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1. Shraddha Sharma, YourStory:
“I clearly remember the day in August, 2008. I tell a gathering of entrepreneurs in Mumbai, that I am going to start a venture which will tell stories of entrepreneurs who are not superstars yet but have the spark, drive and hope. Most of the experts present said, ‘ You will not survive more than six months. It’s a social hobby and nothing more. How can stories of unknown entrepreneurs make commercial sense?’
I had to make a choice. I listened to my heart and started YourStory on 16th September 2008 (the site went live),” Shraddha recalls.
Today, she is the CEO and Founder of Bangalore based YourStory, India’s numero uno media platform for entrepreneurs, that has profiled over 15,000 stories about the people behind upcoming startups, and accounts for 5 million niche readers from India and across the world. In August 2015, YourStory not only completed seven years of relentless, obsessive and passionate pursuit of telling stories, but also raised a $5 Million funding from multiple investors including Ratan Tata.
2. Pranita Balar, Bark N Bond:
After her Bachelors in Business Management, Masters in Media, and three years of corporate experience in Marketing, Pranita quit her job as a Media Planner to study Canine Behaviour and Training – a decision that wasn’t welcomed by her parents, who were worried that their daughter wanted to be a dog trainer.
Determined to start something of her own, and having obtained her certification as a Canine Consultant and Dognition Evaluator, she came up with the idea of Bark N Bond – a Mumbai based startup on a mission to strengthen the bond that people share with their pets – one that holds the potential to be the most loving and fulfilling relationships.
Sidestepping the traditional dog training methods, Pranita relies on Positive Training methods, which inculcate cooperation, consistency and positive reinforcement. These methods help enhance the behaviour of dogs, while also ensuring that they have a whole lot of fun along the way – by learning various dog tricks. Bark n Bond provides you services like Puppy Consultation, Basic Obedience Training, Toilet Training, Dog Tricks and Pet Camp.
“In two years, I have successfully trained more than 100 dogs, organised 7 pet camps, launched India’s first pet-service finder mobile application and made so many friends. I have become better at multi-tasking, and at being the clerk and the CEO at the same time. Running your own company and being able to see and hear the results from your direct customers is a pleasure,” she told officechai in an interview.
3. Anu VaidyaNathan, PatNMarks
Anu VaidyaNathan has been in the long-course triathlon scene in India since the past few years and qualified for the Half Ironman 70.3 Clearwater World Championship in 2008. In 2009, she became the first and only woman to finish the well-renowned Ultraman Canada event and went on to complete the Ironman Canada exactly three weeks later.
She also the CEO of PatNMarks, which offers value added services in the field of intellectual property and has been a visiting faculty at IIT Ropar in the Department of Computer Sciences and IIM Ahmadabad. She also has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Canterbury, which she completed in the record time of 26 months apart from a Bachelor’s and Masters in Computer Science.
Talking more about her startup, she says, “PatNMarks is an Intellectual Property Consulting firm with offices in Austin, Bangalore and Chennai. Having started PatNMarks right out of college as a fledgling start-up, I have modeled the long-term vision at PatNMarks to provide cost-effective advice and a high standard of deliverables. We pretty much help all tiers of companies, from students to academics to start-ups to medium and large companies in identifying, filing and prosecuting all aspects of ‘Intellectual Property’.I believe that in the long term, it is important to create value for clients by catering to their needs, striving to enable a world-class service and also have the balls to tell people when certain aspects of IP will NOT work, rather than running after the last rupee to be earned. Being a second-generation practitioner gives me this freedom.We are very selective in the clients we work with and strongly believe in quality over quantity.Additionally, in 2014, we are very proud to announce the start of the PatNMarks Foundation Scholarship program, identifying high-potential students and social entrepreneurs and providing them with pro bono IP services. The students own their IP at the end of the day and our interest is in getting them started in protecting their ideas, so that they can later convert these into meaningful competitive advantages.”Read Anu Vaidyanathan’s complete interview here.4. Mishikrafts:
Inspired by her mother who was a self-made woman, Priya Jain spent 6 years of her professional life as a journalist with Bengaluru Pages, Dainik Jagran, and NEWS9. Being a victim of multiple skin allergies, at the hand of chemical-containing cosmetics, she joined a workshop, where she learnt to craft hand-made soaps. After receiving positive feedback from her friends, peers and family, Priya founded Mishikrafts, with an intention to covert her hobby into business.She has also brought several artisan women, who lacked the technical know-how or the marketing muscle to sell their products, under the Mishikrafts umbrella, to create more products like shampoos, bath salts, body oils, face packs, chocolates and candles.Where does she see Mishikrafts in five years?
“As of now, we are just taking baby steps. After taking several small orders, the big one finally came in the form of a Diwali order. The market size cannot be pegged at a certain value. People are always looking at finding things that are unique, natural and without chemicals. The vision is to have an end to end product line which reduces any kind of preservatives from getting into one’s system. We also want to connect sellers to buyers and break the myth that handmade products are necessarily very expensive, as they don’t always have to be,” she told Ignite India.“The greatest challenge I faced was my own fear. In my journey so far, I have learnt that several entrepreneurs are super scared of their own success. They tend to be secretive about pricing and the efforts it takes to make things happen. I have learnt that some of them need to be educated about the need to overcome their fear in order to succeed,” she added.5. Alicia Souza:
Alicia Souza is a banker turned full-time illustrator born and brought up in the Middle East, whose interest in Design took her to RMIT University in Melbourne from where she did her Bachelor’s in Communication Design. After working on her very first freelancing project right after college, she decided that illustration is where her heart lied.Three years back she moved to Bangalore and worked with Chumbak for one and half year, which sells funky themed products online, before she switched to taking independent illustration projects. She also works on The Fact Page of Tinkle which is a very popular 23-year old children’s magazine issued monthly. She recently launched her very own online store to sell prints, greeting cards, fridge magnets,coffee mugs and other customizable items.You can read her complete interview here.