WATCH: The week that was - from India's app revolution to an exclusive with Nandan Nilekani

This week, YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma spoke to Nandan Nilekani about success, failures, and more. We also explored India’s growing app ecosystem.

We all love success stories. Meet Great Learning, founded by Stanford graduate and former India MD of Tiger Global Management Mohan Lakhamraju, Hari Krishnan Nair and Arjun Nair in 2016. An MBA holder from MIT, Arjun joined after a stint at Zipdial, a Bengaluru-based tech startup that was acquired by Twitter.

The first six months were spent developing the edtech startup’s technology platform and its first product – a post-graduate blended learning programme in business analytics.

Mohan recollects that their first student was a female employee from Accenture, who wanted to pursue a course in business analytics for a fee of Rs 3 lakh. The 11-month course was designed as a substitute for MBA, to cater to people who can’t leave their job for higher studies.

Thirty people enrolled once the startup officially launched operations in December 2013. “That first batch went on to become our biggest brand ambassadors,” he says.

India may be over taking China in population soon, but, right now, it has beaten it in app downloads. In a first-of-its-kind event, India installed more mobile apps in 2019 than any other country, accounting for 4.5 billion app installs in the first quarter alone, surging ahead of the US, which ranked second at three billion installs.

Image Credit: Aditya Ranade

NTT Data is a well-known global conversation. Meet Kris Fitzgerald, who started his career in the 1970s, technology was something new and not embedded in everyday life. Since then, the world today has shifted 180 degrees, and so has his interaction with technology. Today, Kris calls himself a complete geek at heart with a deep love for sci-fi and technology.

The CTO of Tokyo-based global IT services giant NTT Data, Kris started his career in tech sales for IBM in Nebraska, USA, in 1977. Read this story on how he climbed the success chart.

Kris Fitzgerald, CTO, NTT Data

Let's talk about startup successes. One such story is about Bengaluru-based Meesho, a social commerce platform, was founded by IIT-Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015. Meesho, which literally means ‘Meri Shop’ (my shop), provides potential entrepreneurs with a virtual shop, who otherwise would find it difficult to start a business.

In a conversation with YourStory, Vidit says: “We help people start an online business on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram without having them to invest in it”.

Today, Meesho has successfully created an alternate distribution channel by empowering housewives, young mothers, aspiring entrepreneurs, students, and teachers to launch, build, and promote their online business. All of this without any investment - a problem that most people who want to start a business face, enjoy this story.

Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO, Meesho

From five orders a day to a customer base of 25,000 – A Toddler Thing is giving baby care a sustainable twist with an aim to make India plastic-free. This Coimbatore-based startup is manufacturing and selling cloth diapers and other eco-friendly baby products.

Founded by college friends Ashwanth Suresh Babu and Swathi Sri Aravind in December 2017, ATT products are now available on 10 online marketplaces and across 50 retail stores in Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, and Mumbai. It has so far, served the requirements of 25,000 mothers.

Tech magnate and business legend Nandan Nilekani is credited with building India’s digital infrastructure and setting the country on the path to growth, but the man, known to the world as the tech czar of India, says there’s one central reason for the kind of impact he’s been able to create: thinking big and operating at scale.

In an exclusive conversation with YourStory, Nilekani gets candid on his ‘big dream’ of making a difference to the lives of the 1.3 billion people in India and how the IndiaStack innovations can be India’s big contribution for the digital public good to the world.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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