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Startups That Rose From The Dust To Become Diamonds

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The biographies and stories of successful entrepreneurs all over the world are entertainingly interesting. Inspired by them, we read lengthy articles, watched multiple videos, follow them on social media and try to follow in their footsteps. Here are 10 short, brief and extremely awe inspiring stories of the major tech entrepreneurs to set the fire in your belly ablaze.

1.Google

Two PhD students, 1 research project and a garage.

Today, Google is worth more than $200 billion with 73K+ employees all over the world.

American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet related services and products was started in a garage as a research project. The first Google computer storage was built with Legos and Larry Page and Sergey Brin received their first contribution of $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim. At one point of time, Yahoo turned down the offer to buy Google for $ 1 million. Today, Google is worth more than $200 billion. Larry Page and Sergey Brin with a contribution from Andy Bechtolsheim, set up a system that checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site.

2. Oyo Rooms

College dropout who handled 1 hotel in Gurgaon set up OYO (On Your On) Rooms.

From Oravel to Oyo Rooms, Ritesh Agarwal now runs a $ 25 billion company.

At the age of 17, Ritesh Agarwal was an irritated traveller not satisfied with the accommodation business in India and founded OYO Rooms for budget travellers offering affordable and standardized accommodation. Ritesh Agarwal is considered to be one of the youngest entrepreneurs of India.

3. Alibaba

Thirty Rejections. Never wrote a single line of code. Now worth $ 40.2 billion.

Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, was rejected from 30 jobs, even from KFC before he founded one of the largest e commerce platforms in the world. Jack Ma founded Alibaba in his apartment and without a single outside investment. Now, Jack Ma is the wealthiest persons in China and Alibaba now stands second only after Walmart in terms of revenue generated through sales. Alibaba now gives stiff competition to other platforms like Amazon and Zomato, with a large foothold on the ecommerce front.

4. Uber

Was sued, and had to file for bankruptcy. Now has cabs all over the world

Travis Kalanick wanted to be a spy growing up. He founded three different companies before Uber came into existence. He even had to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. Now, Uber is one of the largest cab providers and operates all over the world with professional ease.

5. Swiggy

Started off with a global goal. Failed to succeed. Excelled locally

Swiggy was founded by three aspiring individuals, Sriharsha Majety, Rahul Jaimini and Nandan Reddy, in an attempt to bridge the gap between customers and restaurants. Ordering food has always been a hassle. Swiggy was created as a means to solve this hassle. Today, it stands as one of the strongest competitors to Zomato, an international food ordering platform.

6. Instagram

Two Founders, 2 Users. Now, more than 1 billion users.

Instagram, the photo sharing app was created in the year 2010 and from then, it boasts of having over 400 million registered users and around 600 million daily app visitors. More than 80 % of users are outside of the US and around 18 million are in the United Kingdom alone. In fact, the Instagram logo has become so popular, it has now become synonymous with “pop culture.”

7. Pinterest

3 friends launch a flop app, relaunch Pinterest in 2010. Now, one of the largest online museums. 

The idea for Pinterest started way back when Ben Silbermann was growing up in Iowa. Ben used to keep a collection of dried leaves on a wall and this became the foundation for Pinterest. Eight years after founding Pinterest, a website for virtual collectors, Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp are the youngest tech innovators to join the Forbes Billionaires list.

8. LinkedIn

A serial entrepreneur. A vision. Now stands at a personal worth of $ 3.2 billion

Fondly known as the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Garrett Hoffman is an active entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. The reason for its vast popularity is the fact that LinkedIn adopted the multi sided platform, a system which lets people use the service depending on the different categories. Through network intelligence and by understanding individual needs, LinkedIn has managed to become one of the most widely used platforms.

9. Amazon

Tried taking down Ebay. Failed! Now runs one of the largest ecommerce platforms.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, realised early on in life there was a serious dearth of the kind of things available over the internet. He started off by making a list and very soon realised that books were the obvious choice to sell first. It instantly became a success and at present, Amazon has the monopoly over the online retail market with a hand in every different thing it sells.

10. Facebook

A college dropout. Started Facebook in a dorm room. Now, over 2 billion people use it daily.

Ever since he was a child, Mark had a huge and extensive need to study computers. Facebook came into play when Mark was in his sophomore year at Harvard and since then, there was absolutely no turning back. At present, Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms. By buying out Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook is currently used by over 2 billion people all over the world.

