Startups in India: Six Startups that have made waves

In the recent years, India has seen a new energy infused in its startup ecosystem. Some of these startups have made their impact felt both in India and abroad. Many of the young entrepreneurs behind these startups have inspiring stories to tell. It did take a lot of courage to leave well-paying jobs or a potential secure career in order to launch a startup. Courage and perseverance and the willingness to work hard and stretch their capabilities are some of the qualities required behind launching a startup. One also needs to be at the right place and at the right time and understand the needs of the market.

The success stories of these startups have blazed a trail in the wake of which other entrepreneurs are soon bound to follow. Let us consider the success stories of some Indian startups that have been making waves. In the long run, these startups are beneficial for the Indian economy.

  1. Flipkart – Flipkart, founded in 2007, is one of the most well-known and oldest brands that has now become a household name. The founders of Flipkart were IIT Delhi alumni Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal. Flipkart has been attracting a lot of investors in the recent years as it demonstrates the unparalleled success of ecommerce businesses in India. According to the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Venture Source Report, Flipkart ranks among the top five billion-dollar startups in the world with a valuation of USD 11 billion. In 2014, Flipkart acquired Myntra, an online fashion brand. Although Flipkart initially started by selling books in 2007, it now sells over 30 million products from over 70 categories including media, electronics, books, clothes and personal care. They also offer services like In-a-day guarantee across 50 cities, In-a-day delivery and Same-Day Delivery guarantee across 30 cities. It is safe to say that Flipkart is poised for greater success in the coming years.
  2. Myntra – Myntra started almost at the same time as Flipkart, back in 2007 by IIT graduates Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena and offered online customised gifts to consumers. It gradually moved to retail and shifted its focus to branded garments. In May 2014, in what remains as the largest deal till date in the Indian online consumer platform, Myntra was acquired by Flipkart for USD 330 million.
  3. Culture Machine –In July 2013, two like-minded entrepreneurs, Venkat Prasad, former product manager at YouTube, and Sameer Pitalwalla, former director of video and celebrity at Disney India, established Culture Machine, a media company. The network has over 350 channels across many categories like news, music, lifestyle, beauty, makeup and comedy. 80 percent of its viewers are below the age of 30, and the company’s channels have more than 100 million views in a month.
  4. Urban Ladder – Urban Ladder is a Bangalore-based company founded by Ashish Goel, who had worked for brands like McKinsey and Amar Chitra Katha. Eager to start out on his own, he paired up with his schoolmate Rajiv Srivatsa and launched an online store selling furniture. Ashish found it intriguing that there was no online furniture store in India and understood the need of the hour. Urban Ladder obtained a seed capital of USD 1 million in 2012 from Kalaari capital and flourished rapidly. In 2014, Ratan Tata became an investor-cum-mentor for the company.
  5. OYO Rooms – The budget hotel startup, OYO Rooms was founded in 2011 by Ritesh Agarwal, who became India’s youngest millionaire entrepreneur at 21. Ritesh’s story would serve as an inspiration for many youngsters. It is a matter of irony that Ritesh was thrown out of his rented home in New Delhi because he could not pay the rent and had to spend the night on a stairway. He had come to New Delhi for higher education, but it took him only three days to realize that he did not want to waste his time on formal education. After dropping out of college, he launched a bed-and-breakfast chain called Oravel Stays, which became Oyo Rooms at a later stage. What started with one hotel in a city in 2013 has grown to having rooms in more than 8500 hotels across 230 cities, as of date.
  6. Swiggy – Swiggy is a food delivery startup founded by BITS Pilani alumni Sriharsha Majety and Nandan Reddy in collaboration with Rahul Jaimini, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, in late 2014. Within eight months of its inception, it attracted investments worth USD 2 million. Swiggy is unique in the sense that it has its own delivery team with staff members who pick up food from restaurants and deliver it directly to customers. The company employs techniques like time tracking and a reliable delivery system to ensure a smooth user experience. Customers have access to almost all restaurants in Bangalore. Swiggy has also expanded its business to other major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Startup success stories serve as a lesson for everyone that with grit and determination, no achievement is impossible. With faith and confidence, one can easily reach for the stars.

Author – Jagari Mukherjee