The 50 Startups To Take A Look At In 2019


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Insights Success is glad the Introduce The 50 Startups To Take A Look At in 2019, Who are sharing an enthusiasm to put resources into various new Indian startups, thereby enabling them to create more milestones.


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The 50 Startups To Take A Look At In 2019 VOL-3 ISSUE-8 March-2019 Soumya Chatterjee Co-founder CEO Easyrewardz Outstanding Startup

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SME-SMO Executives Manoj Shelge Circulation Manager Tanaji Digital Marketing Manager Prashant Chevale Technical Specialist Amar Sawant Co-designers Mayur Aparna Art Picture Editor Rahul Kavanekar Art Design Head Amol Kamble Associate Designer Poonam Mahajan Copyright © 2019 Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. The content and images used in this magazine should not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic mechanical photocopying recording or otherwise without prior permission from Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. Reprint rights remain solely with Insights Success. Printed and Published by Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. Corporate Ofces: Insights Success Media Tech LLC 555 Metro Place North Suite 100 Dublin OH 43017 United States Phone - 614-602-1754 Email: For Subscription: Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. th Off. No. 513 510 5 Flr. Rainbow Plaza Shivar Chowk Pimple Saudagar Pune Maharashtra 411017 Phone - India: +91 7410079881/ 82/ 83/ 84/ 85 Email: For Subscription: March 2019 Follow us on : Cover Price : RS. 150/- Editor-in-Chief Pooja M. Bansal Managing Editor Devasish Kanojiya Executive Editor Rahul Niraj We are also available on : RNI NUMBER: MAHENG/2019/75953 Sales Executives Tejaswini Sapna Ajay Technical Head Pratiksha Patil

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From the Editor ith each passing day India is becoming a well- W known name in the global startup ecosystem. According to an independent survey India is prominently placed amongst the key five countries on earth in relation to the number of startups established. The Indian Startup Ecosystem has already witnessed various noteworthy advancements in the year 2018 similarly the start of the year 2019 has boosted the overall scenario of the budding startups like never before On the other hand the government reforms like the execution of GST and expanded spotlight on ‘Make in India’ is adding an extra plus to the Indian Startup Ecosystem. The tech-enabled startups are alluring for investors and investments from industry veterans with an aim to withstand the complexities of the market. As of late these startups are grabbing the eyeballs of the Silicon Valley and VCs based out of Silicon Valley. These VCs are sharing an enthusiasm to put resources into various new Indian startups thereby enabling them to create more milestones. While the investors strongly believe that the new-age startups with their novel thoughts and expanding collaborations have the potential of making the country developed. As per the business professionals the trend that is disrupting the Indian Startup Ecosystem is that the better- financed corporates are putting their resources in the all-around well-planned acquisitions of new companies. These purchases would instill confidence in the finance experts globally consequently pull in reserves. As such this is a step towards fueling the development of the startup ecosystem in India. To be precise the emerging startups are focusing on cutting misfortunes increment their general valuation and achieve operational brilliance in the longer run. These significant characteristics along with the positive assumptions of the investors and support from the legislature will help the startup ecosystem of India in reaching new heights in the coming future. An Overview to the Indian Startup Ecosystem Rahul Niraj Rahul Niraj

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A R T I C L E S Money Begets Money: Startup Finance Explained 28 Creditmantri Igniting The Lamp Of Financial Independence BlueTie Networking with Widened Horizons and Sharpened Focus Money Matters Startup Lessons Every Founder Should Know Lessons to Learn 56 68 C O V E R S T O R Y 12

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INTERVIEW WITH INSIGHTS SUCCESS Easyrewardz Smart Minds Make Smart Moves 36 ThoughtBit A Young Technology Firm Decoding Business Problems 20 OUTSTANDING STARTUP

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Using Technology for Reimagining Banking Services for the Masses C X O S T A N D P O I N T Fintech Insights Why Employers Should Adopt Digital Technologies in Blue-Collar Labour Heavy Industries Expert’s Voice 106 58 AI ML Driving the Technology Future Tech Trends The Digital Age Leaders Thought Challenges Faced by Startupsof 21st Century and Solutions to Overcome them Industry Insider Emerging Technologies in Business Tech Archieves 48 78 94 40

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A Synonymous Name for Seamless Poker Experience 9stacks A Catalyst for Career Acceleration Board Infinity Craftsmanship in the Digital Age Direct Create Empowering Farmers Transforming Agriculture EM3 Agri Services Transforming Corporate Ground Transportation Management Landscape Aaveg Bridging the Digital Divide in India Budli Mindful Eating Anytime Anywhere EAT Anytime 24 32 46 54 44 52 62 C O N T E N T S

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A Preferred Parenting Partner Footprints The Perfect Blend of Innovation and Learning INNOSTUD Bringing the Impactful Change in Healthcare MedCords Delivering Creativity at its Best Mirraw Unleashing New-age Technologies for a Better Future Hug Innovations Matrubharti Transforming B2B Pharma Market Digitally in India Medibox 64 66 74 82 72 76 84 Vernacular Content Community

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World-Class Solutions at Affordable Prices Nextsky Technologies Creating Choices for Customers and Businesses for Service Experts OKSir Bag Up | Pick Up | Clean | Deliver Wash N Dry Activating Smart Financing for the SMEs OfBusiness Striving for Better and Timely Cancer Treatment OncoStem Helping People Discover Good Health Vitor Health 86 90 98 102 92 100 108 Indias First Domestic Consumer Venture Fund Sixth Sense Ventures 110 Decrypting Aerial Data for Business WeDoSky

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Acknowledging the New Era of Startups hile 2018 was an enthusiastic year for the W business world the start of the year 2019 has taken it beyond the success horizons. Recognizing the startups that are revolutionizing the corporate space and keeping innovation on their radar by staying up-to-speed with the developments we have come up with this special edition of “The 50 Startups To Take A Look At In 2019”. This issue has featured a handful of professionals offering a diverse and engaging mix of creativity and distinctiveness. This edition of ours will help you to walk through a list of startups embracing multi-disciplinary approach and covering a range of relevant issues in its sector. On the Cover of the issue we have featured Blue Tie Global Pvt. Ltd. – a platform where professionals network with an objective. You can meet and network with those whose objectives complement yours at that moment right from the moment you sign up. Apart from such an insightful Cover Story we have also enlisted Easyrewardz Software Services Private Limited as Outstanding Startup – an Information Technology and Services Company 9stacks is Indias fastest growing online poker platform Aaveg Management Services Pvt. Ltd. is a one-of-its-kind company providing end-to-end corporate mobility solutions with ground transportation Board Infinity is an online career

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comfort of the masses WeDoSky is a drone data analytics company in India and Wholesome Habits Private Limited aims to make snacking experience healthy and nutritious indulgence. Alongside startups like Bushel Technologies Ecom Express AirCTO Alamak Capital Advisors IndusGuru Mypoolin Occipital Tech StoreKing No Thepla holidays TouchMagix Robolab Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Wandertrails PixelVJ Haptik Bigbasket Nobroker Intangles Lab Private Limited Dazeinfo Media Research Private Limited Jaypore Medlife International Private Limited HOPSCOTCH myGubbi Startupwala Private Limited Tinto Rang Fusion Microfinance and Zophop Technologies Pvt. Ltd have also been featured in the listing of this edition. While flipping the pages take a note not to miss out exclusive Interviews with Gowri Mukherjee Rajasundaram Sudarshan and Ranjit Punja – Co- founders of CreditMantri Finserv Private Limited and Siddharthan Panneerselvam – CEO Rajeshwaran Venugopal – CTO and Sai Santhosh – CCO at ThoughtBit. Turning some more pages will help you find out articles masterly crafted by our in-house editors which include Money Begets Money: Startup Finance Explained from Startup Finance and Startup Lessons Every Founder Should Know from Startup Lessons. Also the articles from CXO Standpoint by industry experts would take you on a journey showcasing the challenges opportunities and tech-based innovations in the Startup universe. Looking at the emerging opportunities and the growing possibilities this issue of ours will introduce you to a whole new world of novelty. So enjoy the exciting read coaching platform for higher education Budli Internet Pvt. Ltd. is working on creating and driving change in India through ReCommerce - Reverse Commerce of used gadgets like Smartphones Tablets Laptops and other gadgets Direct Create is an integrated product for the Handmade consumer ecosystem EM3 Agri Services Pvt. Ltd. solves on- farm productivity and is a holistic service provider to the Indian farmers Footprints Preschool and Daycare provides Play School and Day-care programs for the parents looking for world-class education and child-care for their children Hug Innovations is a next-generation Wearable and IoT platform company Innostud is a first-of-its-kind mobile platform helping schools and coaching institutes to automate their administrative work Matrubharti Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a vernacular content community technology startup MedCords is an innovative platform that makes storage of medical records easy Medibox Digital Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is a B2B Market Place for OTC OTX pharma healthcare and allied products Mirraw Online Services Private Limited is one of the leading Ethnic Wear online marketplace Nextsky Technologies develops Cloud-based ERP solutions for the micro small scale manufacturing sector OfBusiness is a technology-driven new-age fintech startup providing smart financing solutions to the SMEs OKSir is an on-demand real time online-based marketplace that seamlessly connects customers to service professionals OncoStem Diagnostics is a company that focuses on developing innovative tests in the personalized medicine space Sixth Sense Ventures Advisors LLP. is possibly the first venture fund in India and maybe the world to return capital within 3 years Vitor Health Sciences Pvt. ltd helps people discover good health and empower them to proactively engage with it – in a simple confident and everyday manner Wash N Dry is an app-based laundry company rolling out end-to-end laundry services with a vision to enhance the

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Kunal Garud Founder and CEO Kalyan Garud Founder and Executive Director

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Networking with Widened Horizons and Sharpened Focus T he current day professional world is an open marketplace with increasing complexities and layers of enmeshed challenges. Given the current global digital explosion – India alone has nearly half a billion internet users – it has become extremely important to be involved in higher networking to learn from and master solutions to existing as well as future challenges. Networking however is more effective with easy accessibility to capable and available professionals given a favorable firm ecosystem. Blue Tie Global Pvt. Ltd. thus steps in as a one-of-its-kind platform offering access to profiles of relevant professionals replete with their requisite information and professional goals. Its algorithms successfully enable effective networking even beyond the personal connections. The company empowers objective- driven technology and caters to the needs of professionals by helping them identify and connect with other 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The

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professionals with complementary objectives. Thus this platform efficaciously addresses the essential need of the hour and improves productivity thereby helping the users to disassemble professional convolutions. BlueTie stands tall in taking away all formalities and intricacies of building bridges with people far from the reach of common customers. Widening horizons to network with relevant professionals BlueTie plays a pivotal role in sharpening the focus on rolling out a mutually synergized experience. Recently BlueTie was also recognized as the Fastest Growing Indian Company Excellence Award at the 11th Edition of the International Achievers Conference held in Thailand recently. The Professional Journey Acknowledging the loopholes in the effective networking BlueTie placed its cornerstones in the latter half of 2016 with an aim to transform the networking landscape for better. The journey stemmed from the desire to bridge this gap by enabling individuals to discover and communicate with professionals across diverse geographic locations. The platform focused on helping individuals collaborate with other professionals with symbiotic synergies that match their objectives at that time.

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“When you have the right thing to say you don’t need recommendations” With concrete endeavors the company engaged Sweden based Jorgen Nilsson CEO Zenterio and the UAE-based Khalil Mohd Al- Hindwan VP TransSys Solutions as the global advisors. These personas made swift moves in focusing on the aspect of global expansion for BlueTie. Today the company has grown from a team of fifteen to over fifty backed by investments of over 1.2 Million USD. Meet the Proficient Duo Kalyan Garud and Kunal Garud the Co-founders of BlueTie and brothers by relation come from different professional expertise. Having founded and led an advertising agency Shrooms Creatives Kunal comes from an entrepreneurial background. He oversees the operations and product evolution at BlueTie to keep it evolving in the right direction in line with the global vision. On the other hand Kalyan comes from a corporate sector with experience in global IT companies such as IBM KPMG Mahindra Satyam etc for over a decade. Currently at BlueTie he fosters an ecosystem of growth by cementing the overall organizational pillars and the technical infrastructure for the products to ensure the realization of its vision in the longer run. The duo understood the importance of networking and recognised that the biggest hindrance in effective networking was the absence of a platform which enables professionals to network and collaborates with a purpose thus bringing to life BlueTie. “We strongly believe that shifting focus from only network building to networking is the key” says the duo. The Curated Set of Services The company firmly believes that networking is a one-stop solution to all professional problems. Some of the core features of BlueTie are: Objective Based Networking – Users can meet and network with the right professional for every objective. Users can choose their

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networking objective and connect with professionals who share a co-relating objective Get Searched Precisely – The platform allows users to choose their fortes Skills Certifications Software expertise and get searched by those who are looking for professionals with the same skill set. Go Beyond Your Personal Connections – The professionals who complement the objectives that the users are looking to achieve can be beyond their limited personal connections. BlueTie allows one to look beyond one’s personal connections and reach out to professionals in a cordial manner cutting straight to the chase without the frills of introductory obligations. Acknowledgement – Interactive and effortless acknowledgement system so that the professionals can utilize their time effectively thus reducing the scopes of miscommunication. Networking without Network Building – BlueTie enables professionals to start networking the moment they join without the hassles of building and maintaining huge lists of personal connections. BlueTie Pin – A Professional Contact detail for all professional communication dissuading the use of any personal information in order to minimize spam A Bigger Canvas Blue Tie Global believes that the foremost thing to stand out from the clutter is to stay updated with the trends and be prepared for the future challenges. “You always need to keep learning not only from market success but also from market failures. Understand what is relevant to you absorb it and put it to use” asserts Kalyan. “Being in any kind of business the biggest difficulty that any startup faces is to execute its innovations. A startup where ‘no idea is bigger than execution’ is the sustainable one and will have a long term differentiation factor in the ecosystem. In short the game plan is to apply the learnings stick to the vision and bring the

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innovation to execution” Kalyan Garud included. A decade ago E-commerce industry saw a huge impetus triggered by the availability of a huge potentially virgin market. The investment bait was the expansion of customer base as opposed to the unit economics which was then considered as a long run business objective. Now there is a similar wave for networking. With the emerging career scopes networking has become a must for every professional. Different platforms offered different ways of building huge networks lots of them discontinued while some settled to become industry leaders. However all these platforms focused on the connection-based approach and the other avenues were left unexplored limiting the scopes of actual pure networking. BlueTie thus focuses on leveraging these gaps and providing a platform which enables professionals today to bring effectiveness in the way they network by introducing and inculcating objective-based networking. Fueling the Emerging Masses For budding entrepreneurs the energy that is driven by their passion is the key to unlock the doors to success. Kalyan Garud advices the young minds to make sure that they complete the cycle. “There will be times when you are just two steps away or likely to fail that is fine Backing out or leaving that undone will do more harm than failure. Do not give up complete the cycle that you started. Most of the startups or ventures fail not because they don’t have the potential it’ s because they fail to complete the cycle.” Kalyan also asserts the importance of validating your ideas. However convinced one is with one’s own idea to make it fool proof it is important to validate it with a proper documentation and experts who have an experience in the field. Lastly for young entrepreneurs starting early gives an upper hand. There is little or no added responsibility. There’s a lot to learn and very little to lose. Youngsters can explore more take more risks and decide on what they want to settle. So the company edifies the emerging entrepreneurs to inculcate the habit of starting things early and taking it to a closure irrespective of how big or small the startup is. This habit is worth a million dollars Turning More Pages Cherishing a futuristic approach throughout the organization BlueTie is moving forward to expand itself into a multi-dimensional one. It looks forward to evolve as a frontrunner in newer avenues of networking along with bringing more effectiveness and efficiency to the existing avenues. The second objective down the line is to place its best foot forward for and expand globally. Currently having PAN India presence the company aims to be a leader in the emerging markets starting with South East Asian countries like Malaysia Indonesia Thailand Singapore Philippines and so on. The company is all set to launch one of its major roadmap items in the near future. BlueTie looks forward to evolve as a frontrunner in newer avenues of networking along with bringing more effectiveness and efficiency to the existing avenues. “With over 185k+ users and a new professional coming aboard every 70 seconds we are on our way to add many more feathers to our cap” conclude the co-founders. The BlueTie mobile application is available for download on the Google Play Store as well as the App Store. For more details visit - “Network Building is an option Networking is not Hence professionals need to shift their focus from only network building to actual networking”

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Read it First Read it First Subscribe today Global Subscription Address : Country : City : State : Zip : Date : Name : Telephone : Email : Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. Off No. 513 510 5th Flr Rainbow Plaza Shivar Chowk Pimple Saudagar Pune Maharashtra 411017. Phone - India: 020- 7410079881/ 82/ 83/ 84/ 85 USA: 302-319-9947 Email: Yes I would like to subscribe to Insights Success Magazine. Cheque should be drawn in favour of : INSIGHTS SUCCESS MEDIA AND TECH PVT. LTD. CORPORATE OFFICE in

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Soumya Chatterjee Co-founder CEO Sapan Kadakia Co-founder Director Angad Singh Co-founder Director 20 MARCH 2019

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Easyrewardz Smart Minds Make Smart Moves T oday’s competitive market is flooded with a plethora of choices that forces the consumers to explore new brands and experience the latest offerings. From the seller’s perspective holding out customers is the key to survive the fierce market competition. Loyalty programs and reward points act as the most impactful weapons in the armory of the sellers as they play a pivotal role in retaining buyers. However often it’s a tedious task for the buyers to manage and take maximum benefits of these programs as they are fragmented in nature. This unique excerpt unveils the story of Easyrewardz Software Services Private Limited – a company that was conceptualized in 2011 with the vision to address a white space especially between the available CRM tools for SMB’s in the retail sector. Additionally Easyrewardz is India’s first social collaborative rewards market-place. At present it has customers across diverse segments including Apparels Banking FB and a lot more Some of the biggest brands like PVR Fabindia Pizza Hut Spykar Jack Jones Kotak Mahindra Bank Hyatt SRL Diagnostics have bestowed their trust on Easyrewardz. Team Easyrewardz is focused on delivering technology products with in-depth analytical insights and best in breed services to create customer- merchant ecosystems that foster growth for the merchant and delight for the customers. Exquisite Services Right from inception the company had set definite goals and had commenced its operation accordingly. Offering two distinct product lines Easyrewardz has successfully managed to evolve as a competent player in a very quick time. Easyrewardz was conceptualized in 2011 with the vision to address a white space especially between the available CRM tools for SMB’s in the retail sector. Outstanding Startup Tejas Kadakia Co-founder and Director MARCH 2019 21

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Customer Lifecycle Management Stack: This is a full-stack CRM marketing automation platform built for retail SMBs. Through various interweaved modules it helps retailers to engage customers right from lead identification through the first sale to timely engagement understanding their preferences and guiding them towards the right products. The CLM stack helps retailers derive maximum value by providing professional services to integrate the technology with their business processes allowing their marketing team to use the insights trends captured by Easyrewardz’ s tools in the promotion pricing strategies of the brand. Today it influences consumer experiences across 8000+ stores of 125+ brands that use this technology. Poiink: Poiink is a ‘gee whiz’ channel to drive business through customer engagement and is a B2C platform for businesses to maintain an Omnichannel presence. It works as an enabler for brands to reach a captive base delight customers and drive loyalty. This is a platform for end consumers to allow them to track manage several loyalty programs offers of brands in a single place get recommendations while shopping. POIINK allows the clubbing of points across several participating brand programs making points redemption easy for consumers. Till date the app has over 100k downloads and continues to create milestone despite limited marketing. The Team – Getting Up Close Personal The famous quote by Helen Keller - “Alone we can do so little together we can do so much” stands apt for Easyrewardz as this entity was co-founded by mavens who came from diverse professional backgrounds. The inspirational journey of these marvels gives a glimpse of how they realized their dream of building a castle together. Let’s unveil these personas and understand what makes them so unique As the Co-founder and CEO Soumya Chatterjee ex – CTO is a start-up veteran with deep experience spanning geographies verticals across strategy technology or operations in these disciplines. As a CRM practitioner he leads the product vision strategy which in turn also shapes the organization strategy of Easyrewardz. Prior to Easyrewardz he has been a part of various management teams delivering core responsibilities like Operations Technology Payments Customer Strategy CRM and much more Angad Singh ex-investment banker Barclays is an IIM Alumnus and a people’s person. A Formula-One lover travel junkie professional swimmer and a strategist for life – is how his life is defined As the Co-founder Director – Strategy Angad leads Business Development Alliances for Easyrewardz. He focuses on the business acquisition in the North Eastern regions of India. In addition to his existing responsibilities he also doubles up as a CFO managing the investor community corporate finance. Tejas Kadakia is another Co-founder Director – Sales ex-A VP of BNP Paribas New York. Often called the ‘Rainmaker’ he has mastered the art of making relations and business deals. His love for tech innovation drives him to create strategies for next-gen products. He heads Sales Business development for Easyrewardz with a core focus on West South regions. He also onboards new strategic partners who can work as our vendors or resellers. Completing this team is Sapan Kakadia - Co-founder Director – Marketing Operations. Over the years his intuitive nature coupled with the analytical problem-solving approach has uniquely positioned him to overcome the obstacles in the professional-life scenarios. At Easyrewardz he manages the strategic alliances including vendors who list We have customers across diverse segments including Retail FB Healthcare Wellness Hospitality Banking 22 MARCH 2019

