focus on your end goal backed by patience will help you to deliver the value you want. 

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

I think addressing a real problem, thinking really Big, joining the dots and early collaboration with existing players is the key to success in next billion opportunities. 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Plum

Plum
Image credit: Plum

Plum represents a changing mindset; that of conscious living, where thoughtfulness precedes and accompanies the action. Founded in 2013 by an enthusiastic Chemical Engineer, Shankar Prasad, Plum offers 100% vegan and totally free of harsh chemical ingredients, following stringent international guidelines and transparent disclosure norms. Entrepreneur India understands the beauty brand in a quick chat with its co-founder.

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line?

I would like to see our brands - Plum &Phy - offer a complete suite of safe, vegan personal care products, with a distinctive, irreplaceable style of anticipating and meeting our consumer needs. Not just that, we should have travelled quite some distance into our ultimate goal of true sustainability. The larger we become, the more goodness we should add to our world. In terms of numbers, I would love to see us counted among the top 15 brands in the country.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up? 

Launching new products is the biggest risk we continue to take - there's a lot of team time, money and sheer mental energy that gets used up for every new launch. Although it's preceded by lots of consumer- and market-research and creative + technical work, it's only well after the launch that we'll know if we've exceeded customer expectations. Every launch makes us supremely nervous - no matter what the scale and complexity of it is.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We define our purpose of doing business as "adding goodness to the world we live in". We try to achieve that through safe, cruelty-free but efficacious products that respect individuality and diversity, making greener packaging choices, voluntarily recycling empties, and contributing 1% of our sales to environmental causes. It's our aim that the world and our environment should feel a tangible, positive impact of us doing business.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

Delighting the customer.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders. 

Use revenues to fund the business, rather than look at funding as a means to get revenue.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

MyUpchar

MyUpchar
Image credit: MyUpchar

MyUpchar is healthcare content app that partners with doctors to offer health related advices and translates into 13 languages. Rajat Garg, co-founder and CEO of MyUpchar shares his plans for the future and the ingredients that led to developing it.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Being a part of the start-up scheme, I would like to elaborate that start-up companies are going to be the future of our country and we as a start-up didn’t expect to get success within such a short span of time.

Our aim is to be the premium health care platform for Indians serving 100 million users per month and provide differentiated services to the customers leveraging technologies so that anybody anywhere in India can access health care 24x7. MyUpchar is growing both vertically and horizontally in the market and aims to provide 360 degree services to our people. 

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

In a country like India where every day a new start-up company burgeons up, it is risky to bring up a start-up company. In this industry, earning trust is the biggest challenge and as a start-up we strive to create authentic credible content, as well as high quality consultation services to earn the customer’s trust. To continuously improve our quality of services, while growing rapidly is the biggest risk. Besides this, one of my personal risks was to leave America and resign from my job.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

MyUpchar is a company that has been established for the betterment of the masses. Everyone who is involved with MyUpchar shares the same point of view and is always available for a healthy society. The focus of MyUpchar is to solve the real healthcare problems in India and we aim to reach every nook and corner of our country where there are negligible healthcare facilities

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

The biggest aspect that helps a start-up to be a success is to solve the real problems and meet the real needs of the masses. One should always have the mind-set to serve and earn. A company gets recognition when it meets the needs of the masses and are always ready to change accordingly.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams. Not everyone has the courage to take risks, but if you’re ready to go through some, then work hard to reach your goals and always think about the betterment of your society.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

GoldSeat

GoldSeat
Image credit: GoldSeat

Want to make your travel more entertaining? Well here is a licensed on-the-go offline entertainment application for travel services for a premium experience across air, bus and railway network in India. GoldSeat has created a dashboard for bus operators which will allow automatic passenger counting enabling security along with live video of buses on-the-go. Entrepreneur India in conversation with the company's founder unravels the aim and vision of this start-up. 

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line?

We are keen to develop and update our technology to provide an improved version of the application. GoldSeat’s aim is to provide offline entertainment by providing unlimited licensed content across the country. We are anticipating considering rail, metro and air as well and seeing how we can offer our services within these segments. With the increasing mobile penetration in the country, we believe that this will lead to the success of this technology. This technology is well capitalized on growth to profitability.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Startup?

We started our operations in a sector which is completely scattered and has no central governing body. Also we came from a corporate environment and started working with bus operators who work largely on their own terms hence it was a bit different for us and we weren't sure if we would be able to work in an unorganized sector.

How Does Your Startup Impact the Society at Large?

Since there is only 40% penetration of internet on road it becomes very difficult to access satisfied internet connectivity. GoldSeat being an IOT based platform that runs on a unique mix of embedded hardware and software offers unlimited licensed content including Bollywood Movies and TV Shows. Passengers can connect to the GoldSeat device which is already installed in the bus. In addition to that, we also provide 4G/3G internet coverage which is enabled with cloud-based content and URL filtering.  We are overcoming the obstacle insecurity by creating a dashboard for bus operators, which permits passengers counting. We assume that this technology will bring revolution in the travel industry. We solve the demand-supply gap for entertainment on the move. In long-distance buses there are captive audiences who have a need to be entertained and our goal is to be the travel entertainment partner for people across all modes of transportation.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

One of the major aspects to ensure the success of a startup is the strength of a founder’s idea with perfect execution and timing. A good team also plays a vital role, always hire smart and the right people for your best-placed plans. An entrepreneur should always remember that their plans involve goals, targets, and capital. No matter how well you will work or plan your business there will be some obstacles, to prevent this always be ready with crisis management. Always make adjustments to elevate your possibility for success.      

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

Patience, perseverance and hard work can help an entrepreneur break through any deadlock! So never give up! 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Acoosta Uno

Acoosta Uno
Image credit: Acoosta Uno

The passion to create the most innovative and best-in-class audio products led to the invention of Acoosta Uno, an acoustics brand founded by Neeraj Sethi and Dinkar Pathak. Entrepreneur India digs to understand what made them embark on this journey.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Acoosta is founded with a passion to create the most innovative and best-in-class audio products. Our endeavour is to create beautiful and intelligent products that fill lives with music. With a magical synthesis of design and performance, Acoosta products will provide an awe-inspiring, uncluttered and unparalleled immersive music listening experience.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up? 

The biggest risk we have taken is to change consumer behaviour when it comes to listening to music. Music is mostly consumed on personal devices and we are promoting social listening so that music can fill homes and bring families and friends together.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Our motto is to enrich consumer’s lives with easy access to iconic music without being buried in their personal devices. The old-world charm of listening to music together has been sabotaged by cell phones. People are stressed and busy with their own schedules. Various reports indicate that music elevates moods, contributes to family bonding, inspires people, enhances energy levels and has a positive impact on the brain. We hope to make people happier and more productive with our offerings.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

The most key aspect is ensuring that the startup has a relentless focus on customer centricity. Happy customers become brand loyalists and surrogate brand ambassadors that promote the startup based on their personal experience. Make sure to put the customer first and ensure he/she is satisfied with the product or service. 

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.     

Spend time preparing your execution plan to make your vision a reality. One must possess domain knowledge or expertise that the startup requires and ensure backing by a strong team. Be open to learning new ways of doing things that might be different from your previous experience. Keep an open mind and always have measurable goals.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Petcart

Petcart
Image credit: Petcart

When you have a pet, they are not animals for you, they add another life to your soul and your house. Petcart.com, a Bangalore –based pet lifecycle management company that provides pet care services. One needs this sort of setup to provide the pets with the same luxury and comfort that humans do. Shekhar Gaonkar, CEO, CO-Founder, Petcart on what inspired him to take this revolutionary step in the pet care industry:

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line? 

Petcart aims to cater to one of the fastest growing pet care market of the world i.e. India.  With higher disposable income and a steady increase in pet adoption among Indian millennial, the demand for pet care and pet services has been on a higher curve.   We aim to be the pioneers in pet care and pet service provider where all the needs of furry babies are available under one roof.  Our vision is to organize the pet care industry thereby fostering a healthy and happy pet world

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Startup?

I would say, for me the leap from the corporate world to entrepreneurship was a whole new world of opportunities. A gamut of learnings and the satisfaction of creating unique and one of its kind service for our furry friends has been unrivalled. With every new challenge came new learning.

How Does your Startup Impact the Society at Large? 

Pets have become an integral part of many families. With humanization of pets, there is a need for awareness and sharing the knowledge on dos and don’ts of adoption and pet parenting.  Apart from creating a world-class pet care company, we are creating a knowledge hub on every aspect of pet care, pet care services and an adoption centre, a platform for adaption of needy pets.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

Staying focused on your long-term goals is the single biggest aspect that ensures success.  

 A Message for the Upcoming Startup Founders.

Never dishearten by the hurdles and challenges that come across. Roadblocks mean something bigger is there on the unveiling.   As the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

HyperXchange

HyperXchange
Image credit: HyperXchange

HyperXchange was established in 2016 and is India's fastest growing O2O marketplace for premium refurb gadgets. Dipanjan Purkayastha, the man behind this start-up, is a guest faculty at IIT- Delhi and IIM- Calcutta who decided to quit a well-paying job as Vice President of Tech Mahindra to pursue this venture.

Where Do you see Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

By the end of this year, the start-up expects to tie up with university campuses across the USA to include refurbished gaming products in its portfolio. HyperXchange is also embedding AI into its procurement, quality assurance and user experience processes.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Market Risk. Knowing customers and why, how and where they buy related products is arguably the most important risk factor to assess before launching the product. Identifying these routes to market, and whether one can build them effectively, in a timely fashion and within budget, could easily determine the success.

The primary challenge for the e-commerce sector is that it is largely unorganized. The concept of refurbished gadgets is still quite new, many customers are either not aware of the term ‘refurbished’, or have a negative view of the quality of the product. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Culturally, Indians have always been fine with reusing products, if services are provided to ensure that these products are delivered to them in great condition. The tougher task is winning people’s trust and making it convenient for users to start trying refurbished products. HyperXchange, a premium refurbished marketplace, solves for trust by providing an industry-leading 12-month warranty, assured buyback and doorstep service on our products, with a clear focus on building empowered customer care that goes above and beyond.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

The Founding Team. The founding team lays the pillar of the venture and building of its culture, each founder should be involved from day one, ensuring that he or she is comfortable with every aspect of the plan, including the direction the startup is moving.

