Jaipur the new silicon city of India; Inside story of the non-funded ventures from the Pink City
India is at an inflection point marked by technologies redefining the way we access government services and information; travel across our cities and beyond; locate destinations and interact with different social groups. The Government of Rajasthan has shown through its various initiatives a great will to transform the governance landscape in the state by assimilating technological advancements in its planning and implementation processes.
Jaipur, the capital & the biggest city of Rajasthan has seen tremendous development in the last 2 decades. Contrary to other tier-2 cities, the Pink City offers great potential for innovative ventures in terms of the market size, cash flow, employee cost & quality, educated consumers, technology users etc. Lack of home grown brands adds seasoning to the need of home grown brands. The millenial Jaipurites noticed this opportunity. And boom, we have over 10,000+ startups in Jaipur in less than 10 years.
The government of Rajasthan has built asia's largest startup incubator in Jaipur where they have seated 700 young entrepreneurs to build the future technologies. With this kind of infrastructure, Jaipur is now bound to see a lot of small ventures become million dollar companies. I spoke to many funded/non-funded startups from the Pink City, eventually to only find funded startups are cliche and non funded consistent ventures are the ones to look forward for. Based on some international parameters, for the readers I filtered the best startups in Pink City from every mainstream industry. Continue reading to find out who they are? what do they do? and how do they do it ?
- Innovation & Technology
Startup Name: Brain Stem Technologies Pvt Ltd
CEO: Anirudh Sharma
Brain Stem Technologies Pvt Ltd, is a Jaipur based startup that is building up AI-based solutions intended for education and human resource development industry. Brain Stem was founded in the year 2017 with the aim of using Artificial Intelligence & Behavioural Science to solve complex problems in education, business operations, HR etc. industries.
About 80% of organizations will utilize AI powered chatbots - which are applications that take part in intelligent conversational interface utilizing characteristic voice or content – by 2020.
Typical AI systems perceive environment and change to maximize the chances of successfully achieving its set goals. Today, the systems are built to mutate and preferably replicate other successful AI systems.
In a world with hundreds of thousands of brands and channels, customers are suffused with the new and different approaches made now and then by brands. Research shows that customers long for consistency and expect the same level of services whenever they interact across multiple channels of a companies.
The use of AI helps combat these challenges by creating a consistent approach which ensures customers are happy and will keep coming back.
Using AI powered chatbots for activities such as ad targeting, lead generating and SEO is becoming more and more popular. According to a report by a Mumbai based Digital Marketing Institute, the future of digital marketing will be heavily directed by artificial intelligence (AI) applications, including chatbots.
In fact, Gartner, research and advisory company, predicts that by 2020, over 50 percent of medium to large enterprises will have deployed the use of chatbots. A chatbot platform allows users a simple, single option. Simply type in a message and get a prompt response, which many sites report is appealing to millennial consumers.
Hence, Brain stem has tapped into the world's most competitive & in-demand market, let's see what their products sound like!
“The products that we have built and will build in the future will solve the biggest and smallest problems of these industries. We use innovation and technology to make lives better on the campus whether it's an academic campus or corporate campus. Within next two decades, almost 99% of business operations will be done by robots. Don’t you think we need to prepare our next generations for the same?” said the CEO of brain stem Mr. Anirudh Sharma who is a serial entrepreneur and had established this organization in 2017.
The Software based services (SaaS) which are propelled by Brain Stem are-
1. Jove: Jove is scientific and rational career planning platform powered by Artificial Intelligence with an integrated chatbot to enhance learning experience. The career finder test and report start @ INR 100 (The Flash Pack), other packages are available at @ INR 500, 1000 & ;1500 with integrated Amazon and IBM chatbots to provide personalized learning for the students.
2. JOVE.AI: JOVE.AI is a more intelligent and sophisticated version of Jove intended for the HR departments of companies. It assists them in hiring, training, managing and retaining the employees.
3. EduGrade: EduGrade is an e-management tool for institutes which has separate apps for Admin, teachers, students and parents.
4. Brain Stem also offers AI implementation and robotic process automation in businesses of almost every industry.
"With AI programs integrated into the business processes, activities can be run much more efficiently. With AI integrated systems, it's easy to collect consumers' suggestions or analyze them and come up with a strategy to capitalize on the consumers buying trends." explained Mr. Naman Mutha who is the director of operations at brain stem.
Other than that, currently they are developing a chatbot which can detect (& cure) depression and anxiety among students in NIT’s and IIT’s in partnership with Ministry of human resource development.
Importance of Artificial Intelligence –
"Because of progressions in AI innovation, NLP etc., discourse acknowledgment, the expense of creating chatbots has descended definitely, which is filling the hazardous development of this market," Quoted Brain Stem's CEO Anirudh Sharma in a recent interview.
