Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Authors Posts by Shristi Sagarika

Shristi Sagarika

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Shristi is a management student from MS Ramaiah Institute of Management, Banglore. Ambivert, passionate and with a knack for story telling, she is a stubborn follower of success.

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Founding team at RentMyStay
Founding team at RentMyStay

RentMyStay was founded by a young and energetic team of Kiran Nagarajappa, Rakesh Kamble, and Nanjunda.
Kiran with 12 years of experience in Product management, Product design and software development has worked on Large Enterprise applications, Algorithmic Trading and Big Data during his tenure at Hewlett Packard, Goldman Sachs, Reach360 and SureWaves.
While, Rakesh Kamble with over 11 years of experience in Product management, Product designs, Product transformation and Software development was associated with Wipro, Unisys and Satyam. Nanjunda, being the youngest founding member is from a business family and has great zest for online marketing.

The Idea and starting phase
While a casual stroll with Kiran, Rakesh expressed his wish to rent a place for 2-3 months to stay closer to his under construction house to oversee the final finishes, but realized how difficult it was to get home for such a short-term. Kiran also recollected that he had the same need when he was on a sabbatical in Kodaikanal and this sparked the idea of RentMyStay.
They wanted an innovative name that could reflect both the Owners’ and Tenants’ perception toward the venture. Thus, the title RentMyStay came into existence which bears binary meaning. For the owners, it means that they could rent their space and for the tenants it implies that they can rent their stay.

Market and Competition
Diving into the vast sea of rental market was the real challenge for RentMyStay. And to stand out among all the players demanded a placard of innovation. To achieve this, the founders brought in the approach of flexi rentals without hefty advances.
Apparently, people now rent homes for any duration and stay closer to their work places through RentMyStay. The agony of commuting from one end to another end in a bustling city is eliminated. Guests book homes for a couple of days, weeks or months without any restriction.

RentMyStay works with the owners on an exclusive arrangement and enables them to rent homes on flexi rentals by eliminating the traditional long-term leasing system. As a result, owners earn more rental income whereas, guests save 40% or more compared to hotel stays. The effective cost at their platform is much lower than service apartments or hotels. The cost being inversely proportional to the duration of stay is another added advantage.

Competition is from players such as Airbnb, local service apartments. But according to them, being the first player to provide homes with various amenities and malleable leasing rates gives them an edge over other online platforms.

Challenges and road ahead
The struggle during initial days of business has taught to be more frugal, focused and follow the lean approach, shares the team. The group also prides itself in finding revenue sources in a short span and turning the organisation into a self-sustaining one. The effort to locate a couple of investors for the expansion of the business is still under progress.
The group admits, RentMyStay was not just a start-up experiment. It was their dream project, their passion for life. Giving up a professional job, convincing the loved ones for just an abstract idea was not effortless. Despite of all the hindrances endured, they pursued their objective.

Thoughts for aspiring entrepreneurs
The team believes that success of a start-up is not based on a great idea but on execution. One should not strive to mould a perfect idea. The idea engrave itself and transcends to the next level only when the team builds a prototype and talks to a lot of customers.
They conclude with a simple note, Apple weren’t the first to create a smart phone. Google wasn’t the first search company. They all just did it better than the competitors.

website: http://rentmystay.com

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BANGKOK, THAILAND - DEC 2 : Canon booth showing their new technology and sell their product in special price at Photo Fair DEC 20, 2012 in Bitec Bangna, Bangkok, Thailand.

Shatomita Sudippto Ghosh, a rank holder in MBA from University of Kolkata, believes that being an entrepreneur is not a job but it’s a way of life. With a dream of owning a venture, she idealized of bridging the gap between the event organizers and the enterprises that are willing to sponsor events. So she started with Sponsor Source. The Sponsor Source was launched in Feb 2014 and till it has stepped many steps of success.
She also served her service as a volunteer at Headstart Foundation, which has been working for 7 years in building and nurturing the startup ecosystem of the country. She is part of its recently launched ‘Women Entrepreneur’ [WE] initiative, where they understand the challenges faced by the women entrepreneurs and addresses them through Headstart Network.

What is Sponsor Source?