The HyperXchange founding team has right composition of team members bringing diverse skills, experiences and synergies complementing each other’s skills competencies.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

The product that wins is the one that bridges customers to the future, not the one that requires a giant leap.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

GrabOn

GrabOn
Image credit: GrabOn

Based out of Hyderabad, and launched in 2013, GrabOn leads India’s coupon industry and operates in 450+ cities. It is changing the way the coupon industry works and also the way Indians spend. Entrepreneur India “grabs” co-founder Ashok Reddy for a quick chat.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

For GrabOn is to grow from the fastest evolving coupons and deals marketplace to one of the top 10 digital transactions company in India by 2020. The recent foray into Gift Cards space has already started to bring in some significant traction which reflects the overall healthy future of the company. For GrabOn continue as one of the market leaders in the savings space all the while making huge strides in the loyalty space for the customers by bringing in latest technologies into the mix. Apart from becoming the #1 destination for savings, I envision GrabOn to be listed both in the Indian and Global Stock Markets in the coming years.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The most challenging aspect of a being a bootstrapped startup is optimizing your marketing spends and instead focusing on organic growth aspects which team GrabOn has handled exceptionally. We have cracked big partnerships and maintained strategic alliances with top players in various sectors, ranging from telecom and banking to entertainment and much more.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?
One needs to understand the definition of Impact as it differs for every startup. GrabOn as a product helps people save on their expenses and I believe that's the biggest impact our product gives saving everytime they shop, as who doesn't love an extra buck being in the account for other activities.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Having a clear vision in terms of growth of the business and aiming for long-run gain then short term. most of the people tend to start with the intention of getting over a corporate job or due to peer trend. One needs to understand that the entrepreneur journey comes with its own risks and struggles. A founder needs to ensure that he has a clear vision regards to starting off his business and the product roadmap for his business for the next 5 years. Also, resources such as people play an integral role ensure to have a team that can multi-task and experienced in working in initial stages of business. A strong team with financial resources is the foundation for the growth of a startup

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

One vital entrepreneurial lesson that I’ve learned over the course of 5 years is that your product or service alone is what matters. I have witnessed multiple startups raise funding, focus on marketing efforts instead of the product and finally burning through all the capital only to shut shop. My advice to all budding entrepreneurs is to concentrate on the product/service, find the USP, look actively for scaling and growth opportunities, and then go for VC funding.   

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

GoWork

GoWork
Image credit: GoWork

The way co-working spaces have acquired acceptance and have been embedded in the Indian ecosystem is phenomenal. Adding to the many emerging and successful start-ups is GoWork, a co-working facility in Gurgaon. Started in 2017 with an INR of 800 crores, this one is definitely one to take note of. The man behind this brand, Sudeep Singh in a chat with Entrepreneur India shares some important takebacks.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

A few years down the line, we envision GoWork being the #1 co-working brand in India. Once this feat is achieved, we would also like to broaden our horizons and dabble in foreign markets. We wish to move abroad and establish hubs in other countries. For this purpose, we are eyeing South-east Asia where the co-working market is projected to boom in the coming years.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

I believe that for any start-up, taking risks is a prerequisite to growth. During my journey of establishing GoWork, I was not averse to taking any risks. Floating the idea of co-working into the Indian market that is dominated by an extremely conventional and formal work culture, in itself, was a risk. However, we embraced each of these risks with an unwavering belief in our ideas and are thrilled to see the fruition of our plans. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

GoWork is dedicated to offering a flexible workspace bolstered with cutting-edge technology to the discerning professionals of today.  These professionals no longer want to clock in the regular 9-5 and head home as soon as possible. Freelancers, SMEs and budding entrepreneurs are passionate about their work and look for an environment that nurtures this passion. Our wide range of services and flexible working options at attractive prices and numerous high-end tech-backed facilities boost productivity and profitability. We also create specialized offerings such as an island bar, sleeping pods and crèche for our premium clients, in order to help them achieve their professional, organizational as well as personal goals seamlessly.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

I believe the path to success is three-pronged. Here are the 3 mantras that any startup should memorize to ensure success:

  1. The idea does not matter, execution does.
  2. Be frugal with money, whether it is yours or investors’.
  3. It is important to understand your target audience well and pivot in time.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

To upcoming startup founders, my advice would be to follow the 3 Ps - Patience, Persistence and Perseverance. This is the key to achieving success on any front, whether personal or professional. Further, I’d like to point out that entrepreneurs do not fail, businesses do. Be accountable for your own decisions rather than looking for excuses and do not be afraid to take risks. I would also like to point out that no matter how occupied your new venture makes you, always have a keen focus on work-life balance as a family is what you will always have to fall back on.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Hubhopper

Hubhopper
Image credit: HubHopper

Launched in 2015, Hubhopper is India’s largest platform for podcasts and publishers, it is a must-have app for the busiest readers. It offers easy- passive content across popular genres like health, education, history, business, technology sports etc. It aims to provide content-driven formats to the user. Gautam Raj Anand discusses this millennial driven concept with Entrepreneur India.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Hubhopper’s growth runs parallel to the needs that come with the robust development of the podcast industry. We aim to keep growing organically, making the process as simple, seamless and superlative as possible. Not a definite three or five-year plan, but we envision Hubhopper to own the passive content space and become the most coveted podcast directory. We wish to be regarded as synonymous with content aggregation and podcasts. When people think about consuming or creating content, Hubhopper should be the first name to cross their mind. Furthermore, we intend to go global soon, hoping to emerge as one of the best and most preferred content aggregating platforms on the internet.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

I believe the biggest risk taken on this journey has been venturing into an emerging industry rather than going for a pre-existing one. The concept of podcasting had not gained momentum in India back in 2015 and we had our apprehensions regarding the success of the platform, however ground-breaking the idea was. But we went ahead with a clear vision of bridging the gap for content dissemination and the risk is taken bore a fruitful result. Through dedicated efforts by our vision-driven team, the risk paid off. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Hubhopper is increasingly bridging the gap between content creators and consumers. The platform impacts society both from the consumer and the creator perspective. Since the content is audio-based, it strikes a chord with people who wish to consume content from digital media but is apprehensive of the lengthy process. It can be seen as a customizable radio with a way longer shelf life. From Mahabharata to blockchain technology, one can access information and entertainment, all on the same platform. Hubhopper also helps inspire millennials and the generation Z and caters to their mental health needs with hordes of motivational content available on it. One can be entertained, inspired and empowered through content consumption from Hubhopper.

Hubhopper does not just serve as a platform for their content, absolutely untampered with, but also provides them with insight, advice and suggestions about the methodology, the equipment required and effective marketing techniques. In this way, Hubhopper impacts and empowers both the creators and the consumers immensely, subsequently impacting the society at large.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

In my opinion, having a strong vision and passionately striving to achieve it can help ensure the success of a start-up. Of course, several factors come into play but this aspect lays the very foundation. Having a strong vision and adhering to it helps in identifying the shortcomings and addressing those effectively. 

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

The initial days might be a struggle, but you should never lose faith in your vision.The old saying ‘failures are the stepping stones to success’ stands very true in entrepreneurial practices. Dedicated efforts, a strong vision and an immense belief in yourself go a long way in helping you succeed.
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

RAS Luxury Oils

RAS Luxury Oils
Image credit: RAS Luxury Oils

India is battling several issues including the harm caused to the skin on using unnatural products. RAS Luxury Oils is a one-stop solution to such predicaments. The luxury beauty and wellness brand are striving to introduce 100% pure, honest and absolutely luxurious beauty and skincare products. Entrepreneur India unravels a new tryst with beauty with its founder Shubhika Jain.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

For RAS Luxury Oils, I envision it to become one of the best Luxury natural skincare and wellness brands not only in India but recognized internationally as well.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as an Entrepreneur?

I think starting this brand was the biggest risk I took and then working towards my goals along with the support of my team my family has helped me take my brand to this level.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We believe in promoting an eco-friendly enterprise, making sure all our products are grown without the use of growth-promoting chemicals. We partner with farmers directly and by eliminating the middlemen, give them an opportunity for a self-sustained lifestyle, earn a better income and enhance their quality of life. 

In order to reduce the impact of waste and pollution in the healthcare and beauty industry we have initiated an ECO- campaign to minimise our negative impact on the planet where we take in return any bottles from RAS from our customers for free and in return also give them free products. Also spreading the Awareness of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at each step of our process from start to end. 

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The faith in yourself and your team and working towards your clear vision.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Have complete faith in yourself. At times it will seem like nothing is working out but believe that it will and it shall. An idea is worth only so much, the main focus should be on the execution. Do not be shy to discuss your ideas with your family and friends and other experienced people, it always helps to polish your idea and improves the way of execution. Love what you do, be passionate about it. Have the desire to learn each and every day, every hour. Have the fire in the belly to do something, give it your 100% and know that anything is possible as long as you can believe it. At the same time try and squeeze in time for yourself and your family whenever possible as it will recharge you.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

CYBERNETIV DIGITAL

CYBERNETIV DIGITAL
Image credit: Cybernetiv Digital

CYBERNETIV DIGITAL is a startup recognized by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, consisting of analytics, consultants, ethical hackers, programmers, and security professionals focusing on analytics, blockchain/smart contracts, cybersecurity, and forensics. This start-up boasts of several other achievements including the founder, FarrhadAcidwalla, who was the youngest entrepreneur a decade ago when he founded Rockstah Media. Entrepreneur India decodes the man and the brand.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Our plan is to extend our team's existing skills and capabilities while scaling up our associations with global enterprises and influencers. Our focus is on our core services and forward thinking the outcome-driven value to our clients. We believe all the other metrics will flow in as byproducts. Our goal a few years from now is evolving and adapting with the industry, at scale.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The technology verticals we focus on have several barriers to entry which include but are not limited to regulations, established competitors and high input costs concerning team and infrastructure due to the niche and specialized nature of the business.

