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Indian Startups To Look For In 2018

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India is the fourth largest country when it comes to innovation and technology. With the startup industry booming in India, listed below are the companies that are definitely worth a look in 2018!

Byju’s

Starting off with the education technology startup Byju’s, this company joined the unicorn club with a valuation of Rs. 6,505 crores, currently. The company was founded in 2011 in Bengaluru. The Byju’s learning app was launched in the year 2015 by Byju Raveendran, the brainchild of the edtech startup. Byju’s offers a variety of learning products for students. The aim of these products is to make education and learning interesting. The learning app is used by 15 million users with 900,000 paid annual subscriptions with an annual renewal rate of 90%. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s investment firm, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) also invested in Byju’s. It was their first investment in the Indian startup ecosystem. Byju’s would soon be entering the global market including the US, the UK and South Africa.

It is currently India’s best funded edutech startup!

BigBasket

Businesses are investing billions of dollars to make shopping experiences faster and easier. From Amazon to Flipkart, everyone is focusing on scaling up the online grocery category. BigBasket is the very first online grocery store that is also headquartered in Bengaluru, India. The country’s largest supermarket was founded by Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari, Hari Menon, V.S. Sudhakar and V.S. Ramesh in 2011. The company now commands a valuation of around $ 950 million. BigBasket raised $300 million funded by the Chinese e tailer Alibaba and other investors including The Abraaj Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Sands Capital Ventures.BigBasket’s brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan has also extended his contract for third year. BigBasket is currently in 30 cities and is looking forward to expand its business across the country.

OYO

The Gurugram based hotel aggregator, Oravel which is now OYO Rooms is currently valued at Rs. 8,000 crores. OYO Rooms was founded by Ritesh Agarwal at the age of 19. Since its launch in 2011, the company has grown tremendously. The startup raised nearly $ 450 million so far. It lets you book affordable hotel rooms, airport hotels and even luxury hotels in just few seconds with over 70,000 rooms in 230+ cities in India, Malaysia and Nepal. Today OYO Rooms has reached five million app downloads. OYO attracted global investors including the Softbank Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and DSG Consumer Partners. China Lodging also, made an investment of $10 million in OYO recently.

In January, the company also launched OYO Bazaar, a marketplace for hotel supplies in Delhi and Gurgaon. The company is only just getting started with its exponential growth!

 

Delhivery

This elogistics startup has grown enormously every year and investors have been queuing up. Delhivery is an e commerce logistics service company based out of Gurgaon. The company was brought to light by a bunch of engineers including Bhavesh Manglani, Kapil Bharati, Mohit Tandon, Sahil Barua and Suraj Saharan in the year 2011. Delhivery offers services such as last mile delivery, third party transit warehousing and more. The company was formerly known as SSN Logistics Private Limited and changed its name to Delhivery Private Limited in December 2015. As of now Delhivery raised $ 100 million from The Carlyle Group and its existing investor Tiger Global Management. The firm is valued at $ 114.5 M currently. Delhivery has operations in 800 cities and also delivers 3.2 lakhs products a day. Delhivery has done exceeding well till date.

 

Each of the successful startups mentioned has a unique story and characteristics that differentiates them from the others!  Do let us know your thoughts about these and other up and coming you think we should consider.

 

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Sanskriitii – A Saviour For Indian Artisans?

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Founded by Mr. Anil Tripati and Ms. Latha Pathak in 2017, Sanskriitii is a startup that deals with arts and crafts and hence works with a vision to empower Indian handicrafts which do not generally get the appreciation they deserve. A team of engineers, management professionals and philosophers have joined hands at Sanskriitii to make handicrafts and home decor more interesting by incorporating contemporary design into artefacts.

What Sanskriitii does

Sanskriitii brings a whole variety of Indian handicrafts under one roof. These varieties include Dhokra art, Meenakari art, Kundan art, Zari art, Bidri art, Stone Jali and many more. Their products are mostly offered to large chains of restaurants for the interiors of their rooms and lobbies.

The main challenges faced by craftsmen these days are creating new designs suitable to the present day lifestyle, market demand

and financial limitations to pull off bulk orders. Due to these reasons,

most of the craftsmen give up on handicrafts and move out of their village to other nearby towns to find some other random jobs to earn a living for themselves and their families. Sanskriitii plays a vital role in helping craftsmen overcome these challenges. It not only provides craftsmen with capital and raw material, but also builds an environment which enables them to deliver the finished products to their customers.

Due to the changing lifestyles of the consumers and their lack of appreciation for traditional goods, a startup like Sanskriitii is still struggling to find a large number of consumers.

Challenges faced by Sanskriitii

With readymade, easily available and branded products ruling the market, handcrafted products can easily be left behind because their gestation time is comparatively larger and clients generally do not prefer waiting for such long periods to get their products delivered. In addition, the industry as a whole is yet to accept and understand handmade products. Lack of awareness among people about handicrafts is yet another challenge Sanskriitii is trying to overcome.  

Overview

At Sanskriitii, a wide range of handcrafted products are made,which suit the present day lifestyle and yet have a traditional touch. The added advantage with handmade products is, no two products are exactly the same. These products are also environment friendly. By shopping at Sanskriitii, one can also contribute to their vision of empowering Indian handicrafts and small scale entrepreneurs. Although the delivery time is much longer than that of regular products, these handicrafts are worth the wait.

