Weekly Spotlight | 5 Indian Start-ups you should know about.

Weekly Spotlight | 5 Indian Start-ups you should know about.

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11695527_1604672686486800_7497998613218009255_n1. Fropcorn:
Founders: Kartik Poddar and Kartik Bansal
Year: 2015, September 

Founded by Kartik Poddar and Kartik Bansal, who have known each other for over ten years, say that their similarity goes much beyond just their names. They went to the same engineering college and also worked at Microsoft for a while together. They finally plunged into starting their own venture and rolled out Fropcorn in September 2015. Founder-CEO Kartik Poddar has worked in product management and marketing functions in companies like Komli Media and Microsoft, while Founder-CTO Kartik Bansal is a self-confessed geek who was previously with Shindigg and Microsoft.

The object behind this Indian Startup is to bring the In-Flight experience of entertainment to the busses. “Inflight entertainment needs to be there for other mass transport systems. That’s how we hit upon the idea of starting something like Fropcorn,” says Poddar. “The whole idea was how can we bring quality entertainment to people, when they’re traveling.”

Banyanpod Technologies is a media technology company in the on-demand entertainment space. Fropcorn, the company’s hyper-local content distribution product, delivers high quality content to consumers over WiFi.

The startup was also one of the Top 100 at the Nasscom Product Conclave, and in the top 32 in Nasscom’s ‘Get In The Ring’ competition held in Bengaluru, which was referred to as India’s first ever Product Olympics.

b5792d04852. Cyclops MedTech:
Co Founder: Dr. Ravi Nayar, Dr. Srinivas, Niranjan Subbarao
Founded: January, 2015

Cyclops MedTech is a Bangalore based start-up working extensively in the areas of eye tracking and vestibular science. Their vision is to create highly innovative and cost effective medical technology and devices which can dramatically expand the diagnosis horizon and thereby aid in faster and better cure.

Being a medtech hardware startup, the availability of resources and labs for prototyping was essential but a huge challenge. Therefore Dr. Ravi Nayar introduced the team to a few  IIT Kharagpur alumni who had just returned to India after working in the US for a few years, and had set up a prototyping facility.

Though Cyclops was formally incorporated in January 2015 the team has been working on the product for over two years now. 

“Dr. Shyam Vasudeva Rao, an industry veteran and also our Chief Mentor, helped by introducing us to a small team of developers which had extensive expertise in computer vision and image processing. This helped in building the core technology backbone for our product,” says Niranjan.

12688320_575776842577797_2585468383015069146_n3. Niki.ai:
Founders: Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi.
Founded: April 2015

Based on AI and Natural Language programming (NLP), Niki.ai is a chatbot that users can ‘talk’ to. The app understands human language in the context of the products or services users wish to avail. Currently, users can search, discover, confirm, and pay for cabs and mobile recharges through a simple chat interface.
11330021_481763131979169_7693124300128741021_nAs a technology platform, Niki.ai has been built to be both simple and scalable — simple for customers to use and scalable as a product. When asked about their motivation to work on such a product, Sachin says,  “Many users are not able to keep up with the increase in the number of apps, due to low-memory phones and slow Internet connections. There was a need to cut the noise around excess content to offer more personalised suggestions and facilitate decision-making. The answer was a chatbot which could simplify online ordering.”

Niki.ai can also help users with mobile recharges through an integration with justrechargeit– users just need to type in their required recharge amount or they can request Niki .ai to suggest plans based on their preferences.

Adding to its appeal is that the application also works well on 2G speeds

Rang-De-Habba-logo4. Habba (Rang De):
Originally a Kannada word that means ‘celebration’, Habba is both our mission as well as our ethos. It is the personification of the bedrock of our belief system – Better Livelihoods for Better Lives.

Habba is a unique, first-of-its-kind attempt to celebrate the traditional artisans of rural India by creating a platform to- 

  • Help artisans practise and preserve skills that have been passed down through generations
  • Help them reach a wider audience of connoisseurs of ethnic, handmade fabric, apparel and handicrafts
  • Ensure fair and adequate compensation to help them better their lives
  • Help them move up the value chain

Happa is more than an online store. It is a social revolution disguised as one, and when you buy on Habba, you do more than just change your wardrobe, you vote for social change with your wallet.

The idea of Rang De was sown in the year 2006, the same year that Professor Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The motivation for starting Rang De was the belief that the peer-to-peer lending model could be leveraged to lower the cost of microcredit. Rangde.org went live on 26 January 2008 and this is the belief system that has shaped Rang De. The name draws inspiration from India’s struggle for independence. We believe that a similar movement with the same kind of urgency is required to address poverty in India. The words ‘rang de’ also denote colour and exuberance and that is the impact we want our efforts to have on the people we reach out to.

Rang De Habba is a fair-trade, online marketplace for Indian artisans and their hand-made products, from across geographies, that will be hosted and managed by Rang De.

5. Save Indian Grain (SIGO):
Founder: Anurag Awasthi

SaveIndianGrain.Org (SIGO) is dedicated to the design, development and  delivery of modern grain storage solutions, subsistence market places and agri-supply chain directories, and cluster maps for small and marginal farmers in rural India.

Anurag, who had previously worked with several not-for-profit organisations in Washington, D.C., decided to work with the Indian agricultural sector – a sector that contributes to 20 per cent of India’s GDP and employs 50 per cent of the population.

Setting up SIGO involved a fair understanding of the symptoms resulting in post-harvest losses and identifying the problem at hand, a fair understanding of State and Central policies and regulations, various drivers and stakeholders participating at each step of    the supply chain.

Anurag says, “If you were to ask a management accountant about design cost principles, you would be told that 70 per cent of the product cost is locked up in the design stage and the remaining 30 per cent in the manufacturing stage. We spent the first two years figuring out the symptoms, identifying the problems, and understanding our core stakeholders – the farmer and the end-consumer.”

SIGO has just commenced operations and is in the process of reaching out to various    stakeholders within the agriculture and food processing sector. They have received expression of interest from the corporate sector, global NGOs, various state governments and the Government of India.

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