Entrepreneurs are those people who take up an idea, not necessarily path breaking by nature, and make it a success by turning the idea into a vision. One that they passionately believe in and boldly take risks undaunted. Definitions are always incomplete. In a way entrepreneurs can be defined likewise too. They refuse to remain within rigid boundaries of stagnant careers and opportunity bucket of the time. They create their own opportunities and rise above. In India, recently there has been a sudden upsurge in the number of startups. Quite a few of them have become huge successes and market leaders. Here are a few:
- Flipkart, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal: Flip kart which stands for ‘flipping things onto your kart’ is the largest online bookstore in India with a listing of about 4 million users. And not without reason. The prices are unbelievable! Books are offered at wonderful discounts – where else would you get the whole Lord of the Rings series for just over 600 Rupees? And the shipping is free, not to mention. They manage all this by efficiently tying up with the postal services and local book dealers across the country. The site is a book lover’s paradise and the simple, user friendly nature of the website has made it an instant hit. Currently nominated for the prestigious Ernst and Young Award for the best entrepreneur, Flip kart is one success story. Inspired? Go kart!
- Ajay Nahar, Kuldeep Dabauriya, Amit Rawat and Nirmal Kannan, RememME.com: Another periodical. Its highly researched and analytical write ups span diverse topics such as society, science, entrepreneurship and so on. Sigh. ‘Still just another periodical’, you say? Think again. What sets it apart from other magazines is that its content is put up on the site rememME.com and people rate and comment on it on the forum. The article that has best reviews, and is highly popular is selected to be printed. That’s why they call themselves the “The Planet’s first democratic magazine”. Connecting the web to print media since January 2010, they have 28,000 members already and a readership of about 5000 in corporate houses, business schools, and engineering colleges. Quitting 9-to-5 jobs never got more exciting.
- Satish Babu, Univercell: Univercell is a brand that’s in the face of the Indian customer thanks to targeted advertisements and marketing. Started by Satish Babu in the year 2000, aimed at providing customers a chance to make highly informed and comfortable choices in buying mobiles, this is no doubt a success story. With a customer base of 10 million, a dedicated workforce, it has grown as India’s biggest mobile retailer. Having acquired the ISO 9000-2001 certification, he has built a brand that prides itself on being customer-oriented than profit-oriented and on never having fired a single employee so far! Starting in a time when most mobiles were sold on grey markets, Satish Babu had the passion to create a market where there seemed none. And that has made all the difference!
- Murugavel Janakiraman, Bharat Matrimonial: A young programmer created a niche market of online matrimony services targeted at the young I.T Indian professionals who were abroad, but wanted to have a say in their marriages (even though arranged). Thirteen years since their inception, the site has come a long way to enter the Limca book of Records for highest number of documented marriages. Like any good startup they have also expanded services through innovation to include Ability matrimony for people with special needs, privileged matrimony and so on. Who ever thought matchmaking could be a 2 Crore customer market?
- Divyank Turakhia, Directi group: A young tech junkie, Divyank started freelance internet consulting for corporates at the age of 14! At the age of 16 he co-founded the Directi Group with a $300 investment with brother, and co-founder Bhavin – a successful entrepreneur himself. At 18 his net worth is about $1 million, thanks to his company’s stupendous rise in its “idea enterprise” of selling indigenous, creative backend software services including domain registering. Now focusing on Skenzo his domain monetization company full time, he has caught the attention of business giants at the global level. They fear that this “kid” is just warming up!!
- Devita Saraf, Vu Technologies: Young, dynamic and creative this youngster inherited her father’s Zenith Computers and became CEO at just 22. Known as a “gadget fixer” to her friends, this vivacious entrepreneur created Vu Technologies with a concept of luxury electronics. Technology has changed lives; her idea is that it deserves the status of a lifestyle product that can even be fun. Competing with the likes of Sony, Samsung and LG in selling electronic consumer durables, she offers a grand vision that appeals to the “have it-will flaunt it” generation.
- Vijay Shekar Sharma, One97: The youngest graduate from Delhi University, this young, dynamic man is credited with putting together the most entrepreneurial, incisive leadership team in the telecom industry. One97 has revolutionized telecom industry throughout the nation with its Mobil value added services. At a turnover of 7 crore in 2005, they continue to dominate the telecom scenario with constant innovation.
- Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Naukri.com: Starting a company after quitting from a safe job at HMM, Info edge was a startup whose product was simply – information. Information is wealth has been taken to a whole new level by combining this fact with the perennial search for jobs and opportunities in a country like ours. Naukri.com began as a database for salary details of different job opportunities and has become the best online job portal with companies investing heavily in the startup. It has most importantly, become a reliable tool for job hunters to access information and create opportunities for themselves.
- Suhas Gopinath, Globals Inc: One of the world’s youngest CEO Suhas launched his startup, Globals Inc at the age of 14! With an aim of providing web based and software based solutions besides making websites for corporates, advertisers and educational institutions. All this he does at low pricing like Rs.200 to Rs.300 per website. Buoyed by a team of teenagers, the firm has scaled heights with firms approaching them for outsourcing their projects.
- Saumil Majumdar, Edusports: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, is an oft repeated proverb. But in India people seldom deign to pay attention to it. This startup aims to tackle this limitation and create a structured plan for physical education in schools. Sports can teach a million lessons and this company undertakes this mission. Thirty five schools, fifteen cities, 30,000 children, this is just the beginning but the company has been much talked about and has garnered attention already.
Stories like these reiterate the belief that we too can achieve great things. We understand, the journey was never easy, but success is not magical. We can achieve it too with grit, courage and passion.
Have more to add to the list? Do comment in the box below.
image: http://www.goergo.in/?p=1652 [Satish Babu of Univercell]