[WATCH] The week that was: from the journey of Mitron co-founder to the growth of Ratan Tata-backed Niki.ai

This week, we traced the journey of Mitron co-founder Anish Khandelwal and startups like Rapid Delivery, Thinkerbell Labs, and more
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Rapid Delivery team, image by Rapid Delivery

After graduating from St Francis Institute of Technology, Mumbai, Naomi Leon and Aaqyl Chagla realised they were not up for cookie-cutter placements and jobs.  The duo decided to start Styledge, which provided coding services for ecommerce companies.

While working for these companies, the co-founders realised that supply chain and shipments were a major concern. It led them to start Mumbai-based logistics startup Rapid Delivery in August 2016. The startup seamlessly integrates supply chain processes and reduces non-delivery ratio, delivering end-to-end courier solutions to ecommerce players.  

“We work with ecommerce brands, retail outlets, and corporates to deliver products across the country. Our services include cash on delivery, reverse pickups, and next-day deliveries,” says Naomi.

From logistics, we now shift our focus to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has highlighted the importance of storing and analysing healthcare data.

Thinkerbell Labs previously known as Project Mudra began its journey as an independent research project by the co-founders at BITS Pilani Goa. Credit: Thinkerbell Labs

Bengaluru-based Thinkerbell Labs, which makes Braille literacy devices for the visually impaired, is now using its technical expertise to help governments and businesses collect and analyse real-time data on COVID-19 through its new product, Chakravyuh. 

Founded in 2016 by Sanskriti Dawle, Aman Srivastava, Dilip Ramesh, and Saif Shaikh, Thinkerbell Labs, previously known as Project Mudra, began its journey as an independent research project at BITS Pilani Goa. 

The startup’s core product Annie, named after Helen Keller's teacher Anne Sullivan, is a literacy device that helps the visually impaired learn to read, write, and type in Braille on their own. 

According to the company, the product has been deployed in more than 16 locations across the country.

As our country innovates more during the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant nation has called for developing indigenous solutions for India, from India. 

Homegrown short video platform Mitron made headlines for many reasons in just five months after its launch. While the app crossed five million downloads on Google Play Store in less than a month of its launch, it also courted controversy when Google removed the app from the Play Store “due to violation of its ‘spam and minimum functionality’ policy”. 

However, the app was back up and running in no time.  For Anish Khandelwal, the Co-founder and CTO of Mitron, his interest has always been in coding and building something on his own. He says, he has always believed in one thing - building a working prototype, which gives you visual proof of how the product will work in the real world. 

In this week’s Techie Tuesday, YourStory looked at Anish’s journey in the tech world, and how Mitron’s five month journey and the one that the team is embarking on is going to be a long yet interesting one.

As we talk about tech, we also covered conversational AI platform, Niki.ai. 

Founders of Niki.ai

When IIT Kharagpur graduates Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel, and Shishir Modi, started Niki.ai as a conversational AI Platform, their mission was to ensure that nobody gets left behind

“Conversations are the most natural way of getting things done, and Niki aims to empower the users to carry out transactions themselves via conversations. From the very beginning, the focus was on the Indian market and the aim was to build for all Indian languages eventually,” explains Sachin.

In any colloquial conversation, people are used to talking in multiple languages – whether Hindi, English, any other mother tongue, or a combination of languages. This realisation prompted Niki to make their conversational AI platform easy and colloquial. 

The startup has raised a total of $6.3 million in funding, with the likes of Ratan Tata as its investor. 

(Edited by Megha Reddy)