Earthlings would need to have their heads buried in the sand not to have heard of Middle Earth. The fantasy land dreamt up by JRR Tolkien, the “father of modern fantasy” and author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has enthralled millions of readers over decades. But only the most devout fan would know that March 25 is celebrated as Tolkien Reading Day.
Started by the Tolkien Society on March 25, 2003, the day marks the “Downfall of Sauron” and is celebrated with book readings, discussions, and enactments. Sample these: “Not all those who wander are lost”, “Shortcuts make long delays”, and “You can only come to the morning through the shadows”.
Interestingly, Tolkien, who believed that “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”, may have been detailing an entrepreneur’s journey when he wrote: “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
Inspiration enough to get going this Monday morning? If you need more, we have a stream of startup stories that will get you going.
After all, in Tolkien’s words: “It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.”
Persainjit Singh and Prakash Gupta, two IIT Bombay graduates, decided to make it easier for students to crack entrance examinations. In December 2017, the duo started Selfstudy, a self-study learning platform that combines concept-based learning with feedback to help students. Selfstudy has recorded revenue of Rs 50 lakh with 25,000 users, and its B2C sales have grown at a rate of 200 percent in the last quarter.
‘The future of transport is electric.’ Until not too long ago, Electric Vehicles (EVs) were just a pipe-dream or something only Elon Musk spoke about. But they say that ‘today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s reality’, and several Indian startups are, in fact, out to make EVs mainstream in India. Meet Gegadyne Energy that is making proprietary battery technology for EVs. Its current prototype has a capacity of 1 kWh.
How often do you rummage through your closet, but still cannot find the clothes you want for a special occasion or an important meeting? And when you do, they are crumpled or unclean - not ‘ready-to-wear’. For 18-year-old Leher Ali, this was a business opportunity. She launched ALMARI, a storage and maintenance service for occasional wears, business suits, and premium garments.
Launched in 2018, LearnApp is an education portal offering interactive courses on markets and investing through live videos. In just eight months of operation, its revenue stands at Rs 1.14 crore. With 16,000 users and over 1,10,000 unique visitors, the company charges its users Rs 500 per month to access all 50 courses/live-classes on the platform.
Social media has changed the landscape of the marketing and advertising industry. Govind Mahadevan realised the importance of influencer marketing in today’s digital world. Having worked with over 40 brands over the last three years, he understood how young influencers help in market acceptance, and decided to start Look Who’s Talking in 2015.
Book clubs have existed ever since man could get his hands on literature. But they have also evolved with the times, and are now seeing success in the virtual space. Bringing bibliophiles together in a virtual book community is Vowelor. Founded by Manik Ghawri and Lalit Sharma, it connects readers to discuss books and authors, also providing a platform for budding authors to showcase and market their publications.