WATCH: The week that was – a roundup of the top news and trends in the startup world
It's been an amazing week at YourStory as our reporters spoke to some wonderful entrepreneurs who want to impact India's economic growth. Founder Shradha Sharma met with Amit Agarwal, the man who helms Amazon India. Under Amit, Amazon India is today the ecommerce behemoth’s fastest-growing market, winning over customers and sellers in even the most remote corners of the country to become the most transacted and most trusted Internet brand in India. Amit credits these achievements to Amazon’s laser-like focus on its culture of ‘customer obsession.’
Watch our video where we go into what made headlines the past week:
Amazon's growth in India has been fuelled by investments of over $5 billion in the market on innovation, seller and customer-focused initiatives, infrastructure, and technology. Amit shares the journey of Amazon India so far.
Helping ecommerce along is the country’s push towards digitalisation. And helming it all is none other than Prime Minister NarendraModi with his Digital India initiative. Since its launch in 2015, it has achieved many milestones. And yes, we still have a long way to go if India is to really be a digital superpower. On the occasion of Digital India Day, we reached to several movers and shakers of the ecosystem and asked them what they think the Modi 2.0 government needs to do now to realise the full potential of Digital India.
Riding on this digital high are the several startups that dot the entrepreneurial universe. Take Wow! Momo, for example. Started in a garage by two students of St Xavier’s College, the Kolkata-based food startup has been dishing out dumplings, dim sum, and more for over 10 years now. With 254 outlets across 13 cities, it is now gearing up for the next chapter in its story.
Backed by investments from Info Edge Founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, former Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, and Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, among others, the startup claims to have a “90 percent of the market share in the organised momo business”. Now, the quick service restaurant (QSR) chain has major expansion plans and is even eyeing an IPO.
If Wow! Momo impresses and you want to know what drives business to succeed, then the answer is simple: it is data. YourStory met a data scientist from Locus, a company that develops algorithms to help the logistics industry. Shantanu Bhattacharyya, Data Scientist at AI-enabled logistics startup Locus.sh, learnt quickly.
At Locus, 36-year-old Shantanu heads the Tiger Global-backed startup’s ambitious geocoding project, using a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) algorithms like recurrent neural networks (RNN) and different statistical methods. Using these methods, he interprets human written addresses and converts them into accessible coordinates understandable by a computer.
Algorithms are needed for logistics, yet algorithms can also show you the way to the one you want to stay married to for life. Despite the proliferation of matchmaking services in India, finding the one isn’t easy. More so if you’re loaded! Ahmedabad-based Ultra Rich Match, India’s first matchmaker for millionaires, aims to solve this problem.
Founded in 2011 by Saurabh Goswami, this niche matrimonial platform has only one prerequisite for its clients: you must be a High Networth Individual (HNI) with a net worth of more than Rs 15 crore, or a professional earning more than Rs 50 lakh per year to find your match.
WATCH other video interviews and stories our viewers loved this week:
An edtech startup to help you prep for the toughest competitive exam
When you think of accounting, finance, management, and economics, the first words that most likely come to mind are theoretical, boring, conceptual, and complex. But Hyderabad-based edtech startup IndigoLearn aims to change all that.
A risk-assessment startup tells you if your real estate investment is worth it
Sudeep Anandapuram's personal experience in trying to buy a home of his own led him to start up Zippserv along with his friend Debasis Hota in 2016. The startup specialises in legal due diligence, fraud detection, civil engineering inspections, and price intelligence, factors that are critical for property purchase in India. Watch Sudeep in conversation with YourStory before you make the decision to buy a home.
A Coimbatore-based incubator’s efforts to nurture early-stage startups
Coimbatore is the last place you may expect startups to boom. But, ironically it has a large manufacturing base to help startups. So it was only natural that many startups are born there.
But despite India’s booming startup ecosystem, there remains a significant gap between early-stage companies and investors/industry, especially in Tier II and III towns. That’s why incubators are vital, feels Kaarthick Balakrishnan, the CEO of Cultiv8, a Coimbatore-based incubator sponsored by the Indian government's Department of Science and Technology. See how Kaarthick has helped 35 startups.
Meet the Mavericks: Founder-CEO Nithin Kamath of Zerodha
Being a startup is all about grabbing the opportunity. Nithin Kamath, a dab hand at trading stocks, took the biggest gamble in his life by starting Zerodha in the middle of a trading lull in 2010. Markets were in limbo after a crash the year earlier and most brokers were jumping ship to different things. However, Nithin felt that there was space for a simple, online service that removed obstacles for people who wanted to try their hand at investing.
He bootstrapped Zerodha, a play on zero and the Sanskrit word ‘rodha’, which means barriers. Check out YourStory’s interview with Nithin Kamath.
This AI startup is aiming for Bigthinx despite hiring hardships and competitors like Amazon
You don't often hear about a startup fighting biggies like Amazon. But this one is. Shivang Desai is a serial entrepreneur, having started up in various spaces like drones, marketing, and gaming, before launching Bigthinx with his college batchmate Chandralika Hazarika in 2015.
This Bengaluru-based startup’s flagship product - the Lyflike app - is already making waves. It creates realistic, walkabout 3D avatars that look, measure, and move like you. Lyflike uses artificial intelligence (AI) to build these avatars that can instantly ‘try on’ any clothing, from any picture. Watch Founder Shivang Desai in conversation with YourStory.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)