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Entrepreneurs

Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anant Kumar Hegde assume charge at his office in New Delhi

Photo by Jitender Gupta/Outlook

Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anant Kumar Hegde assume charge of their portfolios

Photo by Jitender Gupta/Outlook

Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anant Kumar Hegde assume charge of their portfolios

Photo by Jitender Gupta/Outlook

Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a group photograph with the delegates during the inauguration of the National Conference of Dalit Entrepreneurs organised by DICCI in New Delhi.

PTI Photo by Shahbaz Khan

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal Presents Enterepreneur of the Year 2015 award to Poonam Bir Kasturi of founder of Daily Dump at function in New Delhi. Founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab(Second Right) and Chairman & Founder Jubilant Bhartia Group, Shyam S Bhartia (Right).

PTI Photo by Atul Yadav

Actress Twinkle Khanna with Sussanne Khan during the launch of festive pop-up at The White Window, a home decor store in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a group photo at the India-US Start-up Konnect 2015, in San Jose, California.

PTI Photo

Kavil Ramachandran
on entrepreneurship education in B-schools “There has to be much more attention to entrepreneurship education in India. Many of the new crop of entrepreneurs are not path-breakers. We are getting into the high-thinking, high-growth mode but Facebook type ventures are not happening in India. Most IITs-IIMs do not have high-end accelerat­ors. Most B-Schools do not have an entrepreneurship faculty with hands-on experience. The long-term approach has to have entrepreneurial thinking right from school. With that, there should be support from family. Big companies should come forward and create a fund and bring in technology to encourage entrepreneurial element in students.” (Prof Ramachandran teaches at ISB.)

Sumant Sinha
on the lack of magic bullets in funding “One needs to choose the right sector and know that you have a capability in that sector. There are certain basic business truths in every sector and if you understand those, you are in good shape to start a business. Once you start a business, the understanding that you develop and the way the sector shapes up, partly because you are dealing with it, could be quite different than what you had expected. You have to keep evolving the business as you go further. Make plans for only one or two years into the future and then execute those plans instead of forming very long-term goals. When it comes to investment, there is no magic bullet. One simply needs to knock at as many doors as possible. It is important that your investors understand your idea and give you space to execute them. Getting aggressive in a business or overcommitting oneself is one of the biggest follies an entrepreneur can make. It is also extremely important to always be in tune with everything that is happening in the industry.” (Sinha is the founder and CEO of ReNew Power Ltd.)

Jitender Gupta

Raman Roy
on validating the needs of consumers “Even a decade ago, starting one’s own business was considered a sign of failure unless you came from a business family. Most young entrepreneurs I meet today are passionate about what they want to do. Even better, there are now incubators which help and support these people. Investments in the country today are not hard to find but in order to get them it is extremely important for a start-up to validate the needs of the consumers they are targeting. Another important thing to focus on while setting up a business is roping in the right kind of people. Cash inflow is not a driver for business any more. Long-term cash flows become a composition of value of the business and therefore investors support businesses that are losing money even five years into starting.” (A pioneer of India’s BPO industry, Roy is a founder of Indian Angel Network.)

Tribhuvan Tiwari

Haresh Chawla
on the pressures entrepreneurs face “The core thing is: are your co-founders compatible? You should not try and do it alone, so you should find the right set of co-founders because you have to go through a lot of pressures together. And, are they complementary? That’s the starting point. My sense is that you have to be ready to give up and you can’t expect an easy ride. You should be prepared to be bootstrapped for a long, long time. My suggestion is build your own minimum viable product with money from friends and family because you can spend a lot of time trying to raise money and not even do some basic product tests. There is no lack of money available; there is a lack of good ideas. The bigger focus has to be on the idea. First, perfect your business model and your product-market fit before you start expanding and scaling up.” (Chawla is partner at India Value Fund Advisors and former Group CEO, Network18.)

Soumik Kar

STEPPING ON THE GAS PEDAL Four start-up teams in discussion at the Microsoft Ventures accelerator in Bangalore

Selvaprakash L.

Equals Modi meets a delegation of Dalit entrepreneurs

Deepak Ravindran, 27; LBS College of Engg dropout; Lookup, Bangalore

Rahul Yadav, 25; IIT Bombay dropout; Housing.com, Mumbai

Amit Haralkar

Luvieen Alva, 23; Muffakham Jah College, Hyderabad; LearnEd, Hyderabad

P. Anil Kumar

Rajesh Ranjan, 23; IIT Kharagpur; Instano, Bangalore

Kashif Masood

Vaibhav Devanathan, 28; IIT Bombay; LaughGuru, Mumbai

Amit Haralkar

umeet Jain, 26; DJ Sanghvi College of Engg; Stupidsid.com, Mumbai

Amit Haralkar

Manya Jha, 27; SCITM; Morphedo Technologies Pvt Ltd, Greater Noida

Jitender Gupta

Nawaz Dhandala, 22; CMR College of Engineering and Technologyl; CloudBoost, Hyderabad

P. Anil Kumar

Harshit Shrivastava, 22; IIT Kharagpur dropout; Intugine Technologies, Bangalore

Jyothy Karat

Union Minister for MSME Kalraj Mishra with awardees at the Innovation Excellance Award for MSMEs 2014 in Bengaluru.

PTI Photo

Suman Mulumudi holding his Steth IO, at home, in Snohomish, Washington. The Steth IO, turns a smartphone into a stethoscope. Mulumudi, 15, showed off the digital stethoscope he invented on a television show. A freshman at Lakeside School in Seattle, Mulumudi is developing the device and another medical tool he invented last summer. The teen is the CEO of his own company, StratoScientific.