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their products along with managing the resellers who help the entity to connect with retailers to onboard their technology solutions. Conquering the Challenges Every successful journey carries the imprints of the challenges and hiccups faced during the initial days and the same acts as a motivational force in creating new milestones for the future While recalling the challenges Easyrewardz has segregated the major issues under three categories that it had faced to withstand the complexities of the Startup Industry. Raising Money: The foremost hurdle was to raise money and back in 2011 the venture capital industry was enthralled in an e-Commerce or B2C startup investment environment. The Enterprise tech sector under various segments – B2B B2B2C or SaaS had not gained momentum yet and the total available market for CRM in India was being earmarked at 200Mn. Left with limited options it decided to bootstrap with some seed capital and built the first version of the core stack and launched it by end of 2012. However it was still an uphill battle and a lot was yet to be accomplished Onboarding Resellers: Despite working on limited funds they launched the next version within the next three months however the immediate concern was to create a reseller network. Lack of prior knowledge of the industry and creating the infrastructure in the market was again an uphill task and the core team had to devote a long time in convincing and finalizing these deals. Working Environment: By 2014 the company started to deliver the solutions but soon realized that the ultimate challenge was to have a pool of talented resources and that too on limited budgets. As consistency of delivering quality and innovative services became a priority flourishing a positive work-place environment was the need of the hour All these efforts paid off well and the icing on the cake is that the first employee of Easyrewardz is still a part of the growing family. Keeping Pace with the Future As the startup eco-system continues to flourish by each passing day team Easyrewardz is quite optimistic about the future. The company plans to consolidate its business across India by upgrading the existing and new customers to the integrated CRM platform. Alongside having a continual progression in the MENA region Easyrewardz plans to expand its footprints in the untouched territories of the APAC region through its reseller network. Analyzing the growth prospects in the international arena it’s confident that around forty percent of the total revenue will be coming from the expanding overseas business in the next twenty-four months. By 2022 the entity plans to reach the pinnacle of success by cementing itself as a reputed leader in CRM for SMB in the India and APAC region. Alongside having a continual progression in the MENA region Easyrewardz plans to expand its footprints in the untouched territories of the APAC region through its reseller network MARCH 2019 23

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9stacks A Synonymous Name for Seamless Poker Experience C reating a niche in an industry where trust and transparency is of utmost importance 9stacks India’s fastest online poker platform has built an empire with its sheer determination and unified efforts – this not only counts the exclusive range of products and services but also the distinct approach which the company follows to outshine its competitors. Today Enabling users to play poker – online anytime and anywhere is what best describes 9stacks. Recently the company has been recognized as the “Hottest Startup to Work for in 2018” by an employment agency. Team 9stacks consists of young individuals truly passionate about poker. Every Friday the company organizes a poker evening where all the team members get together to brainstorm for newer ideas and play poker which makes the work environment fun and challenging. Along with believing in the adage ‘work hard party harder’ the company also stands tall when it comes to work responsibility and accountability. Four Aces Ruling the Table Sudhir Kamath Pratik Kumar Abhinav Nigam and Rishab Mathur are the Co-founders of 9stacks. All of them come from various professional backgrounds and each one has his core strengths in Marketing Technology Operations and Management. Sudhir is an IIM-A alumnus and ex-McKinsey consultant with over seventeen years of experience. Prior to 9stacks he was also the CEO of Suntera Energy – a privately held oil and gas exploration company. Pratik is an IIT KGP alumnus with over twelve years of experience in e-commerce and online marketing. He was the CMO of and founding team member of Abhinav is an IIT KGP alumnus and ex-BCG consultant with over twelve years of experience with Accenture Strategy and the Boston Consulting Group. Rishab is an IIT KGP alumnus with over twelve years of experience in technology. He was the head of mobile technology for Nearbuy and CTO of 9monks and Blot Canvas. Setting the Chips Right 9stacks’ advocacy for poker as a recognized mind sport in the country is loud and clear and it has partnered with the All India Gaming Federation to take this to greater heights. Like any other startup 9stacks also faced some teething troubles in the beginning. The biggest challenge was getting the word out in an industry with already established companies. Acknowledging this scenario the company started introducing innovative online poker tournament formats and worked on launching highly achievable online poker cash races. It added a variety of goals and milestones with rewards to make the chase more exciting in its big cash grind contests for the users. The company took the largest contingent of poker players from India to Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker WSOP 2018. After that it launched the Aussie100 Challenge which was spread across three months. This was a compete-against-yourself cash grind where qualifiers won the Aussie package worth two Lakhs and fly to Melbourne Australia during the Aussie Millions 2019 in January. On 11th January 2019 9stacks took the Indian poker industry by storm when it announced the ‘version 2’ of the LFGVegas promotion. LFGVegas2.00 is spread across 4 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The 24 MARCH 2019

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“You Play Safe With Us” months 11th Jan- 31st May 2019 and brings back the ‘compete-against-yourself’ grind that poker players enjoy so much. Participants have to play on cash tables make atleast 50K points on the Vegas Board to win a trip to Las Vegas the poker capital of the world. There are more milestones to be achieved and the prizes increase accordingly. On 5th February 2019 the company opened the doors for online poker tournament aficionados by launching its newest promotion ‘Vegas in Rs 2’. With this 9stacks has effectively taken online poker mainstream. Vegas in Rs 2 is the first promotion of its kind ever to be launched by any poker company in the India. The winners will get to experience the poker capital of the world Las Vegas first hand during the 50th Anniversary edition of the World Series of Poker WSOP the world’s largest poker festival. 9stacks will fund flights visa fees and accommodation for winners. 9stacks’ tournaments like PetiFT and leaderboard contests like the Tournament Milestone the Mini Tournament Milestone Prime Time Leaderboard Challenge are innovative formats that people enjoy participating in. Every week there are individual prizes worth 1 Lakh and more won by leaderboard toppers. With an aim to bring more women players into the pool the company took 9 women players this February 2018 to the Deltin Poker Tournament in Goa. In March 2018 9stacks launched Ladies Night – India’s first women only weekly poker tournament to encourage women to discover and play poker. Selling Poker Dreams The company is a data-driven and focused on what the poker players in India demand from an online playing platform. It is on its way to add innovative features in its menu. It recently launched a Skills Dashboard where gamers can carry out in depth analyses of their own strategy and become better poker players. A lot of poker players gave their feedback about their experience and how this has helped them evolve their poker game strategy on the table. The company has been steadily increasing the prize pools of its marquee tournaments and simultaneously the payouts in the cash grinds are getting bigger and better to attract more players. The Pro Tips With its overwhelming experience 9stacks advices the young to be – obsessed about growth data driven nimble and frugal. It also advises them to keep a keen eye on its target group to generate profitable outcomes. The Next Game Plan 9stacks is on a mission to be the biggest player in ‘real money’ gaming space. It would be exploring other gaming properties besides poker over the next few years. The company is working towards building a more responsible attitude towards gaming and will introduce some unique features in the near future. Pratik Kumar Co-founder MARCH 2019 25

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CREDITMANTRI IGNITING THE LAMP OF FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE T his abstract unveils the enthralling startup journey of CreditMantri Finserv Private Limited one of the pioneers to embrace technology and innovation to set up a platform that caters to a diverse range of financial services. Bringing in over sixty years of combined business acumen in the area of banking services Gowri Mukherjee Rajasundaram Sudarshan and Ranjit Punja are the Co-founders of the company. Over the years CreditMantri has evolved as a preferred choice for over 10.5 million customers who go along with the vision and mission of the company. To get more insights about the company’s prominent services and uniqueness we bring you an exclusive interview with Gowri Rajasundaram and Ranjit. Kindly brief us about the company. CreditMantri uses data and technology to simplify credit decision making for both borrowers and lenders and facilitates financial growth for ALL – whether credit healthy new to credit or credit challenged. Our mantra - “Credit Healthy toh Credit Wealthy” defines everything we do. We are a digital first company. Everyone not just technology and data science teams think of how to make it easier quicker for the user. Technology and Innovation has always been our strong suit – be it pioneering credit profiles using alternate data or co-creating credit products. CreditMantri leverages data and technology to transform the way credit is delivered in India. Please tell us something about the Founder/CEO and his/her contribution towards the company. We are three co-founders – Gowri Mukherjee R. Sudarshan and Ranjit Punja with the common thread being that we all worked at Citibank for many years. The founders have diverse experience in digital banking/marketing product operations management credit and collections management technology and data science. Together the co-founders have over 60 years of banking experience both in India and overseas. Your perspective about the Startup world. Startups are extremely exciting high energy adrenaline-rush providing high stress and very satisfying places to be. Besides being fully committed and passionate one has to be wired a certain way to enjoy and 1. 2. 3. 28 MARCH 2019

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thrive in the startup world. Some lessons learned so far on managing a high growth startup: • Vision is critical but results matter more • Throw caution to the wind and GO FOR IT • Inspiration should move team members to serve customers better than the competition • Listening is often more important than talking • You cannot do it all yourself – surround yourself with innovative collaborative high performers • Ditch the strategies that you love but that don’t work • Leadership gets more complex as the startup grows Mention any awards and appreciations that your company has received. Listed below are a few of the awards that we received in 2018: • 100 Leading Fintech Companies Globally – presented by IFC and Stanford • Global Fintech 250 – presented by CB Insights • The Economic Times BFSI Innovation Tribe Award • The CII Connect Award for Exemplary Application of IT • The TIECon Award for Growth Story of The Year - 2018 4. Gowri Mukherjee Rajasundaram Sudarshan Ranjit Punja Co-founders I N T E R V I E W MARCH 2019 29

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Please describe the journey of your organization so far. CreditMantri received its Series A funding in May 2015 from IDG Elevar and Accion. In March 2017 we raised our Series B from Quona and NewID besides participation from existing investors. We now have over 10.5 million customers deal with over 55 financial institution partners and deliver this with team strength of 165. The entire team except 2 team members is based in our office in Chennai. Kindly describe in detail about your distinct services and products. At CreditMantri we offer a customer-centric digital credit platform where users are credit profiled and empowered to make better borrowing decisions. This platform also serves as an engine that helps lenders discover borrowers who meet their credit requirements. Based upon the completion of the credit profile our customers fall into the below listed categories where we offer them the services listed below: • If you are credit challenged – CreditMantri provides credit improvement services designed to resurrect your credit score and help you become credit healthy and regain access to new loans credit cards • If you are credit healthy – CreditMantri helps select credit products that are best aligned to your incremental credit needs and also helps you to save money on your existing credit obligations • If you are new to credit – CreditMantri helps obtain new credit by co-creating tailor-made products with lenders that utilize alternate data in the absence of Bureau data to help underwrite and verify applications received from customers in this segment CreditMantri also offers lenders with a credit decisioning tool the Credit Gateway that enables lenders to make instant and more efficient cost-effective decisions about potential loan applicants using traditional and alternate data points that are gathered digitally. What has been your game of plan to tackle the challenges in terms of changing trends market players and innovations happening in the Startup industry While tacking challenges is par for the course in running any business provided below is our game plan in managing some of these: • Ensuring that there is a constant source of funding • Constantly innovating and striving to stay ahead • Making sure that the plan is being executed by a high caliber team • Building a brand that inspires confidence • Constantly managing to tight budgets and operating at high efficiency • Building strong relationships and partnerships Enlighten us about any new advancements and technologies that have had a huge impact on the Startup industry. Specifically in the Fintech world the Digital India initiative combined with the India Stack enablers will enable Indians leapfrog even more developed economies. While there appear to be some more recent 5. 6. 7. 8. 30 MARCH 2019

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roadblocks these are likely to be cleared in short order making way for significant progress. Some of these enablers are listed below: • Aadhaar – ability to verify anyone with an Aadhaar anytime and anywhere • Jan Dhan Yojana accounts – providing widespread affordable access to financial services • Increasing popularity/usage of smart phones • eKYC – ability to digitize the KYC process and go paperless • UPI – enables bank account holders to send/receive money instantly using smartphones • eSign – Signing any document electronically using Aadhaar Describe the unique solutions/products that make your company stand out amongst the rest. CreditMantri is the only player offering services to every segment of the population – credit healthy credit challenged and new to credit. We are the largest player helping the credit under- served segments either by rebuilding their credit scores or by making available credit using alternate data to the hitherto new to credit segment. What is your advice to the young entrepreneurs in the Startup Industry • Dream big and throw yourself fully into what you love doing • Important to surround yourself with capable people who challenge you who support you and build long lasting relationships with them • Be a lifelong student – constantly learn and keep yourself updated • Have an obligation to guide others and help them rise • Stay healthy How do you portray the future of your company Tell us something about your upcoming solutions. Improving our offerings and products continuously is what makes our proposition compelling to users. We soon intend to have an offering for SME’s similar to our current offering for individuals. We will broaden our offering to traverse the entire gamut of financial services needs of an individual. We want to be synonymous with credit health. 9. 10. 11. MARCH 2019 31

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Transforming Corporate Ground Transportation Management Landscape E stablished in 2015 Aaveg Management Services Pvt. Ltd. is a one-of-its-kind company providing end-to-end corporate mobility solutions with ground transportation be it leasing business rentals employee transportation or car-pooling. Headquartered in Delhi the company is on a mission to reduce CO2 emissions reduce traffic congestions and facilitate optimum utilization of resources. It is an integrated managed services provider for MNC’s offering solutions related to transport desk and implementation of thought leadership guidelines selection of right vendors for sourcing of wheels etc. Aaveg is amongst the few companies in India having ISO certifications 9001: 2015 for Ground Transport Operations. The company provides consulting and advisory services such as transport policy design vendor management process floating RFP training of transport desks drivers and ERP technology solutions. Currently it is focusing on helping the corporate commuters in surpassing the challenges related to safety and security reducing road congestion levels and optimizing utilization of transportation resources. The company is also lending a helping hand to the Indian Government in building up the right kind of infrastructure for the smart cities transportation project. It prominently focuses on contracting and managing SLA-based operations on ground along with delivering MSP for transport. During its initial days Aaveg consistently focused on its key deliverables / direct benefits to customers and targeting the right audience in order to dismantle the challenges related to long gestation period and policy change. Slowly and steadily it has come a long way in making noteworthy contributions to the Ground Transport space. The company’s business plan showcases: · End-to-end Management of Employee Transport Solution. · SLA based operations. · Fleet Team and Technology under one umbrella. · FTE based Pricing. or · Per Person per Trip pricing. · Centralized Command-Centre for All-India Operations. · Structured MIS and Dashboards for Management reviews. Over the years the company has been bestowed with various accolades including Company of the Year 2018 India by CIO Review and Asia’ s Greatest Brands and Leaders by PWC in 2017. An Ambitious Entrepreneur Ashok Vashist is the Founder and CEO of Aaveg Management Services Pvt. Ltd. Mathematics graduate from Mahatma Gandhi University he also holds a Post Graduate degree in Ashok Vashist Founder CEO 32 MARCH 2019

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Management from International Management Institute Delhi. He has a huge experience of successfully exhibiting a host of leadership positions across sales and marketing landscape. Ashok has been associated with renowned brands like Hertz Eurocar rental business for International Travel House an ITC Group company. He has an exemplary expertise in Team Management New Business Development Sales Management and Operations Management. At Aaveg his chief responsibilities comprises of Brand Management and Corporate Development. With an aim to assist Aaveg in creating a prominent niche in the corporate mobility space Ashok is confident that every 3rd vehicle will be an Aaveg vehicle in years to come. Apart from all this Ashok also played a vital role in managing transportation activities during the commonwealth games held in India and is recognized by AsiaOne PWC as the leader in Transport category. What’s so Unique Aaveg visualizes creating a perfect and highly optimized corporate mobility infrastructure that is efficient effective and ecologically sustainable. The firm envisages an ownership of 33 fleet in Indian enterprise mobility market. In order to achieve these overarching objectives Aaveg has been aggressively expanding its business footprint in India and acquainting businesses and government bodies in urban cities with modern tech-driven tools and processes. Along with this the company also embraces some crucial measures for keeping the team motivated which include: • Be Transparent • Lead by example • Radiate positive energy • Give and follow purpose • Reward based on feedback • Prioritize life and work balance • Have an open door policy • Let them lead • Create a bigger picture and show them • Create recognition rituals Tactics to Maximize the Returns on Minimum Investment Listed below are some of the tactics to gain maximum returns with minimum investment: - Advanced routing - Clubbing multiple picks and drops - Using Fleet Management Technology • Vehicle tracking usually GPS based • Mechanical diagnosis to gather data on mileage and fuel consumption • Remote vehicle disabling system • Fleet replacement and cycle management - Monitoring the driver’s behaviour - Real-time metrics - Automated billing - Data analysis Adopting these strategies and harvesting the best out of cost optimization can lead an organization towards achieving higher milestones. Words of Wisdom In order to reach the peak Aaveg advices the present day enterprises to: · Offer flexible work timings · Provide benefits to commuters · Make processes easy · Pay heed to employee’s preferences · Clearly communicate the policies · Providing proper employee commute The company advices the young minds to: · Be a risk taker · Keep enhancing your knowledge · Find your passion · Know your market · Get your finances in order · Prepare to make sacrifices · Find a mentor · Tune up your business knowledge · Be a planner A Futuristic Approach The managed corporate mobility solutions are experiencing massive demand in India and the market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 25 till 2022. As such Aaveg is majorly focusing to improve and optimize the employee transportation. With its state- of-the-art technology it has effectively managed to hold the reins of its curated menu of solutions. Subsequently the company is planning to venture into the community commuting and traffic management space. Additionally it is also working on effective deployment of Electric Vehicles which will help in controlling the pollution menace. 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 33

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ThoughtBit A Young Technology Firm Decoding Business Problems Rajeshwaran Venugopal CTO - The T echnocrat Sai Santhosh CCO - The PolyMath Siddharthan Panneerselvam CEO - The MasterMind Interview with Insights Success 36 MARCH 2019

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C atering innovative Enterprise Software solutions across various industry verticals ThoughtBit is a one-stop shop for compliance and business analytics requirements. Established in 2017 by Siddharthan Panneerselvam – CEO Rajeshwaran Venugopal – CTO and Sai Santhosh – CCO its mission is to provide cutting-edge data-driven solutions by nurturing ingenuity and fortifying customer relationships. To get more details about the services and uniqueness the company offers we bring you an exclusive interview. Kindly brief us about the company. ThoughtBit Technologies was founded in 2017 with focus on Enterprise Software. Founders of the organization bring in more than thirty-five years of industry expertise. They have worked with many Fortune 500 clients on mission- critical assignments. ThoughtBit focuses on Software-as-a-Service SaaS offerings for the Small and Medium Enterprises SME segment. It delivers technology solutions to empower SMEs and ameliorate their growth on a rapid trajectory. The organization’s vision is to be a Data-Driven SME Accelerator serving 10000 businesses by 2022. Please tell us something about the Core Team and their contribution towards the company. Siddharthan Panneerselvam the Mastermind is a veteran in Information Technology with two decades of industry expertise. He oversees Operations Finance and Business Development at ThoughtBit. Sid was part of Global Leadership Cadre in his previous organisation an elite task- force comprising leaders of the future. He was driving strategy and growth for Latin America with special focus on Banking and Financial Services. He has headed large- scale strategic programs including Core Banking Transformation Internet Banking Modernisation Financial Services Centre of Excellence and Payments Innovation Lab. He was runner-up of Economic Times Young Leaders 2011. Sid is a Post-Graduate from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Rajeshwaran Venugopal the Technocrat has participated in a wide array of technology challenges in a career spanning 16 years and came out successful in every instance. Rajesh heads Technology and Innovation at ThoughtBit infusing the culture of solving customer problems with a pioneering spirit. In his previous avatar Rajesh was Product Head at a successful media-tech startup and led end-to-end development of multiple solutions including monitoring and control systems mobile applications and productivity enhancement tools. Rajesh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from University of Madras. Sai Santhosh the Polymath is the Go-To person for a variety of things be it adopting new technology or preparing marketing content or running a focused campaign. Santhosh handles Customer Engagement at ThoughtBit and ensures every customer is attended to with utmost care and attention. He is the key to each customer becoming a flag-bearer of ThoughtBit. He has single- handedly developed and deployed mobile applications using modern tech-stack. Santhosh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering from Anna University. Your perspective about the Startup world. The Indian Startup Ecosystem is undeniably a growth story in the making. There is a spurt of activities in recent years with increasing technology adoption strong government support availability of abundant talent and higher infusion of funds. Many startups deal with the latest technology trends where the full potential may not be realized today but will turn out to be game-changers in the near future. Startups investors customers and all stakeholders are bound to reap rich rewards. India will soon become a world leader in skilled work through startups going beyond traditional IT outsourcing. Please describe the journey of your organization so far. ThoughtBit started in early 2017 to enable Small and Medium Enteprises to move in the right direction at a fast clip. With the advent of Goods and Services Tax GST SMEs were having problems in understanding the nuances and staying compliant. ThoughtBit team gathered exhaustive intelligence by meeting a large number of businesses and understanding the exact nature of challenges. There was a clear gap in the solutions offered by existing products in the market. Armed with this knowledge ThoughtGST was built grounds-up and th launched with minimal fanfare on 15 August 2018. This compliance platform is now used by a number of SMEs especially those who handle a large volume of invoices routinely. The platform also helps GST Practitioners to ensure complete compliance for all their clients. The next suite of products will continue to focus on a complete overhaul of the technology landscape for SMEs and put them on a super-fast growth track. MARCH 2019 37