Our leadership team's background goes deep into digital media and technology which gave us an invaluable overview of the ecosystem. New enterprises come with challenges, and this was no exception, despite the prior experience, months were spent on research to build the right team and find the precise service and market fits.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

More and more businesses are transforming and scaling via technology and consumers are also increasing their digital exposure. This makes cybersecurity a problem affecting consumers and enterprises across all spheres globally. While the general public might have the perception that only giant enterprises are at risk of security breaches, the reality is that regardless of size, enterprises and even consumers are at risk by real-world cyber threats.

With our lives becoming even more weaved with technology, cyber security and forensics are the need of the hour as those with capabilities, skills and malicious intent will always be around to take advantage of.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. Ideas are abundant; it's the execution that counts. Therefore if I had to generalize and zoom in on one factor, it would be the team and successfully working as one unit. A solid team can overcome most challenges and barriers when they work with synergy and a mutual goal.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Forming a startup is the easy part, turning it into value is the true test. Failure is the stepping stone to success. If it was easy, everyone would be successful. While some startup founders capture trends and ride along market waves, don't expect your industry or vertical to be a walk in the park with things coming your way. The hustle is real and you've got to give it everything you have got.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Pink Woolf

Pink Woolf
Image credit: Pink Woolf

Trials, experimentation and of course, years of hard work give birth to something like Pink Woolf! Pink Woolf makes superior shaving & skincare products for men. This start-up is spearheading the men’s grooming sector with its versatile products. Entrepreneur India speaks to the co-founder Subodh Sharma, the man behind the brand!

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Pink Woolf is a brand that curates products for men who like taking care of themselves. Our only aim is to give them what they need -- the best for their skin and personality. We are creating a complete range of men’s grooming products, from head to toe -- everything! Additionally, we are directing our sales in India as well as the world with platform aggregators and even wet shaving stockists.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

In a market that is filled with mass products, the biggest risk we took was launching premium shaving and grooming products. And that’s also our strength -- giving our customers great quality products that the market lacks. We believe one shouldn’t be treating his skin with anything less than premium!

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Pink Woolf’s philosophy revolves around creating a space for men to learn, practice and preach self-care. Besides offering best-in-class products, we also aim to educate and create awareness about what’s good and what’s not for them. We aim to step away from the loud and proud ideals of ‘being a man’ and bring back the gentleman!

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Confidence in your idea, extensive research and the passion to see it through.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

The only ingredients you need: Patience and persistence. Eliminate Negative people and thoughts. Stay the course!

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Empowerji

Empowerji
Image credit: Empowerji

While most of the start-ups cater to the younger generation, the concept of Empowerji is awakening and enlightening. Founded by Aparna Thakker, it is a unique brand in India that is focused on enabling senior citizens to use technology and bridge the gap between the two. This start-up provides education to an elderly lot of the society with a mix of technology. Entrepreneur India analyses the thought and inspiration behind this start-up.

Where Do you See your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

I not only see Empowerji as being a pioneer in the senior tech literacy space but also a trusted partner for the senior community. In a few years’ time, we would have expanded our services to include other verticals. I hope to see the majority of the country’s seniors using our offerings.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The biggest risk I have taken as a startup is to offer a service which will require a mindset and habit change. Our customer group is not known to be open to change, so convincing them to use our services could be a challenge.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

There are close to 200 million people above the age of 50 years in India. For most of these seniors, using apps, sites and devices do not come naturally. With our lives improving with new innovations, we at Empowerji believe that everyone should reap the benefits of technology. Empowerji bridges this gap between seniors and Tech and empowers them to live happier independent lives.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Although there is no right formula to a successful startup, in my opinion, one of the key factors to success is EXECUTION.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Entrepreneurship is the road less travelled and the journey can be arduous. So my message to budding founders would be

  1. Stay focused even when the days are tough
  2. Make a plan and execute it to the best of your ability
  3. Keep taking feedback from the customer and apply it to your business
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Healthi

Healthi
Image credit: Healthi

Healthi is India ’s fastest growing digital preventive health start-up, empowering its users to make smart choices about their health so that they can avoid chronic illnesses.  The company, which has been serving users since  April  2014 has combining scientifically validated predictive analytics, machine learning technology,  contemporary design, strong partnerships with healthcare majors and cutting-edge research,  to revolutionize the preventive healthcare market. Entrepreneur India discusses the revolutionary journey of this start-up with its founders Krishna Ulagaratchagan and  RekuramVaradharaj.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?                                        

Healthi aims to make the user the pivot around whom healthcare revolves, thus turning the current paradigm of the patient being the most underutilized resource in medicine on its head.

Over the next few years, we intend to grow along two axes.

  • Scaleup: aid providers and engage each user to drive effective outcomes in most major aspects of outpatient healthcare by accelerating research and product development
  • Scaleout: expand reach to tens of millions of users in India and roll out international pilots in the ASEAN and Middle East

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Traditionally, focus on and investments in healthcare have revolved around treating acute illnesses and in-patient tertiary care over primary care and well-being. However, about 90% of healthcare episodes usually happen outside the hospital. In nearly all such outpatient scenarios, engaging users towards follow-up adherence is essential to drive outcomes. We decided to address this opportunity through analytics and personalization led platform, despite the traditional focus of healthcare on in-patient care. We are glad to see that the risk has paid off well.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Nearly 90% of health episodes are related to outpatient and primary care and a physician visit. For half the world’s population, the average physician consultation is less than 5 minutes. Outcomes for healthcare episodes are driven most by users’ adherence to physician recommendations. Through engaging users in a personalized manner by educating them about their current state of health, reinforcing the next steps prescribed by the physician, and nudging users towards adherence, Healthi drives better healthcare outcomes. People have begun to understand that the “sick-care” medical model can do only so much to improve the quality of life. Addressing primary health issues right at the outset by educating, empowering and engaging users, especially among those with known risk factors, paves the way for a better life and overall well-being.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

While there is no single magic ingredient, a good requisite to increase the probability of success would be to bring together a group of talented and passionate people who are motivated to solve problems that matter. We are fortunate to have such a team with impressive professional and educational backgrounds working on a problem that could positively impact the lives of millions of users.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

First and foremost, start when you want to. There is no right time and therefore, do not wait for the ‘moment’. Start with whatever tools and techniques you have at your disposal; it will only get better with time. We strongly believe in the adage “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs.” Also, the idea of building something from scratch can be a very exciting prospect. However, one should be prepared for the challenges and stay focused always. Be ready to embrace mistakes and accept changes as you go along. Build a great team that aligns with your vision and is willing to take the leap of faith with you.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

JetSetGo

JetSetGo
Image credit: JetSetGo

JetSetGo is an  Indian-born pioneer of private aviation. It is India’s sole market for private jets and helicopters. While many people think of building and creating something on the ground, KanikaTekriwal, the brain behind this venture a notch higher and dreamt of changing the ecosystem in the skies. A chat with Entrepreneur India joins the dots and her plan to become the “uber of skies” to give the world something insanely unique!

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

I strongly believe that a market is not simply taken over; it is created, nurtured, and made to thrive. As JetSetGo designs and cultivates its market, we look forward to solving new challenges in the coming year. Ultimately the aim is to be the fastest mode of connectivity from one destination to another, no matter how impossible it may seem.
We have taken up the challenge of being the “Uber of Skies” and have recently launched a new airline service called “Skyshuttle”. With ‘SkyShuttle’ by JetSetGo, we give you the opportunity to book a seat in private jet or helicopter, so you can travel quickest from point A to point B in the most luxurious way.
We hope to soon make it possible for our clients to wake up in Delhi, board an air taxi to that short meeting across the city, then reach London in record time for an important luncheon, and surprise their girlfriend in Shanghai by sunset. To end their day, JetSetGo will fly them home to enjoy dinner with mum.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Breaking through the opaque private jet industry dominated by offline brokers was not an easy task. To face the risk and wrath of this unorganized sector came with multiple challenges and we still continue to face several challenges.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Before JetSetGo’s inception, owning and managing a private jet was an expensive and inefficient burden. The lack of usage, tedious maintenance upkeep, and when considering ad-hoc charters, the lack of trust and transparency within the customer-aggregator relationship, all were cited as issues for the industry’s stagnated growth. This complex and disorganised structure dissuaded many Indian private charter aggregators from aggressively entering the market, but we at JetSetGo took the challenge head-on to become the critical link between aircraft owners and those looking to fly private, in the process making the market more transparent and seamless.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Indomitable spirit. The world will try to shortchange you, break you, and diminish your courage, but you’ve got to have the drive to make your vision come to life.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Entrepreneurs need to be innovative. Successful businesses were not built on money but on great people and great ideas. Be competitive - against yourself. Remember to fight harder, think smarter, and work more efficiently so that you and your company can be one step ahead of the game. Always be or do better than yesterday. You’ve got to have an indomitable spirit. The world will try to shortchange you, break you, and diminish your courage, but you’ve got to have the drive to make your vision come to life.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Melorra

Melorra
Image credit: Melorra

Melorra is one of the fastest growing fine jewellery brands that stand out for being the only brand that uses fashion trends for its design inspiration. Started by SarojaYeramilli, it has expanded its footprint to 596 towns and cities which indicates that the design powerhouse has already catered to about 20% of the 2912 cities and towns in India in just under 5 months! Entrepreneur India discusses with Yeramilli on her start-up journey.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Melorra’saim is to champion the cause of versatility. Melorra combines technology and fast changing fashion trends to deliver exclusive products to its customers. This has been possible because of our online-only model. By FY 2018-2019 we plan and should be a Rs.100 crore brand.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The Indian gold jewellery market has been traditionally dominated by players selling conventional, traditional and heavy pieces. Lightweight gold is a more recent phenomenon. I would thus say that addressing this segment was perhaps the biggest risk we undertook. We also opted out of setting up a brick-and-mortar outlet to remain in the online space. However, our growth has been consistent, and it is encouraging to see the response.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Melorra is playing a crucial role in changing the landscape of jewellery for the current generation. The brand has a mission to disrupt existing perceptions about fine jewellery – to bring it out from its designated place in the locker and make it the core feature around which women design their daily looks. Our jewellery is inspired by global runway trends and the designs are created keeping in mind the modern woman's wardrobe. We create fun, comfortable, and edgy pieces in sync with global trends that blend perfectly for the workplace, party and casual dos. Our collections are thus not just meant for investment but also for a “buy-now, wear-now” purpose.  

