Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Taxi for Sure #my favorite startup no. 6

Plato was a 100% right when he said "Necessity is the mother of Invention"  Little issues that often go unnoticed are the ones that have a brilliant solution, a solution so powerful and enthusiastic that it can lead you into a business, not just any business but a passionate one! Anyone who enters Bangalore have always had an issue dealing with the auto guys right? While the autowala's here assume that everyone who lives in/visits Bangalore is an IT person earning like Bill Gates, the next best option is a cab. Yes, i agree there are the big red AC buses, but they are not always matching our choice of comfort and convenience. 

Raghunandan and Aprameya Radhakrishnan were two good friends who frequently traveled around the country when working and often faced issues with cab services. So what do you think they did? Definitely they were no quitters! 

Let me tell you about my favorite startup no. 6 and it is called Taxi for Sure.

With an aim to make our taxi-prone lives easier, two IIM grads came up with a brilliant idea to aggregate the Taxi industry in India. Anytime, any place, any kind of taxi, login to taxtforsure.com or call 60601010 and you are sure to get a cab when in need. Information about Prices, taxi availability, etc. are just a call/click away with taxiforsure! Now you may ask how is this any different from calling the regular cab guys? The answer is, instead of calling 3, 4 operators where you could go all explaining about where you are, when you need the cab blah blah..and finally figure out he was not available but was just listening to your long sad story, taxi for sure lets you pick from a wide range of cabs; be it of any provider easily and quickly.

They currently have more than 1000 cars under their wing. So how do they do it? No, they don't own all those cars! They have partnered with various cab service providers both from the organized and unorganized cab service industry. Whenever you hire a cab through them, a share of the fare you pay goes to Taxi for sure. This share differs depending on whether it is an organized or unorganized cab service provider. That's a smart idea to cut on huge investment. isn't it?

They started operations in 2011. Initially they started off in Delhi and Bangalore and are now planning to expand to other major metro cities in the country.

So, next time you are out their getting late or going to a party, you know how to get a cab with no hassles!

You can check out their website here: http://www.taxiforsure.com

P.S: Like i always say, this is just an info share and no marketing startegy!

Image and Info: Internet

Untill my next post on my favorite startup no: 7....

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Varied Inclinations

Are you aware that Asia alone accounts to 44.8% of the Internet users around the world? (According to Internet World Stats) Internet has made the world smaller and closer. Here’s a glimpse into a small survey conducted by me on what interests Netizens like us the most…

Social Networking is the widely chanted word today. So, it obviously bags the first place. Doesn’t it?  Like we all know, it’s not just the youth that fall under this belt, but people of other age groups as well. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, MySpace, FourSquare, Pinterest, Instagram, so on and so forth, the list is never ending. I recently came across a study conducted by Pew Surveys, which quotes that 50% of all adults use Social Networking and 65% of all adult Internet users are into Social Networking. Doesn’t sound surprising to me!

According to my study, people have said that they prefer Social Networking this extensively because it serves as a platform for them to express and voice out their opinions in public
without having to feel embarrassed or ashamed (which could be the case with people having the fear of public speaking). Time and again, they have found Social Networking to be an easy way of staying in touch with people from both past and present.

Today, Social networking has become a one stop solution for multiple activities. We make friends, have important events reminded, share opinions, post pictures, post videos, get jobs, shop online, play games, stay connected and what not. The world just shrunk for good ha?   In recent times, we are also witnessing how Social Networks have become influential and contagious.

The second most visited platform is e-commerce. Not a tough guess again! All the people surveyed have tried online shopping atleast once. Online stores like E-bay, Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, etc. have revolutionized the whole concept of Shopping. Netizens believe that Online Shopping not only saves them time and added costs (like travelling charges) but also provides them with better options with less or no effort. Well that’s certainly the prime reason for using e-commerce. Isn’t it?

 Price Comparison Social Engines like Junglee.com, Price Grabber, etc. let users compare products, prices and lucrative offers on a single platform. Special Deals and offers are what most of the consumers look out for, they say. Students opine that e-commerce sites like Amazon provide the best deals for them especially during festive seasons. They see Amazon as very economical and they also say that the packages are delivered safely before the deadlines.

Apart from these, Netizens say that they mostly visit sites that help them keep track of the latest trends and happenings around the world which otherwise becomes time consuming considering their modern lifestyle. The traffic to other professional sites is however less in comparison to the major ones mentioned above since they are more restricted in terms of their relevance to people of all streams. 

All said and done, what’s your favorite site?

Statistics Source: Internet

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Indian Bean.com #my favorite startup no. 5

I have read scores of articles and experiences of people who say how important coffee is to them, how a cup of coffee can ward off all their tensions, how coffee is like an emotional spa to their senses and so on. I cannot specifically define the love and affection people share with a cup of coffee, because i am not into the habit of consuming coffee. Anyhow, from all the stuff i got to read, written by and for coffee lovers, all i can decipher is, it's magical and an out of the world experience for them!

How far would you go to get the best coffee in town? One km? two? ten? How would the coffee lover in you feel if i told you that the best coffee shall be delivered straight at your door step?

The other day i got to read a magazine and i came across this wonderful startup that dealt with this one special delicacy, coffee! If not for the love of coffee, i decided to share this story considering the love for startups that has rubbed off on me. 

So here comes the story of my favorite startup no. 5 and it is called "The indian bean.com"

The Indianbean.com brings to you the most relished coffee from the best coffee estates. Yes, you heard me right, because theindianbean.com is one of the online portals that has transported the coffee world online! They sell estate filter coffee that is handpicked from the estates of Coorg and Kodaikanal. 

They are a startup based in Mumbai. The story goes as: Kunal Ross, the founder and CEO of theindianbean.com was an ardent coffee lover himself. He had observed that 60-80% of the best quality Indian coffee beans were being exported to other countries leaving our own produce to go scanty.  Moreover, though we have many reputed coffee outlets here like the CCD, Baritsa, etc. they aren't really affordable on a daily basis. This problem needed a solution and  Kunal fortunately had one! 

They currently sell two varieties of coffee: one being, Frowner's coffee from Kodaikanal, which is a non certified organic variety, while the other is the Appa's coffee from Coorg, which is   a certified non-organic variety also known as the "baap of all coffees" Recently they have also started selling a new variety called the Watapi, which is a 100% arabica coffee coming from the prestigious B.R hills of Karnataka.

The best part is, once the order is taken, they roast the beans based on the customer's choice and it is delivered within 2-3 days! The people of Mumbai have an advantage here: i.e. no delivery charges! Now that's a bonus! Their packaging is very elegant and impressive too!

Check out the website here : http://theindianbean.com/

P.S: Just to remind you again, this is no marketing strategy, just an info. share. Hope you like it :)

Images and Info. : Internet

Untill my next post on my favorite startup no. 6...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Do you know the recipe for a successful startup?

Recently i happened to witness a presentation on "Do s and Don't s of a successful Business Plan" by Ms. Nandini Vaidyanathan, founder and mentor at Carma Connect. She is a mentor for entrepreneurs in and out of Indian, giving the best advice in the fitting of ways! Now, her talk was not just regular, it was rather mind blowing, so much so that i decided to share some insights from her talk with you guys!

Changing your FB status to Self Employed/ Entrepreneur,  takes more than just an FB account. So, i have jotted down some pointers from her presentation, that are necessary to set up a successful startup! 

1) Before you start building your business, the most rudimentary and  important part is the "IDEA". It is the foundation for your business. In today's world most of the ideas are "me-too" ones, meaning, there's barely any innovation! So, let your idea be a game changing one. Go original! Go fresh!
2) Once the idea is finalized, bring it to the table and start discussing it! Ask people to valuate your idea. However, remember not to get it valuated by people who are either left with no option but to say "great" or by people who are greatly impressed by the very word of a startup! Grab a list of all your worst critics and get them to work on their most revengeful review and Snap! you'll have the right opinion coming your way. Now Fix your idea!
3) No money, no business! So, when it's time to look out for investors, always remember that it is certainly your headache and yours alone to convince the big guy! He/she might look at the fruits, while you look at the roots! Never mind! because it is just a perception mismatch! Once you get past it, life becomes easier.


4) You have now setup a sweet little business of your own! It is evident that you can't handle it all alone, so you decide to hire people, your team! Watch out ! because at this juncture, you are responsible for your team's performance. If you hire anyone who knocks at your door, it shall be a wrong move! Believe in your business! If not experienced, atleast hire capable people who share the same passion as you and then watch them work magic for your startup!

5) Build a strong Differentiation! When you sell cupcakes in a space where there are 10 others like you, find the one reason that separates you from the crowd, let's say a cherry on the top. If that's the cherry people have been looking out for thus far, they are already on their way to your store! Dare to be different! That's where the game begins!
6) Finally, focus on the future as well! As important as "today" is, bear in mind that "tomorrow" is no far away! Be ahead of your time and come up with a logical and achievable Business plan that will be your guide all along!

Right from the stage of idea generation to execution, cook a nice dish that is not just liked by you, but by all ! Be specific and focused. After all you don't want a Recipe of Disaster!

P.S: Please note that all the concepts quoted above have been delivered by Ms. Nandini Vaidyanathan. They have been rephrased, embellished and coated with some examples by me for the benefit of the readers from a blog's perspective.

Untill my next post ...

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Chic Factor #my favorite startup no.4

Impressions may be hard to make , but trust me be it dark or fair, tall or short, fat or lean, "well-dressed" people always get their share of attention! Don't you think? Well, that's because, when you are well dressed, you  possess a whiff of confidence around you that makes you  feel special! All said and done, i am not here to lecture you about the importance of dressing sense, rather i am here to talk about my favorite startup no. 4 

This startup is a chic store started for all those wonderful girls and women out there who aim to look their best every day on every occasion! and it is called the "Chic Factor

The story of this startup is no less interesting than its very name! Who would have thought a regular Facebook page talking about fashion would turn into an International label today? However, it's all in the way it is worked out. Right? Chic factor was started by a bunch of girls in 2010 who are as fashion-inclined as their own customers! So, they initially came up with a very interesting online Magazine, that talked about Fashion, Beauty tips, Skin care, Hair care and what not! That colorful magazine called "Chic Factor Gazette" soon went viral and became a-must-visit page! 

Is it not obvious that the person who gives you the best fashion advice is the one you go shopping with? Well, that's what Chic Factor did! They started putting up some awesome stuff  for sale on their Facebook page and all the girlies started loving it! I have had a personal experience buying accessories from them and trust me, their stuff is truly incredible! Their packaging is totally adorable and makes one feel mega special!

Now they have transformed into a full fledged e-commerce store called the "Chic Factor Store" They have an amazing collection of accessories, eye-wear, bags, apparel and what not! Anything and Everything that would make a girl happy, they have it in there! 

Their online store, their social engagement with  customers are worth an appreciation! Chic Factor succeeds in keeping it fresh and interesting, though it is quite a task given the changing moods and fashion preferences of people! Their aim is to make the world Chicanomical, they say, and when it comes to this, they are certainly doing a fantastic job i must say!

Check out their website here: https://chicfactorstore.com/ and i am sure you'll not return empty handed!

Information and Images Source: Chic Factor

P.S: Like i always say, this isn't a marketing startegy! It's  mere info sharing. Hope you liked it :)

Untill my next post on my favorite startup no. 5...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Beard Design #my favorite startup no. 3

When people ask me what my favorite advertisement is, i often quote "Nokia Lumia 800: The Amazing Everyday" because i think it's jaw dropping how they show the most routine activities in the most creative of ways! Enough to make everyday so fresh and new! (for those who missed it, here's the ad : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1qTbs8K3go)

Well my point is, we barely like routine do we? Well if you do, then this post is definitely not for you! If "Perspective", "out of the box", "divergent thinking" and "creativity" are some of your pet words then, welcome aboard because today i am about to talk about a very unique and interesting startup.

This is my favorite startup no. 3 and it is called "Beard Design"

Beard Design is certainly one of those startups who swear by the "anti-routine" rules. They are into Branding, Design, Package designing, etc. They are specialized in Designing and that's necessarily their oxygen. They leave their creative footprint in every task they take up! For instance when they were asked to come up with some innovative designing  for a startup called Vserv, so that their office would look cool and this is what they came up with!

Wow right? Who would think Monday is boring anymore? Any day and Everyday would be so excitingly refreshing in such a work environment. If this thrilled you, hold on because, they were later asked to come up with a brand identity for another startup named Tea Trunk, that procures and sells gourmet tea and this is what they came up with
Impressive? Elegant? Well, i guess when you actually take a look at the work they have done so far, you would just go speechless. Now coming to the part, where we uncover the story, Beard Design is a startup based in Goa. (now you see where the inspiration comes from huh? ) It was started by Abhishek Sarda, who ventured into different jobs before he narrowed down to his passion. He previously worked for PPT Saloon, he even sold handmade soaps at a flea market before that. Every startup has a mantra: Now what's theirs? They offer their services  exclusively to startups. You would ask why and the answer goes like this.. Like i said, they hate rules that take you nowhere and they are routine averse. So they stick to startups that are as open minded and risk loving as they are. So true because people like people like them and that helps them work better with each other! 

If you take a glimpse at their website, you cannot help but notice their distinctiveness, not to mention their attention to detail,  which is a blend of both professionalism and playfulness (in the positive sense) 

I am no designer, yet i love this startup for their fresh designs that leave me awe struck everytime i see them! If making mere normal things look highly different is considered magic, trust me these guys have a bunch of magic wands in there.

You can check out their website here: http://bearddesign.in/ I am sure you'll love it :)

P.S: Like i always say, this is only sharing and no marketing move! Hope you liked it !