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Kindly describe in detail about your distinct services and products. How do you reshape and transform a new tax system that is less than 2 years old Step in ThoughtGST ThoughtGST is a one-stop-shop for all GST compliance needs. Core mantra is 100 Compliance 100 On Time 100 Savings. The focus is on creating the best experience for users to prepare and file timely returns within minutes while ensuring zero anomalies. For instance reporting sales volume accurately and claiming Input Tax Credit ITC correctly are two critical parts of the return filing as these directly dictate the amount of tax to be paid. ThoughtGST seamlessly enables these activities. ThoughtAI an Artificial Intelligence powered data engine forms the core of ThoughtGST and addresses numerous challenges with minimal human intervention. Some of the salient features include: Seamless GST returns filing at the click of a few buttons GST data retrieval from ERP systems in one click Configurable Smart Reconciliation with built-in ThoughtAI acumen Automatic calculation of Input Tax Credit ITC Multi-User Multi-Company model Secure access to data anytime anywhere on any device What has been your game of plan to tackle the challenges in terms of changing trends market players and innovations happening in the Startup industry In today’s high-tech era change is inevitable. GST rules and regulations are a good example. There is a need to identify the impact of change and adapt quickly in order to sustain and move ahead. The market always offers multiple solutions to similar problems. It has become an unfortunate trend to first pick up the latest fashionable technologies and then go looking for problems to solve and customers to serve. ThoughtBit’s motto has always been to identify core problems of customers first and solve those in unique and intuitive ways with the aid of technology. Enlighten us about any new advancements and technologies that have had a huge impact on the Startup industry. Cloud Computing has enabled startups to reduce the timeframe between ideation and production. It has also increased cost-efficiency thereby leveling the field for startups to compete on par with large enterprises. Social media is becoming an absolute necessity. Startups with a clear game-plan have a significant advantage. Technologies like AI ML IoT and VR will cause disruptions. Startups understand this but could still be unprepared. Awareness combined with agility will open up new avenues. Describe the unique solutions/products that make your company stand out amongst the rest. The devil is in the data ThoughtBit has ingrained methodologies of Data-Driven Intelligence into its core. ThoughtGST’s Smart Reconciliation is an example. It analyses huge volume of invoice data in seconds and identifies problems related to payments tax credits and compliance. ThoughtBit’s clients are a critical part of the differentiation and growth cycle. ThoughtGST is enhanced regularly based on user inputs. This inclusive approach has created opportunities to design unique customer-oriented solutions. Technology adoption is relatively low with Indian SMEs but the trend is changing with second and third generation entrepreneurs. Business owners are realizing the positive impact of technology. Yet challenges are abundant when guiding them through a transformative journey. It involves empowering them and their teams to assess more data than ever easily and gain meaningful insights. ThoughtBit is at the forefront of dealing with this tough landscape and delivering success through its SME Accelerator. What is your advice to the young entrepreneurs in the Startup Industry Do what you love Start as early as possible but probably not right after college – unless you have a validated idea and a great team in place. It would be better if young aspirants gain some expertise in their field of interest before starting up. If they work in a startup environment that’s even better. How do you portray the future of your company Tell us something about your upcoming solutions. We will achieve our vision to serve 10000 SMEs in 3 phases in close collaboration with our customers: Phase 1: Complete Compliance – accounting taxation and legal needs. 38 MARCH 2019

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Phase 2: Operations Optimizer – web presence brand building and business expansion. Phase 3: Factory Floor Enhancer – efficiency improvement and modernization of workplace. In each phase our focus will be on acquiring data and efficiently using it to: Automate processes to improve efficiency and enhance accuracy Adopt measures like hybrid cloud and IoT to improve Machine-to-Machine communication enhance control and optimise costs Derive meaningful business insights using Analytics Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Future is Bright Future is ThoughtBit MARCH 2019 39

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About the Author Saurabh T andon is the Co-founder and COO at BetterPlace – a tech platform for the lifecycle management of India’s blue-collar workforce. He is an industry veteran a global strategic leader and an entrepreneur. Having done his MBA from Kellogg School of Management Chicago he has held leadership roles at organisations like Mu Sigma. He blends his expertise of analytics and data science with his vision of creating a better place for the next billion Indians by helping them migrate into the formal economy. Saurabh T andon Co-founder COO 40 MARCH 2019

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W ith over 135 crore Indians and a multi-level social hierarchy like no other Indian society has always been fascinating. In the last few decades there has been clear progress in many areas such as economic productivity and adoption of technology but some dimensions are changing rather slowly. In particular the life of over 45 crore Indians who work in informal blue-collar job roles such as automobile drivers construction maids logistics etc. and the 65 crore Indians who are the agricultural backbone of the country continue to face challenges such as financial exclusion poor skill sets and lack of dignity of labour. However initiatives such as Aadhaar mobile penetration and government focus initiatives such as Skill India have also enabled possibilities that one could not envision even a decade ago for this segment aka the ‘next billion’. Using these platforms a transformation must begin to help these people climb the socio-economic ladder and escape the vicious cycle of poor skills leading to poor wages and continued services exclusion. The responsibility falls upon businesses that continue to be key job generators but are unable to do much more than that. Our study found businesses to have the intent to solve these issues but the inability to execute at scale given challenges such as rampant attrition which leads to workers leaving jobs regularly for just a few hundred rupees of monthly increment. It is also no secret that job-satisfaction leads to improved performance but this is not just about incentive – it is also about working conditions and much more. The floor for retention today is no longer limited to a providing a job and reasonable compensation – it extends to include things like feeling valued being listened to and the ease and possibility of advancement. Statistics show that Indian blue-collar workers tend to skip work and/or frequently switch jobs. The segment has an incredible attrition rate of 80-150. The key contributors to this phenomenon are the high demand for blue-collared workers and that employees do not experience a sense of loyalty to the business. Workers have no incentive to stay with a company when they can easily find another job after gaining some experience for slightly better wages. The solution is to enrich technical and soft-skill sets through on-the-job training. This will make employees feel that they have gained value from being a part of the company and are therefore not as likely to switch jobs. With smartphones now costing as little as Rs.2000 this is best done digitally through smartphone apps. Employees will not be unproductive while they learn as they would if they went to a physical training center and the cost of training to the employer reduces significantly as well. As industry becomes more and more customer- centric employees with soft-skills are now invaluable. This is a win-win as employers benefit from more competent employees and employees themselves experience job-stability along with potential career advancement through skill-acquisition. Perhaps the biggest way to foster loyalty is to help blue-collared workers where they hurt most – their financial condition. This segment experiences financial exclusion inability to acquire loans due to lack of data credit history. Wages paid in cash combined with wage rates that result in hand-to-mouth situations where income is spent as it is earned. Therefore there is no incentive to open bank accounts – which means no credit history. However the advent of the Aadhaar card and the recent Expert’s Voice MARCH 2019 41

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demonetization situation which gave rise to a plethora of cashless transaction options such as Paytm financial inclusion is now actually possible. The key to this is information – making wage and salary payments through cashless transactions creates credit history which makes loans healthcare etc. a possibility. Unevolved hiring practices paper-based management and a general lack of organization are also severe bottlenecks to business efficiency as well as to the career progress and quality of life of blue-collar employees. Not utilizing digitalized hiring processes that intelligently verify potential employees through proper multi-factor background checks is cancerous to businesses and to employees. Only hiring processes that verify against digital databases are trustworthy and provide quality data about a potential employee as paper-based processes are time consuming cumbersome and susceptible to data- manipulation. IT based verification processes standardize requirements of employee reliability which enables employers to hire only quality candidates. This also promotes better work ethic and can potentially improve employee careers in the long run. Another potential trend that would improve business efficiency is if organizations start abandoning paper-based attendance management systems which can be manipulated in favor of ‘smart’ tech-based ones which ensure that employees comply with company policy. To conclude India is steadily moving forward - but some things will not change until those in a position to incite change actively do so. With intelligence and action employer problems of attrition poor attendance and poor performance can be solved while simultaneously solving common issues such as an unfulfilling work life financial exclusion and a lack of dignity of labor. It seems that businesses which seek to improve the lives of their employees are more likely to flourish than those that ignore their social responsibility to enrich their workers’ lives. It is the responsibility of business to utilize the phenomenon of digital penetration to propel our society and economy and this can only be done with active participation. 42 MARCH 2019

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stablished in 2017 Board Infinity is a full-stack E career platform for students and jobseekers enabled by personalized learning paths career coaches and access to opportunities. Assisted by industry experts it is an online career coaching platform for higher education aiming to bridge the students and the industries. Creating synergies by connecting the right partners the company intends to build a platform in order to defy the conventions and redefine the learning landscape. A career is a personal journey which needs to be crafted Board Infinity A Catalyst for Career Acceleration uniquely. This is where Board Infinity stands tall along with its highly passionate team embarked upon the mission of accelerating careers through personalized coaching career discovery training and placement opportunities with the help of its diversified network of coaches. Embracing each opportunity with the utmost prominence the company focuses on: Students ∞ Coaches – Enable meaningful connections between students and coaches. Colleges ∞ Employers – Coach and train college students and provide employers with business-ready talent. Students ∞ Employers – Connect talent to the right opportunities. The Dynamic Duo Abhay Gupta and Sumesh Nair are the Co-founders of Board Infinity. Being the alumni of the prestigious SPJIMR S. P. Jain Institute of Management And Research both have astounding expertise in business and management. While Abhay acts a prominent pillar by being the COO Abhay Gupta Co-founder and COO Sumesh Nair Co-founder and CEO 44 MARCH 2019

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Sumesh is stirring the organization as the CEO. Coming from a Tier 2 city the duo brings in a strong execution and strategy experience. Sumesh has been a trainer in learning and development teams TIME IMS and Career Launcher. They have spent two years understanding the market before entering the business world. They discovered the opportunity in the career management space with an aim to help individuals on their career journey and established Board Infinity. Apart from placing the cornerstones of the company the co-founders also have experience of working with various organizations. Abhay was a Category Manager of the Future Group. On the other hand with strategy and operations experience as a Management Consultant in the technology and retail industry Sumesh was a Senior Consultant in PwC US Advisory. About Board Infinity In August 2018 Board Infinity launched its Beta version and scaled to 15000+ users in two months by partnering with more than 45 colleges and 9 companies. With consistent dedication and unified efforts since the launch the company has successfully cherished 3000+ Students ∞ 700+ Coaches 400+ Colleges ∞ 140+ Employers and 700+ Students ∞ 140+ Employers. Be it a career transition first job campus placements preparation or any career guidance Board Infinity has emerged as a one-stop solution for all the career requirements. Currently the company works onboarding customers through referrals word of mouth and job sites. Its coaches are industry experts selected from over 50+ diversified fields. These professionals discover the talent of the masses and help unleash their potential to say ‘Ready. Set. Go’. To be precise Board Infinity is defined by a team of achievers and go-getters – a combination of young and bright minds who are the primary reason for its success. The company assists students in defining their dream job help them build a great career and achieve their career goals. It provides tailored career advice and coaching which can be accessed online completely. It also provides aptitude tests to gauge the aspirant’s knowledge and skills to patch them up with a relevant industry coach for becoming business ready. The competitive advantages checklist includes: Ÿ Building intelligence through expert and student interactions Ÿ Real experts to guide students Ÿ Some jobs are exclusively hosted on the platform Ÿ Guaranteed interviews for learners Ÿ Ability to choose multiple learning paths for different job roles Ÿ Exclusive long term partnerships with coaches Ÿ Partnerships with premium institutions like XLRI IIMs NMIMS and SDA Bocconi Ÿ Ability to make informed decisions in career post higher education and access to opportunity In these two years of the daunting voyage the company has been recognized by various media publications including Edtech Review Your Story Entrepreneur Magazine and Startup Success Stories to name a few. Giving autonomy of time and task for employees and continuously motivating them to withstand the complexities of the market with a larger vision is the company’s forte. Words of Wisdom Board Infinity advices the young minds to focus on their dreams and never give up on them. Also making concrete efforts to solve one problem at a time would create opportunities and unlock the doors of success. The Future Goals Striving with the same philosophy to pass on erudite earth to the Gen Z Board Infinity is on its way to build the world’s first AI career coach and revolutionize the learning landscape. ‘ Our mission is to personalize your career journey help you realize true potential and meet your career dreams ‘ 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 45

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Bridging the Digital Divide in India E stablished in 2015 Budli Internet Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneering company striving to transform the ReCommerce industry. The company plays a pivotal role in enabling the clientele consumers and businesses to buy as well as resell their used gadgets like smartphones tablets laptops etc. in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Living by its name Budli – change the company is working with a vision to revolutionize the Re-commerce landscape by filling the loopholes in the digital space and reducing e-waste. The company sells certified pre-owned refurbished gadgets at competitive pricing with warranty and guaranteed buy back across the country. With concrete endeavors and will Today Budli successfully operates across 25000 pin codes with over 325000 registered users pan India. Embracing new-age technologies and delivering trust convenience and value-for-money to the buyers and sellers is what best describes the company. By using Dynamic Instant Pricing System DIPS maintaining partnerships with e-commerce companies and 1000+ offline retailers for exchange it offers users which best suits their portfolio. B2B selling to companies with guaranteed buyback has made Budli a one-of-its-kind brand in its sector. Since inception the company has featured in various renowned media publications like BBC CNBC and Fortune Magazine. Adding more spice to its glory is its list of awards including CNBC Business Excellence Award EO Startup of the Year and Business Leadership Award. Meet the Zentrepreneur Rohit Bagaria is the Founder and CVO of Budli. He has completed is education from UC Berkeley California and St. Xavier’s Kolkata. He is a seasoned zentrepreneur on a mission to provide technology access to the masses through re-commerce at ease. Rohit has more than one-and-a- half decade of experience in various sectors including software startup in Silicon Valley manufacturing and international B2B sales across 35 countries and e-commerce in India China and the US. Rohit Bagaria Founder CVO 46 MARCH 2019

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“We help you responsibly dispose off your used gadgets” Rohit has earned several awards and has been featured in various national and international media publications. He is also invited to speak at various forums including Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and Calcutta. Apart from all this Rohit is passionate about writing and is also the author of a book titled ‘Embrace Change’. The Initial Journey “In life we regret more of the things we do not do than the things we do. Unless we are prepared to fail we cannot succeed” says Rohit. For Rohit entering into the business world with a vision to improve the selling experience where the e-commerce space was focusing on the buying experience was not an easy task. His idea was to provide an instant price discovery mechanism offer free shipment pickup across India and prompt direct payment to the user after verification of the device. Acknowledging the unsolved problem finding a tech-enabled logistical way to solve it and understanding the viability and scalability of the business led to the foundation of Budli. Building a POC and MVP without a professional team and financial backup was a major challenge for Rohit. Slowly and steadily his concrete efforts outsourced the website successfully. Now the website was aboard but had no firm marketing approach to reach the masses. His conviction and abilities to improve the selling experience helped him to outshine every barrier coming his way. Stirring comprehensive operations related to tech marketing product design finance sales packing and delivery Rohit converted every challenge into an opportunity and stepped towards scripting his own success story through Budli. More about Budli “We try to find technology related solutions which are sustainable and scalable” says the founder. Budli objectifies the loopholes through its novel design thinking process ideate on creating solutions run experiments to validate them and measure the results in order to roll out out-of-the-box solutions for the clientele. Being a tech-focused company it consistently endeavours to embrace technology to the core. This helps the company to empower its proprietary tech platform for efficient transactions. Budli’s WhatsApp AI Chatbot – BELA offers customer support and solves customer queries with utmost proficiency. Providing employees the necessary guidance and freedom to operate along the way gives it an edge over the competitors. The customers save upto 66 compared to new or rented devices when aligned with the company. Get it Right Rohit believes that Clarity Certainty and Purpose to stand against all odds are the keys to unlock the doors leading to success. Apart from all this patience perseverance and passion are also essential to withstand the market complexities. “I believe that entrepreneurs overcome their problems using these strengths along the way” asserts Rohit. Besides the long-term success of any company depends on its vision and core values which can never be replicated. Future is Now Re-commerce is in the same space where e-commerce was a decade ago. Some of the key challenges have also been similar as that of being a category creator. These include creating awareness building credibility and in reverse logistics. The evolution of the whole eco system including the growth of e-commerce and organized retail in India is helping solve these problems. Re-commerce market is flooded with opportunities as well as challenges. Acknowledging this scenario Budli is continuously embracing new-age technologies to expand its online presence. On the other hand it is also focusing on expanding its offline existence with the help of its partners. 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 47

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Using Technology for Reimagining Banking Services for the Masses F intech companies are revolutionizing and reimagining the way banking services are made available to consumers in India. The use of technology has made banking services accessible to all segments of society with extensive reach at much lower costs in a timely and efficient manner. Lakshmi Devi52 has owned a small Kirana shop for the past 15 years in a small village on the outskirts of Mumbai. In her free time she also takes up tailoring assignments to supplement her earnings. Laxmi Devi like most others in her village has a low cost smart phone which she uses for both her entertainment and information needs. Lakshmi recently learnt how to check her bank account and transfer money through her mobile it saves her the monthly trip to the bank and a working day. Her neighbour recently took loan from a company by applying through the phone she is exploring the idea as well. Until recently this would have been a distant dream for Lakshmi Devi and many like her. Even accessing simple bank account services meant having to travel to the district level bank branches standing in long queues or grappling with complex forms incomprehensible to customers with limited literacy. Most traditional financial services in India create products first and then try to appropriate customers within the product requirements. For instance the credit application process for both an INR 10000/- loan and an INR 100000/- loan were similar despite the wide margins. This resulted in long waiting time and high rejection ratio for small loans. This was a time consuming and costly affair for both the customer and the bank. Hence banks were unwilling to provide additional services to customers with low-value/volume of savings. However innovations by Fintech companies has made it possible for them to reach customers like Laxmi Devi in an affordable timely and efficient manner. Accessibility and reach: Mobile technology has made it possible for Fintech firms to reach out to over one billion mobile phone users in India across geographies across segments. In parallel low cost internet data allows for cost- effective channels to reach out to a wider group of people. Most banking services today such as checking bank balance or money transfers a customer can now access financial service providers through their mobile app or desktop. For instance SME Corner which offers loans to the unorganized retail sector can now reach small entrepreneurs such as vegetable vendors through their app. Fintech companies employ flexible technology backends that are adaptable to needs of various consumer groups including corporate employees or unorganized labor. In addition fintech firms offer services on mobile apps in regional languages explaining their products and Spadika Jayaraj Associate – Network Partnerships 48 MARCH 2019