Sponsor source is on a mission to make the unorganized domain of event sponsorship, a transparent and data driven one by creating a platform. This tool is for the marketers of large enterprises and SMBs to help and quicken their decision regarding their event participation. Being on the transition phase, Sponsor Source trying to improve themselves. The MarkeXchange idea came in as she progressed. Markexchange is purely a social initiative supported by SponsorSource.

MarkeXchange is an educational platform, a platform for marketers, a social initiative where the marketers can exchange views and experiences on marketing trends and realities learn from each other and become better informed in the process. This is where the real issues faced by the marketers come to the fore. Well known marketing strategists, senior professionals and thought leaders from India and abroad, are the speakers in the Markexchange Forum, sharing their knowledge and insights on marketing.

How it works?
At Sponsor Source they help event enthusiasts to market and get sponsorships for the events. They connect with the targeted brands, corporate and industry segment and secure the most appropriate sponsorship, on behalf of the events.

  • Sponsor Source shortlists and creates option. Event organizer gets benefits from ready to use resources.
  • Sponsor Source deploys resources required for marketing, spreading word for sponsorships.
  • Service comes FREE optionally, you may choose monthly subscription plan for assured benefits.

Idea and beginning

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Any success in life must always begin with a vision. Shatomita always dreamt of owning a venture. The idea of Sponsor Source was in her thought which, according to her, was making a good business sense. Leaving the well salaried job, overnight, and working on the venture, was her sole decision. After the name was decided, Shatomita launched her company in Feb 2014. Since then, she never looked back and stepped the ladder of success. Their team members are increasing and they are concentrating and working to build a product.

Barriers to women entrepreneurship
What a man can do, a woman can do better, there are women who have risen above their circumstance and taken the entrepreneurial bull by the horn. These business-savvy ladies inspire other women with dreams of founding startups, but many female business owners still face significant obstacles because of their gender. Data shows that in India only 10% of all the entrepreneurs are the entrepreneurs who are women. Shatomita says, “Women do face many social challenges and perception related issues; once addressed, they can participate in large numbers to boost the percentage.” In the era of 21st century, when there is no difference in male and female, there still exists a difference in reality. Women have to fight with the odds at home, within family as well along with at the company, her workplace. One can’t escape from the basic responsibilities and duties of their personal life. Instead, they have to handle double. In this fight, women need a supportive partner and family. Today, a serious women entrepreneur needs to be bold, brave and presentable to make other, feel their existence.

Aggression, thinking big, risk taking appetite and execution in real life are the new buzzwords for the serious new age women entrepreneurs of today.

Challenges
Owning success is not impossible but not easy too. For a women to come out of her comfort zone and working as an independent entrepreneur, raises many if and buts. When Shatomita decided to choose her own path to walk, the frictions raised from her family. As it’s a bootstrapped venture, finance is a major issue. Low revenue brought toughness in starting which disallowed her to invest in good resource and hence depending on fresher’s & interns and they were highly volatile.
Customer acquisition was another challenge. They are operating with zero marketing budgets. Sponsorship marketing to the enterprises is a service where there’s cent percent human engagement and intervention is involved. Hence, through their personalized services, they also help event organizers to connect with the interested enterprises that are willing to sponsor the event.
It is difficult to get the people who believe in your idea, your dream and make their own. Building up the core trustworthy team is a challenge for her. The situation of a start up is totally different than a traditional business idea. One needs to be patient and avoid being panic on low returns. Shatomita is rebuilding her core team.
Above all the difficulties, she also thanks for the good people who helped her in her initiative. People learn from their mistake and so she learned to be optimistic and confident, no matter what the situation is.

Achievements
When you make your dream alive with a great start, is the greatest achievement of an entrepreneur. However, seeing Hannover Milano Fairs India Pvt Ltd. in the client list is a good thing. There are client testimonials explaining how SponsorSource and MarkeXchange have helped them, these have added value and how they are useful to them. Personally, she feels happy when her six year old son tells her that he wants to be an entrepreneur.

Advice
Shatomita belives that Focus towards your work is very important to enjoy the taste of success as it is very easy to get off your focus in this luxurious world.