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

I think the one ingredient that is essential for the success of any startup is innovation. It is important to think out of the box and offer something unique to customers. Taking Melorra’s example, women have always been on the lookout for jewellery that can match with their everyday wardrobe and not something that would be tucked away in bank lockers. This is particularly true of gold and diamond pieces. We tried to address this problem with our lightweight and trendy pieces that women can wear with confidence and élan every day – no matter what the occasion is.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

There is no perfect time to begin and it is important for anyone who wishes to start a venture to understand this. Prior experience is definitely an advantage. Secondly, work with a team that is in sync with your ideology and thought the process and that believes in your brand proposition strongly. While it is good to have members with diverse ideas and viewpoints, all of these should converge into one single objective in the end.  Lastly, be optimistic about the power of digital. It is magical!

 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Kite

Kite
Image credit: Kite
Kite is a New Delhi-based fintech start-up founded in 2017. Kite’s mission is to provide modern, secure, and accessible financial products to Indian businesses and their employees. There two products by Kite. One of them is aKite Tab, an expense tracking and reimbursements solution featuring fully-customizable corporate credit and prepaid cards, powered by Mastercard and RuPay. Partnering with the tab is a MasterCard-powered Kite Grub which is a physical meal card that can be used at any food outlet that accepts a debit card. Entrepreneur India interacts with Priyanka Kanwar to understand this start-up more closely.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?
 
I see Kite turning into the go-to financial platform for MSMBs and their employees, first in India and then across other nations. We’re a deeply mission-driven company and all our efforts in the next few years will be directed towards creating long-term, measurable impact for our users, be it businesses or individuals.
 
Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

 
We took a couple of big risks – First, we’ve been fully bootstrapped from the beginning, which meant investing our own savings and getting our friends & family to really believe in our model; second we took the risk of building a full-fledged scalable system rather than scrappy MVPs right from day 1, which involved even more skin in the game than founders at a typical early-stage startup would have. We did this because we always believed in playing a long-term bet.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?
 
Kite has and will always be an extremely mission-driven company. This reflects both in our values and in the way we operate every day – we do not launch a single product without it being mission-aligned, i.e. without there being measurable, sustainable impact on the end user's life. Today, Kite is building a financial ecosystem that helps MSMBs & their workforce be truly included in our new digital economy.

To be truly included means our users need a holistic solution – an entire toolkit to help them automate processes on a day-to-day basis and to thrive in the long-term with affordable, modern financial services. Kite Tab & Kite Grub directly impact these businesses’ bottom line by saving them lakhs on leakages, improving cash flow, and saving taxes. In the background, Kite is also constantly helping these users, be it micro-entrepreneurs or family-run enterprises, create digital identities for the first time and begin responsibly using modern credit to rapidly move up the economic ladder.
 
What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?
 
While a strong business model, a sizeable growing market, access to capital, product, all play a major role in the success of a startup, I believe the single biggest aspect is the persistence, resourcefulness, and ability of the founders. Most early-stage startups go through several troughs before tasting any kind of success, and the only way to survive & thrive is to have a mentally-strong leader at the helm.
 
A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.
 
Focus on the fundamentals – be it your business model or the value your product is truly delivering to your customer; start becoming brutally honest with yourself – strike the balance between becoming your own worst critic and your own best champion; build, launch, and learn as fast and as cheaply as you can; and do not give up unless it is absolutely clear that it won’t work out –persistence is always going to be your single biggest asset as a founder.
 
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Leaf Wearables

Leaf Wearables
Image credit: Leaf Wearables

December 14 holds one of the most horrible memories for India. Take queue from the incident and further having the desire to work for women’s safety, IIT-Delhi students gave birth to the start-up Leaf Wearables. Avinash Bansal, Co-founder and CTO, talks to Entrepreneur India about the safety device they have developed that can track women when faced with a harmful situation.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We see ourselves as pioneers in safety. With our mission to make 1 billion people safe by 2020.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The biggest risk our start-up has taken is to fire an employee just to maintain culture. Culture and team bonding is kept above the products.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

 Our plan is to make sure that safety in future is not seen as a concern. Moreover, I still remember the plea of a friend of mine. She had told me it would be amazing to just take a walk at night in Delhi without worrying about her safety.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Impact and bottom line. A lot of start-ups including us, initially were only looking to increase our top line and compromising the bottom for growth. That makes sense only after you reach a certain growth, the fundamentals of start-ups should always be in place.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Have continuous conversation with your customers. When I say customers I mean people who have paid you the money. In India people can’t take negative feedback. Your research of customers must translate towards customer satisfaction.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Finway

Finway
Image credit: Finway

Rachit Chawla quit his well-paying and highly rewarding job of being the Pricing Analyst for Intel Corporation in London to pursue his entrepreneurial passions and thus giving birth to “Finway” in January 2017. It is a holistic financial platform for individuals and small businesses. This unconventional NBFC deals in both secured and unsecured products which are strategically moulded as per the needs of the market and customers.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Within a couple of years from now, we would like to cross 100 crore loan book value as we have already achieved a 20 crore loan book value. Also, we are planning to extend our physical as well as virtual reach. To increase offline access for people who are not very familiar with the technology, we will soon open our offices in different parts of the country. Besides the company's own branches, Finway would also like to increase the penetration through associates and franchises. In this pursuit, we will prefer to go for a decentralized operation system, rather than the centralized one. This approach will be helpful to empower our target customers financially as well as educationally.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

There was a point when we went ALL IN with our entire funds thinking some revenue will come up which can be used for further funding but it was a big risk for us. However, revenue did come and we were able to sail through. I strongly feel that the best can come out of you only when you go ALL IN. Similarly, in our case since that day we have always been operationally cash positive and we haven’t looked back since then.

 How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Finway has been founded with a vision of empowering people financially. Following a simple and hassle-free process, we financially support every stratum of society when they need it the most. Finway is committed to promoting financial literacy in society so that they can make well-informed decisions whenever it comes to borrowing, investing or protecting their capital. And, so we hold significant value in society.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

What a start-up gives back to the society—to the people. As a new entrant into the highly competitive market, it’s only the value you create for your target customers that ensure the success, more than the profits you gain. If they have a little seed capital in the pocket, they should focus on bringing innovation and value for your ideal customers. And, that’s how a start-up flourishes.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Be obsessed with your dream! Entrepreneurs work harder, stick to the plan, and stay self-motivated when things are not going as they planned. The point will come when you might feel like giving up, but that’s exactly the time you have to give your 200%.


 
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Indian Dobby

Indian Dobby
Image credit: Indian Dobby

Indian Dobby is a contemporary ethnic wear brand founded and headed by PrashantiAlagappa who is also the founding member of Jabong. Launched in 2015, Indian Dobby is a team of designers with a belief that all of us with an eye for beauty should be able to find beautiful affordable products that we'd love to wear. Entrepreneur India’s Bhavya Kaushal chats with Alagappa to find out more about what makes this brand unique.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We will expand into other categories like kids, home and have some offline presence. We hope to be the preferred brand for urban woman for their work and leisure wear.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Sticking to the right price policy always instead of going along with the crowd with a high-low pricing (putting a huge mark-up MRP and then discounting) policy.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We consciously use natural fabrics only. We make good quality affordable clothes instead of one-time wear cheap clothes and thereby hopefully have a smaller carbon footprint.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?
Perseverance.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Find your niche, research it well and then stick to it. Will it to make it a success.
 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Zeta

Zeta
Image credit: Zeta

A Bengaluru-based FinTech start-up, Zeta offers digitized enterprise solutions for employee tax benefits, automated cafeterias, and digital payments. Zeta was founded in 2016 and since then has come a long way in terms of its growth and success. Entrepreneur India’s Bhavya Kaushal touches base with RamkiGaddipati, co-founder and CTO to unravel this exciting start-up.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Currently, Zeta has over 400 employees spread over 11 Indian cities: Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Nashik, Baroda, Kochi, and Ahmedabad.  We envision Zeta to have a global presence in the coming years, solving payment problems through our innovative platform.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

One of the biggest risks we have taken as a startup is looking at partnerships-based growth approach as opposed to going solo

How does your startup impact the society at large?

In April 2018, we had launched the Zeta Nielsen Employee Benefits Study which took an in-depth look at employee tax benefits and the current state revealed that 62% of employees feel claim submission is time-consuming. Some startling facts were revealed- like an employee spends an average 23 minutes just to submit a single bill claim and 41% employees need to submit one claim form per claim. They have to go through the cycle of storing bills, find them when needed, spend time filling it and physically submit the bills to the finance team and eventually keep following up on their reimbursements. It’s so complex and time-consuming, leaving employees to opt out of the process altogether. With Zeta Tax Benefits, a fully-digitised system, tax benefits mean no paperwork and as employees save time filling up forms, attaching bills and getting approvals in person, a considerable amount of productive time is also saved. They get to take a higher in-hand salary as all the processes are completed on time and there are no hassles involved. With Zeta, employees can increase their take-home by up to Rs 80,000 every year.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

I truly believe technology has been the biggest aspect that has resulted in our success. Whether it’s our payment systems or the way employees manage reimbursements, Zeta has managed to constantly bring innovation in regular mundane activities that benefit our users extensively.  For a startup, the ability to invent and deliver solutions to problems is integral, when you have solutions for scalable problems- the battle is half won!

 A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Persistence is the key. There will be numerous hurdles when you start out, but you just need to be persistent and strive towards making your dream a reality. Never say no to any opportunity that comes your way, just work hard every single day and watch your ideas become a reality.

 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

ADDA 247

ADDA 247
Image credit: ADDA 24

Adda 247 is one of the largest and fastest growing education-technology companies in India. Established in 2012 in Gurgaon, Haryana, Adda 247 is focused on helping unemployed youth in getting jobs. The app has been focusing on the growth and proper training of the brightest minds in the country preparing for SSC, Bank PO, CGL exams etc. In conversation with Entrepreneur India’s Bhavya Kaushal is Anil Nagar, CEO and Founder of this mission-driven start-up.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Adda 247 has been successfully helping students from every part of the country with the right tools to crack exams and fulfil their dreams of securing top jobs across various sectors through an integrated offline and online approach. We are now on our way to becoming one of the world's largest education technology companies along with an intention to cement our position among the top 5 educational apps in India. Our ultimate motive is to create an online education brand which solves today's education problems in a very comprehensive manner and enable seamless delivery of quality educational content to the students at the last mile.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Starting up is all about taking calculated risks. As an entrepreneur one has to constantly explore new ideas and opportunities. Out of 10 new ideas 2-3 work and the remaining fail. But, these two 2-3 ideas helped the company grow from one level to another. I had a very clear vision of what I aimed to achieve with the company - providing affordable, high-quality education using technology and offline classroom training. Hailing from a rural family in a small village in UP and I have always kept my needs very minimal. Hence, most of the time, I am very comfortable taking risks and exploring new opportunities.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Being an education technology company focusing on government job test preparations, most of the students on our platform come from Tier II & Tier III cities and rural backgrounds. So, essentially, we are taking quality education to last mile students, where there is a real need. Also, last year, we had more than Rs2.5 crores unique users on our online platform.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Every entrepreneur assumes that his or her idea is the best and the most innovative for a business. However, there is a huge gap between initiating a great idea and executing it successfully. To plug this gap, there should be clarity in the vision and the right team to execute it.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders
It’s a limitless world out there. So, be fearless and dream big.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

GlobalLinker

GlobalLinker
Image credit: GlobalLinker

GlobalLinker was founded by and launched in India by Sameer Vakil and SummiGambhir, both of Indian origin, who returned to India from New York and Connecticut, the USA in 2009. GlobalLinker, a unique SME enablement ecosystem, focuses on connecting SMEs with each other so that they can enjoy unhindered networking powered by an algorithm based 'match-making'. SMEs on the platform also benefit from unparalleled economies of scale through collective purchasing power and superior access to business knowledge and skills. In conversation with Entrepreneur India’s Bhavya Kaushal is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalLinker, Sameer Vakil.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We are poised to be multi-nation across all major regions of the world and be crossing a million SMEs. Currently, we have 1,50,000 members on board and we are heading towards 10 million SME members.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

We went to the market with a lot of untested concepts. The biggest risk was to, first of all, creating an entirely original concept around business networking. Going a step further, we created a new White labelling model and then we initiated creating a cross-border trade corridor concept on the platform.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Our concept is aimed at the pillars of the economy and yet the most neglected segment - SMEs. Also, we are doing this across the world in developed, underdeveloped and developing countries. We are committed to making the Biz growth of SMEs globally, simpler, more profitable and enjoyable.
 
What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The undying passion of the entrepreneur around solving the real pain points of customers and operating prudently from the very start is the key to the success. The rest is about perseverance.
 
A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Our strong advice to budding or aspiring entrepreneurs is to build businesses for value and not for valuation. If the business delivers true value in a large and scalable space, valuation will follow. Second, if you are truly passionate about the subject you are addressing you will create the perseverance required to build through the teething issues every business has to go through.

 
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Zest

Zest
Image credit: Zest

Relying on plastic money especially the likes of the credit card has never been the best of ideas. ZestMoney is the fastest way for all kinds of people to pay using digital EMI, without the need for a credit card or a credit score. Entrepreneurs decode the brand with her co-founder and CEO, Lizzie Chapman.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line? 

We started ZestMoney in 2015 with a vision to make life more affordable to everyone in the country. There are more than 300 million households in the country, who have not been serviced by the traditional financial institutions because of the insufficient credit history. We want to cater to these people and help them achieve their dreams. In the next few years, we would want to completely revolutionize financial services using technology and data. Also, we want to build the most innovative credit scoring system in the world.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The nature of the industry and what we do at ZestMoney itself comes with a great element of risk. However, the biggest risk that we took was with our product. We have striven very hard to develop a platform with the latest, cutting-edge technology to enable instant approval of small-ticket loans and disburse the loan automatically without any human interference. We completely wanted to automate our product from day one, unlike any other fin-tech company in the market. India is a highly regulated market and we’ve had to make changes to our product often to abide by the regulatory changes, which has been quite challenging.  

 How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We started ZestMoney because we believe everybody deserves a better lifestyle. We use technology and data to provide affordable, transparent and simple financial services product to everyone.

With ZestMoney, we’ve not only helped our consumers upgrade their lifestyles, but we’ve also significantly increased the number of ‘credit-worthy’ people in the country by introducing them to the market using an alternative credit scoring system that we’ve built.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures Success of a Start-up?

Constantly innovating and being customer focused. Understanding the needs of the customers and designing solutions to cater to those needs in the easiest way possible is a key aspect of achieving success.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

Stay focused and drive innovation.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Square Yards

Square Yards
Image credit: Square Yards

Square Yards is a technology-enabled, global real estate marketplace and India’s largest proptech plus fintech player that operates O2O transaction platform for Real estate & Mortgages. Entrepreneur India interacts with Tanuj Shori, co-founder and CEO about this start-up that speaks “yards” and not just volumes!

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We are looking at capturing 15 – 20% share in the primary residential sales market in the country over the next few years.   Apart from continuing focus on Indian real estate, which should remain a lion’s opportunity (~with 10x growth plans over 2 years); we are also investing aggressively into international real estate, which is one of the fastest growing and most profitable segments of the business.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Unlike many other startups, we never went to VC’s to raise the initial seed capital & bootstrapped the venture till the time we were very sure of its successes.  Our thesis has always been that unless we are confident of the financial viability of the venture ourselves, we should not be risking anyone else’ capital. We sold our portfolio of houses, parental house, jewellery, everything liquid-illiquid investment that we could muster for Square Yards. That was the biggest leap of faith for both me and Kanika in the initial days.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Property buying in India is so complicated, challenging and broken that it isn’t even a process in the country. Despite it being the biggest investment of an individual’s life, it is perception and social factor driven, with no science to it. That’s where Square Yards comes in. We serve people to take a rational decision regarding the most important investment decision of their lives, that is, a house for themselves.

Square Yards is sincerely working towards fixing the entire value chain in the industry- how developers operate, how consumers perceive the purchases, how distribution process needs to evolve, how to convince the brightest talent to look at it as a long-term career option.

 What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up

I believe that strategy is an overrated concept and what sets a leader or organization apart from the rest of the pack is execution and the people behind that execution. Excellence in execution and that burning passion to always do more and push the envelope even further has been instrumental in my success as an entrepreneur and in the success of the Square Yards’ team. Another attribute critical to our success has been our aggression and the ability to dream big, aspire and envision bigger things than even we thought we were capable of.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

People want to become an entrepreneur for all the wrong reasons. The founder of the start-up has to be passionate about the venture and completely dedicate himself/herself to it. There is no plan B. Plan A has to work. If you start thinking about alternatives, you are bound to fail.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Shuttl

Shuttl
Image credit: Shuttl

Shuttl is technology enabled seat-based demand-adaptive bus mobility innovator with a demonstrated ability to directly address the dual challenge of congestion and pollution. Amit Singh, CEO and co-founder takes us on a ride into the journey of this start-up.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

In the future, we envision that most of the white collared workforce in top 10 Indian cities will shift to Shuttl for their daily commute. This is totally possible because Shuttl is a superior solution – we provide the comfort of a cab, affordability of a bus. Over time we also see Shuttl as becoming an integral part of the pan-Indian mass-transit eco-system which focuses on moving people, not vehicles. By designing operations using crowdsourced mobility-demand data and delivering a safe, reliable, affordable and dignified commute to office goers, Shuttl will fulfill the roles of system planner as well as that of a bus operator.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Not going with the wave. When we started, it was the norm to import a business model from Silicon Valley and build it for India. We decided to solve a problem unique to India. It was not easy to raise capital from VCs who were so plugged into the valley. It was not easy to raise capital with VCs from the valley as the mindset was US-centric. Over time they have come to appreciate that Indian problems will require Indian solutions. Things have changed since the consumer market in India has grown and VCs now find start-ups solving big India specific problems more defensible.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Unaffordable and environmentally unsustainable car-driven model is not the answer. At the same time, public transport is inadequate on multiple counts. If appropriate solutions are not found, and cities keep growing, people will find themselves cut off from or significantly disadvantaged in accessing – employment, schooling, medical and even recreational opportunities. Shuttl is the most efficient and sustainable way to commute on road and has the potential to arrest these trends.

What is the Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Grit. Every start-up goes through multiple situations where death seems inevitable but some people just fight harder and earn the right to live another day. Having a core team of such people with strong survival instincts makes all the difference. It’s so easy to fail that the people with grit are worth their weight in gold.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Build to solve. Solve a real problem and a good business will get built in the process. The bigger and more real the problem, the bigger and more relevant the business will be.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

ScoutMyTrip

ScoutMyTrip
Image credit: ScoutMyTrip
Are you from the ones whose feet are always itching to have some travel fun? It is time to put your worries to rest and put on your travel shoes! ScoutMyTrip is a first of its kind, anywhere to everywhere, road trip planner in India. With a strong technology as the backbone, running custom-made algorithms will help you travel better. This app merges the tools required to plan a road trip with the support of a large community that helps you understand your destination and travel better. Entrepreneur India scouts more about this start-up with its co-founders Deepak Ananth and Vineet Rajan.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

ScoutMyTrip has been helping people plan their road trip holidays to explore our beautiful country for 2 years now. With over 30000 active users and over 2000 trips planned, it is indeed doing very well. 

In the next few years, we are looking at adding more experiences for our users to consume on our platform. From cheese making in Nashik to a history lesson in Hampi, from eco-conservation in Ladakh to wildlife conservation in Kerala, we plan to give our users much more than just stays in a resort. We are actively trying to promote regional tourism and this will enhance the experience of the customer whenever they travel!     