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Spadika Jayaraj is the Associate – Network Partnerships at Kaleidon Private Limited a ntech company aimed at offering well-designed nancial solutions to address the needs of the 600 million underbanked and unbanked Indians. She helps nancial institutions get on- board on the Kaleidon platform. Prior to joining Kaleidon she was a consultant at McKinsey and Company. Spadika is passionate about nancial inclusion and believes in the power of nance as a crucial enabler in people realizing their aspirations. procedures in a language relevant to the consumer. Structured products: In the initial years of technology evolution in India most fintech firms chose to focus on linear product models offering single solutions like credit or savings. Back then customer awareness and acceptance of online financial services was slow and hence offering them complicated products would have deterred the acceptance of these services. However with an influx of smart mobile phones and mobile internet customers now have access to new opportunities. In the next fintech space we expect to see a number of innovative platforms that offer a combination of services backed by efficient customer service tools. For e.g. Kaleidofin offers their customers a combination of saving investment credit and insurance products. A unified product approach provides the firm an opportunity to create a long-term impact on the customer’s life. Improved Efficiency: The Indian Banking sector until recently relied on ‘wet signatures’ and physical documents for almost every transaction leading to high operational cost. High operational costs proved to be one of the major roadblocks for servicing customers at the bottom of the pyramid. Introduction of new technologies led to the creation of new business models to reach out to a wider customer base. For instance a paperless transaction enabled through DigiLocker facility allows for faster and cost-efficient transactions. Digitization of records has enabled fintech service providers to service a large demographic of customers with small saving amounts. Innovations in the payments space such as UPI and mobile wallets have also helped bring in efficiency in operations. Algorithm based predictive solutions: Artificial Intelligence AI based on structured and unstructured data enables fintech firms to create an almost instant credit score and assess risk-taking capability of individual customers. This results in a quick and efficient decision-making process especially for credit and investment services. For instance MoneyTap a new-age fintech targeted at mass- market works on the principles of a credit card company. Based on its risk profiling of a customer it provides an upper credit limit for a customer to borrow according to his variable needs on a per-day basis. The use of AI has also reduced a financial firm’s dependence on multiple documents and introduced flexibility to the credit approval process. For instance a fintech providing working capital uses easily available cash-flow statements to assess the credit eligibility of a small shop owner. In India about 600 million people do not have access to formal financial services or are underserved by the current banking system. The market opportunities therefore are enormous. Fintech firms are working systematically on customising products and services that work for the lower income group. It is heartening to see them adopt a customer-driven approach-create services that are customised for customer’s unique needs. We are hopeful that the new approach towards financial services will especially have a long-term impact on improving the economic conditions of millions in India. Fintech Insights About the Author MARCH 2019 49

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Direct Create Craftsmanship in the Digital Age t Direct Create we are A dedicated to enriching modern day design with authentic and excellent craftsmanship whilst building societies and protecting these exceptional skills. Direct Create is India’s only bespoke online creative community platform that is bringing artisans designers and interested customers together to co-create customized and premium handcrafted objects. They have a handpicked network of over 15000 artisans and designers ensure that they work with only the best. Through a premium bespoke service of the in-house curators they match client’s ideas by executing quality craftsmanship and by using the best of materials and timely delivery. India has been long lauded for its exquisite handicrafts and its venerable place in the Indian traditions and culture. With digitalization and the internet connecting the world it is indeed high time that the world recognises the beauty that lies in the expressions of the artisans through their handicrafts. The realization that India has the world’s largest community of hand producers and still in need to develop a solution perturbed the architect couple Sheela Lunkad and Rajeev Lunkad. At the same time it also pushed and gave them a boost of energy and motivation to go ahead and build Direct Create DC. A truly integrated online platform for the Handmade 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The Sheela Lunkad Co-founder Rajeev Lunkad Co-founder 52 MARCH 2019

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institutions and businesses for India’s first public-private partnership-based tourism revival. Staying Relevant In the field of handmade Direct Create is working to create a unique collaboration based community. From working with the hand producers developing new exciting and relevant products with design intervention and enabling the makers with a knowledge base to create market linkages and exposure in the country and abroad. It aims to overcome the challenge of low awareness of the sustainability aesthetics and design implementations on Indian crafts. Through the company’s efforts its global clients are getting access to talented artisans from across the country. It gives craftsmen a reason to continue evolving their art by providing a steady flow of customers and also patronage. With a seamless connection easy accessibility through web-portal and app and a fully enabled support network Direct Create aims at re-building the broken bridge between the consumers designers and the makers. It reaches out to the remotest of the makers and brings to them powerful business management logistics and financial tools - to access not just Indian but global markets. The Societal Connection The curated handicraft items at Direct Create bear a detailed description of the artisans. So the buyers exactly know what they are buying from whom and what makes each product so special. This creates an emotional connection between the consumer and the maker - breathing life into a brand. This community-based model developed by DC is at the heart of its business and it’s not just a good thing to do but also the right thing to do. It recently worked with domain leaders such as Reliance Foundation for the setting up a one-of-a-kind bazaar showcasing the best of Indian crafts. Putting together the finest of Indian Arts Craft and Design 108 crafts of India were chosen as a thematic representation from across the country. The highlights of the bazaar were the Masters Treasures that showcased the best pieces of Indian craftsmanship and live demonstrations of crafts by artisans. Handcrafting the Future Direct Create is working with larger B2B markets including the Interiors and Architecture domains which are one of the biggest consumers of customized solutions. They are now targeting the design fraternity with unique sourcing solutions that were unthinkable in the past. Soon they hope to have a significant presence across the Interior Designers and Architects communities enabling them to source for their projects directly from the Hand-producers who can rapidly customize for them. All these efforts are aimed at establishing a well- defined market link up revive crafts build trust create jobs keep the jobs in rural areas and establish an integrated model for sustainable and equitable livelihood. consumer ecosystem Direct Create aims to maximize the opportunity for the artisan community and showcase the art at the global level. One-of-a-kind Direct Create not only forges new bonds but also works on empowering the craft community by providing them with the best tools possible and gives them the freedom to tap their potential to the fullest and exposes them to the global market. With the launch of Direct Create operations in Europe through its new office in Amsterdam the future holds innumerable potential for the Indian crafts representation in the global design community. Direct Create is exhibiting an installation on the theme of “Craftsmanship in the Digital Age” at the MIlan Design Week 2019. Engaging in diverse projects that involve its network of artisans and craftsmen each year Direct Create incubates new handcrafted product development projects and presents it to the retailers and independent stores. Dedicated Founders Sheela has more than two decades of experience in the area of design and sustainable practices in areas ranging from craft revival textiles hand- crafted design space and architecture and eco-sustainable hospitality. With an in-depth knowledge flow of artisanal communities she has helped craft a 360-degree design solution building ecosystems for self-reliance innovation and growth within these communities. Rajeev has worked on a wide range of culture linked design projects both at the micro and macro scales. He is one of the primary designers and the Project Director of the Jal Mahal Project which also helped restore Jal Mahal Monument and revive the ecology of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur. He has succeeded in bringing together the government civil society “THE ETHOS OF SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES THAT CHARACTERIZES THE HANDMADE COMMUNITY RESONATES WITH OUTLOOK” MARCH 2019 53

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F ood is a basic necessity. But in this fast-paced life this basic necessity is perhaps the most neglected one. In an attempt to get more out of life and time people cut corners and mostly compromise on what they eat. Takeaways quick bites junk food food loaded with everything except nutrition is what people feed on in order to live. They only realize the damage when their body sends out a strong signal in the form of various ailments that this needs to stop. In order to live a filling life it s ’ necessary to boost the body with quality food and nutrition first. Rishit Sanghvi was no exception to this scenario eating without thinking and whatever he could grab at a given time. But what was different about him is that unlike others he chose to listen and not ignore what his body was trying to tell. That s when he started ’ eating homemade healthy nutrition bars and realized how tasty and fulfilling healthy food can be. Inspired by the healthy transformation of himself he wanted and set out to provide these healthy alternatives. So with determination and aim to provide healthy snacks for all Wholesome Habits Private Limited which owns the brands ‘EAT Anytime’ and ‘Mindful’ began its journey. Laying Foundations EAT anytime started by Rishit Sanghvi and Rohit Garodia and is built on good faith and a dream. Both having worked at senior positions with large corporates are well-versed with the complexities a startup can face and well equipped to deal with. The duo is complemented by a team which comes from different strata of Education and Qualification but carry the same vision and mission to create products which tasty and healthy. Redefining Healthy and Mindful Eating Being healthy and fit is the latest lifestyle revolution. But defining healthy is perhaps trickier than being healthy Rishit Sanghvi Founder MD Rohit Garodia Co-founder 54 MARCH 2019

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itself. Seeing the craze behind healthy and super-foods the market is flooded with products that promise to be the manna from heaven. But are they really When Rishit and his team started research with respect to the healthy snacking market they realized that there is no standard definition of health. Products being marketed as healthy were high on Sugar Glucose or simply too processed to provide natural goodness. So their first task was to have their own definition of Health which could reflect their philosophy. As a result EAT Anytime and Mindful products contain no added sugars have a low glycemic index no transfat or cholesterol and are rich in anti-oxidants protein and essential fatty acids. Their second task is to re-educate the consumers. Since the last few years they are being fed with information and healthy food that is far from healthy. And it certainly takes time to redo something that’s been undone. Through the seminar pop-up carts events at various other platforms Rishit and his team are making people see their definition of health. If the response to their products is something to go by people are actually agreeing that a healthy snack with a nutrient advantage like wholesome products is what they need. Best of Both Worlds EAT Anytime started with the sole aim of providing easy snacking solutions to people. With health at its core EAT Anytime products are what today people need which is a perfect amalgamation of Health and Taste. From nutritious energy bars to pure whey protein cookies and wholesome trail mixes each and every product is carefully crafted under the supervision of Industry experts such as Nutritionist Food Technologist Chefs etc. to give best to the consumers. Flavors like mango- ginger and chyanwanprash are combining the best of taste and health secrets that are known to every Indian. Standing Out Rishit says “Health industry is the most evolving industry and offers “We believe that being honest and transparent is what makes us unique and will help us evolve and flourish” wide scope for innovation. The biggest advantage we have is the consumer today needs and demands healthier options.” He agrees that there is a huge competition and to keep it on the top his team focuses on two things only: • Deliver what is promised in terms of quality and health • Nurture the trust of the patrons • Be transparent and true to the core philosophy of health For a Healthy Future EAT Anytime started with an idea a vision and an inspiration and it is amazing to see its growth chart and how far it has come. Rishit a set entrepreneur now advised the young entrepreneurs making their way to “Go for it work on that idea work on that dream and Give your best. It is going to be a roller-coaster ride and a lot of bumps on the road but in the end it is worth it all.” The start-up market is in full rage and Rishit expects a lot of competition springing up this year. EAT Anytime is extensively researching ways to benefit its consumers and trying to come up with innovative and healthier options. 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 55

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STARTUP LESSONS Every Founder Should Know “I don’t know a startup that hasn’t been through tough times” - Vinod Khosla American-businessman 56 MARCH 2019

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tartup – a buzzing platform which is disrupting the S world with its phenomenal knacks is also extending its hand and contributing towards the upliftment of the Indian economy. It is the beginning of an exciting journey with a dash of nervousness. However is this journey easy No not at all Establishing a startup requires right execution of plans. It is a pathway where one has to cover the fundamental grounds and be at the forefront of creativity and innovation. Cementing the cornerstones of an organization in a tech- driven world is not an easy job. Guts to face challenges and capabilities to convert those challenges into opportunities can surely be a step towards launching the dream startup. Besides embracing the technology and adapting to changes would form a framework enough to withstand the complexities of the marketplace. Today the emerging players are moving beyond valuations and creating real businesses with their startup initiatives. Being distinctive is not the only aspect which can help founders to create a niche in their respective sectors the startup square demands more. Here are some tactics to revolutionize the startup world and create a one-of-its-kind ripple in the business waters. Support the Team The phrase ‘Boss is Always Right’ could be changed into ‘Being a Mentor to the Team’ as encouraging employees would help generate profitable outcomes for sure. Successful enterprises are formed by effective execution and this large-scale execution never happens single- handedly. Team is the biggest asset to brainstorm with when bootstrapping – starting from scratch. One should ‘elect’ decisions rather than select take unanimous decisions considering the whole team. The Founder is the one who takes an entire team along with his/her vision. Same works the other way round Be a leader who cherishes brainstorm ideas and craziest plans in the workplace. Be patient with the work-force as launching a startup involves trials and errors. In short the idea is to maintain a fruitful and constructive relationship with the employees to be on the same page. Cheers to Small Wins Startup demands agility for the longer run but don’t miss out the smaller accomplishments – celebrating small wins play a significant role in the growth of an organization. Breaking large operations into small milestones and striving to accomplish them would be useful in managing all resources including finances and define the goal that one is chasing while starting up. Trivial achievements would set the bar high and also implement a step-wise approach across the employees ensuring the work in tandem. An Italian proverb ‘drop by drop you can break the rock’ truly defines that success never happens overnight One has to face a successive wave of challenges to taste the success cuisine. Focus on the Next Creating a timeline for the listed goals would help a lot. It would help focusing on the future footsteps at its best. Running a startup in a space outlined by the standards of demand and supply comes with a dare where each step counts. Steps taken in the past and present and steps that would be considered in the future. Focusing on the next would help instill actions that route through the tunnel of goals that one digs. Making ‘Learning from the past’ a habit would create a difference and surely empower upcoming creativities. Form a bucket list of the initial ideas design choices and product features to be worked on after a ‘win’ and outshine own benchmark to create a ‘win-win’ situation for the forthcoming. This would help the founder of a company to decode what the customers want what the employees gain and what the investors earn. Giving Back to the Society Earning profits is necessary for the overall development of a startup as it takes years of sheer determination and unified efforts to place the keystones for its establishment. However aiming to give back to the society would help startup achieve a distinct and diversified repute in the competitive market. ‘Committed to make it better for all’ can create a one-of-its-kind history. Also opining employees about the social responsibilities would keep the company as well as the customers on the same table. Backing out is Never an Option “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough” – Og Mandino American-author. One has rightly said that ‘failures are the stepping stones to success’. Failures create a platform where one can masters the art of never losing hope. For a player getting back to the field after losing is not an easy task but that’s what makes him/her flexible to surpass the future challenges. Moreover backing out is never an option when one has the determination to take risks and see beyond the conventional cosmos of ideas. With each passing the day the technology advancements are taking pace and unlocking doors to numerous opportunities for the emerging players. As 2018 was a challenging as well as an opportunistic year for the startups the year 2019 would be the year which would create possibilities to prosper like never before. - Rahul Niraj Lessons to Learn MARCH 2019 57

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Society and technology are infusing today at a faster pace than any point in our history. The rise of the internet and all things digital seem to have brought to life the motto ‘out with the old in with the new’. Even concepts relating to technology such as Moore’s law which dictated that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years don’t apply any longer. With so much disruption in almost every facet of life it’s no surprise that brands organizations individuals and educational institutions amongst others realize the urgent need to adapt in order to survive and thrive. Without an online presence that drives engagement and active participation entities will undoubtedly be setting themselves up for failure. The Digital Age S 58 MARCH 2019

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In order to truly prosper in such a landscape businesses must reinvent the manner in which they operate in the digital arena from the ground up. Truly embracing the digital arena requires one to reassess the manner in which business is conducted and realizing where value truly lies. With over six billion people world over using smartphones in order to access information services and goods focusing on digital communication first is a no-brainer. To be able to succeed effectively in this digital environment being familiar with the four pillars underpinning a digital transformation can provide any organization and individual with a head-start. Coding Coding refers to the skill of designing writing testing implementing and maintaining a computer programme’s source code. This is usually written in a programming language which consists of its own syntax and meaning. By coding one can perform a variety of tasks such as developing a mobile application website or software. Computers essentially interpret all commands in a series of binary 1 and 0 Yes and No. The need to make this binary language more accessible led to the creation of computer programming languages. Every computer language serves a dedicated purpose however they all essentially translate commands into a binary code. Not all programming languages are created equally as some are easier to learn and pick up than others such as C Java Ruby and Python. Although similar when it comes to syntax these languages are applied in different kinds of applications. The ability to code gives one the power to gain a higher degree of control over the technology we rely upon a daily basis. Through coding one can create software scripts that can help automate a lot of redundant and manual efforts that allow a human to work on better and smarter projects. Whether for professional use or personal many people find the need for a website or a blog. Rather than relying on third parties one can quite easily accomplish these tasks with a simple understanding of coding. Karan Shah is the Founder and CEO of Indian Institute of Digital Education IIDE - an organization rolling out best-in- class Digital Marketing training in Mumbai. He has studied his Private Equity E-Commerce Strategies from Harvard University. Being a tech enthusiast and a public speaker Karan aims to transform the education landscape of India by making it fun and practical through his experience-based learning methodology and support of trainers well-equipped with industry experience and hands-on learning techniques. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Karan Shah Founder CEO Leaders Thought MARCH 2019 59

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Digital Design With consumers spending an increasing amount of time on online platforms making sure that they are able to navigate through online portals in a manner that is accessible is of key importance. Digital design refers to the use of digital tools in order to create websites and mobile applications along with a host of online content spanning a range of industries. Digital design includes a wide array of content ranging from social media email and web ads to 3D modeling and 2D animation. Digital designers focus on elements such as User Experience UX and User Interface UI which factors in components such as accessibility utility design and human factors. Owing to the wide variety of skills required to accomplish these tasks digital designers are required to be able to operate tools such as Adobe Illustrator Photoshop and Indesign along with possessing coding skills in HTML5 CSS3 along with Javascript. Digital Marketing Marketing has traditionally referred to the process of interacting with the desired audience in the right place at the right time. The term digital marketing refers to the use of digital tactics and mediums to connect with an audience where it spends a majority of its time on the internet. Digital marketing encompasses aspects such as the business website its digital advertising email marketing search engine optimization content marketing among others. Using digital platforms organizations are able to propagate their campaigns in a manner that is more streamlined faster and more responsive to the rapid occurrences in the media landscape. Using SEO websites blog posts infographics ebooks whitepapers ads on social media platforms an organization can not only gain and retain customers but also do so in a manner that is cost effective. The key purpose behind all digital marketing efforts is to heighten a brand’s awareness build maintain a relationship with their customers and to generate leads. The effectiveness of all endeavors can be measured in a precise manner through the use of key performance indicators KPI. One of the key advantages of digital marketing efforts over traditional marketing is that performance is measured in real time which in turn allows the return on investment to be measured. Data Analysis Data analysis can be summed up as the examination of raw data and applying algorithmic or mechanical processes in order to be able to gather insights. A major portion of the work that data analysis accomplishes therefore relates to inferring what datasets are trying to convey. With the massive amount of metrics being gathered there is an apparent need for uncovering insights and trends within this data. How these raw data sets are processed and what must be done to turn this data into actionable intel is where data analysis comes in. Data analysis is utilized for a number of purposes such as forecasting income and expenditure managing production and distribution analyzing search and buying behavior along with unearthing information as it pertains to customers and significant trends. The combination of these functions allows organizations to improve business practices effective decision making and provides the necessary edge to take the lead over competitors. The Path Ahead In the current digital landscape any business that expects to maintain an edge over its competition has to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating emerging technologies within its existing workflows. Ensuring that an organisation is comprised of individuals that are well versed in digital technologies and are adequately skilled can help it stay ahead of potential disruptions achieve a greater deal of efficiency and increase value to its customers. That is because eventually by the end of the day companies will be going through a phase of digital transformation. To do that people need coders who can build the base designers who make it usable marketers who sell it and data analysts who optimize the whole process. 60 MARCH 2019

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Empowering Farmers Transforming Agriculture I n India majority of the farmers have land holdings of less than five acres. These small farmers have to face various challenges and are unable to gain access to contemporary Agricultural technologies. This is where EM3 Agri Services Pvt. Ltd. steps in with its novel platform enabling farmers to embrace technology in an efficient and affordable manner. Through its network of 250+ Farm Centers – Samadhan Kendras and custom hiring centres equipment services on pay for use backed by IT-enabled systems it is striving hard for the betterment of the farmers and their farms. Working in states of MP Chhattisgarh Rajasthan UP these centers are well-equipped by agri-professionals to deliver a comprehensive suite of basic and precision farm operations Farming as a Service - FaaS throughout the entire crop production cycle. The company’s operations are designed to deliver the following to its farmers: Quality – Every service line along with its constituents machines and operators of Samadhan platform go through rigorous selection and training for highest level of quality and delivery. 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The Rohtash Mal Co-founder Adwitya Mal Co-founder 62 MARCH 2019

