Top 7 stories of startups turning around their fortunes

The Turning Point is a weekly series that focuses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon the winning idea. This week, we bring the top 7 stories that readers enjoyed the most this year.

Top 7 stories of startups turning around their fortunes

Saturday December 31, 2022,

5 min Read

The journey of an entrepreneur isn’t easy. While the roller coaster-like ride can be fun and exciting, it can also be overwhelming and challenging.

Strong determination, research, commitment and the desire to succeed are some of the traits of a successful entrepreneur.

To celebrate these entrepreneurs and their moments of eureka, YourStory started The Turning Point series in August 2019. Each story in the series talks about the struggles in the early stages and what founders did to overcome them. 

Here’s a look at the top 7 Turning Point stories of 2022.

A D2C milk brand

Founded in 2013 by Chakradhar Gade and Nitin Kaushal, Country Delight is a tech-first D2C brand delivering natural food essentials directly from the farmer to the doorstep of the consumer. 

It does more than eight million milk deliveries per month across 15 cities, with a supply chain that spans 11 states in the country.

The company, which employs 2,000 people with a 200-member strong tech team, has a distribution network of about 7,000 partners.
Country Delight

In the last three years, Country Delight has grown 10X in scale and is currently at over Rs 900 crore ARR (annual recurring revenue). 

Read more here

From a YouTube channel to a unicorn 

Founded by Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwar in 2016 as a YouTube channel, Physics Wallah prepares students for competitive engineering and medical entrance examinations.  The two co-founders reportedly developed the application and website in 2020. 

PhysicsWallah was born as a YouTube channel in 2016 with an investment of about Rs 30,000. With a camera phone, tripod, whiteboard, and a few books, Alakh got down to the business of making videos.

PW currently has 5.2 million Play Store downloads with a 4.7 rating and 6.9 million subscribers on YouTube.  

Read more here 

PW, physicswallah

Replacing middlemen with technologies 

Bengaluru-based Ninjacart was founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran Kandasamy, Vasudevan Chinnathambi, and Sharath Loganathan in June 2015.

Ninjacart initially started with a B2C model to transport fruits and vegetables from retail outlets to consumers in under 60 minutes.

The startup encountered numerous challenges such lack of transparency and the absence of specialised equipment as well as undersupply of fresh produce to retail outlets.

This made the founders pivot to a B2B model in September 2015 to solve “one of the toughest agricultural supply chain problems”.

Read more here

An edtech startup transforming learning in Tier II and beyond India

Founded in 2019 by Ashish Munjal and Piyush Nangru, Sunstone works with academic institutes to upskill students for employability. It offers career-oriented training interventions for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

Ashish Munjal, CEO and Co-founder, Sunstone says he realised early on that the education system in India’s Tier II and Tier III did not offer the same educational opportunities as availed by students in Tier I cities, “widening the skill gap over the years”.  

To bridge this gap that Ashish and Piyush founded Sunstone, which offers outcome-based courses in partnership with leading colleges and private universities in a hybrid model across India. 

Read more here 

Ashish Munjal, Sunstone

Making maths fun

IIT-Delhi graduate Manan Khurma’s fondness for mathematics began when he was a child. 

Manan wanted to create a new kind of mathematics-learning programme to help kids fall in love with the subject, and learn it the right way—visually and intuitively—instead of mugging up formulae.  

This thought led to the launch of edtech startup CueMath in 2013, with an investment of more than Rs 40 lakh. 

For a couple of years, Cuemath struggled to get funds from investors. Manan even thought of shutting down a couple of times. 
Manan Khurma Cuemath

Manan Khurma, Founder & Chairman, Cuemath

“But by 2015, we had achieved decent traction. We had about 100 teachers in the Delhi-NCR area who had partnered with us and the feedback they were getting from students was very, very strong,” Manan says. 

Read more here

Fixing fragmented food cultivation

India is the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Realising the need to push the envelope and drive feasible, scalable, and replicable innovations in the agri sector, Pranav Tiwari and Dhruv Sawhney started Nurture.Farm in 2020. 

The Bengaluru-based startup partners with farmers to bring technology, mechanisation, and digitisation to farming and improve their livelihood.

Over the last two years, has built digital highways to connect the heartlands of rural India by building robust technology platforms, agri ecommerce marketplaces, market linkages, supply chain networks, advisory services, financial solutions, and shared economy models. 

Read more here

Solving pain points in bus booking 

IntrCity was not the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey for the founders Kapil Raizada and Manish Rathi. In 2012, they worked on RailYatri, a travel portal that lets users book train tickets.  

The duo launched RailYatri app in 2013, and from 2014 to 17, the company focused on train ticket booking. 

Once a solution was created, the RailYatri team realised that it could add one more tool to address the waiting list problem—show customers the available bus tickets for the routes they have planned to travel. 

RailYatri Intrcity SmartBus

However, users shirked from booking bus tickets due to issues around sanitation and safety. 

This discovery led the company to come up with its own solution—IntrCity—in 2019.

IntrCity SmartBus leverages telematics and GPS to build a more trusted experience. 

Read more here

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti