If the ability to make it through an IIT and a boundless passion for politics settled down and had a child, it would be called Netapedia. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what happened when a team of IIT B students and alumni got together with the the singular focus of creating a unique political information platform. Enter Netapedia: the latest startup to provide coverage and information on India’s affairs of state.
Join YourStory on our exploration of these budding social entrepreneurs as they work towards an improved political environment.
How would you briefly describe your venture?
Netapedia is a social venture which aims to bridge the information gap between electors and their representatives, becoming a one stop platform for information on the nation’s political systems and democratic procedures.
What was the idea that led you to establish this venture? How has that been translated to your portal?
In an age of information, knowledge is the key to empowerment. We felt like there is a gap in information flow between electors and their representatives. We recognized an opportunity for a web portal to provide information related to Indian politicians and political events so the electors could make well informed decisions during election and better contribute to the democratic processes. The vision is to provide the electors with easy access to information about the nation’s political leaders and political systems.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
The founding team consists of IIT Bombay alumni Premjeet Kumar, Sidharth Mishra and Gaurav Shah along with current students, Hitesh Lalwani, Siddharth Bidwan, Rahul Srivastava, Rituraj Shukla and Ashish Rathi.
Premjeet Kumar graduated in the year 2011, he holds a Dual Degree from the Mechanical Engineering Department. He has worked with a few start ups prior to Netapedia and has a deep interest in politics.
Sidharth Mishra also graduated in the year 2011 with a Dual Degree from the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was an events manager at Techfest 2008 – 09 and served as the overall coordinator for Techfest 2009 – 10. Additionally, he served as the head, IITB chapter (2010-11) of Avanti Fellows.
Gaurav Shah graduated in the year 2011 with a BTech Degree from the Chemical Engineering Department. He was the Web and Creatives Manager at Techfest 2009-10.
Hitesh Lalwani is a fifth-year dual degree student in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was an events manager at Techfest 2009-10.
Siddharth Bidwan is a fourth-year B.Tech student in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was an events manager at Techfest 2010-11. He has interned with the product development team of ZeeLearn, Essel Group, Mumbai.
Rahul Shrivastava is a fourth-year dual degree student in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was an events manager at Techfest 2010-11.
Rituraj Shukla is a fourth year B.Tech student in the Civil Engineering Department. He was the web and creatives manager at Techfest 2010-11.
Ashish Rathi is a fourth year dual degree student in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was an events manager at Techfest 2010-11, the annual science and technology festival at IIT Bombay and interned as a Mechanical Designer at Prime Technologies.
When was your venture established? How has your journey been so far?
Premjeet and Sidharth discussed the initial idea decided to create such a portal in November, 2010. The domain name was registered in December, 2010 and over the next 3 months, they steadily developed the idea. Gaurav joined in March, 2011 and that’s when development of the profile page commenced. Data entry testing started in April and we had a profile page ready by the end of the month.
Hitesh and Siddharth joined in July 2011. During this time, work was underway on operations, data base management and the front end along with further conceptualization. Rahul, Rituraj and Ashish joined in September 2011. The portal was launched on October 13, 2011.