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Assurance – Offering standardized quality transparent billing and timely service is the company’s speciality. Convenience – Farmer can easily reach EM3 and book their services through multiple channel monitor the work in progress/completed manage transactions etc. Empowering farmers since 2014 EM3 has gathered various accolades over the years including: Ÿ Finalist AP AgTech Pitch Competition Ÿ Emerging social entrepreneur 2018 Ÿ Recognized as top 50 ventures in Smart CEO startup India 2017 program Ÿ fastcompany Indian top 10 - 2018 Ÿ world agritech - global strategy awards 2016 Meet the Dynamic ‘Duo’ Rohtash Mal and Adwitya Mal are the Co-founders of EM3 Agri Services Pvt. Ltd. Rohtash has more than four decades of experience in various profiles at - Maruti Suzuki Ltd. Ballarpur Industries Ltd. Bharti Airtel Ltd. Bharti Field Fresh Ltd. and Escorts Ltd. He got noteworthy recognitions for turning around two organizations and building few large enterprises throughout his professional journey. Adwitiya has completed his MBA from the Simon School of Business University of Rochester. He started his career as a front line sales manager with ICICI Prudential Delhi. Before co-founding EM3 he was the Asia Strategy Manager responsible for developing the corporate strategy for AXA in their Asian headquarters. Later he served as a Strategic Programs Manager and was also responsible for driving major multi- country strategic initiatives at AXA. Being at the Forefront With a footprint covering more than 2000 villages and growing team EM3 consists of professionals from various domains including Agronomy Mech Operations Agribusiness Rural marketing Finance Technology etc. The company is constantly thriving hard for bringing improvements in operations and customer service. Assuring quality and designing launching customizable products has key significance at EM3 which helps it to withstand the complexities of the market. The company offers significant growth opportunities to its employees apart from the unique opportunity to help bring smiles to farmer’s faces and empowers them to bring their ideas to the table. Its core strength is its people and in addition to an active HR function senior management team also often mentors this young team. Empowering Farmers Bringing new-age technologies to the farmer’s in a complex market was not an easy task for EM3. The farmers are used to traditional agricultural practices and were initially hesitant to use the latest available technology. But slowly and steadily the company’s hard work paid off by introducing the farmers to newer technologies. The company strongly believes that there is no substitute for engaging with farmers directly and is unique in its strong physical presence. Today the farmers are seeking the services provided by the company repeatedly and exploring tech-enabled farming processes like never before Lessons to Take on With the advent of satellites imagery AI drones and sci-fi like cloud computing new age technologies are finally impacting the hinterland. Acknowledging this exciting time the company advices the budding entrepreneurs to adopt an approach of focusing on providing solutions to markets rather than finding markets for solutions. Aim to Achieve More The potential in the agriculture sector has not been harnessed to its full potential till date. This means that there are a number of large problems to be solved for in this industry. The company is on a mission of expansion in other services and geographies. With an innovation wing EM3 is constantly making moves to develop new-age products and service lines which will transform farming into an occupation yielding profitable outcomes for all stakeholders. Having gained a name in the mechanization space the company plans to spread its portfolio outside mechanization and become a one-stop solution for all farm related needs. “Lets restore farming to its rightful place as the bedrock of our nation” MARCH 2019 63

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I n today’s competitive world Education is of utmost significance. It is a powerful weapon which can pass on a better earth for the Gen Z. Acknowledging this scenario Footprints Preschool and Daycare is striving hard with a vision to disrupt the learning landscape to its best Established in 2012 the institute is rolling-out Play School and Day-care programs for the parents looking for world-class education and child-care for their children. Currently Footprints has preschools in different parts of the country including Delhi NCR Lucknow Kanpur Bangalore Pune and Hyderabad. One of the biggest challenges the pre-school faced is assuring the parents that it is true to its commitments. As such Footprints came up with Live CCTV Feed which parents could watch through their mobiles. This ensures that if the institute has organized a dance activity at 11 AM on Thursday it would be executed with sheer dedication It consistently focuses on maintaining child/teacher ratios and trainings with complete transparency. Footprints is one of the pioneer of CCTV live feed and has successfully created trustworthy relationships with parents. Today the parents are just interested in some key updates like ‘did the children eat’ and ‘how much they have eaten’ along with the activities they performed. For this the institute has developed a Footprints App – through which parents receive live mobile updates in the form of messages. This app is active and is running successfully on both Android and iOS platforms with over 10K downloads on Android. The pre-school had also added various easy-to-use features to this app including self- service portal online payment and customer support. Meet the Exceptional Leaders – The Inception Saga Raj Singhal is the CEO at Footprints Preschool and Daycare. He has been instrumental in stirring a Product Development Firm to 10M USD and three Countries as Co-founder and COO before his successful exit. Purvesh Sharma is Co-founder and COO of Footprints Preschool and Daycare. Prior to starting Footprints Purvesh was co-founder and CEO of an eLearning company with 50000 Customers in 120 Countries. Purvesh’s vision for life is helping people lead meaningful and fulfilling lives and he believes that revolutionizing education is the source of the same. Purvesh is alumnus of IIT Delhi. Ashish Aggarwal is the CFO of the institute. He has a wide experience of working with banks in India and Japan which includes his noteworthy contribution at CITIBANK Tokyo. IIT-Delhi alumni Raj and Purvesh as parents faced problem in finding a world-class pre-school and day-care service for their children. Raj in his last venture was travelling to the US and the UK and there he saw the quality of day-cares to be of a very high quality. While in India day-cares were largely sleeping and eating centers were operated under poor safety and security measures which had hardly any reasons to rely-on. Keeping this in mind Raj in association with Purvesh and Ashish Co-founded Footprints Preschool and Daycare with an aim to surpass the traditional barriers of the education space. Another core member of the institute is Amita Bhardwaj the VP. She has twenty-seven years of experience in functioning at various play schools. Heading six branches 3500 Kids in her last position with the Leading Play School chain Amita is the only ‘Highscope Certified Trainer’ in India. More about Footprints For the safety and security of children the pre-school has adopted several measures including CCTV Auditing – Live CCTV streaming’s that are viewed by the 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The A Preferred Parenting Partner 64 MARCH 2019

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Ashish Aggarwal CFO Purvesh Sharma Co-founder and COO Amita Bhardwaj VP Raj Singhal CEO “We are pointing the children towards a brighter future” in-house audit team to ensure all safety and security protocols are met. Soft Padding – Covering the spaces between the doors and sharp edges to avoid getting fingers between the doors. Herbal Pest Control – A routine herbal pest control is done every weekend along with a thorough deep cleaning of the premises. Cushioned Flooring – It reduces the risk of getting injured significantly. Guard App – All visitors have to enter an OTP to enter the premises. Biometric Access – All Parents and staff are given biometric access. Female Staff – Footprints only employ female staff except the guard. Every quarter there is a mock evacuation drill that happens at the centre. The staff also gets trained in fire evacuation fire mitigation aids and resources. The Employing Procedure Before joining there is a medical check along with background documents that the employee has to submit. Footprints also outsourced a BGV agency for doing background checks and police verifications. There is a three weeks training programme ensuring that each ‘supermam’ has to go through before being on the job. The Existing Picture Most of the institutions are not exposed to the new-age technology that has come up which can really help a campus to be at a safer place. In some cases it is reluctance to spend money on security and safety. The institute believes that the willingness to spend on education as consumer is also in question. “If we don’t pay our teachers well and expect them to be teachers for passion we will not attract best talent and that will eventually decrease quality of education including safety and security. When you don’t have enough quality people not only quality of education but all aspects including safety and security will go for a toss” says the core team. MARCH 2019 65

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50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The Hug Innovations Unleashing New-age Technologies for a Better Future E stablished in 2014 Hug Innovations is a next-gen Wearable and IoT solutions- based company currently operating from Cupertino California and Hyderabad India. The company specializes in IIoT and has built diversified innovative solutions for global brands. It has developed a patented technology for Human Machine Interaction using Gesture. This Gesture recognition technology uses an ingenious blend of ML AI Cognitive Science and Contextual Intelligence to deliver an unparalleled touchless interactive experience with connected device. The Resilient Leader Backed by more than nineteen years of experience in the IT industry Raj Neravati is the Founder and CEO of HUG Innovations. He had successfully stirred various profiles with a proven track record of managing and generating profitable outcomes for companies like Cigniti and AppLabs. No matter what the corporate experience one has the startup world teaches something new and distinctive. Raj is no different and has faced several challenges in raising money stabilizing hardware eco-system for manufacturing and finding the best talent. He says “Persistence and determination are the two key factors that helped him in staying where he is today” Surpassing Challenges For any emerging startup the two major challenges are raising funds and rolling out a product which can withstand the complexities of the market. Similarly when Hug started its initial journey wearable market was evolving with respect to the choice of 66 MARCH 2019 Raj Neravati Founder and CEO

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At Hug Innovations meritocracy is followed as a principle which creates a sense of ownership among everyone. Instead of believing that innovation is a leader’s responsibility the company believes that employees are the cornerstones which majorly contribute to its success voyage. Considering employees as brand ambassadors there are financial packages defined to incentivize them to think and act differently and get rewarded. Employees get to attend several technical workshops and conferences where they interact with consumers and get firsthand experience on innovation. This empowers the company to go back to the drawing boards and sharpen its decision-making processes in order to craft out new-age solutions. Noteworthy Accolades Over the years Hug has created a niche in its sector by adding several feathers to its hat including: th · 16 fastest growing companies in India by Deloitte Fast 50 2018 · Cool Vendor in Wearable Technologies by Gartner August 2018 · Top 10 Start-ups for Innovation Global Mobile Challenge Mobile World Congress -Barcelona 2017 · Top 8 Qualcomm Design in India 2017 · Industrial Final Winner at “Innovation Entrepreneurship International Competition” in Pingshan China 2017 · Top 3 Design4india by Facebook · Top 10 Hottest Start-ups by Nasscom India Emerge 50 League of 10 2017 An Advisory Note India as an economy is a place flooded with opportunities for entrepreneurs to bring innovative solutions to the table and unlock the doors of success. However it takes time to figure out and execute right strategies and solutions which can withstand the complexities of the market. The company advices the beginners to have at least a two year roadmap in order to stay relevant and focused. It also guides them to embrace change be persistent learn from failures and succeed from those learnings. Future Maneuvers There will be a raise in the number of startups that would disrupt the world with utmost prominence. The Venture Capitals VC’s will play a significant role in taking risks on leveraging futuristic technologies and be more bullish like never before. Acknowledging this scenario Hug Innovations is planning to pull-in a creative blend of AI and IoT by consistently focusing on innovation and RD of these technologies. Apart from all this the company is all set to start the process of raising Series A funds. “Endeavoring to bridge the gap between people and technology” System On a Chip SOC chipset and the screens. As per finance is concerned the company faced every challenge with protruding will and successfully raised 1.4 MM Pre-Series A. Even today offering the right product at right price and quenching the clientele is not an easy task. The wearable market is continuously evolving and spreading its wings across various industries like Health care Insurance Financial Services etc. As such Hug has efficaciously strived hard to stay futuristic in terms of innovation and embraced tech-enabled advancements to its core Unique Strategies Outshining Others Innovative Technology | Superior Consumer Experience | Great Quality | Competitiveness “We always position our products for mid-market and consider ourselves as premium for middle class. We don’t compete with the big players or reduce ourselves to compete with Chinese market” states Raj. Hug Innovations is amongst the frontrunners which has developed a gesture-controlled patent pending technology which helps it to stand tall amongst its peers when it comes to innovation. Along with IoT and IIoT the company has also pivoted itself into Consumer Appliances and Agri-tech. It has developed proprietary IP using AI that makes it unique and different from the market. MARCH 2019 67

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M o n e y Begets M o n e y Startup Finance Explained L ike it or not but the world other than the sun does revolve around Money Right from the moment one is born till the last moment money is needed at every stage and day of life. While our jobs are a way to earn money and fulfil our needs for some a job is just not enough. While a job guarantees a constant flow of money and routine life there are some who want more out of life. Instead of doing a job they work to create new jobs and make their passion as their job. Entrepreneurs as we know them are people who try and bring new products and services into their own and other’s life. Instead of a regular just another job they look to create solutions to problems that others tend to either ignore or learn to live with. They are full of ideas that aim at creating a better world. And with like every other idea to bring their own into life they need money to start their own company. Startup finance is the first thing they need to learn and understand in order to establish their company and start working on their ideas. Starting a new business isn’t easy. One needs passion ideas resources belief conviction courage and most importantly money. 68 MARCH 2019

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Like everything else money matters too need proper planning when one starts a new venture. Immaculate planning finding legal and proper sources calculation of breakeven taxes are all encompassed during the forming days of a startup. And not everyone is blessed with a family business to find their new venture. Most entrepreneurs have to start from scratch and build their dream and the company. With the startup trend catching up with India and many laws and regulations being formed to help and protect their interests people are trying to break their regular moulds and try something on their own. So for everyone who has an idea but money matters are proving to be a deterrent here’s how funding works for start-ups. The Start-up Funding Cycle According to experts here’s the funding cycle that a start-up goes through: There are three phases to a start-up’s journey here and accordingly various stages of funding are required in these phases. The First Phase The first phase is the initial time period ranging from founding the company to floating it i.e. putting it up for production. This period from receiving the initial fund to float the company until the time it starts generating revenue is also popularly known as the Death Valley curve or Valley of Death Curve. During this period money is needed to set up the company including infrastructure registration finding human resources finding clients and more. The funding stages in this period are: Seed Round – Seed Round consists of pre-seed funding and post-seed funding. Investors during this round of funding include self and FFF Friends Family. This is the initial investment that goes into the company. Self-funding or bootstrapping a Money Matters MARCH 2019 69

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company is very common and generally entrepreneurs involved with the start-up invest their own savings or ask their close-ones to invest in them. Angel Funding – Angel Funding or Angel Investors are people outside the entrepreneur’s close family and friend’s circle who invests in the start-up. This person is generally wealthy enough to fund the company and must have faith in the idea that he/she is about to fund think Shark Tank. The Second Phase The second phase is the Growth Stage of the company. The startup has escaped the valley of death and is now in a progressive stage. Stability rushes in with products and services been figured out major clients found and convinced and the company can celebrate the first stage of win. To grow the company requires the next stage of funding. If the startup is a huge hit chances are it will fund itself for the next step. But mostly it requires going through another round of outside funding known as Venture Capitalist Funding. What significantly makes this round different from the previous one is that now equities or ownership stakes of the company are involved. This investment in a growing company by the investors is seen as a high-risk and high- return opportunity. And the return is often in terms of shares or equity in the company in lieu of the money invested. This funding is divided into: Series A – In this round a start-up generally seeks to expand its base. It has its product or services detailed out and a niche already crafted. It now seeks to expand in order to turn more profitable and having a business model to present the investors is a must. The investors are now looking for ideas that have been translated into a company with a strong strategy to turn even more successful and money-making. Series B – This round of funding is for the company’s growth to meet the new levels of demand being created by the expanding business. If a company reaches this stage it has successfully established itself into the market and is now building itself into a brand. In order to meet new demands and expectations it is necessary to build a strong team and a growing network which can be done through funding. Series C – If a startup is at this stage it is considered a successful one. Investors are looking for a quick investment with quick returns hence a successful company to invest in. In this round focus is mainly on carrying out the successful run scaling the company and growing. In a successful company the different rounds have different valuations with its stock prices increasing at every round. However in case the company isn’t successful and is seeking investment just to redeem itself and its losses its valuation decreases with every round. Mezzanine Financing Bridge Loans At this stage the startup is blooming with revenues pouring in but not very profitable yet. The funds raised here are channelled towards expansion to new markets mergers acquisitions or preparing for an IPO next stage. At this stage investors Look for a clear roadmap toward profit in short duration. Mezzanine Financing a mixed form of debt and equity financing i.e. raising money through the sale of shares is preferred at this stage. So a start-up at this stage raises money through mezzanine financers or acquisitions or even mergers with like start-ups in order to grow together profitably. The Third Phase IPO or Initial Public Offering is the way to raise money at this phase. While not the ultimate goal going public is an option to expand a start-up even further. Most investors have had their share of profit by now. Going forward some investors may seek to retain their shares while some sell their shares. Once a company goes public it also garners more interest and top players in the industry. The opening stock price is set with the help of investment bankers who commit to shares and raising money for the company. More importantly once a start-up goes public it is no more a start-up. It is now a successful company which has made it here against all odds. The story which started as an idea is now known to all and its products and services are now being cherished by its consumers. It has grown all the way garnering adoration generating money and profits and enriching both the investors and the lives of those it touched all along. - Sneha Sinha 70 MARCH 2019

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INNOSTUD The Perfect Blend of Innovation and Learning stablished in 2019 E INNOSTUD is a first-of-its- kind mobile application platform helping schools and coaching institutes to automate their administrative work efficiently. Abbreviated from Innovative Studies the company is on a mission to engage parents and students by sending live updates and notifications about their children on a daily basis. Headquartered in Chandrapur Maharashtra the company is also focusing on improving the teaching and learning experience for teachers and students in the schools across India. With its School Automation System Institute Automation System ATAL Tinkering Labs and Innovation Labs for Experiential learning for Class 6th -10th Grade it is changing the face of the Indian education. Since inception the company is striving to fill the loopholes between computing marks automatically to required grading system as per any State Boards CBSE and ICSE without any errors and notifying parents about it through mobile app as students sometimes hide it from parents and then blames the school about not notifying them. INNOSTUD’S mobile application effectively notifies parents about their child’s performance with the visual analytics comparing it with their last performance. Tracking their child who is travelling by school bus in of such innovative systems into the schools. Thanks to his ‘not giving up’ attitude and the angel investors who believed in his idea. Prashik saw numerous opportunities in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where the educational market is transforming for better with each passing day. So after completing his Masters in 2018 he came back to India and built an IT team to develop an automation system. For him understanding the technology and establishing a framework for such a system was filled with several challenges. But slowly and steadily theproduct was tested and operated successfully. As such Prashik along with his team started marketing it out in cities in Central Maharashtra. Currently Innostud is winning the hearts of around 3000 parents students and is all set to target 20000+ students by 2019. This business model is like a subscription model where the company charge schools on per student per annum basis. The pricing of subscription varies depending on the number of students a school has whereas school can also choose from various features accordingly as per its priorities and functional requirements. Some More Insights As parents are getting engaged virtually with the schools they believe that they are being valued and a strong real-time just like Uber or OLA ensures the child safety and corrective actions can be taken if required in an emergency situation. Best part is about Online fees payment just like Paytm or Google Pay to eliminate the efforts of going to the school for payments. It is placing its best foot forward by collecting benchmarking insights from the parents in order to improve the future scenario. The company also rolls out customized services to quench the needs of the clientele to the core. Meet the Founder Prashik Chitkesiwar is the Founder and CEO of Innostud. He is a Mechanical Engineer and has also completed his Masters in Management from University College Dublin Ireland recently. There he came across a platform that made class presentations notifications connecting with professors and submitting the assignments and projects easily. This inspired Prashik to develop a similar sort of platform for schools and later for coaching institutes as well. Entering into the business world with an aim to become an entrepreneur without any experience was not an easy task for him. It was tough to convince the clients even though the product was great as there were lot of stakeholders who were involved in the decision-making and implementation 72 MARCH 2019

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trust is built due to such initiatives. Even digitizing the schools and making the school automation system completely white labeled helps to create a brand value for the school. This is where Innostud stands tall in helping schools and coaching institutes to achieve its goals. The company is partnered with SRJNA Ed-Tech Company which deals with STEM education in India by setting up Atal Tinkering Labs and SRJNA Innovation Labs. In this e-learning era it is making concrete efforts to bring experiential learning back to the school again. A Long Way to Go Soon Innostud will be entering the coaching market for 8th - 10th grade where students will take a deeper dive into concepts of science backed by experiments and 3-D models for Physics Chemistry and Biology. They can also opt for a one month as well as a short long duration program to avail experiential learning to its best. Further the company is planning to bring in some activity- based learning by providing students with ‘take home’ kits to properly understand the concepts they have in their science curriculum. It is also moving forward to open robotics labs for school going students in Tier 3 cities to help students experience the STEM education. The Bottom Line Prashik mainly follows the ideology of “It’s not the hope it’s the determination which sets you apart” by Prasad Vedpathak YouTuber which inspires him allot. Acknowledging the current scenario of the business world Prashik carries an opinion in order to empower the neophytes “I would say young entrepreneurs should take the risk of trying it once if they are passionate and determined to achieve what they want to do and should never lose hope until you succeed.” Prashik Chitkesiwar Founder and CEO “Don‘t be a Scholar be an INNOSTUD” 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 73