Links:
Website: http://www.sponsorsource.in/
Email: connect@sponsor-source.com
Phone: 91 90359 60050

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strollup
strollup

If you are a working professional who is outgoing, I am sure you get stuck with this question every now and then, “What to do and Where to go out?”. Sometimes you spend a lot of time on blogs and websites to find places for your perfect date. Sometimes you call your friends to know about the best places to go. Still you think, you are missing out on lots of happening things and experiences in the city. Have you ever wished for a solution to plan your evening, which also lets you know about new experiences that you would love?

Wait no more! StrollUp is launching its Android App “Plan Your Day Out” for Delhi & Bangalore very soon. It provides complete outing itinerary for a single day, crafted with best activities and places for your outings in your city. You can signup here to get notified about their launch.

What is StrollUp?

StrollUp is creating a single platform for all types of activities (food, drinks, movies, events, shopping, bowling, trending places, tourist attractions etc.) and gives outing recommendations based on user mood, occasion and choices. It would be a location based app, which gives you plans based on the activity you want to do and the people you are going out with. Other than this, you can explore trending places, fun places, late night spots, special attractions, and quiet places, across various categories that we cover. You can also personalize the app based on your likes and interests and then never worry about missing out on anything.

Screenshots from the App
Screenshots from the App

Future Plans

In their next few updates, StrollUp will help user find best places for birthdays, team outings and other special occasions. Moreover, as nobody goes out alone, why should you plan alone. They would also be focusing on building group planning capabilities in our app.

Our expert says, you only have 12 hours in a week to go out. We give you more time for your outings and save you from hassle of creating your perfect outing plans.

Journey so Far

StrollUp was started by 3 friends (Abhishek, Ankur, Siddharth) from IIT-D and DCE in Jan, 2014. They launched their website in Sept, 2014 for Delhi. In the next 3 months, they added category Movies, launched in Bangalore and reached their first 1000 users.

Now, they have more than 10k monthly active users in Delhi and Bangalore. If you are looking for an awesome intern-ship with them, please send your resume at careers@strollup.in

To get more friends to use StrollUp and ensure a great outing from next time, make sure you share this article with them.

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Truck Suvidha Logo

With almost all businesses going online there is a certain requirement for the logistics industry. The customer had to face a lot of difficulties while transporting materials from one city to another. The entire process is being handled manually with the customer going from transporter to transporter to look for the best possible option available. Also the choice was limited to the capacity of the customer to work. The service providers had to wait for customers all day long to get some work.

The solution to this problem lies in a new venture namely Trucksuvidha.com. Trucksuvidha.com is an emerging company whose main aim is to link logistics with E-commerce and they are moving forward with their aim. This site is for the needs of the transport industry.

How it started

Amit Punaini is a businessman by profession who is always passionate about new ventures. His vision to make the use of technology to uplift the society led to this venture. With an aim to organize the unorganized sector he believes that change is for the good and we should adapt to it. Ishu Bansal is a software engineer by profession who has a vision. A vision to own a startup that make a difference. As it is said like minds think alike, he with his technology and Amit with his resources and set on a path to bring about some change for the greater good of the society. Both come from good industry background but they felt that it was not their calling. One fine day, both were discussing the problems faced by truck drivers and decided to solve it by organizing things using web technologies. This is when TruckSuvidha came into being.

With this project they were targeting the logistics industry. Trucks was center behind the entire idea. This industry faces a huge gap and truckers are the people who face a difficult time most of all.

“One evening over a cup of tea my friend suggested that this is a Suvidha for the transport industry (Suvidha in Hindi meaning facility or help), so why not name it TruckSuvidha, as we felt this would particularly help truckers.” – mentions Amit when asked about the name of startup.

Market and Vision

After 9’o clock when you travel on national highways, you see a lot of trucks. Now add those to the ones going all across India. This is the actual size of the market that TruckSuvidha is targeting. The future would be you get to sit home and book a truck as per your choice to move stuff for moving a household.

I want to bring the entire transport industry online.

