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Winning ways of unique start-ups

Last updated on: July 23, 2010 10:35 IST

Winning ways of unique start-ups

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From bus search on mobile, free photocopying services to preserving rare Indian art forms, these start-ups are already tasting success.

Part 1: 5 big business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs
Part 11: Success mantras of 5 start-ups
Part III: These 5 start-ups are making waves
Part IV: They started companies with only Rs 1-5 lakh!

1. Mobile4Mumbai

Entrepreneurs: Raxit Sheth

Business: Launched in December 2009, it offers search bus details, ATMs, petrol pumps and other local information on your mobile with less than 10 keystrokes.

How it makes money: Plans to charge end-user Rs 5 for each downloaded application and also revenue by licensing its software.

Required skills: Coding, PR-buzz, handling end-users' craze.

The WOW factor: Allow users to search local information without SMS or GRPS from handsets that cost as little as Rs 3000.

How it is marketed: Viral marketing and word of mouth.

Performance: More than 10,000 users on Airtel.


Image: Mobile4Mumbai to help bus travellers.

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2. Phokatcopy

Entrepreneurs: Harsh Narang

Seed capital: Rs 3 lakh (family and business plan competition)

Business: Offers students photocopying services for free, through advertisements on the back page.

How it makes money: The advertiser subsidies the cost of photocopy and business revenue is generated on this differential.

Required skills: Convincing advertisers and understanding the psyche of the customer (students)

The WOW factor: Solves a crucial need of the students in a unique way.

How it is marketed: Catches up because of its nature, directly reaching out to advertisers in the youth space.

Performance: Operating in more than 30 colleges in Delhi/NCR.


Image: Phokatcopy.
Photographs: Courtesy, Phokatcopy.
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3. Poscitech

Entrepreneurs: Siva Raj

Seed capital: Rs 4.5 lakh (self)

Business: Launched in September 2009, it creates mobile sensor-based applications to help users self manage their health and improve their well being.

How it makes money: Charges per download and value-added features.

Required skills: Knowledge of clinical science and mobile diagnostics, combined with designing knowledge. Mobile hardware and OS knowledge also required.

The WOW factor: Validated scientific methods to automatically track calorie burn and training zone (exercise intensity).

How it is marketed: Social media, mobile advertising, contests, partnership with fitness chains.

Performance: Apple featured the company product 'fitaide' on the iTunes Appstore in US, Canada, India and over 65 countries within 6 months of operation.


Image: Fitaide in US App Store.
Photographs: Courtesy, Poscitech.
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4. Rajasthan Kulfi

Entrepreneurs: Binod Kumar

Seed capital: Rs 2 lakh (self)

Business: Sells kulfi in hygienic moderisned way through kiosks set up in malls and high street locations.

How it makes money: Through the sale of Kulfis at kiosks.

Required skills: Marketing skills, Knowledge of the kulfi industry

The WOW factor: Provides a traditional alternative to ice-creams. Kulfis are freshly prepared in front of the customers.

How it is marketed: Word of mouth

Performance: Has five outlets now in Delhi/NCR.


Image: Kulfi.

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5. Rare Indian Art

Entrepreneurs: Surajit Ray, Kavita Neelakantan

Seed capital: Rs 10 lakh (self and friends)

Business: An initiative to preserve dying indigenous art forms in India by helping artisans find an appreciative audience for their work.

How it makes money: Sells art and handicrafts from all over India. Undertakes orders for custom designed artifacts and paintings, corporate gift items.

Required skills: Understanding how traditional art must be adapted to suit the requirements of a modern audience, building relationship with artisans and patrons.

The WOW factor: Has a unique system for rating art. Offers customization, so that buyers can get personalised pieces of art designed and detailed information on the artisans and the art form.

How it is marketed: Viral marketing, promotional exhibitions, word-of-mouth, awareness creation programs in schools.

Performance: Over 1000 customers, including international customers.


Image: Rare Indian Art.

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