Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 15, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 15, 2023)

Wednesday March 15, 2023,

5 min Read

Former leader at Gain Credit, Amazon Vijay Sachidanand joins Niro as COO

Niro, an embedded finance provider for consumer internet platforms, has appointed Vijay Sachidanand as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). In this role, Sachidanand will lead the company’s business operations, including product development, as Niro looks to further bolster its credit and other financial offerings.

Sachidanand brings over 25 years of general management and product leadership experience, predominantly in early-stage fintech environments. As a member of Gain Credit’s executive management team, he served as the general manager of Drafty, a UK online consumer lending business, which he took from the seed stage to a $100 million fundraise. He was also the CEO of Synapi, Gain’s SaaS startup, which he also co-founded.

Sachidanand also built Amazon UK’s embedded credit marketplace, Amazon Money Store. He holds an MBA from London Business School and undergraduate degrees in business and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Vijay Sachidanand, COO, Niro

Vijay Sachidanand, COO, Niro

Canara Bank RuPay credit cards can now be used on UPI

Canara Bank and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said that Canara Bank customers can now use their RuPay Credit Card on UPI with the BHIM app and other UPI-enabled apps.


Canara Bank RuPay Credit Cards will be linked to a UPI ID, thus directly enabling safe and secure payment transactions.


Customers can use their credit cards on UPI, and merchants will benefit from the increase in consumption by being part of the credit ecosystem with the acceptance of credit cards using assets like QR codes.

Lentra names former Salesforce VP Hitesh Sahijwaala as EVP

Lentra, a digital lending cloud platform, has appointed Hitesh Sahijwaala as Executive Vice President (EVP) of India Sales and Distribution. This is the third senior-level appointment in the past six months. In September, Lentra appointed Haribandhu Patra as its CFO and Bhuvaneswar Naik as CHRO.

In his new role, Hitesh will help accelerate Lentra’s growth and advance its position in the digital lending space. The appointment comes at a time when Lentra is driving growth in India and Southeast Asia and scaling its platform to support and enable some of the largest banks and NBFCs in the region.

Hitesh is a veteran with more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry and has worked with companies like Oracle, Red-hat, and Hewlett-Packard. He was also the regional vice president of the finserv business unit at Salesforce.

Capgemini India, IIM Bangalore’s NSRCEL partner to announce 2nd cohort

NSRCEL and Capgemini India have collaborated on an incubation programme in social entrepreneurship. Capgemini will support NSRCEL to launch nine subsequent cohorts of social entrepreneurship incubation programmes for three years from 2023 to 2025.

The incubation programme aims to solve the problem of validating solutions for product-market fit and evolving business models in social entrepreneurship that can scale. It aims to do so by identifying and incubating startups innovating with technology and digital inclusion at the forefront.

There will be a cohort intake every four months. Each cohort will consist of 15-20 early-stage innovations with some market traction and is open for both for-profits and non-profits across sectors. 

Through this initiative, NSRCEL’s “Impact Orbit” aims to incubate 120 social enterprises in the next three years and lead the convergence across for-profit and non-profit business models in India, while also building a support stack of partners and service providers for startup success.

The collaboration over the last three years allowed four for-profit startups to pivot and nine non-profit startups to enter the market from an idea stage. Collectively, the 13 ventures have impacted 5.45 lakh beneficiaries and gone on to raise over Rs 8.5 crore through grants and equity. These ventures have also built a strong framework for scaling through the support received during the incubation programme.

TSAW Drones aims to hire 350+ new employees by 2023-end

Drone tech startup TSAW Drones aims to increase its talent pool by hiring over 350 new employees by the end of the calendar year 2023. At present, the company has around 50 employees, and with the scheduled recruitment dive, the startup will cross the mark of more than 400 employees.

In the previous quarter, TSAW Drones claims to have roped in about 30 employees. The new hiring announcement comes in the wake of the company’s growth plans to advance its product portfolio and mark its footprints in six new geographies.

The drone logistics service provider seeks experienced professionals and first-time job seekers, including recent college graduates, across multiple verticals. The hiring effort is focused on bringing on board drone pilots, designers and technicians, operation heads, and others. The work format is office-based, and the primary location for talent acquisition is in New Delhi.

Urban Ladder

Urban Ladder launches its 50th retail store; plans to expand in 32 cities by 2023 

Furniture brand Urban Ladder has opened its 50th retail store in Kolkata. With only 13 stores until June 2022, the company reached the 50th retail store milestone in less than nine months.

It plans to expand its retail stores in 32 cities by 2023 and aims to double this by March 2024. Urban Ladder also aims to strengthen its online presence through and Jiomart.

Heads Up For Tails launches its 75th pet experience centre in Delhi

Pet care brand Heads Up For Tails launched its newest experience centre in Delhi. This move is per the company's initial plans to strengthen its retail penetration across India while providing the finest pet and animal care.

Located at Vegas Mall, Dwarka, the newest experience centre is HUFT’s 75th in India. The experience centre has a wide range of pet care products, from food, treats, and toys to complete grooming solutions, apparel, and accessories.

Heads Up For Tails store

Heads Up For Tails store

HUFT is present across 15 cities and plans to expand to 150 experience centres by FY24. Each new centre impacts community animal welfare in their neighbourhoods via the HUFT Foundation initiatives of collaring and distributing meals to stray dogs.

(This copy will be updated with the latest news throughout the day)

Edited by Suman Singh