Chandigarh, known as India’s first planned city, is now emerging as a startup hub. According to Tracxn, there are about 379 tech startups in the capital city of Punjab at present.
India’s first private startup accelerator The Morpheus was launched in Chandigarh in 2008. While it shut down in 2014, it had incubated about 82 startups, including CommonFloor and Practo.
Punjab is also known as a hub of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and recognises that innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial for the growth of the state’s economy. Chandigarh itself is also home to an IT Park, which hosts various MNCs including Infosys, Dell, IBM, and TechMahindra. The state is also planning to launch “Startup Punjab” to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups.
From hyperlocal delivery startups and apparel startups to co-working spaces, Chandigarh is entering various sectors.
YourStory looks at some of these ventures.
Inspired from the sharply dressed men of Wall Street in the US, Pritika Mehta started her socks startup named SocksBakery in 2018. It is a direct-to-consumer fashion brand, which makes premium-quality, designer socks for men. Pritika was later joined by ML Jethi, Yatin Jethi, and Simarpreet Singh as co-founders.
The Chandigarh-based company makes luxury socks, theme-based socks, and regular socks, which can be ordered on the startup’s website or through WhatsApp or Instagram. The company claims to be seeing a 40 percent month-on-month growth, and close to a 70 percent repeat customer base.
Friends Prashant Sharma and Mohak Goyal founded Next57 in 2017 when they realised there weren’t many workspaces to cater to the needs of small towns that are not too expensive, especially in their hometown Chandigarh.
Next57 thus aims to solve the problem of managed office spaces for the Tier-II and III market in India. Bootstrapped Next57 is currently present in four locations in India - Chandigarh, Mohali, Ahmedabad, and Kochi - with more than 1,000 seats.
The team claims to be making revenue of Rs 50 lakh per month, and is adding one location every three months.
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Founded by husband-wife duo Ekta Jain and Tushar Jain in January 2019, BePolitical is a ‘100 percent politically neutral brand’ that provides quirkily designed T-shirts on various political parties.
Targeted at the 22-45 age group from Tier II, III, and IV areas, its designs have an element of humour, giving customers a chance to wear their political opinion, in style and in a lighter vein.
This bootstrapped Chandigarh-based startup claims to have already sold over 600 T-shirts, and is tying up with local retailers for an offline presence too. Its products are available on Amazon India in addition to its own website.
Chandigarh-based YouCare is on a mission to make finding care easier, simpler, and faster. It helps families find the right caregiver by matching their requirements with that of the caregiver.
Manan Majitha started YouCare in 2016 out of his personal experience when he couldn’t hire a professional caregiver for his family members.
YouCare has also partnered with over 50 daycare centres, playschools, and activity centres, and tied up with homecare agencies and companies to become a one-stop provider for quality care.
Chandigarh-based Jugnoo was started in 2014 by Samar Singla and Chinmay Aggarwal to offer on-demand auto rickshaws. The company enables hyperlocal deliveries like food, grocery, vegetables among others via its own network of auto-rickshaws.
Today, it has ventured into different verticals of on-demand and hyperlocal spaces in the B2B and B2C domains with services like Rides, Fatafat, Meals, Menus, Ask local, and Jugnoo Delivery (B2B).
The company has a registered user base of five million and over 15,000 auto drivers enrolled with the brand. It has expanded to 40 cities across India, and does around 50,000 daily transactions. Jugnoo raised $2.5 million from its existing investors Paytm and Snow Leopard in 2016.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)