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Conrad Hilton’s Lessons For A Successful Life

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When Conrad Hilton passed away at the grand old age of 91 in 1979, he left behind him a legacy built over six decades. When he started his own business in the year 1919, little did he know that he was going to be known as the Best Innkeeper in the World. With more than 500 hotels spread across 6 continents in the world, Conrad proved that no matter how many lemons life throws at you, you can always make lemonade. From fighting in the First World War, to coming to terms with the loss of his father and family business at the same time, Conrad Hilton has taught us how to live the successful life by following these principles:

1. Find and own your talent

Picture credits: the1873network.org

According to Conrad Hilton, everyone is good at one particular thing. He was good at making money and making things look better than they were. While he may not have had a successful stint at becoming a banker (his life long ambition,) he definitely had a fruitful career when it came to being a hotelier. His talent lay in identifying things which weren’t working and in turning them into gold. Despite facing challenges in terms of financing the deals, he realised his talent and made sure he used it to the best of his abilities! The lesson here? Find what you are good at and no matter what, you will always succeed.

2. No empty space is a waste

Picture credits: thefamouspeople.com

When Conrad bought the Mobley Hotel (his first ever hotel,) he realised a lot could be done to change the way the downtrodden place looked. A lesson he learnt from his father, Conrad realised that in order to create something beautiful, one had to look beyond what met the eye. The first hotel Hilton owned, fit around 40 rooms and when he had a sudden spurt of inspiration, he converted the dining room and fit in another 20 beds into the space. Talk about a stroke of genius! The lesson here? Always go with your gut.

3. Don’t be obsessed with the material world

Picture credits: thefoundation.com

Conrad’s family was never a wealthy one. He saw the first signs of wealth when his father sold a gold mine to the tune of $ 110,000 (now worth $ 3 million!) However, saving was not a part of their life formula. This taught him never to be obsessed with the material aspects of life. The lesson here? The more you learn to enjoy the finer moments of life, the more you start letting go and the more you truly start to live.

4. Never cling to the past

Picture credits: thehuffingtonpost.com

One of Conrad Hilton’s major obsession was to become a barrister. However, life had other plans for him. He kept pushing forward through all the adversities. No matter where life takes you, learn from the lessons of the past. Further, if Conrad’s father had kept mulling over how the family lost their fortune, they would have never really gone beyond the fact that they had to start from scratch all over again. The lesson here? Keep looking at how to get better and life will fall into place.

5. Always have an idol

Picture credits: elpasotimes.com

One of the most important lessons Conrad learnt early on in life was to never look down on people. Only look down at people when you have to pick them up. Further, Conrad says to always learn from people, no matter what their position or what they do for a living. If Conrad hadn’t been the person he was, a bellboy wouldn’t have loaned him $ 300 when Conrad was going through a bad time! The lesson here? Everyone is an asset. Everyone has something to offer. Keep learning and growing.

6. Stop the worrying

Picture credits: huffingtonpost.com

Nothing good ever comes from worrying. According to Conrad, Worrying has never solved anything yet. Prayer, thought, action – yes. Just worrying, no!” During the 1930s, when the Great Depression was happening, Conrad thought his business was going to sink. However, it was through sheer grit and determination that the man fought back and hit back hard! The lesson here? Everything happens for a reason. While you may blame the circumstances for your failures, don’t let them affect the rest of your life.

Conrad Hilton lived an inspiring life. Through all the ups and all the downs, the man became famous enough to build an entire industry. Today, the signature white swans on the beds, the mints on the pillows and the bellboys in crisp uniforms are all synonymous with the Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Leaving behind a legacy, Conrad Hilton proved, no matter what, you can do what you truly want.

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Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read In 2019

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The year is 2019 and if you are an growing entrepreneur, then certain books just have to be on your reading list. With competition being at an all time high this year, here are some books which will help you find the motivation to keep being the best version of yourself as an entrepreneur.

1. The Execution Factor: The One Skill That Drives Success by Kim Perell

Kim Perell, an extremely successful entrepreneur, creator and angel investor, believes, to become successful in life, one doesn’t need a high IQ, but needs to have the ability to differentiate between success and failure. Using this principle, Perell wrote the critically acclaimed book, The Execution Factor: The One Skill That Drives Success, outlining the 5 basic traits successful people have and how they use these traits to turn their dreams into reality.

2. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen 

Perhaps one of the most relevant books for entrepreneurs, The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen talks about how to make the most of any situation at hand. A classic of sorts, this book also talks about how the beginning seeds of innovation are sown and how you can grow to the top from the grassroots. The Innovator’s Dilemma has to be on your reading list for this year!

3. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey 

Even leaders need guidance from time to time and if you feel stuck in a rut with no proper direction for the people in your company, then the EntreLeadership is the perfect book for you. With a step by step guide on how to help your business progress, while at the same time guiding people about how to lead better, EntreLeadership is every entrepreneur’s comfort book.

4. Setting The Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality In Business by Danny Meyer 

Setting The Table by Danny Meyer is based on the simple theme of being able to serve your customers better if you know them better. While you may not be setting up restaurants like aspiring hoteliers or laying the tables like chefs at a five star, this book has everything entrepreneurs just starting out need to read. From talking about how to partner with like minded people to knowing where to look at for investments, Setting The Table is the one book which just has to be on your list.

5. Good to Great by Jim Collins 

You have reached the heights of success with your already blooming business? That is a question Jim Collins answers in his book, Good To Great. Collins not only defines, but also identifies the reasons as to why some companies soar to unparalleled heights of success while others fail to take off despite putting in the required amount of work. Studying all the recent data about how different companies have performed over the years, Good To Great maps the journey of companies which moved from nothing to something.

If you’re looking at understanding what went wrong and need motivation on how to grow to the next level, then you absolutely have to read these books. Comment and let us know if you think we missed out on any other great books like these!

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