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stablished in 2015 Matrubharti Technologies E Pvt. Ltd. is a pioneer vernacular content community startup aiming to transform the internet landscape with its creativity par excellence. Headquartered at Ahmedabad Gujarat the company has rolled out an exquisite online platform for bringing together the Indian language and literature lovers and share love and passion accordingly. It is a unique way of discovering one-self With more than Five million downloads of stories the company is a prominent podium to read write and share ideas and content with thousands of fellow readers and writers. Matrubharti is the right place for various regional artists to showcase their talent and earn a distinguished repute. Since inception the company is striving as a springboard for several aspiring artists and enthusiasts helping them explore the greater success orbit. Matrubharti has empowered the journey and changed the lives of many. From being a novice to getting associated with media publications and publishing books the company has helped individuals in achieving their dreams. Matrubharti is an open platform where language enthusiasts visit to engage with tomorrow’s famous authors and theater artists. Offering the right directions and encouraging the language lovers and budding artists is the company’s forte. Meet the Foremost Personas A Software Engineer by profession and a poet by passion Mahendra Sharma Co-founder CEO is the and of Matrubharti. With an aim to dissolve the challenges he and his fellow aspiring writers came across while publishing their content on a digital platform he placed the cornerstones of the company. Acknowledging that ease of use technological prowess and reaching the masses are the key parameters to be successful Mahendra had been stirring every operation at Matrubharti to make it a globally recognized company. With three decades of experience in IT landscape Nilesh Shah Co-founder is another of the company. After working for twelve years in USA his love for his motherland brought him back to India. Being an industry veteran Nilesh adroitly connects with people with his charming personality and inspiring words. At Matrubharti he plays a pivotal role in attaining and retaining industry partnerships. He is passionate about writing and also publishes his content on the web portal of the company. Apart from all this Nilesh is an athlete who has earned close to 45 medals and awards in swimming running and cycling in India and USA. The Initial Struggle One of the major challenges which the company faced during its establishment was the unavailability of the Matrubhar ti Vernacular Content Community Mahendra Sharma Co-founder CEO Nilesh N Shah Co-founder 74 MARCH 2019

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regional keyboards. But with concrete efforts Matrubharti developed regional keyboards that could be accessible to all the users and help them writing in their native languages on the mobile app/browser. Another significant obstacle which came across was converting the word documents or pdf into an ‘e-pub’ which can be appropriately displayed and downloaded on the mobile platform. To overcome this obstacle Matrubharti used its proprietary technology for the e-pub conversion and proper encryption so that the content published on its web portal could be viewed on its app and quench its copyright and privacy purposes. More about Matrubharti Vernacular Content | Literature | Indian Languages “We focus on what our customers are using our platform as” says the founder. Keeping its niche and USP onboard the company consistently strives to refine its services and make them better and easily accessible to the masses. Embracing potentially disruptive new-age technologies like ML and AI helps Matrubharti to stand tall amongst its peers and offer an unmatchable user experience. Making a difference in a digital world where the pathway to success is flooded with challenges the company has stepped in as a disruptor taking swift moves to dismantle the conventions. It brings the vision of every employee to the table and inspires them to uphold the company heritage and culture. High-quality content of different formats on a single platform and a medium to interact with other language enthusiasts and aspiring artists is what best describes Matrubharti. It focuses on user engagement and efficiently carries out operations related to it for achieving greater milestones in the longer run. The company has been recognized as a leader in the vernacular content space by Forbes India Financial Express and other renowned newspapers and media publications. Over the years the company has collected various jewels in its pocket including: • Selected as Tech30 2018 from YourStory Media • Hot100 Startup 2017 by CIO Media • Selected as Best 50 Startups of Gujarat in Vibrant Gujarat 2017 • Young Turks CNBC18 and TieTheKnot Finalist 2016 • mBillionth Award for Best Cultural App Asia 2016 A Note to Remember Matrubharti advices the young minds to follow their passion and don’t be disappointed and discouraged by intermediate failures. “If you believe in yourself and your path nothing can stop you from the success and you’ll always end up getting the required help at the right time so don’t lose courage” added Mahendra. Gaining More Strength The future is super promising as the ecosystem of accelerators VCs and others is getting more robust and agile in the tier-2 cities. More and more people are opting for entrepreneurship over employment at an early age which is a very good sign for future discoveries. On the other hand the success stories of many internet startups are also fueling this number like never before. This is a way towards gaining more strength and creating a better future for the next generation. Empowering Visions Connecting People “ “ MARCH 2019 75

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needful and kept evolving along the way. The Eureka Moment In 2014 Shreyans’s Father a practicing doctor was diagnosed with a major slip disc problem which was hampering his movement. At that time most of the patients who came for consultation were from rural areas. Acknowledging the overall scenario all the co-founders thought of embracing technology at its best with an ultimate aim to help the patients of rural areas. There came the Eureka Moment that ‘why not to scale it up and start working on the solution for it’. Thus they started focusing to make processes more technology-enabled. Their distinctive research and extensive travel in rural areas enabled them to pin point major challenges in healthcare and this led to the foundation of MedCords. Shaping the Firm Uniquely For the firm strategy was very clear it wanted to be a single point destination for any healthcare query by a people mostly rural. It wanted to be the first POC for their health related needs. It is unique in the sense that is focused only on rural people. The one thing that sets MedCords apart from other competitors is very strong focus on Bottom-of-Pyramid users where need of healthcare is much more and there are not many options for them. MedCords have been awarded Best Healthcare Solution for its initiative in Kota smart city by urban development minister government of India. It is a recipient of prestigious Bhamashah Techno Fund by government of Rajasthan. It has been recognized among the Tech 30 Companies by YourStory. In-House Technology The ecosystem has been designed to cater to every citizen who has a mobile device. For People without smartphones : They avail all the services through local pharmacies who use “MedCords for Pharmacy App” where they get their health profile digitized and can also can take consultations. It also has a MedCords Lite app where in patients can view Bringing the Impactful Change in Healthcare 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The T he firm MedCords is set out to solve the problems for India and so it was born. The firm is making healthcare accessible affordable and efficient for all by leveraging data-science and is becoming a ‘real time’ healthcare decision making tool for citizens organizations and state governments. It generates insights for patients and doctors. Also it is moving towards preventive healthcare by taking data-driven decisions. The Trio Nikhil Baheti Saida Dhanavath and Shreyans Mehta are the Co-founders of MedCords. They are well-equipped with a perfect blend of ‘Local markets connect’ and ‘Expertise in Product Technology’. Shreyans Mehta has completed his BTech MIT Manipal. He has previously worked with HeroMotoCorp He looks after market execution and strategy. Nikhil Baheti has completed BE Hons. CS BITS Pilani. He has previously worked with Oracle Druva. He sees over the product vision strategizing product market fit and technology. Saida Dhanavath has done his M.Tech. CS IIT Bombay. Previously he was also working with Druva. He is the Chief Server Architect and looks after the entire cloud architecture and server designing security and privacy product development. Shreyans and Nikhil were childhood friends who extensively discussed their own personal experiences in inefficient healthcare services and its skewed access. While Shreyans comes from a family of doctors Nikhil stayed adjacent to the biggest hospital of city - seeing patients’ plight every day. Nikhil discussed this with Saida and he too agreed to have bad experiences in healthcare services in Telangana. Over a period of time the conviction to solve this problem became stronger. Finally they started executing by building a basic version and providing the 76 MARCH 2019

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records and tag doctors whom they want to share their records. This is less than 2 MB app and it works in low network areas. It is also working on a full featured DIY app which will be for users who can operate it easily. For Doctors and Hospitals it has web application wherein they can see intelligently-organized historical information of one’s health profile and the patient can simply walk in with the clinic paperless. The doctor needs to be given access by the patients from their mobile devices. Its Data Science Platform securely organizes the medical data of every patient and streamlines medical information about the patient in order to help the doctor efficiently understand and tremendously reduce misdiagnosis. Competition Landscape Many well-funded companies are solving the problem of doctor discovery telemedicine and drug delivery - primarily urban. However owing to the extremely diverse demographics one-size-fits-all approach in healthcare doesn’t work. Since it is catering to everyone in the pyramid very subjectively - patients doctors government and pharmacies it has seen that the complete integrated ecosystem is not present currently. Future Ideas The company is planning to expand across Rajasthan and expecting to have more than 2.5 million users on MedCords by end of 2019. It is also making its data science platform robust to determine disease-symptom relationships identification of health risk pattern in families. And the best part is it is also leveraging ML and AI to make doctor’s prescription writing experience simpler. A Piece of Advice “My advice is simple: Be focused. Be Grounded. Always ready to help.” – states Shreyans Mehta. Further he added “There is and will always be future for new ideas innovations in the ever-changing world.” Your Health Our Mission “ “ “ “ Nikhil Baheti Saida Dhanavath and Shreyans Mehta Co-founders MARCH 2019 77

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About the Author Devesh Chawla is the Founder and CEO of Chatur Ideas. Leading with excellence is what describes him the best He is a seasoned wealth manager associated with ultra HNI clients including some of the most reputed CXOs and business across India and overseas. Committed to add value to the startup segment Devesh is revolutionizing the entrepreneurship canvas in India to the core. Challenges Faced by Startups of st 21 Century and Solutions to Overcome them 78 MARCH 2019 Devesh Chawla Founder CEO

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ndia has a blooming startup I ecosystem although these creative ventures face countless challenges in this journey of self discovery and learning. Most startups come with an extraordinary dream although these dreams require a lot of dedication and hard work to build into reality. It takes much more than a great idea to become a successful startup and the determined execution of the idea involves a multitude of challenges for startups. Over the last decade about half the people in the country have shifted from being job seekers to job creators but only few of them have the access to the startup ecosystem in our country. The academics in the Indian education system does not prepare one to be a successful entrepreneur and starting a new venture is tough and every country like ours has high numbers of startups which face failure than success. The life changing 5Ps perseverance passion personalization patience and positivity are crucial for the advent of startups. Challenges make the journey of startups interesting and overcoming them is what makes them meaningful and there is no challenge more challenging than the ones which challenge to improve one’s performance. The following are some of the challenges faced by startups: Competitive Rivalry The market is fierce and there is intense competition for gaining large market share. Startups face competition from the companies which have dominated in the market making it difficult for a new player to survive and numerous other companies which are launching in the market with their innovative solutions to consumers. Competition posses’ challenges of survival although this competitive environment can help them to work aggressively and efficiently as they have no room for errors. Startups should research and plan their ideas create a unique product or service execute the business model and monitor the performance from time to time. Mentoring Startups often are unable to mold and execute the idea keeping all the different trends and factors in mind. They need to know the insights of the industry and develop strategies accordingly which will help them to gain a competitive edge and differentiation. Mentoring can help them to add valuable inputs from industry experts and leaders with the relevant expertise and experience in the industry they want to operate in. An honest and unbiased evaluation is needed to break the ice and address the problems better. Cash Flow Management One of the main problems startups face are related to finances. With the increasing expenses and delayed invoicing they struggle to pay their bills while waiting for money to arrive on time from the clients. Startups offer a service or product and wait for days for receiving the payment after sending the invoices and in the meantime they have to pay all the other incurring expenses. It is highly recommended for startups to have invoice factoring where they can factor their receivables assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs. Accurate budgeting and planning will help to manage finances. In a digital era where everything happens online secure payments can be made easily through mobile phones and tablets. Delegation Startups fall prey to the common trap of doing it all themselves and believe it will be done perfectly only if they do it. They cannot be jack of all trades as there is not sufficient time to accomplish the entire task alone. It is important to do what they are absolutely best at doing and delegate it to the employees who are capable of handling it or outsource it. They might have to pay a little more but it will result in substantial time savings and help them to focus on their key business goals and tasks. Risk Management Each startup faces risks while running the business. These risks ascend due to uncertainty about the consumer preferences market orientation competitor performances economic changes and many more. Startups have to confront these business risks mitigate their effects on the business prioritize them and adapt to the changing dynamics. Insurance backup of the database timely research and an effective judgment call has to be taken so that they can be cognizant to the risks. There is not going to be a sugar coating on the startup even after they overcome these challenges. Startups face challenges everyday. It is not possible that every idea works and one may try a lot of things but not everything will work successfully. The biggest st challenge with startups in the 21 century is the fear of embracing failure. We have been brought up to a culture where success is rewarded and failure is chastened. It is important to dream have the ambition and vision to set the bars high to enter a whole new world of startups who will drive strengths diversity and intensify the economy of the country. Industry Insider MARCH 2019 79

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Medibox Transforming B2B Pharma Market Digitally in India R ecounting the entrepreneurial stories it is easy to get caught in the narrative of a “million dollar” idea. But just thinking about an Idea is not enough There are many entrepreneurs who have ideas but few have the audacity to convert ideas into reality. With lethal combination of experience along with hard work passion determination and willingness to take risk one can achieve the aspirations of life. This story describes the journey of Medibox that is successful in creating a technology enabled digital B2B business model that enables business entities to discover healthcare products at better rates transact and get products delivered everywhere in India. Medibox is a B2B Market Place for OTC OTX pharma healthcare and allied products. It solves the problem of making information about medicines and healthcare products available real- time enable transactions and provides dashboard analytics to all the three stakeholders in the supply chain such as retailers distributors and brand owners/marketing companies. Unveiling the Inception Story It all started around 2009 in Bangalore when Bhavik Kumar started working for a pharma company after quitting his banking job. On one of his business trips in 2012 when he was meeting hospital clients in and around Vijayawada Guntur and a few other remote cities towns he encountered the harsh ground realities of the healthcare systems and a lack of awareness on the availability affordability of medicines. There were scenes of patients dying on the hospital floors and of people who yearned to live for a few more precious last moments and spend those moments with their loved ones but couldn’t do so because of inaccessibility of certain medicines and healthcare products at that moment. While examining various scenarios he realized the need to bring the buyers and sellers on a common platform so that any patient who reaches out to a particular pharmacy or a hospital gets the right information on the products at any given time and where factors of affordability or availability of suppliers is not a disadvantage or a cause for concern to business entities. This thought led to the genesis of Bhavik Kumar Founder and CEO 82 MARCH 2019

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Medibox with an aim to serve the society save lives and run a scalable business in the healthcare domain. Bhavik decided to solve this problem by building a B2B platform that would connect the buyers sellers create an efficient healthcare supply chain eco-system and ensure that the medicines reach the people who needed them the most. About the Entrepreneur – Leading the ‘Change’ Bhavik with his qualifications such as Master’s in commerce PG in Marketing Advertising and Diploma in International Business has successfully commercialized various ventures in India and abroad in supply chain distribution marketing and finance. Post his education at MIT Sloan specializing in Supply Chain Management Value-Chain Management Innovation Technology and Leadership Bhavik founded Medibox and commercialized the venture couple of years ago. Making World a Better Place to Live Medibox is passionate about building a B2B digital platform that directly solves the problem of fragmented supply chain in India. Thereby Medibox envisions a society where no human is deprived of medicines with accessibility and availability at ease. The mission to make medicines available is thoroughly shared with the potential employees as a part of the hiring process. Medibox ensures that candidate resonates with their vision. In this process the work culture becomes cordial and each team member is working to achieve a common goal. Since its commercial inception in August 2016 Medibox has grown by leaps and bounds. The company has listed over 250000 business entities such as retailers distributors etc and a detailed product master nearing 200000 SKUs. On a daily basis Medibox is activating traders to discover medicines at better rates and hence more and more traders are benefitting in the ecosystem. Taking Digital Steps Medibox is a self-served platform for traders and brand owners that either decrease spends on procurement or increase sales. The platform enables real-time visibility and accurate information on pharma medical devices and allied products for healthcare business through collaborative intelligence. Medibox’s two-sided platform strategy provides complete supply chain solution to the industry. On one side it helps stakeholders in reducing costs of doing business thereby positively impacting their bottom line and on the other side it improves business outcomes increasing their topline. For brand owners and suppliers Medibox provides E-Marketing module with features of campaigns promotions collaborative tools etc. It provides market penetration reach etc. and reduces time-to-market. Medibox’s module helps distributors to increase their reach offline/online by giving them access to the ever growing and enriched connected retailers’ network of Medibox. It also allows them to connect to big enterprise houses like group purchasing organizations hospitals etc. This helps them to sell their products near real time using order management and delivery features of Medibox. Medibox has won multiple customer accolades Industry awards and recognition. Medibox has won IBM GEP regional finals received ‘Technology Start-up’ award at CPhI India Pharma Awards Ranked 1 under Startups and innovation category by CeBIT - Digital Transformations Leaders Award chosen for white paper on at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare selected for Bio Convention at San Diego Inspreneur Singapore RISE-Hong Kong etc. Future Filled with Success Progressing forward with positive approach Medibox has already delivered in 250+ cities/towns across India and is growing at 30+ month on month. It is streamlining its operations to deliver in almost all pincodes of India and also developing its platform to delivery all kinds of pharma and healthcare products. An experienced team of over 50+ individuals are striving hard to ensure medicines are made available across India. In the near future Medibox shall bring ML/AI to map over 500000 SKUs in India that at associated with over 12000+ brand owners and around 70000+ sellers and use Blockchain technology to curb the problem of counterfeit medicines. 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 83

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Delivering Creativity at its Best “We have picked the best of all worlds ready to be delivered at your doorstep. So when you feel like turning the envious neighbor to go green we at Mirraw are happy to help” T oday it’s a time when online shopping has become a trend which is disrupting the e-commerce landscape with its novel capabilities. In search for creativity people scroll through the wide range of products with bright eyes and ecstasy But choosing the right kind of products is a tedious task in this digital age. This is where Mirraw comes to transform the tiresome tasks of online shopping which were actually meant to de-stress customers. One of the leading Ethnic Wear online marketplaces Mirraw is an eight year old company. It has grown quite a lot in the recent years with the unconditional effort taken by its team to establish themselves amongst the top e-commerce brands in India. It is bringing together unique ethnic wear collections from different parts of India. The company also curate designs from regional artisans fashion boutiques small/medium enterprises and also big brands. Also it is providing a wide range of apparel and accessories options to the consumer. Dream Shapers Mirraw is led by the young and dynamic duo Shailesh Jain and Anup Nair the Co-founders and the batch-mates from Shailesh Jain Co-founder 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The Anup Nair Co-founder 84 MARCH 2019

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the equilibrium of customer’s expectations with utmost excellence. The company is building a catalog that is unique and currently unavailable elsewhere. The brand ‘Mirraw’ is focused on the rich traditional heritage of India and working on bringing it all together in its RootsOfIndia collection. This is a massive challenge because this requires building a stronger supply chain than what exists today. Today prices get amped up at every change of hands and even e-commerce giants are not able to bring the right price down to the customer without ending up in losses. Stronger understanding and relationships with the weavers artisans and manufacturers will help in cutting the series of middlemen and bring something new to the end consumer. Inventive Environment The company believes in providing creative freedom and complete autonomy to every employee in the company. That comes with the burden of accountability and responsibility. Thus in simple terms every employee has the right to complete freedom as long as they deliver the results and keep the company moving forward. This kind of direct connection of work with the results is its primary way of motivating employees. Words of Wisdom by Co-founders “We are too young to be doling out advice. But I believe the key skills required for success is hard-work focus and good communication. Being able to outwork your competitors being able to persist when the going gets tough having patience to wait for the results of your hard-work are all necessary skills. Deep focus on solving key problems and being efficient and excellent at something is essential for the company’s survival and for having a good growth culture.” Furthermore they said “Lastly communication is one of the most important skills of a leader. And that means being able to communicate the right message to the stakeholders. Be it motivating your employees or talking to investors or the business community.” Imminent Future Plans This is an exciting time for India as many startups are emerging with lots of harsh learning. Hopefully the learning will encourage the next generation of startups to execute wiser than before and be at the forefront of innovation. There’s a significant growth potential in the software and technology segment along with retail Mirraw have barely scratched the surface on that with a few successful SaaS startups. Beyond apparel and accessories Mirraw is now venturing into a wide range of categories that have an Indian traditional cultural appeal. Be it Kashmiri shawls and stoles Jaipur quilts or art from Orissa it is scoping everything that is good and rich about the Indian heritage and bringing that to the consumer. Mirraw is on its way of achieving its goal of bringing almost everything required in an ethnic trousseau casual wear and home furnishings on constant demand of the consumers from all over India and worldwide. VJTI Computer Engineering Institute. While working in the US—Jain with VMware and Anup with Microsoft they were planning to start their own venture. They grouped together a team of enterprising young hardworking individuals and they believed in a people first which ultimately led to the business growth. Seeing Challenges as Opportunities The current e-commerce landscape has several issues but the only one thing that really matters is ‘identifying a product market fit’. The struggle is to distinguish the brand from the crowd so that a higher value is created for the customer. Sustainability of the business in a cutthroat e-commerce landscape depends entirely on finding ways to differentiate the product the price and the service. As Mirraw is a company which has built in a sustainable fashion so the main problem always has been to do more with less. Also as it is completely a bootstrapped so team Mirraw just needs to figure out alternatives and creative solutions to the problems. They built the team from the ground up training their most of the folks. “We built frugality into the company culture which enabled us to stay nimble and efficient. Unit economics was part of the game from day one as opposed to a later stabilization effort.” says the co-founders. Restyling Uniquely At Mirraw there is a dedicated team who works 24x7 towards reaching at MARCH 2019 85