TruckSuvidha comes with a unique concept in the domain, ease of use and the a lot of information. This is a unique concept combined with a lot of field work and a host of people ready to be a part of it. Under current marketing strategy, they are working on facebook and twitter communities. Recently they have joined hands with Pranbandhan, an annual fest of IIT Kanpur. “As of now we are still in the implementation stage, once we launch the site we will identify the competitors and work accordingly.” – says Amit when asked about the competition in the sector.

As of now, the company is self-funded by the two partners. They are open to sponsors and franchise option as of now.

Revenues and Marketing

The revenues and margins are good for the logistics industry. Truck Suvidha would be earning through advertisements, packages etc. As of now breakeven would take at least 2-3 years. With over 22000 likes on their facebook page and over 5000 twitter followers, they are looking to engage people over internet and make them aware of the facilities available on the portal. Also, they have just booked a stall at IITF for 2014 to be put up at Tech Mart introducing this concept of logistics industry online.

Challenges and Road Ahead

When asked about the challenges int he journey, they sum it up as:

“I won’t say it has been an easy journey. The thought of a startup crossed my mind a thousand times but it took almost 2 years, convincing my distant brother to be a part of this, a resignation, lot of field work which sometimes led to frustration in the end, effort, time, and money. Also, a visit to the Azadpur Mandi and interacting with the people who actually are in this industry led us to believe that we are on the right path. We can bring about a change to their lives. At that moment it was an eye opener. I guess this sums it up in a brief way.”

For the aspiring entrepreneurs, their message is to believe in themselves, as its never too late to start.

Website

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JOBS IIT Team

When it comes to hiring talent, finding the right guy for a position is always a challenge. Same problem is being faced by job seekers when they try to find nice jobs that would satisfy their passion as well as justify their efforts. jobsiit.com is an attempt to find the right balance by bringing together passionate engineers and recruiters willing to provide them with suitable high-caliber jobs.

How it started

“Back in 2011, a very close friend of mine who had lost his job suddenly was applying to every job opening through every possible walk-in interview, every reference he could get and few online portals available to his disposal. However, he could not find any luck and the most disappointing part was the fact that he could not know the status of his job search. Most of the times he would not know if any openings were there, then after submitting the resumes he would wait and wait… and in the interviews that he personally had, he would not even get to hear back from the recruiter at all. It was my friend’s disappointment that led to the idea of Jobsiit.com” – says Ankit Khandelwal, the co-founder of jobsiit.com. Launched back in late 2013, with its tagline “premium jobs for passionate engineers”, the portal plans to disrupt the entire recruitment process through technology by tracking and informing the candidates and recruiter of every steps in the process right from application viewing, shortlist to selection.

Right now working with 1,000+ recruiters, on one hand it aspires to be the largest premium job marketplace for a vast tech pool of experienced/fresher job seekers, on the other, it aims to be a one stop sourcing platform for established companies looking for top-notch tech talent. Simultaneously it plans to be an end-to-end outsourced recruitment solution for start-ups which can’t afford to have their in-house staffing/sourcing team.

jobsiit.com – the name signifies two aspects, firstly a strong focus on jobs for engineering talent and secondly an emphasis on bringing high quality talent to recruiters. Although, the company started with and has a strong foot-hold in connecting recruiters with tech talent from premier Indian engineering institutes like IITs/NITs/IIITs/BITs etc, it has now opened itself to all the engineering graduates and technology professionals. They decided by considering the immense talent pooling outside such top engineering colleges and plethora of requests and consistent demand from the job seekers to provide an equal opportunity playground. And while doing this, they continued to maintain their focus on quality to address the problem of recruiters in finding suitable candidates.

Challenges and road ahead

These are exciting times for the online staffing and recruitment market and, going forward, we see a strong surge in the demand for tech talent – Pooja Kodwani, Head (Business Development & Staffing)

Hundreds of start-ups are sprouting every week and so is the demand for tech talent. Unfortunately, traditional players have not been successfully able to connect recruiters with a vast pool of technical talent available. This has resulted in recruiters wasting hours calling up candidates who are not even interested or browsing through irrelevant resumes. On the other hand what they must be spending their time on is interviewing only interested candidates with relevant skill-set. This is exactly the gap that jobsiit.com is trying to fulfill. They want to be the biggest player in the next 2 years in the technology and engineering job market.
“We see a strong surge in the demand for tech talent” – says Pooja Kodwani.

