Anurag Arya & Nitin Jain, Founders, I-Cube Systems Private Limited

9th Aug 2009
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I-Cube Systems is the brainchild of seven young professionals, who came together to usher in a revolution in the way people live by way of capturing the imagination of individuals across organisations, and transforming them into ideas that can beget innovation. Among them are Anurag Arya and Nitin Jain. Founded in 2008 in New Delhi, this software-product-based company, which stands extensively for ‘Ideas, Innovation and Imagination’, aims to bring the complex process of collaborative ideation and innovation (successful commercialisation) within the ambit of common man. To this end, the firm has also recently launched its flagship product, the3iportal.com, a platform that facilitates development of ideas into innovation.

    

How large is the scope of the company and its flagship product is evident from the fact that the firm is for every ‘thinking man’. Apart from brining collaborative ideation and innovation within the reach of every common man, the enterprise also strives to bring together individuals, corporate organisations, educational institutions, NGOs, venture capitalist and legal experts on a singe platform. 

The USP of this enterprise lies in its scope and reach of the product. The platform is for a wider range of people, including, but not limited to, students, professionals, experts, researchers, scientists, profit and non-profit organisations and a plethora of other investing entities. It has something for everyone. But also unique is its business model. Although the platform serves users for free, those benefiting from the services in monetary terms are charged for value-added services like availing professional/expert help for patents, trademarks, copyrights and similar other intellectual property protection. Even corporate users, who post their problems and requirements and solicit solutions and responses, are charged a certain amount. 

The duo believes in organic growth and plans to scale up their business by self funding and by means of various strategic partnerships. Ask Arya why he and his co-partners chose to become entrepreneurs over a comfortable 9-5 job and he says, “We always asked each other if this is what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives. The answer to this question was always a big ‘NO’. During the last five years, the seven of us kept discussing about various alternative businesses, but either it lacked the practical business parameters or the difference it could make to our lives. On the other hand, the idea on which the3iportal.com is based seemed to answer all our concerns and queries. So here we are…” 

For this small squad of entrepreneurs, the biggest challenge was to leave their well-established jobs and enter into something no one had been successful in (at the scale on which the model optimally works). Successful businesses were either existing on a small scale or were playing in niche markets. “We are still in the process of overcoming the challenge of ‘making it work’ at a scale where we can make a difference to the lives of every thinking mind,” said Jain.  

Considering that the firm is still struggling to gain prominence, mistakes are bound to have clobbered their way, but the young biz minds know how to take flaws in their stride. “We don’t take them as mistakes. They’re simply great learning experiences; every decision has positively contributed to the journey,” said the duo in unison. As for the seed capital, it came mostly from the monthly salaries and savings of the seven partners. 

The firm’s first biggest achievement was to release the beta version of the3iprotal.com and getting associated with Ficci, IC2 – University of Texas. Talks are also underway for strategic partnership with the two entities. This apart, the company also received an overwhelming response from more than 3,000 students of IIT Roorkee Annual Technical Festival – Cognizance, 2009. 

“After such enthralling experiences as an entrepreneur and the prospect of coming up with a successful business, the very thought of going back to a job seems scary. And giving up is out of question. At times, it’s necessary not to think about short-term benefits, especially one is aiming high,” said Arya. Agreeing to this Jain said, “It’s our passion to make positive contribution to the development of the world that keeps us grounded and resolute about the entrepreneurial journey.”  

‘Think Innovation, Think Us’ is the vision of the company, and to achieve this, the firm plans to enter into various strategic partnerships and create value for every user of the3iportal.com

Tips for budding entrepreneurs — Keep your vision and core values clear, coherent and achievable. It should be like a ‘light house’ that keeps you and all related entities on the right path all throughout the journey.

 

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