What is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Leaving a high paying corporate career to start a new business would be classified as a high risk for most people. But for us, it has always been about following the passion that we believe in. Therefore the biggest risk that we have taken would be in investing in like-minded local businesses and people who will help this community grow. Luckily that is currently paying off! With a vibrant set of Scouts who personalize your experience whenever you travel as per the local, regional flavour, the user is guaranteed to see things hitherto never seen and experience something very new and unique!

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Every 100 Km in India, the landscape, the culture, the language and the way of living changes. By helping our users understand this and adapt to the ways of the place they travel to, we believe we are creating a more understanding society.  Our core philosophy is also to help regional tourism in India. By adding a lot of homestays and local experiences, we help in the growth of the regional economy. 

A lot of our users make lifelong friends with locals where they travel, and this helps in the overall fabric of our society also. It also makes our users more adaptive, by trying out the authentic local cuisine, be it the prawn curry rice of Goa or the Sadhya of Kerala or the spicy chutneys of the northeast and the sumptuous and hearty roti subzi of the north, the traveller is made aware of how diverse yet beautiful the local cultures of the country is. 

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Persistence. For a startup, there are many a time, when self-doubt creeps in. Believing in oneself and the idea and persisting with it once decided is very important. This also comes with a caveat. There is a very thin line between persistence and stubbornness. As a start-up, you need to be adaptive and change as per the need of the hour. This might not mean a complete pivot, but modifying and adding things in your offering that are asked for by the customers. While this sounds contradictory, the balance between being persistent with your idea and at the same time adapting to the needs of the market is a key point to success.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

Please believe in yourself. Starting up anything new is never going to be easy. Making an idea work is difficult and self-belief is very important to make it happen. One of our mentors gave us very sound advice early in our journey, which was to test out our business models before putting in money to develop it using technology or operations. This has worked with us.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Cube Wealth

Cube Wealth
Image credit: Cube Wealth

Want expert counsel and real-time updates on investments? Well, Cubewealth has the perfect solution for you! Cube is India's only automated Expense plus Wealth application (App) that offers customers with both investment options and automation of expenses. Satyen Kothari further elaborates the mission of his start-up in an interview with Entrepreneur India.

 Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Cube Wealth has the vision to be a different kind of a start-up. We want to be a company that understands that tech and business go hand in hand and should service customers and team members and shareholders in the right way.

We want to build a company that is massively profitable. We want to treat employees the right way by helping them be successful - personally and professionally. We want investors that are in the game for the long term and have the ambition and patience for global impact.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Spinning Cube out as an independent company in 2016 from Citrus Pay (I founded that in 2011) was a big decision and a big risk. But like many risks, in hindsight it feels like it was the only option that was reasonable. With great risk comes great rewards, and we are already seeing that in Cube. The last 3 years have been the most honest and happiest work in my 20 years as an entrepreneur as Cube is being built to the highest standards and principles of what my team and I truly believe in - integrity, intelligence, intensity. The 3i principles.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Our mission is to enable any person anywhere in the world to achieve financial freedom by having access to high-quality financial products, sold with integrity and transparency.

This is what we aim to do - solve the problems of hardworking people, honest people not having the right access and the right guidance on how to manage their hard earned money to achieve financial freedom in the long term. We don’t know how to make you rich quickly. But we know that the ultra-Rich have always had access to the best investment options to create incredible wealth in the long term. We want to bring those high-quality investment options to the HRD working middle class.

We want people to have the financial means 20 years from now to write that book they have always wanted to write, become artists, travel the world for a year - without worrying about money.

Imagine the happiness and peace of mind that can create.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Obsession over the customer. Service the customer and their needs well, and success will follow. Conversely, ignore the customer and focus on short-term gains for yourself, and the market will destroy you at some point.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

Create impact. There is so much opportunity now with tech and capital to start from nothing to make something big. But doing this without thinking of the big impact you can make can lead you to despair. Because the journey of an entrepreneur is a hard one. There are more tough days than happy days. If one knows the impact they are going to make, one can stay positive throughout.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Lazy Jojo

Lazy Jojo
Image credit: LazyJojo

Lazy Jojo is an online retail brand of customized, printed canvas shoes that was founded in April 2017. It allows consumers to customize their shoe with designs and prints of their choice and features a broad spectrum of colour combination and quirky patterns. Entrepreneur India in a conversation with the founder, Saket Agarwal finds out more about this unique brand in the shoe industry.

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line?

We see ourselves as a brand that's a household name for custom printed canvas shoes. We would eventually not just want to limit ourselves to canvas shoes but widen our depth and width of assortment in order to be a complete lifestyle brand that has a customer at the heart of it.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The biggest risk that we have taken is to operate directly only through our website portal. Lazy Jojo as a brand wanted to maintain its individualism and develop its brand profile further which I think helped us do that. The brand has its own personality.  As a brand, we believe it's essential to develop a personality and not just be focused on conversions.

How Does your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

Our startup has passion because lazy Jojo started with the mission to give its customers the power to print. This essentially meant that your passion drives the brand and is the very core of the brand. So I believe as a brand lazy Jojo has given the society to show their passion through their shoes which includes a myriad of things from Van Gogh starry night paintings to even our cricket star Virat Kohli at their feet

 What is the Single Biggest Aspect That Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The success I believe is a very relative term. If I have to say something clichéd, I would say from experience that being a founder of a start-up has both its high and lows perhaps more lows than highs. The single biggest aspect for a start-up to be successful is to believe in their idea, protect it and help it grow. If you have done that, then there's nothing which can stop you from being successful.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of change and are busy fighting it instead of welcoming it. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. Accept change and adjust your brand based on what the society aspires and never forget the core values that helped you move ahead

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

IndiQube

IndiQube
Image credit: IndiQube

Businesses today thrive on working spaces. IndiQube creates a right business environment for emerging companies to thrive by providing space to grow with key growth drivers like scalability and flexibility. The co-working space facility currently has 25000+ employees and 365+ companies (both ODC’s and SME’s) are working out of Indiqube business centres. Entrepreneur India interacts more on this with Rishi Das, co-founder and chairman along with Meghna Agarwal who is also the co-founder and the COO.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Few years down the line, we see IndiQube as the most preferred brand for providing an integrated and personalized work-space experience. Whether it is a freelancer or a MNC, we will have flexible, customized and affordable work-space solutions for their needs.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

After two decades of entrepreneurial journey at CareerNet, the decision to start IndiQube was the toughest one. It required the desire, commitment and discipline do it all over again. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large? 

By providing a wide spectrum of value added services, IndiQube has considerably improved the ease of doing business for enterprises. Through the use of technology, planning, better economies of scale and utilization, IndiQube is making workplaces lot more lean and energy efficient.

Currently, large part of Indian commercial real estate (CRE) is unorganized. IndiQube is a catalyst in transforming unorganized CRE to organized one, thereby providing affordable work-space for a large number of SMBs.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

Strong belief of the founders and the confidence of the initial team in founders.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Have strong belief in yourself, focus on unit economics and maintain discipline in every thing you do. Also remember, the best companies are always bought. They are never sold. So it is important to plan for the long run.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

MoEngage

MoEngage
Image credit: MoEngage

MoEngage is a Next-Generation Marketing Cloud, built for the Mobile-first world. It helps companies orchestrate campaigns across channels like push, email, in-app messaging, web push, and SMS, with auto-optimization towards higher conversions powered by machine learning. Technology in this world is progressing at a very fast pace. New and astonishing technology is spearheading the world and the sector. Entrepreneur India chats with MoEngage’s CEO and co-founder Raviteja Dodda.

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line?

We are paying close attention to the technology trends with growing ability to use Machine Learning models and the emergence of new platforms like Whatsapp, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. Adding to the above, we are also focusing on ‘web personalization’ as we see that there is a growing opportunity in that space. At the same time, we have been pioneering products, instead of following others.

For example, we launched Sherpa AI - a machine learning-based algorithm in 2016 that auto-optimizes marketing campaigns towards higher engagement. Dynamic messaging is also an emerging field in marketing, and we launched Dynamic Product Messaging in 2017 that maps individual behaviour with product catalogue information to serve relevant and timely recommendations to users. We will continue to out-innovate the other players in the industry with a vision to build the world’s most trusted marketing cloud.

We have grown over 200% in the last year and are aiming for $25mn in revenue by 2020.

What is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Typically, SaaS companies coming out of India tend to focus on Western markets (US), post their growth in India. We went both West (US) and East (South-East Asia) in 2016 when we started focusing on international markets outside India, against what VCs suggest. That decision enabled a strong growth for MoEngage in the last few years. We started focusing on Machine Learning powered Marketing Automation in 2016 itself when ML / AI aren’t buzzwords. Being able to pioneer new products in the category helped us build a unique brand for MoEngage in the category, enabling MoEngage as the only APAC company to be part of Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Marketing Platforms.  Our decision of organizing teams in the form of PODS (Micro team of 6 people, which is self-sustainable) also enabled us to move faster without breaking things.

How Does Your Startup Impact the Society at Large?

Our company MoEngage is an enabler of digital transformation for traditional enterprises like Airtel, Aditya Birla Group, Times of India and Internet startups like OYO, Grofers, OnlineTyari, Lybrate alike. We currently enable digital experiences for more than 200 million users in India every month.  From the employment perspective, MoEngage has been helping build the careers of around 100 people and our ex-employees have started up building the careers for more people indirectly.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Without wishing to sound clichéd, I think building a great team is the single biggest aspect that ensures the success of a startup.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

Startup early and be ready to spend your next 3-4 years building it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure that your co-founders are aligned for the marathon. 