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Iconic Power Couples At The Top Of Their Game

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Corporations run the world in ways like never before.  They provide technology, healthcare, innovation and development across the world.  Some of these corporations are headed by influential leaders who changed the course of technology and quality of life over the years.  The head of the corporation may be a man or a woman, but it is no secret that what they achieved can be credited to their special someone as well.

Let us have a look at some of the most prominent power couples at the top of their game.

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates run the world’s biggest private foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Bill Gates founded one of the world’s largest software companies, Microsoft. He decided to dedicate his life to philanthropy and with his wife, he started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Bill Gates pursues issues related to climate change, while Melinda Gates’s focus is on gender equality. In an interview, Melinda Gates revealed it is important to have a spouse who views you as an equal, a quality which she credits to Bill Gates and their successful marriage.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

Mark Zuckerberg runs Facebook, one of the largest technology companies in the world.  It is no secret Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, who is a pediatrician, were already in love before Facebook launched.  Priscilla Chan was one of the earliest users of Facebook when it was just starting out as an online social networking platform.  A day after Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan got married. Soon after Facebook became one of the largest technology companies in the world, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to promote equality in the fields of health, education, scientific research and technology.

Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy

Narayana Murthy is the founder of Infosys, one of India’s largest information technology companies.  However, Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy are most often known for the simple and humble lifestyle they follow.  An interesting piece of information is they met through a mutual friend, G.K Prasanna, who is now the global head of Wipro.  Sudha Murthy dedicated her life to social causes and was a trustee at Infosys Foundation, a position she used to establish libraries and offer scholarships to students.  Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy are an inspiration to many even today and their love for each other has not diminished over the years.

Donald Fisher and Doris Fisher

Donald Fisher and Doris Fisher are the founders of the iconic apparel brand GAP.  Initially, Donald Fisher leased out some space to Levi Strauss & Co. to sell their jeans.  Donald then realised Levi’s only had a limited number of sizes in their line up and saw the need to open a store which carried all styles and sizes under one roof.  Donald and Doris Fisher opened their own store named GAP. The concept was a success and soon after, GAP filed for an IPO. Before Donald Fisher’s demise in 2009, Donald and Doris Fisher were active in philanthropy in educational areas of interest.

The above mentioned couples remind us the world is a better place because of love.  Let us know about any other power couples who inspired you!

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Best Valentine’s Day Campaigns Run By Famous Brands

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With Valentine’s Day right round the corner, every brand and organisation is scrabbling to have a strategy in place to increase their brand visibility and awareness.  Needless to say, the advent of technology and digital platforms gave us some unique campaigns over the years. Some simple, some extravagant, but each one of them special because they all came together to celebrate love.

Let us have a look at some memorable Valentine’s Day campaigns we witnessed over the recent years.

1. Cadbury

Cadbury is a brand known all over the world mainly due to their bestselling chocolate, the humble Dairy Milk.  It comes as no surprise Cadbury decided to theme their Valentine’s Day 2018 promotions around chocolate. The campaign, ‘Pop Your Heart Out With Silk,’ aimed to celebrate love in all forms.  For the campaign, Cadbury released exclusive Dairy Milk Silk chocolates which had a heart shaped chocolate piece which could just be nudged out. The chocolate is a part of a gift hamper which contained two such Dairy Milk Silk bars and two Dairy Milk Silk Oreo bars, a customised greeting card and a photo frame.

Watch the video to know more about the campaign.

 

2. Dunkin’ Donuts

One of the world’s favourite desserts, the unassuming donut, also got a campaign of its own for Valentine’s Day 2017.  Whether it is simply glazed, sprinkled or with toppings, the donut comes in many shapes and forms. Leading donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts did a campaign themed around Valentine’s Day by creating a contest named ‘Dunkin’ Love.’  The campaign urged users to show their love for the brand by sharing photos of the brand on Instagram. Lucky winners had the chance to win a year’s worth of free coffee, donuts and a cash prize of $ 2,500. The campaign also made use of geolocation so that exclusive Valentine’s Day content could be viewed at Dunkin’ Donuts’ stores.  This year, Dunkin’ Donuts is running a campaign named #ValentinesDaySweepstakes, where anyone can tag a friend with the hashtag to get a chance to win a year’s worth of free donuts.