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O n a mission to ‘Revolutionize Indian Manufacturing Industry by making it Smart Digital’ Nextsky Technologies is on a roll and how A Cloud Base SaaS ERP solution for the micro and small scale manufacturing sector its flagship product Nextsky delivers rich insights that help increase business efficiency revenue and growth. The Co-founders The company is the result of collaborative efforts of the Co-founders Prathamesh Adep Dinesh Satpute and Vishal Patni. Prathamesh Adep CEO is a serial entrepreneur and regards technology as his true passion. With over seven years of domain experience in the manufacturing sector he looks after the sales marketing and product development department. Dinesh Satpute CTO holds a Master’s Degree in Application development. With an impressive experience in product development and web application he leads technology department like development analysis research and leading the team. Vishal Patni CFO is a Chartered Accountant with over ten years of experience in finance banking industry. He has worked with a large organization like Bagla Group Videocon and currently leads Finance Legal and HR department. World-ClassSolutionsatAffordablePrices TECHNOLOGIES PrathameshAdep Co-founderandCEO 86 MARCH 2019

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Uphill Tasks Starting a venture in Aurangabad which is not a tech hub finding the correct talent was the team’s first challenge. Trying to recruit from metro cities didn’t work and they had to hire fresher from colleges and start their specific training. The second was what every start-up faces i.e. the financial crunch. The company started with just thirty thousand as capital and aiming to develop a product which would take at least six to eight months for the beta launch. The founders went to angel investors with no success. So they finally zeroed-in on customers asked them some amount in advance and promised to develop the product for them. The Government scheme of ‘Mudra Loan’ also got them a loan of 10 lacks to start the journey. The next set of challenges included changing technology increasing competitors demanding customers and pricing issues. The team failed several times but every mistake taught some important lesson in the business world. Making its Mark Nextsky launched its flagship product after one and a half year of product research and development. With in-built intelligence powerful flexibility and an easy-to-use interface the ERP solution Nextsky delivered rich insights that helped increase business efficiency revenue and growth. Since then the company has been growing at a very impressive rate. The customer base has grown drastically and the operations have now grown to three cities. Nextsky’s strategy to stay ahead of competition includes: · Simplicity – Simple solutions for an easy and fast implementation process. · Affordability – Specific focus on Micro Small Scale with due considerations of pricing makes its solution more affordable. · Smart –It uses technology that effectively solves the real problems of its customer and delivers it at the best price. Happy Customers Proud Developers Nextsky believes that the most practical and effective way to help small manufacturing companies to become more efficient is to offer them affordable software with an efficient process workflow that can be implemented without requiring outside help. Major Pain of micro and small Scale Enterprises § Unskilled employees to make quick and smart actions. § Flexibility in the production process as per customer demand. § Unsatisfied customer due to long delivery time. § Maintaining multiple software for the different departments like HR Finance and Production etc. § Cost constraint to hiring expert consultants IT managers for maintaining the software and infrastructure and upgrading it as per business demand. Nextsky Solution’s benefits ü Dramatic reduction in time of employee by stopping repetitive work and maintaining several files. ü Reduction in Inventory cost by 30 ü Reduction in Machine downtime by 15 targeting on preventive actions ü Customer Delivery lead time up by 40 ü Organization decision making up by 50 as every person could access past present information in a deep analytical way without any manipulation in the data. ü Boosting human efficiency For its effective solutions Nextsky was awarded by CII Confederation of Indian Industry as one of ‘Top 40 Innovator’ in India and by IEDRA Indian Economic Development Research Association as ‘Business Excellence’ 2018. For a Revolutionized Future The founders having gone through the process of starting a venture and turning it into a success understand the concerns of fellow and young entrepreneurs. Their advice is to “Stay Focused on the problem that they are willing to solve. Be Fearless and use every possible resource to complete it. Be Consistent and always take care of employees first and then customers as they stand as support in bad times.” The coming years will see Nextsky launching its new products based on Voice Recognition and IoT Internet of Things. Prathamesh adds “These will revolutionize enterprises in reducing the time and will increase smart decision-making process in the entire organization.” “We’re the quickest implementer and most affordable ERP Solution in India” MARCH 2019 87

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E stablished in late 2015 OfBusiness is a technology-driven Fintech Company rolling out smart financing services to the SMEs. Making monetization easier by blending finance with services is what best describes the company. Delivering unsecured credit lines as an alternate to financing makes it a single- window for SMEs in manufacturing and infrastructure. Thus apart from financing OfBusiness plays a pivotal role in offering cost-effective raw materials thereby passing the aggregation benefits to the SMEs. The Agile Leadership Asish Mohapatra is the Co-founder and CEO of OfBusiness. For him entering into the business world and adopting new-age tech advancements was not at easy task. But with concrete endeavors Asish placed his best foot forward in the SME sector with an aim to offer marketing opportunities to the SMEs. Acknowledging the market scenario with innovative and scalable ways at OfBusiness Asish says “We address it through apprenticeship and a hands-on approach.” Being in the SME sector the co-founder also faced the challenges related to the cost of collections. But his business prowess assisted OfBusiness in offering materials o on credit rather than money thereby ensuring 360 financing. Under his guidance the company provides cost- effective materials and a 12-15 of the working capital requirement which makes the company a foremost choice for SMEs. This amplifies the cost collection process in the longer run. Apart from all this Ashish also takes campus sessions related to tech innovations at IIFT. His idea of the impact of GST on the SMEs has been highlighted in the SME World magazine. He has also been an industry insider for startup funding in the SME Times and has also published his insights on VC-turned-entrepreneurs. Last but not the least Asish has been featured in the ‘Rising Stars’ by Bloomberg TV BTVI and VC circle panel discussion on fintech. About OfBusiness Since inception the company has been prominently focusing on quenching customer needs to the core rather than building products which it wants to deliver. Its initiative of combining financing with services makes it distinctive. The company has a curated take on learning through failures which helps it in standing tall amongst its peers. SME Clients get three simple benefits from the company: IRR saving on interest rates – While the intermediaries charge 25-30 per annum for the raw materials OfBusiness charges 18-19 as it is an institutional leveraged lender. Margin saving on raw materials – Most of the intermediaries charge a price margin of 2-3 on a spot rate while OfBusiness charges 1 and passes the rest to the SMEs. Revenue opportunities through ‘Bidassist’ – A new generation tender aggregation platform that crawls across 7000 authorities and over 12000 tenders daily to make tender information available to the SME in a relevant and user-friendly way through Natural Language Processing. Today OfBusiness has a 400 Cr. AUM with 150 Cr. monthly disbursals. Adding more colors to this splendor is its: Activating Smart Financing for the SMEs 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The 90 MARCH 2019

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NPA – less than 0.5 | RoA - more than 6 | Growth rate – 12-13 month-over-month Over the years the company has won multiple awards and recognitions including: • The Smart CEO Startup50 List for India from amongst various sectors including enterprise technology consumer internet education healthcare consumer products agri-tech business services and social impact ventures. • Ranked 8th in the workplace experience rankings 2017 by Culturro. • Selected as the 20 top-funded fintech companies in India by Tech in Asia. The Principle of ‘ABC’ OfBusiness follows a simple principle across the organization to maintain a hassle-free work environment be it levels functions regions or any other dividing barrier. It’s the principle of ABC that drives the organization to generate profitable outcomes: Altruism – OFBians are selfless while helping others. They care about the common goal without caring about self-credit. Brotherhood – OFBians are like family they are more than family They dine together party together but more than anything else they are backed by one another. Camaraderie – The kind of trust the company has built amongst its teams is unparalleled. OfBusiness is well-equipped with are a diverse set of individuals who trust each other. Message for the Emerging OfBusiness advices the young minds to ‘never give up’ on their dreams and be self-committed which would help them in attaining relationships and maintaining them. This would help the emerging startups and tech enthusiasts to create a trustworthy niche in their sector. The Future Roadmap “We believe that for us sky is the limit in what we are attempting” asserts Asish. Acknowledging that the raw materials which it finances and aggregates are really expensive OfBusiness is planning to take a deeper dive into the manufacturing and infrastructure space – in the number of Stock Keeping Units SKUs and the raw materials on-board. The company is planning to spread its wings across the globe. Like its secured project financing launched in the past few months it will make more cash flow oriented products that will match the working capital cycle of the SME in a better manner. Giving best prices for raw materials is our specialty “ “ Asish Mohapatra Co-founder CEO MARCH 2019 91

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stablished in 2016 OKSir is a 24 X 7 E on-demand service market platform that brings vendors –‘OkMan’ from different service streams with an aim to quench the day-to-day needs of the clientele. Converting challenges into opportunities is what best describes the company. Since inception the company is striving hard to outshine the market complexities by acknowledging customer pain points and rolling out exceptional menu of services for their betterment. OKSir is one of the pioneers in the e-commerce industry in India which is clear in its intentions that ‘consumer should get the right price at right time.’ It offers an entire e-commerce services package that prominently holds the reins of ‘standardized pricing.’ Setting the Cornerstones Right Arun Kapoor is the Founder and Director of OKSir. His father and Elon Musk are the two iconic personas whom Arun idolizes in his personal as well as professional life. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with acclaimed business acumen. Since childhood Arun has been into OKSir Creating Choices for Customers Businesses for Service Experts Arun Kapoor Founder Director 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The 92 MARCH 2019

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and completely dedicated to do something in electronics. With the same vision he joined V odafone and then switched to Panasonic. However being an entrepreneur and starting something of his own was always the first thought The electronic industry was at its embryonic stage in 1999-2000 there were hardly any electronic stores available. As such setting up something at that time was too expensive. Foreseeing that online industry was coming up and the internet was taking pace Arun decided to start something online and that’s how was established. He bought the domain and his journey as an entrepreneur took a new turn in the ecommerce industry. One fine day on his way back home the door of his house slammed-shut due to the wind and he was locked out. This real life incident of being stranded and unable to find the locksmith ignited him with the idea of rolling out an on-demand service platform called OKSir. That was the time in 2013-2014 where Amazon and Flipkart were exploring the electronic industry to its core. With similar visualization Arun bootstrapped into the industry with his company and is contributing to the electronic industry with sheer dedication till date. The Company’s Take on Current Scenario There are a lot of regulations which has not been followed in the Indian e-commerce industry. The newspapers highlight a lot of norms which are actually coming. Moneyed-powers are taking over the industry. More monopolization is happening because people are ready to spend funds and small markets are actually burning up because of this budding scenario. The e-commerce industry has a lot of potential to transform the world for better but it gets segmented into one or two players. OKSir has taken this challenge as an opportunity to enhance its expertise and is all set for future challenges. What’s so Unique “OKSir is nothing else but a platform to market you. Think of a service that comes to the mind we can actually organize and start marketing in that particular location and that’s our expertise” says Arun. OKSir is an AI-based service platform that caters the services industry as a whole. As a serviceman one has to just put a service select a service menu price and the company will start marketing it automatically. At OKSir any person can come up as a vendor as a dog walker etc. The USP of the company include 300+ services at ones doorstep – Certified Vendors Free registration Transparent Dealings Professionally Trained OkMen Secured Online Payments 100 Satisfaction Guarantee and 15 days no-question-asked money back policy. OKSir believes in adapting to changes and is consistently evolving to stand tall amongst its peers. It is a podium defining the true essence of ‘Quality.’ An organization well equipped with certified vendors. The company also organizes classes every Saturday to brief these vendors on delivering quality and on-time services. Enlightening the Novices It is very easy to start but it is thousand times more difficult to run an organization. OKSir advices the beginners to ‘Be Obsessive and Love the work they do.’ The company believes that being passionate is the key to a successful startup. Possessing these skills would help individuals to achieve milestones and be a one-of-its- kind entrepreneur. A Long Way to Go Being a tech company OKSir is bound to go into the algorithms and leverages between the platforms of Android and iOS. The company is all set to expand its wings and go to places where there’s scarcity of suppliers demand is high and the supply chain is low. For example a doctor addresses ten-twenty people in a day but there are other queues looking for more doctors or carpenters or probably any other service. Acknowledging that people cannot really promote and market themselves OKSir aims to segregate and create a better world by overcoming these challenges in the best way it can. Delivering real-time assistance is our forte “ MARCH 2019 93

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Surjya Meher is the Managing Partner at Evolution Strategy Advisors LLP. He has more than two decades of experience in FMCG Consumer Products Retail and Ecommerce industries. He has been instrumental in empowering various multinationals and Indian companies in launching successful brands and generating profitable business outcomes. Leading with excellence Surjya has stirred various profiles in Sales Marketing Strategy HR New Product Development Manufacturing and Operations and has been recognized as a Strategy and Operational specialist. About the Author Emerging Technologies in Business Surjya Meher Managing Partner 94 MARCH 2019

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ngagement and adoption of E ‘Emerging Technologies’ in business in the last couple of years has influenced a lot of organizations that adopted it bringing excellence through technology enablement. Most of these technologies are in the digital framework making most of the operations seamless. At a consumer interference level transactions have become prominently cashless or even shopping digital. Not only at a customer level there is adoption in marketing branding planning research product design among other business needs. Some of the key outcomes influenced by technological interventions that have resulted in are: Ÿ Transactions becoming cashless Ÿ Opening of the new convenient channel – the ecommerce Ÿ Logistics adopting the aggregator model for efficiency. Ÿ Death of traditional advertising from TVs and radios to Netflix and social marketing Even at an organization level we come across departments that have embraced technological adoption. The Sales Automation System adopted by many Sales Departments is a great example used by sales force and channel managers today. Not only it improves productivity it communicates real time with trends and analysis helping line managers optimize efficiency. Used by sales marketing HR distribution and BTL branding team. The Human Resources too is not too behind as adopters for new technologies. Be it cloud based applications or Social software applications such as LinkedIn Recruitment services Lucid chart Google Docs and Forms or even the social reference checks it benefits hugely. The Supply Chain has fleet and warehouse management applications that save time and contributes to the efficiencies of organization. Finance is again a key to embracing technology such as Could computing to Block chain apart from traditional financial software. Though some of the above technologies are still in the adoption phase a set of new emerging technologies have started making way into the current operational practices. These are: 1. Machine Learning ML Artificial Intelligence AI and Data Mining Machine Learning is a process of crunching large amount of data understanding or evaluating a pattern to create solutions with the information. Patterns are predicted when machines analyze the set of algorithms while Artificial intelligence is the implementation of neural matrix based algorithms used in Machine Learning. While attempting complex business cases AI becomes an alternate to machine learning. Data Mining starts with data segregation while analyzing data to generate new trends and correlations which are difficult to achieve without data mining. 2. Robotic Process Automation: This technology is today being adopted by many large companies and being used by many of its departments right from Supply Chain Finance to Operations. A perfect solution if you are looking at a faster ROI as it’s easy economical and faster to adopt and deploy. 3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Recommended a must for most of the service and related industries as this is a perfect technology amalgamation of the real and the virtual world. This enriches the experience of thing near us and beyond. AR VR are great with organizations into sports education training interactive marketing customer service and manufacturing and operation simulations etc. Companies that are looking at digital strategies to transform customer engagement and employee empowerment. 4. Internet of Things: Basically networking of physical products through wireless / internet. It is connecting with these products remotely by the users. We have started seeing a spurt of products from cars to appliances in the consumer sector to being also widely adopted by industries in manufacturing automations and RD. It’s not entirely true to say that technology always creates efficiency and a better way to manage business all depend on the ethical usage of the same. Un-necessary abuse of these also destroys organization. Hence we need all these technologies to help us do business better but should be based of positive intensions. T ech Archives MARCH 2019 95

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he first step towards treating T cancer as the world knows is an early diagnosis. Most of the cases of cancer across the globe can be contained when detected during early stages and treatment can then be planned. Almost ninety-five percent of early-stage stage 1 2 breast cancer patients in India undergo chemotherapy treatment to avoid cancer recurrence. However it benefits only about 10 - 15 of patients and often has toxic side effects which reduce the patient’s quality of life QOL substantially. OncoStem Diagnostics is a company that focuses on developing innovative tests in the personalized medicine space. It is committed to developing tests which inform early-stage cancer patients about their risk of recurrence and its primary focus is breast cancer. Its flagship test CanAssist Breast is performed on the patient’s individual tumour and helps clinicians to plan personalized treatment for each patient based on their tumour biology. An Eminent Founder OncoStem was Founded by Dr. Manjiri Bakre who holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore has experience in working in the US and Singapore in academic and semi government institutions like Mt Sinai School of Dr.ManjiriBakre Founder OncoStem Striving for Better and Timely Cancer Treatment 98 MARCH 2019

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Medicine University of California at San Diego and at the Genome Institute of Singapore. Through OncoStem she is realizing her vision of developing and delivering innovative cost- effective and reliable tests for personalized cancer treatment planning. An Uphill Task Like any other start-up OncoStem had to deal with its own share of challenges. The initial challenges were: Ÿ Finding funding for a product- driven company in life sciences in India from venture capitalists. Ÿ Finding a suitable space to set up a laboratory. Ÿ Lack of clarity in rules and support from government authorities for approvals needed to launch a new diagnostic product in India. Ÿ Ordering chemicals and reagents for the laboratory is still a slow and unreliable process in India. OncoStem has managed to come this far due to apt and timely support of a few good hospitals with visionary leaders and excellent clinicians. Dr. Manjiri says “I solve the problems related to running a start-up primarily by reading about the issues talking to other entrepreneurs investors and mentors about them and being absolutely persistent in my attempts to ‘solve’ them.” She considers OncoStem team indeed fortunate to have found the right clinicians and hospitals. Recently government support for start-up companies has increased and she is very appreciative of the same. Way of Work OncoStem develops tests to determine the molecular fingerprint of the tumour and to assess the aggressiveness of the tumour. Clinicians can use that information to devise tailor-made therapeutic strategies for each patient. Unlike other tests developed using data from patients outside Asia CanAssist Breast has been validated on Asian patients who are likely to have di fferent disease features compared to patients from Western countries. Over 400 Asian patients have accessed CanAssist Breast for personalized breast cancer treatment planning. Working in such a specialised field requires a workplace that is hassle-free highly supportive of team work. To maintain the same Manjiri looks at issues very objectively with intent to resolve it. She then talks to people individually and explains other’s point of view and that these work and individual conflicts are only distractions so focuses on the bigger goal of the company. Team events small parties at the workplace celebrating big achievements with credit to folks who helped with the task are the primary way of work at OncoStem. The organization along with Manjiri has been honored on several occasions. OncoStem was recognized as ‘Top 100 Startups to Watch in 2018’ and received ‘Healthcare Excellence Awards’ in 2018. On the other hand Dr. Manjiri is the only Indian to win the prestigious KBCF award and was invited to deliver a talk at the Global Breast Cancer Conference GBCC in April 2018 at Incheon South Korea. Guiding Light With rapid innovations in the healthcare industry start-ups are trying to address existing challenges and introduce new efficient medical tests and therapies to treat patients. Being Updated with/embracing the latest industry trends and new-age technologies for young entrepreneurs is the need of the hour. Dr. Manjiri advises them to “Be more customer- centric. Focus on the job and drive each aspect of the company to solve and learn from your mistakes. The only way to succeed is to work hard and by being a really good person at heart.” Being aware of one’s strong points is essential but more importantly one should know the weak points and work on them relentlessly. Finding More Solutions that Work OncoStem’s goal is to be the go-to oncology diagnostic company with a panel of innovative tests required for personalized treatment planning for multiple cancers. It is working on automating CanAssist Breast end-to- end so that it can package it as a kit to be performed at respective hospitals. This will help the company to increase its footprint and in reducing turn- around time as the business grows. It is entering into Asian markets this year and will be launching CanAssist Breast in the Middle East Europe and the US in a phased manner. OncoStem is working to add more innovative tests for additional cancers and towards that goal development of tests for oral and ovarian cancers are already underway. 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The “OncoStem is committed to developing tests which are helpful in optimal and personalized treatment planning for cancer patients” MARCH 2019 99

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India’s First Domestic Consumer Venture Fund Ventures T he Indian entrepreneurial landscape is transforming and more importantly the “pace” of change is accelerating. While it took almost ten years for the first four unicorns to get created in India the next twenty unicorns have been created in less than five years While technology plays a pivotal role in fuelling new ideas for startups entrepreneurs have also walked an extra mile to embrace tech-enabled innovation in various segments. From food deliveries to banks hotels agriculture life science companies and so on entrepreneurs have flooded the venture market. This excerpt explores and highlights the journey of Sixth Sense Ventures Advisors LLP - India’s first domestic consumer-centric venture fund founded by Nikhil Vora. Regarded as one of the strongest analytical minds in the country Nikhil was also the Ex-Managing Director and Head of Research at IDFC Securities. Having acquired over seventeen years of acumen in capital markets his expertise and knowledge have been acknowledged at various national and global platforms. Nikhil Vora: Pursuing Excellence by Overcoming Obstacles A post-graduate in Management Nikhil was a member participant at the Future Leaders Program at the Saïd Business School - University of Oxford London. He was also bestowed with the ‘Thought Leadership’ award by IDFC Ltd. He was invited by the ‘Nestle Global Consumer Board’ and the ‘Regional CFO Forum’ to outline the potential roadmap for Nestle India. Nikhil Vora Founder CEO 100 MARCH 2019