Don’t look for investments from Individual Investors who are investing for the first/second time in startups. Make sure that the company has a good cap-table in place if you plan to raise venture capital. 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Mutterfly

Mutterfly
Image credit: Mutterfly

Mutterfly is a rental marketplace for products which also offer easy access to a luxurious lifestyle. Their services let you rent high-end equipment like DSLRs, Playstations, hoverboards and more at affordable prices. Akshay Bhatia, the founder and CEO interacts with Entrepreneur India on how this start-up is opening myriad options for millennials.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We currently see product rentals as a $3Bn market with the potential to grow to more than $15Bn over the next 5 years. During this period, our aim is to make renting a way of life and in the process, we want to empower Indians to own less and experience more. With our expansion into baby, travel and luxury segment, we see Mutterfly growing into an experiential brand that not only allows users to rent but also gives them an opportunity to try before they buy. To foster this, we will be partnering with brands to offer the highest quality products to our users.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

While starting Mutterfly, we were confident about the opportunity but the founding team had zero experience in the rental sector. As a result, we were exposed to a huge people risk. As a result, we had to take baby steps and validate the product at each junction. This did our growth in the first year but it made us work harder and we were able to learn a great deal from the current and past players in this industry. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

At Mutterfly, we have been striving to disrupt the buying behaviour and helping customers experience premium products without buying them. With this, we are helping the aspirational middle-class Indian experience his ideal lifestyle. At the same time, hoarding behaviour has been a problem for a lot of us and statistics show that an average house has as much as Rs 30,000 worth of items lying unused. At Mutterfly we are helping Indians monetize their unused assets and recover the cost of their depreciating products.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Persistence. A startup goes through numerous roadblocks on a daily basis and I strongly believe that more than physical strength, a great amount of mental is required to sustain yourself through the journey. The tenacity to solve the problem that you started with the same intensity every single day will ensure that you either find a way or make one.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

There hasn’t been a better time to start a venture. From incubators to funds, there is a strong support system for a new founder who is raring to change the world. Young founders have defied the myth that experience is mandatory and have shown that inexperience can be an asset while creating innovative solutions. The journey in no way is easy and there will be multiple moments along the way where you will be rejected or misunderstood. But give yourself a chance to build something amazing and you will be surprised by your capabilities.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Doctor Insta

Doctor Insta
Image credit: DoctorInsta

Doctor Insta is India's first Video Medicine platform. In a country where healthcare industry is battling at several fronts, this start-up provides a one-stop solution for the millennials in an ever-growing and digitising world. Amit Munjal, the founder shares some words of wisdom and his journey of giving the country a start-up with a medical bent. 

Where Do You See Your Startup a Few Years Down the Line?

I see Doctor Insta enabling 5% of OPD consults happening in the Indian market. India has around 1 million allopathic doctors and each of them does roughly 50 consults a day, and so, 50 million consults OPD consults happen every day in India. Now, I see Doctor Insta getting 5% of this i.e. 2.5 million consults per day on the platform.

With Doctor Insta, we have already theoretically democratized healthcare as now anyone can consult doctor anywhere, anytime. Having said this, our reach/adoption in villages is still very small. so, our true victory will be in democratizing healthcare in the interiors and villages of country as well where supply of doctors is a constraint.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Startup?

I left my very rewarding career as CFO of Citigroup in New York and packed my bags for India to launch this very new concept for Indian market over 3 years back. Building my career in USA took me a long time and then I left it all in a heartbeat to venture on this uncharted territory. So, all this was a huge risk that I took in starting Doctor Insta.

How Does your Startup Impact the Society at Large?

our startup has “improved healthcare for all” in its DNA. Today the average life span of a westerner is 77 years and average life span of an Indian is 67 years, the key driver behind this is quality and speed of healthcare delivery. Doctor Insta is fixing this problem at its core by providing instant and discreet healthcare consults by specialist doctors from the privacy of your home or office. This way, people don’t have to kick the can down the road and self medicate or deal with the social stigma of certain specialities like psychology and sexology. Not just that, since, people are getting instant healthcare treatment, their downtime is less as a result medical absenteeism reduces by 20% and productivity increases by 15%. This overall further enhances the GDP of the nation and the happiness and healthiness of its citizens.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

The single biggest aspect that ensures the success of a start-up is the customer satisfaction level. We go an extra mile to ensure that we maintain and even improve this satisfaction rating for us.

A Message for the Upcoming Startup Founders

Work hard & smart, give it your all and leave the rest to destiny.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

BlackNGreen

BlackNGreen
Image credit: BlackNgreen

BlackNgreen is one of the fastest-emerging multinational firms offering value-added products and telecom solutions in the global market. Rahul Gupta, the CEO of this telecomm start-up shares with Entrepreneur India about the journey of this start-up and some important take backs from his experiences as a start-up founder. 

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We envision BlackNgreen being placed among top three MVAS companies across the globe serving 80% of international telecom operators with over 2 billion active users on products. For the next five years, we will focus on introducing ground-breaking innovations into the telecom sector, advertising, entertainment, gaming, and fixed-line segments. Also, our focus is to expand our Gaming portfolio rapidly in coming months with interesting games on all three platforms (IVR, WAP, and APP).

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

The biggest risk of our business was starting to do something on our own and focusing on the international market rather than Indian, without any international exposure or mentor and all this without external funding.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

In this modern age, life has become so monotonous and tiresome that people have to rely on other things to feel alive. They need some time for themselves and someone or something which gives them a break from their everyday hectic schedule. BlackNgreen’s products are designed keeping this in mind. Magic Voice/Magic Call is built on voice morphing technology which adds fun and drama to their on-call conversations and brings a carefree smile to them. The Learn English/Learn French resolved many bottlenecks in the Educational/Vocational segment. And, at home redefined the meaning of international roaming and facilitated the affordable and seamless communication between the people separated by distance.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Commitment! Where a unique business idea and a go-for-it plan is integral to the success of a start-up, the commitment is the only thing on which it thrives, even during the toughest times. In my opinion, achieving success is just a milestone in an entrepreneurial venture, but sustaining it is the true art.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Do not undervalue the potential of your business idea, even when there is a breakneck competition going on. If you have to conquer the market, you must learn how to carve success out of failure. If others are following the hype, you must find a loophole and plug it with an innovative idea—that’s when you know you’re successful.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Rento Mojo

Rento Mojo
Image credit: RentoMojo

RentoMojo is a fintech lending start-up that has pioneered the concept of Rental Monthly Instalments – RMI. Recently, this start-up completed four years. In conversation with Geetansh Bamania, founder and CEO of RentoMojo. He talks about how his start-up is changing the face of rental servicing across the nation.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Over the years, we have seen and experienced the hassles at large that come with ownership of products. For different people, the struggles were different - for some it was that of maintenance, for others it was the hassle of being stuck with an old technology or a design, while for the rest, it was the sheer effort required to dispose or relocate their belongings.

Our first-of-its-kind offering puts the power in the hands of the customer to decide when to switch between ownership and leasing. 

We see our offering at RentoMojo becoming a default way you purchase in the next few years and convert at least a quartile of the metro millennial base towards this lifestyle.  

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Risk is inbuilt in our business everyday as we give out expensive products to consumers at affordable Rental Monthly Instalments (RMI)—doing that puts us at the risk of defaults, damages, etc.  However, we have our own proprietary algorithm that does a great job at minimizing our risks. 

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

People. It's a highly aligned and motivated workforce having a common shared vision that can stride through challenges at different stages to deliver success, and more importantly, an enriching journey. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

When the entire world faces the problem of inevitable global warming, it's upon us as a society to choose and adopt a more sustainable mode of lifestyle—from switching to sustainable energy sources to conserving water and the environment. 

At RentoMojo, our service allows a product to be used multiple times by different consumers through its lifecycle. Now, imagine how many trees will be saved by this one piece of furniture that is being used by 5-6 people throughout its lifecycle.

Similarly, this process of resource optimization by utilizing an appliance, smartphone or car as a part of the circular economy can be a great step towards building a more sustainable ecosystem. 

 A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

We live in the era of many discomforts. Within these discomforts lies multiple opportunities. Today, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. If you look closely, there’s a majority of people who still don’t have access to cell phones or quality network.  

When you combine the above two, you will find solutions to address real world problems that can have a huge impact on the society.  Similarly, it would be great if the community builds some sustainable ways to solve political or environmental problems in a more profitable manner that can attract capital. 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Avaali

Avaali
Image credit: Avaali

Avaali is a consulting and technology services company specializing in Information Management. We work with large enterprises to help them increase process agility, drive governance and compliance with Information Management solutions. Avaali has worked with over 55+ large enterprises across Asia, Middle East and Africa to help them automate their processes including shared services centre and drive business performance. In conversation with Entrepreneur India is Avaali’s founder and director, Srividya Kannan.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

We would have demonstrated success with most large enterprises in our target markets, in terms of significantly improving their process agility, bringing down their costs and enabling continuous, incremental innovation.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

It took us 18 months to get our first order. To wait or pivot was a big decision, we continued to persevere and eventually, it turned out right. But this was perhaps the biggest risk we took.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We provide immense opportunities for freshers coming out of universities to deliver next-generation solutions to large enterprises. We train them on emerging technologies and equip them with the skills and knowledge required to be able to add value to the real world.  We contribute to creating jobs. We enable innovation by not only developing new solutions that add value to our customers but also support our customers to innovate via new technologies.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

There is no magic formula. There are a number of factors that contribute to start-up success – having the right capital, the right team, capital, experienced founders, timing etc. are all important. However, if there is one big aspect, it is that of solving customer problems or identifying unique opportunities that others don’t see.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders

Have a checkpoint at regular intervals in terms of the problems you are trying to solve and if the timing is right. Asking these questions not only at the time one starts off but also over a period of the life of a start-up, allows the start-up to always stay relevant to the customer.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

LetsShave

LetsShave
Image credit: LetsShave

While there are ample start-ups emerging in the tech, fintech or even the education world, Entrepreneur India brings you a start-up in the field of grooming and shaving products, headquartered in Chandigarh, LetsShave which also received Serie A funding of an undisclosed amount from world's leading razor manufacturing company Dorco which has acquired a 10% stake in the company that they plan to use for further expansion into the arena of online business.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

I visualize a day when I will see our products in every hand of every person in India. Having said that, I want to say that we are going to continue to provide more value and become a one-stop grooming solution for men and women in India. We want to become a household name when it comes to grooming and I see that happening very soon.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

In today's cutting-edge world, creating a niche market is already big and taking on a giant corporation heads-up is something that most new companies and businesses would avoid. It's like the forbidden path because you know you are up for getting eliminated. Yet, LetsShave dared to take that path and dared to compete against a giant company that had monopolized the market.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

So shaving is a day-to-day part of our lives. Can you deny that? Our startup brings in the necessary innovation in the mundane, in the ordinary shaving products and that too at affordable prices. We try to make shaving joyful, convenient and at the same time affordable. Like everything else in life, we want people to take shaving as an important and enjoyable experience in their grooming.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

There are absolutely no copy-paste rules really. Any other company or startup in a similar space would have chosen a completed different path and would have probably succeeded. As far as our success is concerned, two factors played a key role - 1. Correct timing of launching the startup and 2. My team's passion and trust in our product range. I believe if your team thinks your product can do it, it indeed can do it.  

