As NSITians, we whine over many things. We cry over the ancient syllabus. We whimper over the monotonous and dreary lectures. The fests do break that monotony for a while, but soon, it subsides to give rise to that sullen routine. Ghissus remain ghissus, velas remain velas and studs remain studs. Life doesn’t even pass. It just seems to drag on, stretching until forever. Our condition is no better than Schrödinger’s cat, both alive and dead at the same time. We just come to college, study, eat Zayca’s ‘Chilli potatoes’, make random banter and then go home.
But, no more!
With the winds of change blowing across the campus, ideas and innovations are springing up everywhere. With new societies/clubs emerging inside our campus, there is something palpable in the air. Necessity is the mother of invention. Hence, to solve the existing problems, something new comes up. When we faced the need of a permanent design team for our cultural fest, we got MDT. When we needed the company of some star gazing buddies, we got Nakshatra. Even the existing societies have evolved and introduced something new to cater to the changing tastes of the students.
Change has not only arrived in the form of societies but also in the form of entrepreneurial ventures of our fellow NSITians. With Refiral getting swashbuckling angel funding and Teen Pathar Productions earning rave reviews, the flag of NSIT has been raised high, fluttering in the sun, welcoming all new ventures in its midst.
In the summer of 2014, Jatin Mahajan (NSIT, batch of 2017) and his friend Harit Pathak, avid cricket fans, decided to take their love for sports a step further and collaborated on a sports website, now called, Essentially Sports. They were soon joined by Gurkirat Singh and Suryansh Tibarewal (NSIT, Batch of 2017), and have now 50 people working for the website, handling the content, web development, marketing and graphic designing. From football to cricket to tennis, they reach out to all kinds of sports fanatics with their top-notch sports trivia. And not only do they deliver news, but they have also interviewed successful and rising sportsmen like Achanta Sharath Kamal, India’s ace table-tennis player, and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the first Indian in 79 years to play competitive football in European league. Now what sets them apart from other such websites is that their content isn’t only just about glorifying athletes/sportsmen. They don’t hesitate in talking about the underlying issues plaguing the status quo of sports in our country and the challenges faced by those who’ve been striving to excel in their fields without much monetary support and attention from the sports federations in our country. Thus, Essentially Sports, in very little time, has struck a chord with the youth, even with those who may not follow sports so regularly. And now, they’ve gained readership in USA and UK too, which is laudable.
A portmanteau of Referral and Viral, Refiral is a SaaS (Software as a Service)-based marketing tool for online businesses, founded by two NSITians of the Batch of 2012, Anmol Batra and Rajat Goel. Both of them were working at Bain and Company and left their jobs to tread
on the arduous path of entrepreneurship. They often wondered about the problems faced by the e-commerce market and found that referral marketing was very innovative. Thus, the seed behind Refiral was laid. Their venture launched in March’14 has reached great heights, an evidence of which is their raising $330K (approx Rs 2 Crore) angel funding from IT services firm, Cogent eServices.
Refiral banks on referral marketing (word of mouth) and viral marketing which is prevalent on social media platforms. In the words on the co-founder, Rajat Goel, “Refiral aims to revolutionize e-commerce by making referrals viral.”
Refiral has so far run campaigns for 400+ e-commerce sites, some prominent ones being Archies Online, Himalaya Herbals, FabFurnish and Infibeam. Having a dedicated campaign optimization mode in which e-commerce vendors can provide a personal touch to their websites, their dedication towards the satisfaction of their clients has got them numerous testimonials. They have vivid plans to go global, garner international clients and expand operations. With the e-commerce market growing at an exponential rate, there is a huge scope for further development of Refiral.
Founded by four second years, Akshay Kothari, Osaid Razi, Soumitra Das and Swati Garg, the first three from Biotechnology Department and the last one from IT Department, Medicohome is a web-based marketplace for pharmacies which connects vendor with end users.