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Continuing the long list of his achievement Nikhil was voted as India’ s No.1 analyst by Asia Money polls 2012. He also has the rare distinction of being voted Asia’ s Best Analyst by the Wall Street Journal in the same year. Prior commencing his entrepreneurial voyage Nikhil was actively seed investing in his personal capacity with investing in companies like Paytm Fogg Deodorants Go Cheese BVG India Kangaroo Kids and Bewakoof to name a few. A young entrepreneur himself he likes to interact with young dynamic entrepreneurs quite often. To unwind himself from his professional commitments he loves conversing with his twelve-year-old daughter as he believes the interaction reflects a true perspective. For adding more thrills and excitements sky diving bungee jumping and indulging in a bit of Salsa are his favorite choices. The Inception Saga Right from the inception the key strategy for Sixth Sense is to evolve as a mature board to first-generation entrepreneurs who are disrupting large spaces and carving out a niche for themselves. Founded in 2014 the entity not only invests in startups but is a startup itself. As the venture space is clearly coming-of-age and its ethos of investing in the consumers of ‘tomorrow’ is helping the entity to lead the charge in the consumption space through a unique approach. The company closed its first fund in 2016 -SSIO-I Sixth Sense India Opportunities-I with a corpus of 118Cr. It invested in ten companies across food contract manufacturing logistics entertainment internet services and luxury sectors. Today the fund is already at 2.3X 44 IRR with 4 exits already completed it attained a rare feat of being the first VC fund in the world to return capital back to its investors within 3 years. The success journey continued to boom as the second fund SSIO-II closed at 515Cr – that was more than double than its target corpus of 250Cr thanks to enthusiastic investor interest. Attaining this milestone in a record nine months especially when other funds were struggling to raise capital due to volatility in market showcased its unique approach within the VC industry. Sixth sense promises to come up with a much larger corpus with a greater offshore presence while launching its third fund – SSIO-III in the near future. Time and again it has managed to stay ahead of the market players and has been honored for its contribution in the Indian VC industry. · Fundraiser of the Year 2018 - Venture Capital at the Annual VC Circle Awards. · Best Asia Consumer Centric Venture Fund - 2017 by Wealth Finance International. · Best for Domestic Consumer Centric Ventures – India by Acquisition International in 2016 Investor’s Blue-eyed Company By embracing customer-centric strategies the company has carved a niche for itself in today’s competitive VC market. The unwavering approach of investing and not getting carried away by trends has caught the eyeballs of the market. As a result investors are not only getting multifold returns on their investments but also getting their capital back four years before time i.e. within three years of investing even though the fund life is seven years. The portfolio grew substantially despite the struggles in the market with SSIO-I generating an IRR of 44 – 3.3X to that of the NIFTY The Present and Future of Indian Startups Entrepreneurs Ranked as one of the top five countries in the most Startup Friendly Countries across the globe India has immense potential to step up the ladder in quick succession. With infinite possibilities the landscape for new-age consumer brands has attained new heights and disruption in modes of distribution and marketing has evolved as the two pillars of brand-building. “Believe in Self Create an Eco-system be adequately capitalized and also be aware that it’ s not only Passion but Execution which will take you far” is how Nikhil advises the young entrepreneurs. SSIO-I NIFTY MIDCAP100 MUTUAL FUNDS 43.72 13.22 10.15 10-15 “We aim to invest in the Consumer of Tomorrow Today” MARCH 2019 101

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T he Indian Council of Medical Research ICMR and other Institutes recently conducted studies on lifestyle diseases and reported that the estimated proportion of all deaths due to Non- Communicable Diseases NCDs has increased from 37.09 in 1990 to 61.8 in 2016. Another independent study suggests that sixty million people fall below the poverty line annually in India due to delayed healthcare responses and costs the economic burden of chronic diseases are likely to cross 6 trillion USD by 2030. With a doctor- patient ratio is less than the recommended WHO standard of 1:1000 India needs to change people’s behaviour to look inward at their health pre-emptively instead of just sickness- care. Making people aware of their health-risk from silent killers like heart attack stroke diabetes where symptoms show up too late empowers them to take timely corrective/preventive action. Co-founded by Milind Naik Dr. Tarun Ramole and Vikram Rai Vitor Health is empowering individuals to become aware of one’s health assess for silent chronic health risks. Milind is a technology industry veteran with a 25+year stint including senior management and entrepreneurial roles. Dr Tarun is a clinician turned health entrepreneur with a 17+ year stint across various healthcare systems and healthcare product/service companies. Vikram combines a 16-year career with stints in technology companies followed by an entrepreneurial stint running a boutique consulting firm. The co-founding team brings long and relevant experience including founding and running of start-ups and leveraging extensive business and professional networks which are relevant and useful for Vitor Health’s scope of business. Health Solutions In the current times digitising healthcare is the utmost priority for the Indian healthcare sector. This clubbed with the socio-economic impact Vitor Health can make along with the scalability of its model only re-emphasises the importance of what it does The traditional healthcare systems take care of the sick whereas the wellness programmes gyms diets are for the elite. Between these two extremes the average everyday people have hardly any options towards everyday management of health - this is the gap it plugs. Vitor’s Health Risk Assessment Solution includes a portable screening kit that can be accessed anywhere and anytime at the customer’s convenience: home workplace at the neighbourhood pharmacy store or practically anywhere The test takes about 10minutes and an integrated health assessment with an instant report containing simple yet actionable Vitor Health Helping People Discover Good Health 102 MARCH 2019

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inputs is dispensed at an affordable price point of less than Rs. 200. It simplifies health assessment and lets one act on those risks in a timely fashion to minimize or completely mitigate chronic silent killer diseases. The Teething Problems Being a start-up Vitor has had its fair share of early issues including: l Establishing credibility of the disruptive healthcare concept that was being introduced: this was overcome by extensively participating in government and private competitions and contests incubation programs etc. which helped establish product-market fit. l Regulatory uncertainty due to entry into an untested market model the alignment of regulations and statutory mandates was a concern. The company took extensive advise and legal counsel early in the evolution so as to minimize any needs to change/re- align the business model later. l Access to good quality talent: This challenge was mitigated at Vitor Health by the founders’ ability to attract talent from the networks that they brought in – many of the founding team members have known the founders from earlier experiences. Hence quality and trust we pre-established. Health Work Healthcare being a highly competitive and sensitive market to maintain the vigour there are certain cultural tenets infused in the organizational DNA of Vitor fostering behaviour of constant learning: · The open and unrestricted culture encourages all employees to learn and disseminate knowledge with the intent to keep the company’s mission and purpose central to sharing relevant knowledge to everyone. · The informal yet professional use of simple tools like social chat groups ensures quick knowledge-share with self-imposed professionally relevant guidelines. · The Know thy customer rule requires every employee to spend some part of their time in customer- facing activities. This is to ensure that the essence of what Vitor exists for which is to be relevant to a customer is personally felt and motivates the quality of their work. Vitor Health maintains a motivation- centric and outcome-oriented culture. With this being the value system it motivates the employees to have the highest degree of flexibility and support to achieve the outcomes. The open and non-hierarchical system allows employees to have a good work-life balance enjoy their work at Vitor and most importantly take good care of their and their families health – living the lives they offer to the customers. Advising the Young The co-founders who are seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs advice the younger lot to invest time in acquiring multi-disciplinary skills as an integral part of their commitment to succeed. They also suggest “There are only 2 reasons for a business to exist: you are either solving a problem which no one else has solved earlier or you are solving a problem much better than anyone else. Always apply this filter to your entrepreneurial idea – set aside any ego while applying this filter.” Towards a Healthy Future There is a great degree of eco-system development for startups all across India. Right from the governments central and states to private entities like large companies to investors to incubators/accelerators all of them are keen to engage with startups – so this seems to be the time to be a startup Hence the next 5-10 years could be the golden period for a lot of innovation to be fostered by startups as the eco-system will provide confidence and risk support. As far as Vitor is concerned the team says “Our ambition is to become the brand for Bharat to help millions of people avert avoid prevent or manage sickness – in the most efficient empathetic and affordable manner. In short make Bharat a WELLthy nation.” “Our value proposition is that we blend the authenticity and credibility of clinical systems and technology with the accessibility of a retail-type supply-chain” 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The Vikram Rai Co-founder Milind Naik Co-founder Dr. T arun Ramole Co-founder Left to Right are: MARCH 2019 103

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AI ML Driving the T echnology Future Gurpreet Singh is the Co-founder of G-Square Solutions – an AI drive data analytics BI company catering to clients in India and overseas. He is a PGDBA CFA and CFPCM by qualications. Coming with an experience of more than two decades in the nancial services industry Gurpreet looks after the Sales Marketing Strategy HR Finance functions at G-Square. His domain areas include Wealth Management Asset Management Banking Capital Markets and Consulting. Apart from all this he is an avid sportsperson and loves networking with people. I nformation Technology age arrived in the nineties we started to adopt technology and then we never looked back. The trends within technology age might have changed over the last couple of decades but the adoption rate has been huge and applications areas are in every sphere of life. The similar trend was seen in many other technology areas in the recent years but another significant area is Fintech which has become a way of life for new technologies in the financial services enterprises in the last few years now. We are also seeing an increasing About the Author Gurpreet Singh Co-founder 106 MARCH 2019

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trend is that enterprises have starting to adopt going Digital in all aspects of the business. The Big change which is impacting the way existing technology is being disrupted are the Artificial Intelligence AI and Machine Learning ML solutions. The Industry is impacting the business and has already grown in the size already. Gartner Inc. says Global Artificial Intelligence Business Value was about 1.2 trillion in 2018 an increase of 70 percent from 2017. The firm further projects that AI- derived business value will reach 3.9 trillion by 2022. AI ML Concepts AI is the machine’s ability to process and interpret data points by learning from such data and to use those learnings to automatically start doing those tasks in an intelligent manner on its own. Machine learning is sometimes used interchangeably with AI but is not synonymous but ML is a sub-set of AI and is the essentially means the use of statistical models that computer systems use to effectively perform a specific task without using explicit instructions relying on patterns and inference instead. AI uses various technologies and machine learning is the most prominent one. Machine learning focuses on predictive analytics by making hypothesis testing and then learning independently. Machine learning can use the given data and its patterns to makes assumptions test or change the model without the intervention of a person. Thus it can predict the next likely action at a customer or transaction level with a higher accuracy and much faster speed. The acceptance of AI ML has already started to happen and it is becoming the key to solve business problems making it the way of life. The Enterprise technology and innovation teams are already developing new use cases and innovative products solutions based on that. Most of the Industry experts believe acceptance and application of AI will increase significantly in the coming years as it has already delivered and solved many business problems. Application Areas The application areas and adoption of AI and ML have suddenly increased in the last one year or two. Typical examples of AI application where it is being used are Gaming Search Engines Chatbots Image recognition Analytics of any kinds – Data web Text etc Self-driven cars Medical problem solving Drones etc. The Industries where the application is quite wide are financial services consumer product goods telecom healthcare automotive education consumer electronics multimedia and of late in the Sports arena. Analytics is gaining a lot of steam given the AI application. Machine learning automates analytical model building. Predictive analytics using Machine Learning on structured or unstructured data can solve problems identify opportunities like appropriate customer targeting sales force optimization credit risk models dejargonising text related problems etc. Other applications like the AI chatbots and digital voice assistants will be impacting finance and retail in a big way. The Big tech companies’ APIs for voice-based conversational AI is driving businesses to test new products and services. Is AI a threat to replace the jobs and human The same threat was there when initially technology was first adopted or for that computers were introduced. AI is creating not only huge job opportunities but news spheres of work which human intelligence has either not been able to do itself or without proper resource optimization. AI will likely create more jobs than it eliminates. Gartner predicts that in 2020 AI may create positive jobs 2.3 million jobs while only eliminating 1.8 million jobs. Any of the past revolutions have in fact brought increased productivity and resulted in new job creation. We all know that the nature of work has constantly evolved over time. Machines are better than humans at processing numbers memorizing predicting and executing precise moves. AI cannot replace humans when creativity direction perception and thinking are required. Thus adoption of AI and ML is more inevitable and will create big and new business opportunities with super- efficient and fast way of solving many problems. T ech Trends MARCH 2019 107

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E stablished in 2018 Wash N Dry is an app-based laundry company rolling out end-to-end laundry services with a vision to enhance the comfort of the masses. The company has exemplary expertise in the laundry and dry cleaning business. Embracing new-age technologies cleaning methods and solutions for dealing with stains or delicate fabrics gives it an edge over its competitors. By following local and national regulations and environmental safety rules the company efficiently maintains the standards of business integrity. The Proficient Leadership Aqeel Tariq Merchant is the CEO of Wash N Dry. He is a 20 year old young entrepreneur currently doing his Final Year Bachelor’s Degree from Amity Business School Mumbai. Maintaining a proper balance between studies and work was not an easy task for Aqeel. He met his friends/relatives and also managed to finish some household chores on holidays. He always craved to complete these tasks with few clicks. That’s when the idea of developing an app – Wash N Dry sparked him. Being clear about his idea to provide application based services Aqeel successfully placed the cornerstones of the company by harnessing real- time finance and marketing strategies. Starting at an adolescent age of 16 he carried a firm vision that empowered him to create his own path and kept no stone unturned in converting his dream into reality. Within a stint of just six months since the launch his endeavoring story to establish a one-of-its-kind company has been featured in two prestigious college publications in Mumbai. “We are passionate about changing the way you think about laundry” says Aqeel. What’s so Inimitable Acknowledging that today most of the people use mobile devices Wash N Dry was launched by keeping up with the recent technology advancements. Convenience state-of-the- art quality services at competitive prices is what the company offers to its customers. Maintaining hygiene to the core it uses disinfectant detergents to keep the clothes clean from minute bacteria’s. The in-house workforce strictly wears clean clothes and gloves. The company also uses eco-friendly and recycled paper for packaging the materials. This is a way towards passing on a cleaner earth to the Gen Z. Being an app-based service Wash N Dry consistently focuses on every minute detail in order to quench the needs of the clientele. Showcasing three key services namely Wash N Press Dry Cleaning and Only Press the company is all set to create a prominent niche in its sector. These categories of services are efficient in nurturing more than 120 garments alongside offering location services as well as tracking and online payment options. The app developing team is the driving force behind the company’s solidity and plays a pivotal role in shaping it at its best Wash N Dry saves the time of many in a world where most of people have no time to complete their daily household works by delivering services at their doorsteps. It provides comprehensive services for clothing – men women and kids accessories – hats bags and soft toys or household items – towels linen curtains carpets sofas etc. Its mobile-based application provides professional Washing Dry Cleaning and Ironing services covering all the basic and advanced laundry requirements of the clientele across Mumbai. Defining employees as the biggest strength of the company Aqeel asserts “To keep them motivated we give them their salaries on time. We also provide them incentives and a yearly bonus. Twice a month we provide lunch for the staff from my restaurant. Also we organize picnics cricket matches and visits to movie theatres. This helps in keeping a very friendly environment in the office.” Bites of Enlightenment Wash N Dry believes that focus and dedication are the key ingredients to taste the success cuisine. One has to be clear Wash N Dry BAG UP | PICK UP | CLEAN | DELIVER 108 MARCH 2019

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about the execution of ideas. Besides blending smart and hard work will open newer doors to achieve more milestones on the way. Acknowledging the market filled with endless opportunities the company advices the budding entrepreneurs to be vigilant in finding the opportunities in any challenging situation. Adding his words to ignite the young minds Aqeel says “Grab the opportunities that come your way and be patient success will come your way.” Future Plans Every business or idea is a startup at some point of time. It depends on the individuals and their desires to surpass every challenge and reach the peak. Wash N Dry is planning to craft out franchisees in neighboring cities like Pune etc. Recently Aqeel has also launched a restaurant titled Cinnamon N Nutmeg – a diner with a late night delivery kitchen in Mumbai. He also plans to have two more outlets of the same in Mumbai in the near future. Aqeel Tariq Merchant CEO 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The MARCH 2019 109

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Decrypting Aerial Data for Business WeDoSky: E ver since unmanned aerial vehicles popularly known as drones made their debut researchers and tech-enthusiasts have been looking for ways to harness their true potential. While drones were originally used for military operations they now find their usage in various commercial industries. The underlying value addition is the enormous amount of quality data that a drone collects which then needs interpretation for further processing. WeDoSky is a drone data analytics company that aims to make drone data comprehensible for everyone everywhere. It does so with the help of its proprietary cloud software which makes aerial surveys and inspections faster cheaper easier and better. visualAI helps in the analysis management and sharing of aerial data effortlessly. It offers different tools for a wide variety of industries namely solar Industrial Inspections rooftops power lines gas pipelines etc Construction and Wind. Spearheading the Drone Revolution WeDoSky is headed by a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs Jaspreet Makkar. His love for data his burning interest in entrepreneurship and his half-a- decade-long affair with drones resulted in visualAI the company’s one-of-a-kind AI-based drone data analytics software. visualAI is the first platform to map out 1GW of solar assets in India and expand globally in over eighteen countries. This achievement is courtesy to Jaspreet’s ability to stay calm and focused even during daunting times. The Initial Hiccups WeDoSky’s initial years saw it facing typical challenges of setting up everything from the scratch bringing the idea to the table hiring the first people getting the sales engine fired up and constantly planning for the scale up. The naivety of the industry the new technology and the lack of general industry constitution due to minimal government policies heightened the issues. But problems didn’t deter the team from regularly adjusting the game plan and experimenting. Making sure that the entire team was on the same page keeping faith in themselves brainstorming sessions staying put with 50 Startups T o T ake A Look At In 2019 The Jaspreet Makkar Founder MARCH 2019 110

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short term goals good market research and focus on good deliveries paid off. All in all being flexible fearless and focused helped the company overcome all the problems on the way. Staying Ahead Being a technology-based company it is imperative for WeDoSky to stay up to date with the continuously evolving technologies. Regular discussions on the technology road map let the company assess its use of technology. Staying on top of global developments and paying heed to client requirements further helped WeDoSky to evolve into the drone data giant that it is today. A simple example of this is how from an operational services company it has over time become a data science company because it realized that data is the next big currency when it comes to businesses. WeDoSky’s work has found recognition from different quarters. It’s software provide hassle-free real-time data outputs quantitative and qualitative reports that provide measurable insights and a relaxed and safe working environment for the client that has eventually helped increase the client’s and its employees’ efficiency overall. To quote a leading client “WeDoSky’ s data processing and reporting platform have drastically increased our field efficiency helping us transform our Operations Maintenance activities completely”. Under the Limelight WeDoSky has worked with a host of leading companies such as Tata Powers Sterling Wilson Rising Sun Azure Ministry of Coal FIMI IIT Kharagpur. It was supported by Nasscom under its 10000 start-ups program and Jaspreet has been awarded the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 awards in 2017. A Workplace for Equals WeDoSky believes that the firm culture is the single most important thing when it comes to employees. All the hiring decisions and otherwise business- related decisions are taken in mind keeping the sanctity of WeDoSky’s culture. It has purposely established a flat hierarchy in the organization to ensure that everyone feels that they can voice their opinions and be heard. It focuses on building a sense of ownership among employees so that they treat the firm as their own. This has truly helped in bringing out the best of the employees and in turn achieving the company goals with a lot of efficacy. For the Emergent A young company WeDoSky is now an inspiration for startups. Jaspreet’s advice to all young entrepreneurs out there is to stay put at their goals. He says “Intent is bigger than everything. And if you have the intent you will always find a way to accomplish your goals.” He also asks them to network endlessly as it helps a lot. The Sky is not the Limit WeDoSky’s future plans include building a physical presence out of India and coming out with advanced software solutions for different industries under their umbrella platform - visualAI. Jaspreet’s ability to take cognizance of both the micro and the macro factors affecting the drone industry and the startup world has now made WeDoSky a strong player across the globe and he hopes to solidify the gains in India and abroad in 2019. “Embracing irrationality while staying obsessively focussed is the safest bet when the odds are mostly against you. This is our David Goliath moment and visualAI is our sling” MARCH 2019 111

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