Startup Name: Edhusk
Founders: Himanshu, Umang, Anuj.
EdHusk is a Jaipur based hybrid education startup that provides customized tutoring services in more than 300 courses varying across academics, hobbies and sports. EdHusk is an initiative by four IIT alumni - Himanshu Meena, Himanshu Kumar, Anuj Bhuria and Umang Agarwal with an aim to provide quality education. EdHusk was launched in May 2017 in Jaipur and have more than 1500 satisfied customers.
1. What is your target market?
Our target customers are school students and individuals of any age group looking to learn any new skills and hobbies. Which includes customized courses such as Basic English for housewives, Introduction to Technology for elders, Prenatal Yoga.
2. On an average how many daily orders do you receive?
Since we are bootstrapped, we have put up our marketing campaign to keep an optimum influx of queries so that we can ensure the quality of the education and fulfilment of the services. In the quest for structuring the market, currently, we are processing around 11-14 queries on a daily basis.
3. Explain the different types of services that you provide.
We provide experienced and verified home tutors in K-12 academics, skilled coaches for different indoor and outdoor sports activities. We also provide a medium for various dance and music instructors to connect with their potential client.
Customers can track the attendance and duration of sessions. Periodic adaptive assessment tests are taken by our expert panel to ensure the progress. We also provide 3D Models and video-push, conceptualized coursework for a better understanding of the subject. Regular feedback sessions are conducted to provide proper guidance and free counsel.
4. How can the customer reach you?
We have reached out to our customers through online and offline campaigning. About 50% of our customers reach us through referrals. Customers can reach us through our website, facebook page and listings from various online and offline portals.
5. Do you have any technological incorporation into your operations?
We are using a Machine Learning based matchmaking algorithm to filter out suitable tutors/trainers according to the preferences of our users. The algorithm assesses various data points such as preferred locality of the tutors, distance optimization from their ongoing classes, rating based on the progress of their students, experience and qualification. It also checks for any possible clashes of timing with the ongoing sessions.
In the upcoming month, we will be launching our Expert App to keep a real-time attendance of every session and also provide customized coursework along with video-push to help the student grasp the concept.
6. How do you plan on scaling Edhusk in the next 2 years?
We will be launching a Personalized Batch classes from session 2019 with an aim to integrate 3D models and customized videos for coursework to enable visualizations through practical applications. These classes will be conducted with the collaboration with schools and home centres. We are aiming to expand our services in more 5 cities in a span of 2 years and provide 10,000+ opportunities to our experts in different cities.
An online platform will be introduced on our website where students can track their subject knowledge based on the evaluation of our customized tests and get help from our subject experts to clear subsequent doubts.
We will be collaborating with the schools to select students and prepare them for various state and national level Olympiads, SpellBee competitions, Sports tournaments and cultural events.
7. Kindly tell us about your competitors?
In this segment, on-demand platforms like UrbanPro, UrbanClap, Qriyo and others provide these services among a list of many other services.
Besides, competition in the sector includes online learning platforms such as Byju, Vedantu and MeritNation.
There are some ‘smart classroom’ platforms like Educomp and iProf.
8. How much time on an average do you take to complete an order?
With the help of our state of art matchmaking algorithm, tutors/ coaches are filtered according to our customer’s preferences. We ensure to schedule a demo session within 24 hours from the time we have verified the details of the requirements with the customers.
9. Why did you choose Jaipur to establish your startup?
We chose Jaipur, our native place, as our first city to build our full flashed product because being in a known locality gives the much-needed boost in the initial stages of refining the process. Jaipur also provides a much needed economic advantage as well as the resources to grow a startup such as a network of highly skilled investors & founders and government support. Flourishing market conditions play a perfect role in making a structured marketplace.
3 Accessories (Fast Moving Luxury Goods)
Startup Name: Kesya
CEO: Divya Shekhawat
Luxury brands have often been associated with the core competences of creativity in design, exclusivity, craftsmanship, precision, high quality, innovation and premium pricing. These products attributes give the consumers the satisfaction of not only owning expensive items but the extra-added psychological benefits like esteem, prestige and a sense of a higher status quo that reminds them and others that they belong to an exclusive group of only a select few, who can afford these pricey items.
Two young entrepreneurs from Jaipur saw the absence of a luxury brand in the men accessories market. It didn’t take them long to transmute this gap into an opportunity and this is how Kesya was incepted in the year 2015 by Shivangani Singh & Divya Shekhawat which is now emerging as a powerful luxury brand for accessories.