Started in December 2014, these enterprising minds developed a technical solution in the form of a ping service which reduces the time it takes for an order to reach the consumer. With the primary aim of providing people with better health care services, their venture largely targets the urban middle class population (aged 18-50) which is always on the lookout for new technologies and is receptive to change. Medicohome’s USP is the ping service being implemented in the pharmacy store marketplace which allows for maximum utilization of vendor’s time in addition to the quick delivery of supplies to the customer. Though their website and app are currently under development, they have already tied up with approximately 120 pharmacy stores in West and South Delhi, with a tentative launch by July 2015.
Realizing the potential of the e-commerce market of India as well as the presence of competing apps like Medist and Healthkart plus, the founders are also aiming at creating a GPS-enabled ambulance service, which could save time and consequently lives. An affirmation of their amazing idea was their victory at the recently concluded IIT Delhi’s B-Plan competition ‘Aarambh’. Having finalized a deal, recently, with an investor for seed funding, their determination towards making a mark in the healthcare scenario has increased manifold.
MDT is an initiative by those NSITians for whom designing had become a habit. Unsatiated by simply making posters for societies, events, Resonance, Innovision et cetera, four people- Ashish Kothari. Akshay Rajpurohit. Ayush Gupta. Abhinav Singh came together post-Innovision’14 and thus began this journey. While they had worked well individually, brainstorming together led to complete masterpieces. They took this forward and spoke to Saumya Gupta who was an integral part in the build up to Moksha’14, and proposed the formation of a dedicated designing team. They named it- Moksha Design Team. The shorter form ‘MDT’ caught up and the rest as they say is history. It is essential to mention here that during Moksha they found two other members in the form of Deepanshu Kaul Phillip and Allwin Tom who shot ideas and managed the content in the poster hence, completing the team.
Since then, MDT has made several inroads in college and has been recognized whole heartedly for their efforts by everyone. The standards of designing just seem to get better and better with every project that they undertake. They recruited students prior to the Innovision-Moksha saga this year and currently have a 16-member workforce.
‘The best moments are when we had to come up with a new theme or idea for designing the countdown posters. From 7 Khoon Maaf to 6 strings on a guitar, it was a lot of fun’
– Ayush Gupta
A young, dynamic and promising venture with a funding from the multi-crore investment firm Matrix Partners India (their previous investments include Chumbak, Ola, Quikr and many others), LimeTray is all out to win the startup race. The company Alchemy Web Pvt. Ltd. was founded in 2013 by Akhilesh Bali and Piyush Jain (NSIT alumnus, batch of 2012). LimeTray is a brand name under Alchemy Web which aims at increasing the customer base of restaurants. As Akhilesh Bali puts it–
“Our vision is to build a full-stack technology platform for restaurants across India. We are restaurant-first in our approach, and want to enable more and more restaurants to come online and solve critical business needs using our platform. We decided to partner with Matrix Partners India as we believe they will give us the necessary edge to win in this market.” (SOURCE: YOUR STORY)
The startup aims to provide restaurants with not only online ordering facilities, but also run other operations such as customer relations and online presence management. Acting as a supporter to the restaurants, they plan to ensure that great concepts and good food do not go unnoticed. They have signed in over 200 restaurants in Delhi NCR and work on building their customer base through increasing online presence and marketing. With a novel concept and a solution to the problem of garnering customers, LimeTray is a startup all set to grow by leaps and bounds.
