They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the true. If you’re a graduate from any of the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology), then you’re probably going to be successful, just like the rest. But this article isn’t dedicated to those who got an incredible job. It’s meant for those IIT graduates who dared to drop a life in some boring corporate firms to start a venture of their own. Here’s 8 Indian companies started by IITians:
8. Travel Triangle
When you’ve known someone ever since you were a kid, chances are that the two of you are going into business together. Travel Triangle is a company started by two childhood buddies; Sankalp Agarwal and Sanchit Garg. It’s an online travel service company which links customers to agents, giving them the best possible deal on travel and stay. They quit their posh jobs in Adobe and Yahoo respectively to formulate the plot behind their mastermind of an idea, bringing it to life in 2011-12 after nearly a year off. Now, the business rakes in crores and there seems to be no looking back for these two.
I personally relate to this venture because I’m fresh out of college and it seems like someone’s actually managed to pay attention to this profound need today. Ayush Varshney and Sahil Bangla created Bluegape after their whimsy of printing a poster got the wheels turning, giving them the idea behind quick and creative poster printing. They invested 2 lakhs when they were still in their hostel rooms and started Bluegape. Initially, their products were only restricted to posters but now they cater to coffee mugs, laptop skins, Tshirts and cushion covers. Basically, any photo to which you have copyrights can be blown up and made into a poster within 4-10 days. Now, they’re looking to go beyond and explore new areas which are untapped.
There’s a reason people say, “Get some experience in the industry before you go off to do your own thing,” and that’s exactly what led to the creation of Knowlarity. Ambarish Gupta and Pallav Panday found that India needed to address the need for technology, especially in small and medium scale industries. Pooling in their years of knowledge from global consulting firm McKinsey, they created a voice application service which is hosted on a cloud based platform and common servers. It has slowly picked up over the years and has now received multiple rounds of investment.
Probably one of the most successful online shopping sites, Snapdeal has grown multifold since it first took off in 2007-08. Started by Kunal Bahl (and Rohit Bansal) after quitting his prestigious job at Microsoft, Snapdeal originally catered as an online deals shop but soon, Kunal and Rohit remodeled it into what it is today, one of India’s largest online shopping stores. In fact, it’s become so popular that eBay, Bessemmer and Nexus Ventures have seen its business potential and backed it. Maybe the secret is getting a really good job and then quitting.
Having been to a new place, people are exposed to tons of eating options. Never before was there a service so intricate that it can give you the best possible eating experience. Foodiebay.in was started by Deepinder Goyal to help his friends negotiate huge stacks of menu cards. He started working with Bain and Company in 2008 and thus Zomato came to be. It’s basically a restaurant discovery guide which gives details about restaurants, cafés and nightlife in India, UAE, UK, New Zealand and many more. It allows users to post and review the places they’ve visited, making it an accurate and reliable source of information who’s lost on what to eat.
Another start-up I can relate to, and probably the most important one till date for college students, is PhokatCopy. Started by Harsh Narang from IIT Delhi, PhokatCopy aims to provide a means of providing photocopies to students at a highly subsidized (sometimes free) rate through advertising initiatives on the back page. Basically, it’s every college-goers dream come true (to photocopy for free that is) and currently, PhokatCopy caters to over 3.5 lakh students across several colleges in India.
2. Ola Cabs
Remember the good ol’ days when the rickshaw meter was only Rs 10 for 2 kms? Things aren’t quite the same since then, but thanks to Ola Cabs, there’s still an easy, cheap and technologically advanced alternative. Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, co-founders and former IIT Bombay students, started Ola Cabs because they were just sick of the way cabs were being handled in India. Basically, all one has to do is enter the city they’re in and the portal will search out a list of available vehicles and their respective costs. These vehicles are cheaper than the regular cab services offered in India and they’re quicker too. Maybe it’s not always about an entirely different idea. Maximizing an existing business opportunity in itself could be a new business venture, or so these two gentlemen have proven.
The biggest online retail store in India started from just 4 lakhs and a tiny apartment. Sachin Bansal from IIT Delhi set up the company along with trusted colleague Binny Bansal (they’re not related) after they quit Amazon and built Flipkart from the scratch. Their Cash on Delivery (CoD) model has been copied by every other online retail store and today, Flipkart boasts of almost $ 1 billion in revenue. They’ve also created a logistics unit which ensures that deliveries are made on or before the expected date, which makes it extremely reliable and quick.