AP/PTI

Ajit Jain

Getty Images (From Outlook 17 June 2013)

Blunkit
Who:
Joe Fernandes 
The idea: Creating an ecosystem for richer discovery—where you aggregate all you do in your personal time, like booking tickets to a movie, eating out with friends, watching a play, under one roof 
Scale-up: Evolving with how customers spend their time, keeping tabs on what’s out there for people to do.

Jagadeesh N.V.

www.ridingo.com
Who: Vardhan Koshal, 29, Srivatsan Mohan, 27
The idea: To ease commuting to work through car pooling. Give a missed call to a central number when you want to leave for work and you will get SMS details about a common pick-up point. The idea is to keep the cost of travel as low as an AC bus.
Initial funding: Crowdsourced, Rs 5 lakh from friends
Scale-up: Increase density of clients, add more neighbourhoods, cities.

Jagadeesh N.V.

www.tripthirsty.com
Who: Sundar Lakshmanan, 33, and team of five 
The idea: Creating a network of travellers, and helping them travel more. Find places you want to visit. Add them to your wishlist. Tripthirsty will get you great deals to visit them with friends. 
Initial funding: Self-funded (Rs 2 lakh), then raised Rs 10 lakh from IIM’s centre for innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship (CIIE)
Scale-up: Targeting long weekends and getting travellers sweet deals for offbeat places.

Jagadeesh N.V.

myfriday
Who:
Srikanth N.K, 45, Sriram Hariharan, 38
The idea: Tapping the market where 75 per cent of the workforce doesn’t necessarily work from office—so myfriday works as an innovative employee solution that displays dynamics like work performance, leaves, duties, feedback etc.
Initial funding: Rs 15 lakh of savings
Scale-up: To increase number of users, take it to half a million employees in the country.

Jagadeesh N.V.

Scrapehere
Who: Khaleel Pasha, 31, and Hema Kiran, 23
The idea: To build a bridge between stores and customers. Socialising shopping. Find a dress that’s great, but too expensive? Type in how much you would like to pay for it and Scrapehere will intimate you once the price drops.
Initial funding: Rs 8 lakh of Khaleel’s savings
Scale-up: Targeting India’s online shoppers, scaling up to 1 lakh users, refining the product and making it work within the social media network.

Jagadeesh N.V.

www.10wickets.com
Who: Ashesh Nishant, 33, and a 13-member team 
The idea: Complete cricket solutions for players, clubs, local and national teams, a platform to network and showcase your credentials, current form, scores, training and engage with fans 
Initial funding: Rs 36 lakh, self-funded with contributions from friends
Scale-up: To include other sports, engage with bigger players

Jagadeesh N.V.

www.kukucrate.com
Who: Charu Agrawal, early 30s
The idea: Monthly, theme-based, hands-on learning projects for kids aged 4-8, delivered to your doorstep, combining art, science, craft, culture plus cognitive, linguistic, sensorial growth. Your box for the month could throw up a magnetic fishing game, or how to paint a canvas bag, or creating a colour wheel, or making colourful jelly fish.
Initial funding: Low capital, out of her savings
Scale-up: Making hands-on project models for schools, and making the venture global.

Jagadeesh N.V.

Lumos
Who: Gandharv Bakshi, 29 and wife Lavina Mahbubani, 26
The idea: To create affordable solar powered-backpacks and apparel so you can charge your phone and laptops on the go. Targeted at cycling enthusiasts. You can also charge the battery by the windowsill/in low light, as the battery comes in a removable pouch.
Initial funding: Rs 10 lakh, including their own savings and contribution from friends and family
Scale-up: To increase client base, to expand into solar-powered apparel (jackets and T-shirts).

Jagadeesh N.V.

In faith Boman Irani of the Rustomjee real estate group says people trust Parsis

Amit Haralkar

Leading scientist, Padma Bhushan awardee and chairman of pharma major Cipla, Yusuf Hamied, is a successful Bohra Muslim

Soumik Kar

Top of the heap Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world’s richest men and a Marwari, with son Aditya at their London home

Tom Craig/Bill Charles Agency

A place in the sun Dr Prathap Reddy of the Apollo Group

Nilotpal Baruah

Right royal air G.V. Krishna Reddy, chairman of GVK Industries Ltd, with his son G.V. Sanjay

getty Images (From Outlook 01 October 2012)

Pushing on A. Vellayan, chairman of the Murugappa Group

Namas Bhojani

The prescription Dr Ramdas M. Pai, chairman of the Manipal Group and chancellor of Manipal University

Namas Bhojani

Sharp hotelier Gautam Kapur in Jalandhar

Busybees Jagjit Singh Kapoor of Doraha (Ludhiana)-based Kashmir Apiaries, with his wife and daughter

Tribhuvan Tiwari

First families Mittal, Premji, Birla, Mallya, India Inc big guns at a global investors meet

AFP (From Outlook 01 October 2012)

Old-timers Traditional Marwari traders in Sadasukh Katra in Burra Bazaar, Calcutta

Sandipan Chatterjee

Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith, center with models pose during the launch of his Wilberforce Award in Sydney, Australia. Smith's Wilberforce Award is a $1 million prize to go to a young person under 30 who can impress him by becoming famous through his or her ability to show leadership in communicating an alternative to our population and consumption growth-obsessed economy.

AP Photo/Rob Griffith