Currently they are working with most of the top-notch companies in the tech/non-tech domain looking for engineering/tech talent such as Adobe, Amazon, ZS Associates, Mu Sigma, Flipkart, FICO, Grabhouse and many others. One of the globally most reputed companies has repeated the hiring through them three times within the first month of connecting with them. It itself speaks of the quality they are delivering.
They are right now just breaking even and are rapidly growing. They will definitely like to explore partnerships with like-minded financial and strategic players to maintain this growth momentum and enhance their technology offering, and take their firm to the next stage of growth.

Words for Aspiring entrepreneurs

The team at jobsiit.com has the following message for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Don’t worry about the things that could go wrong. In a new business there are so many things that could go wrong that it is easy to focus on them. Instead, focus on what you are doing right, and the problems you have will get resolved.

Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once

Website

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They say ‘You are born alone and die alone’ but in-between these two states of life, we engage day in and day out with many people in different settings, across different mediums to be rightfully termed ‘social creatures’. On this path between the two extremes, it is not about what we are doing rather who we are doing it with, that makes our experience enjoyable. Whether at school, college, office, club or in a locality, on various occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, farewells, parties, housewarming, baby showers, weddings to activities like attending movies, events and so on, we like doing things in a group making our experiences more social.

The Idea

Often daily life problems are picked up by opportunists and turned into a useful product. Something similar can be said about the duo of Ankit Singh and Rohit Taneja who are working towards eliminating the use of ugly phrase “you owe me”. Ankit Singh completed his studies from Delhi College of Engineering and went on to Faculty of Management Studies. He previously worked at Intuit and P&G. Rohit Taneja, product designer at MyPoolin comes from a solid background of IIT Delhi and was working for Sony in Japan.

Ankit Co-founder
Ankit – Co Founder

“Long time back, in campus, we observed our own buddy chasing others for pending money and this was the pain point. This is the fact that the current flow of bank transfers in India and other solutions are not at all seamless” – says Ankit Singh, the Founder of mypoolin.com.

 

Rohit - Co Founder
Rohit – Co Founder

 

They came up with the interesting product – MyPoolin which signifies their pool of friends or group of friends with whom they interacted with on a day-to-day basis. These may be colleagues collecting money for a gift, buddies settling their dinner bills or even neighbors settling their festivities collection.

How it works

To make our experiences social and enjoyable, we pool in money where usually, a single person in the group would take the lead, collecting money from all and accounting the money flow. This often leads to uncomfortable “You owe me” situations where one person chases others for their share. Tabulating all payee on mundane, non-automated spreadsheets, painstakingly updating them and the nightmarish net-banking with never-ending digits ranging from account number to IFSC to MICR to card block and what not codes and imagine registering 15 net banking payee, this was a perfect recipe for something that has been too much of a hassle and was not something to look forward to. With MyPoolin:

  • Simply put in a purpose and target amount to get started with pool.
  • Add people and they contribute, all in a single click
  • Get collected money transferred to a bank account or
  • Get a voucher equal to the collected value to spend online on their partner sites.

Industry and Challenges

MyPoolin offers a social angle to the solution, hence making it a fun activity. It provides benefit of being able to redeem the money directly online on 90+ partner sites. Mostly the competitors are from US like Venmo and paypal. Venmo is definitely interesting for the US audience. Asian Market is still to reach that level.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese

Being the first business to market is as perilous as it is popular and being a new market creator is also a challenge as the customer needs to be educated about the concept. Hiring people was not an easy task for Ankit and Rohit. This was the biggest challenge for them. “Now we have amazing people in the team” – mentions Ankit.

MyPoolin Office
MyPoolin Office

 

Their main advertising till date has been primarily word of mouth and campus & corporate activities. Also the network of their affiliates online helps a lot.

Few words for aspiring entrepreneurs

“Aim for the toughest problems and revolutionary solutions as there is no point in just bringing an incremental improvement to an industry.”

Website

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TruckSuvidha, startup in trucking and transportation space announced as the winner of Hot100 technology Award organized by CORE (Centre of Recognition & Excellence). CORE...