Source(Information and Images): http://bearddesign.in/

Untill my next post on my favorite startup no. 4...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Gas Relief.com # my favorite startup no. 2

Innovative things to do, interesting places to go,  important people to meet and a sudden intestinal gas attack! Not a cool combination. Is it? Definitely not when it's a smelly issue. Time and again we incur this situation and are left helpless. That's exactly when we dial our grannies  and beg for help! Why? because they are reliable and they often suggest remedies that are both effective and devoid of side affects.

However, as our life just got drastically digital, granny's advice has now been replaced by Google. Again, you may not always land up with the right solution here. What a pain huh!?  Did you ever think how it would  be if we had an online platform that gave us the right advice at the right time just like our good old grannies!? 

With that question lingering in your mind, let me tell you about my favorite startup no. 2,  Gasrelief.com.

It is the world's first ever non medical site fully focusing on gas and other stomach related issues providing simple yet effective solutions. This company was started by Mr. Vijit Jain, an engineer. Story goes that he once went on a long trip abroad and as changing food patterns left him with gas problems that were recurring and embarrassing  he decided to find a long lasting solution to it. Lots of research and he finally zeroed in on a reliable solution. It was working but it needed to get better! Once it did, it was time for him to spread the word and help others as well. That's when he started Gasrelief.com!

It is not magic beyond understanding! Their solutions are based on simple logic, they say. They work at level 0 trying to nullify the most rudimentary error that had caused the issue in the first place. What better can you get than a happy equilibrium state? Well, that is precisely what gasrelief.com has to offer. Hold on, it gets even better when you get all this without burning a hole in your pockets! True since, gasrelief offers these wonderful services at very affordable prices. 

Though i haven't experienced their services yet (fortunate because i am not affected by such an issue or rather unfortunate that i am unable to pen down my experience with them here) i love their very idea of solving people's problems in such a creative way! Also, i like their little mascot "The Tummy!" 

So, if you are vulnerable to this problem go ahead, here's your solution. If not, don't shy away from visiting their site!! I am sure you will appreciate the idea too :) 

Website: https://www.gasrelief.com/

P.S: Just to remind you! This is no marketing strategy! It's my way of sharing info about my favorite startups. Happy Reading :)

Source: gasrelief.com website and blog.
Until my next post on my third favorite startup.....

Friday, 3 May 2013

CHUMBAK! #My favorite startup no. 1

If you were ever asked to show how much you loved India, what would you do? Sing the National Anthem? Wear a sari/dhoti? Join the army? Well here's a couple who took the fun filled road to showcase India in its truest form to the world!

This is the story of my favorite startup and it's called "Chumbak

Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda are a travel loving couple! Every time they traveled to a new place, they brought back with them a souvenir as a memory of that place! However, they were saddened by the fact that there was nothing much for people to take back from India, despite our rich culture (except for the little Taj Mahals) 

After putting a lot of thought into it, they decided to act upon this need and then came their "Eureka moment" They decided to represent various aspects of India in the form of colorful fridge magnets and that is precisely how Chumbak was born. Chumbak (in hindi meaning a magnet) was started by the duo in 2010. It started off making pretty looking magnets and has spread out its wings gradually into other items. Off late they have come up with over 400 products spread over different categories such as mugs, laptop sleeves, purses, tee shirts, etc. 

Within one month of their inception, they went online! Though they sincerely believe that 85-90% of sales are driven offline, they had seen their online business spring to life pretty soon! Currently their products are available in around 250 outlets across India. Apart from that, they have started operating in Japan and thus far, they are visible in almost 80 stores across Japan, which indeed is a huge achievement! People across the globe have completely fallen in love with Chumbak!

Much said about their business,  it is one of the most interesting startups i have ever come across. I am a huge fan of Chumbak myself! They have a very reliable transaction process combined with timely delivery! Personally i love bright hues and innovative products and every time i order myself a Chumbak  goodie, i am left amazed by  their brilliant design and idea! Not to forget their jaw dropping themes such as, creating a magnet representing each city, things that indians speak, etc. 

A Birthday, Anniversary, be it any occasion, a Chumbak goodie is sure to being a smile. Their online marketing is pretty impressive as well, the way they constantly engage with their fans in Facebook and other social networking sites through contests, quick responses, etc. 

Love the way this startup is successfully changing the way many people see India, be it in or outside the country. Kudos to the initiative!

P.S: This is no Marketing strategy! It is fully and completely my view on Chumbak and i am indeed proud to share the story of my favorite startup! Do not forget to check out their website! I am sure you will love it too :) 

Source: Internet

Cya...Until my next post on my second favorite startup :)