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Get your focus first. Whether you want to get into the blue ocean or the red ocean business, first focus on what new you can bring into the market. Also, don't expect success at a very early stage, but keep your focus and keep up the good work. Don't give up.

 
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

SRJNA

SRJNA
Image credit: SRJNA

SRJNA is doing something path-breaking. It is changing the way education is conceived and perceived. With its mission of helping schools set-up innovation and tinkering labs, it is not wrong to say that the Jaipur-based start-up has given a new definition to education and avenues to curious minds to further expand their horizons! Sharad Bansal, Co-Founder and CEO of SRJNA talks about his plan and action with Entrepreneur India!

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

SRJNA will be the no. 1 brand globally for STEM education benefiting 5 million+ students through its direct to students and indirect (via school) offerings

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

In early 2017, SRJNA partnered with a US-based company Tinkeringlabs.com - it was a first-time product import experience and was dependent entirely on the digital communications & faith. Fortunately, it went great and resulted in making SRJNA as pioneers of Tinkering in India with a depth experience and gave us learning of DIY kits selling market.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

While nowadays every 3 out of 4 students are reporting stress due to academic pressure and we are moving towards IR 4.0 (4th industrial revolution), SRJNA Innovation & Tinkering Labs in schools help students to build STEM skills which are the need of 21st century in a fun and interesting manner.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Team and Timing

A Message for Upcoming Start-up Founders.

When you start up, you need to choose the Right Team, Right Sector and Right Intentions
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Little Laureates

Little Laureates
Image credit: Little Laureates

After experimenting for 4 years with the concept of pre-school, Tamal Mukherjee created a chain of affordable pre-schools in West Bengal that has now turned into the brand of Little Laureates. He oversees the day to day operations of the company along with the implementation of the expansion plan. “We have created an environment in which young learners can create, invent, construct, investigate, explore, discover, experiment, and learn something new every day,” his vision for his venture is crystal. Excerpts from an interview with Entrepreneur India:

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Little Laureates is a preschool that stands out with their carefully crafted, digitally-oriented curriculum that not only develops the language, cognitive or motor skills in a child but also acquaints them to the digital world. We saw a lot of opportunities to contribute to early education & care in Eastern India, especially in the non- metro cities and district towns.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

As Little Laureates is mainly focused on non-metros & cities, though it is a game changer for us, however, at the initial stages arranging capital & quality manpower for expansion was a challenge. There were not too many people who wanted to work with a start-up & invest in it. We work with the focus of actualizing our dream of establishing the first digitally-enabled preschool chain in Eastern Region.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We want to build up a unique cradle to career child care and education model, which would strive to make quality education accessible to all the people of the country, from grassroots to the topmost level.
Our affordable fees structure creates an opportunity for middle income and high low-income families to send their kids to the preschools, even in the rural part of the West Bengal. Our project “BARNALI” which offers concessional fees structure for the girl child creates huge response among parents in district & rural places to send their girl child and more than 6000 girls got an education through our “BARNALI” project till date.

95% of the employees in Little Laureates are women. Hence we have created women employment in large extent in district towns & rural areas.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

For us, the biggest aspect is our pedagogy. We framed our curriculum based on ENRICH.
E: Enlighten
N: Nurture
R: Reinforce
I: Involve
C: Counsel
H: Highlight
We wish to enrich each and every child. Thus a child can develop to become a confident, powerful and competent individual.
Quality manpower & financial discipline are the biggest aspects that ensure the success of a start-up

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

It's not been a cakewalk. But we’ve enjoyed every moment during the journey. Constantly innovating and finding creative solutions.

We believe in the blue ocean theory put forward by Jim Collins. The competition has never been our concern. Little Laureates competes with its own numbers, by always trying to outdo itself. That’s the only way we could make it happen.
50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Slonkit

Slonkit
Image credit: Slonkit

Slonkit is India’s first money management app linked to a prepaid VISA card. Slonkit is powered by VISA, the world’s leading payment network and DCB Bank, India’s leading emerging private sector bank. The app is linked to a prepaid VISA card and enables teenagers and young adults to manage money smartly. Entrepreneur India is in conversation with Slonkit’s founder, Javed Tapia on how it solves the dilemmas of the modern age.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

My company Sienna has two flagship brands – Slonkit and Moneykit. Slonkit is revolutionizing the way teenagers, young people and families manage money. It is in the process of creating the largest network of digital and cashless educational institutions in India.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

We have tried to create a niche by venturing into the parent-child money management space. The digitization drive towards creating digital and cashless education institutions is also relatively untapped. We are changing the way money is managed by teenagers, young adults and their families. Our mission is to create a generation of financially prudent Indians and help create a digital and cashless society.

The digital transformation initiative backed by analytics and AI capabilities is a unique program management model that we have built. 

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large? 

Financial literacy is a subject that impacts children throughout their lives, yet, it remains ignored in schools and at homes. Slonkit intends to enable young Indians to smartly manage money and become financially prudent. India has a young population and offers a plethora of opportunities for everyone. The zeal and passion of the people chasing their dreams are often hindered due to lack of access to capital or credit on demand. But we are endeavouring to fix this.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up? 

I would like to quote Victor Hugo who says, “No force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come”. A strong idea backed by efficient and passionate people (teams) who can convert the idea into a viable business model is the essence of a successful start-up.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

I am inspired by the “TS Eliot” quote “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”. All I would like to tell upcoming start-up founders is that the journey will have its ups and downs, but success will eventually come to those who do not lose their conviction and go about realizing their dream with dedication, determination and discipline. 

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

BoredRoomComedy

BoredRoomComedy
Image credit: BoredRoomComedy

Vikram Poddar started BoredRoom Comedy in 2013 after quitting an Investment Banking job and a corporate career of 7+ years. boardroom Comedy leverages appropriate & relevant comedy, to transform the ‘bored’ rooms across business needs viz. learning & development, employee engagement & motivation and marketing. With an enviable clientele of 70+ marquee clients like Vodafone, Aditya Birla, Pepsi, Tata etc. he addresses the needs by any or a combination of Stand-up comedy, learning and development workshops, inspirational storytelling, humorous hosting, fun fireside chats etc.  In conversation with Entrepreneur India’s Bhavya Kaushal is the man behind this unique concept, Vikram Poddar.

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

Helping other start-ups redefine the corporate landscape by using art forms like comedy, clowning, improve etc.  To fundamentally change how we build emotional connections, develop leadership and engage stakeholders. To make the process fun and emotionally fulfilling so that the business as a whole benefit.  

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Not agreeing to client instructions/briefings whenever we think it may affect the performance and give them less bang for the buck. Often clients may want to enforce certain ideas which unwittingly may be sub-optimal for then. You have to have the courage to stand strong and even walk away reminding yourself it is in the client’s interest as much as your own.

 How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

We genuinely feel we can save senior management and employees from a lifetime of drudgery that they experience in everything from droning conferences to imposed 3-day training workshops. Heck, the most ironical is making the session on self-motivation compulsory.  There is this misconception that serious business has to be done seriously. But deals only happen when people connect emotionally. We have started to make a change with comedy at senior conferences and workshops being appreciated. We hope this becomes the norm rather than the exception.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

Finding a unique concept and leveraging that on your strength and sticking to it. No matter how much the market noise suggests otherwise. As a comedian and part of the stand-up comedy ecosystem, I often feel pulled in directions that a lot of peers from the ecosystem are pursuing like Amazon specials, YouTube videos, etc. Have to constantly remind myself that our core focus is on widening and deepening the corporate comedy offerings.

A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

Find your niche and stick to it.  Your niche should have multiple interesting circles comprising your strengths, your unique experiences and well even your failures. The more unique things you bring to the table, the harder it is to replicate and the higher you can charge.  On pricing personally always believed people don’t buy the cheapest. They buy the best-perceived value that they can afford.

50 Start-ups to Look Out for in 2019!

Monest

Monest
Image credit: Monest

This start-up is changing the game of real-estate business. Monest, part of Officus Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., is building India’s largest platform for accredited Real estate agents. Since inception in January 2018, Monest is steadily becoming the easiest and fastest way to discover the top performing real estate agents through rating, review, accreditation and digital proļ¬le of agents. Entrepreneur India Interacts with founder Nidhi Sancheti to discover more about this start-up.  

Where Do You See Your Start-up a Few Years Down the Line?

With a proven model, we would increase our footprint from a regional player (8+ cities) to a national player (100+ cities) delighting end users, property agents and developers.

Which is the Biggest Risk You Have Taken as a Start-up?

Backing your idea with your own seed capital & thereby taking complete ownership of the product is perhaps the biggest risk taken.

How Does Your Start-up Impact the Society at Large?

With a focus on organising and empowering the real estate agent, we are creating livelihood opportunities for the most underprivileged section in the real estate ecosystem.

What is the Single Biggest Aspect that Ensures the Success of a Start-up?

We all have ideas. It is the rigour and execution behind it that determines how far the start-up will go. 5 per cent Strategy, 95 per cent Execution.
 A Message for the Upcoming Start-up Founders.

"Solve problems by fixing them at the root level with a first principle approach'. This way they don't surface again.

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