Starting off with a stall in an exhibition, Kesya’s primary products were cufflinks and buttons for sherwanis/bandhgala suits. Apparently the market for these products is men from the corporate sector and the wedding market and a huge chunk of Kesya’s turnover comprises of bulk gifting from both the wedding and corporate sectors.
“Kesya’s design inspirations come from the architecture of forts and palaces, Rajput insignias and polo matches; old inherited heirlooms, jewellery, paintings, and art pieces. All of these are available in plenty in Jaipur and Rajasthan. Besides this, Jaipur has been and is famous for its skilled artisans. Such talent is hard to come by elsewhere. These two reasons make it ideal for Jaipur being the base of our production” explained Shivangani, the artist behind the eye-locking designs of Kesya.
Kesya has its head office and studio located in the pink city of Jaipur and has launched its website www.kesyajaipur.com in starting this year . Accessories from Kesya are also available at the Good Earth stores across India, Vivek Sahni's boutique store 'Vayu' in New Delhi, Nimai, IK Collective and Arjan Duggal in Delhi, Deval in Ahmedabad, Hotel Suryagarh in Jaisalmer, Rukmani and Royal Heritage Haveli in Jaipur.
Internationally, Kesya is stocked by Poosh in Lagos, Nigeria and Ramalaya (Babar Mahal Revisited) in Kathmandu, Nepal.
“Since inception Kesya has been catering to men. This worked to our advantage as most creative accessory brands start out with women as their target market. We had lower competition. However, last year we ventured into women's jewellery and accessories. Most of our products use sterling silver which is accentuated with either enamel or semi precious stones. In the future we see ourselves working with precious metals and stones. We want to grow our exports and therefore are working towards product lines that suite various internationally aesthetic sensibilities”. Quoted Shivangani about Kesya’s future expansion plans.
The duo has always gone with their instinct & worked on reinventing old and classic designs. The products have affordable pricing & yet have all the elements of luxury. This seems to be working for the brand.
“Our strategy has been shaped by experience. Over the past two years, we have noticed that for a start up being picked up, approved and appreciated buy the right social influencers works well than the regular tools of marketing. In short, word of mouth really works! However, we must add that social media especially our campaigns on Instagram bring in a lot of online business. To be successful in India, it is both necessary to gauge the financial potential as well as the mindset of the Indian luxury consumer. This will help in bringing forth the right product offerings to the Indian consumer as well as targeting them better”. Quoted Divya who is responsible for marketing and management at Kesya.
To scale up the production & offline presence the duo is open for funds as angel or vc funding. We wish them luck and move on to our next start-up in the list. To shop or contact Kesya visit www.kesyajaipur.com
4 Construction, Infrastructure, Repair/Maintenance
Company Name: Mr. Repair
CEO: Bharat Sharma
Mr. Repair, a one-stop destination for local services, commenced its operations in 2015 as a service provider for the corporate sector as well as residential property maintenance services firm in Jaipur. Jaipur being a tier II city has a fair number of corporates as well as middle-class household as potential customer base. Corporates encounter challenges of unregistered vendors, lack of paperwork and customer support (during or post-service) for residential clients. “We see a huge requirement for an annual maintenance contracts/ subscription models in technical maintenance services for corporate clients with multiple city location offices. These corporates present an immense opportunity to expand geographically and provide a recurring stream of income. If tapped properly, one can acquire new projects and build a loyal customer base as an add-on business. Technical service base business has certainly a huge market,” explicates Bharat.
"We believe building a brand doesn’t take million it takes imagination and life time dedication"
At the start, it was difficult to connect with technicians and modulate their way of working; eventually an in-house team of 20+ technicians and 70+ associates (off role) technical staffs were formed. “For managing this team and database of 25-30 leads on a daily basis, we have developed customized ERP software which has evolved after several trial and errors. Now, we are planning to license out this valuable process in a franchise format,” informs Bharat. Apart from these backend developments, the company has managed to accomplish large scale projects with Shobha Ltd., Amazon, Uber India system, Dunes Harley, Larsen & Toubro, Godrej and a few govt. tech-based projects. It has served 10,000+ customers and 20-25 annual maintenance contracts in different A-List companies too.
The company operates in four kinds of formats simultaneously – retail business leads which include quick maintenance services such as plumber, electrician carpenters,air conditioner and electronics repair, pest control,
water proofing and fabrication work; recurring nature of contracts like AMC, installation of products; large scale volume projects such as renovation , revamp, electrification projects, complete structural civil work and consumable inventory items for industries and offices such as fire extinguishers, biometric, CCTV and its accessories, different dispensers and furnishing items such as blinds , industrial curtains, amongst others.
Our Pink City startup list ends here, keep looking into my space for more info on startups. Let's all wish these infant ventures a great luck ahead. Thank You for making our cities smarter and beautiful to live in.