3. Uber

Taxi hailing giant Uber did their own version of a Valentine’s Day campaign by branding it ‘Romance on Demand.’  Uber has its own creative ways of running campaigns. For example, on Pride Day, Uber changed the colour of the car icon on its app to a rainbow colour theme.  However, for Valentine’s Day 2013, Uber turned into a rose delivery service. Users could just log into the Uber app to request a bouquet of roses, which were delivered to their special someone’s address by a driver in a suit.  Although the service was expensive and was priced anywhere between $ 100-150, it became popular and encouraged app downloads. In the year 2016, Uber teamed up with the Kisses brand of Hershey’s to run a campaign named #UberSerenade.  Users could request a serenade for their loved ones, wherein a person would go to the address given and sing songs about love.

4. Coca-Cola

In 2015, the iconic brand, with its red and white colour theme, came up with a very unique Valentine’s Day campaign which aimed at getting people to interact with and get to know strangers at bus stops.  Two consecutive bus stops were set up with screens, cameras and a mic. People could see who is at the other bus stop and interact with them. The distance between the bus stops offered safety and was intended to make people shed inhibitions and converse with strangers.  The people who interacted were in for a shock when the person with whom they interacted got onto the bus at the next stop. However, the conversations resumed once they greeted each other.

Watch the video here.

5. Starbucks

Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee brand, created a fun campaign for Valentine’s Day 2015.  Starbucks partnered up with Match.com, the United States of America’s leading matchmaking platform, to run a campaign.  A feature named ‘Meet At Starbucks’ was added to Match.com and users could use this feature to send out an invitation for a coffee date.  Users who clicked the button could email each other and meet up at a nearby Starbucks.

We hope these campaigns made for a fun read.  With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, let us know of any other fun campaigns like these which make for a good read about marketing strategies.

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The RAW Pressery Story -Juices Without Preservatives On A Shelf

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Being a tropical country, India is home to unique and exotic fruits people all over the world have come to savour.  Mangoes, ice apples and custard apples are just some of the fruits which are unique and found in India. Fruit and vegetable juices have always held a place in the Indian culture and civilisation in the form of medical remedies or coolers.  From the humble lemon juice to the exotic mango juice, Indians love to make them a part of their daily routine.

Juices in India sold at supermarkets or retail stores always have preservatives added to them in order to increase their shelf life and keep them safe for consumption.  A relatively new player, RAW Pressery, broke out on to the market by advertising their juices as preservative free and all natural, to take on established market brands like Tropicana and Real Fruit Power.

Beginnings

RAW Pressery was founded in 2014 in Mumbai by Anuj Rakyan when he realised there were no preservative free juices available in the market.  Anuj Rakyan began experimenting in his kitchen with various juices and ingredients to come up with a product. After investing INR 80 lakhs from his own pocket and borrowing money from friends and family, Anuj was able to pool INR 1.5 crores to start RAW Pressery.

Growth of RAW Pressery

Once Anuj Rakyan was able to successfully develop juices, he began to deliver the juices himself to his initial clients.  All this had to be done before any bacteria formed in the juices, therefore time was important. As his nutritional and fresh juices started seeing more demand, Anuj Rakyan employed the famed Mumbai dabbawalas to deliver to his clients in Mumbai.  The juices saw their demand surging and before long, RAW Pressery added Pune to its market base.

Godrej Nature’s Basket and Foodhall became retail partners to sell the juices on shelves across their retail locations.  Anuj Rakyan got his big break when investment firm Sequoia Capital decided to invest in RAW Pressery. A cold press was later added to increase the production of juice and also to increase the shelf life of products to 21 days.  A cold press is a technology which avoids oxidation and preserves the nutritional value of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

With the growing demand, the product offerings shot from just six to eighteen present now and divided into four categories—Benefits, Basics, Boosters and Shooters.  Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez was roped in as the brand ambassador for RAW Pressery.

Shelf life and beyond

The juices have a shelf life of 21 days and RAW Pressery makes sure the juices do not go to waste.  Seven days before the shelf life expires, the juices are recalled to be sold at events while it is still safe to consume them.  RAW Pressery also recycles their plastic bottles by collecting them from shops and homes and turning them into polyester fibre. This fibre is used to stitch school uniforms and distributed for free to poor students.

This is the story of a startup which, under the leadership of Anuj Rakyan, was able to capture the market with its strong and original products.  Although RAW Pressery still has a large market to capture, it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Therefore, it comes as no surprise RAW Pressery saw its valuation grow from INR 5 crores to INR 250 crores in just under four years.

Also Read: How a startup is recycling soap from hotels all over the world

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