Teen Pathar Productions
Who had known that a short movie competition organized by IIT-B during Mood Indigo in 2013 would give NSIT yet another achievement to boast about! Yes, short videos which were being made as individual entries by two present third years, Rajat Singh and Mudit Walia, eventually turned out giving birth to this super entertainment channel called Teen Pathar Productions. An initiative originally by Siddharth Rajpal, batch of 2014 who roped in Mudit and who in turn roped in Rajat and Sarthak Malhotra, released their first video ‘Why LSR girls should date NSITians’ on 19 April 2014. Undeterred by controversies which brewed up soon after the video went on air, the team continued to work with full dedication, targeting currently-floating issues. In Rajat’s words, ‘We wanted to make videos on themes which were viral among the youth, just in time so that they make the perfect cut!’ The team of Teen Pathar Productions has never had a stop since then. Videos like ‘Honest College Viva’ and ‘Defaming Ice Bucket Challenge’, the latter being their first video to top the Youtube India page for a week gained a great viewership. The team then went on to winning IIT-Delhi’s 48 hour film making challenge, and even managed to get Scoopwhoop posts about their videos. With no permanent actor in house, videos by TPP not only fit the current bill, but are also fresh, in their casting. The crest in their journey, full of humor and fiction, has been their recent #1 rank all over India on Youtube.
Teen Pathar has continued to give us bellyfuls of laughter with their videos, thus vouching for being the best entertainment channel by NSIT!
A venture started in January 2015 by NSITian Rahul Gandhi, batch of 2015, and his elder brother Kunal Gandhi, Instapayback is a startup off the beaten path.
Making an innovative use of the affiliate marketing funds set aside by e-commerce websites, the startup allows users to make purchases at discounted rates online. The process is simple. You have to register once and you are set for all your future online shopping. For every item that you buy, the company gives a cashback of a percent of the cost of the product over and top all the other discounts that are applicable on it. If this is not a formula for luring hungry customers like a horde of zombies, then nothing is.
While many such websites exist, it’s still a field that’s untapped. And to top this lucrative idea, Instapayback has a gone a step further to provide its customers this service in the most convenient way possible. A Google Chrome extension that can be downloaded and installed on to your computers allows users to simply make their purchases without having to log on to the website each time. With an android app in the works, Rahul and Kunal have high ambitions for the future of Instapayback. They hope to make their website a forerunner in this field.
Humans Of NSIT
Humans of NSIT, started by Junoon-The Photography club of NSIT in 2013, is a one of a kind project in college. Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s successful venture, Humans of New York, Junoon wanted to start a movement which involved interacting with both students and those who are the cogs and wheels of this college. This project is the perfect example of how a three line conversation with somebody and a candid picture can tell you so much about them. And this was exactly what Junoon was hoping to achieve.
Originally an idea of three NSITians, Sahil Dua, Prabhakar Gupta and Vivek Soni, Appify4u is not just a socially driven app development startup, but also bridges the block between idea and technology. While there are some who innovate amazing ideas, some are adept in technically coding the framework of the app, a fact foundationally acknowledged by the team. Appify4u has already had 3 apps live on the play store with decent number of downloads, and 10 floating apps, under development currently. With a bank of 200 plus ideas of apps catering to various needs of android users, Appify4u has attracted quite a few developers to try their hands on app development. The team is open to all for new app ideas, after which the idea is briefly scrutinized, to prevent doubling of apps, and ensure that there exists no such app based on the same idea. Upon all the filtered ideas, fresh and raw, the app developers start writing codes, and a significant share of the amount the app earns is given to the idea innovators, once the app goes live. Appify4u hence, emerges as a promising startup for innovators as well as developers.
An employment assessment and employability evaluation company founded in 2007, Aspiring Minds is one of the pioneering companies, guiding companies towards choosing the ‘right’ candidates for the job. The co-founder of Aspiring Minds, Varun Aggarwal , is a NSIT alumnus, batch of 2004 (ECE) who later went on to pursue MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Aspiring Minds today boasts of a presence across the globe with AMCAT (Aspiring Minds’ Computer Adaptive Test) being one of the most credible employability benchmarks companies seek. In an interview with The Economic Times, Varun talks about the inspiration behind the company—
“It came to me in 2007, when I was reading a Nasscom report, which stated that only 25% of India’s engineering graduates were employable. At that time, I was pursuing my master’s degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.
That got me thinking about how employability is actually defined. I discussed it with my brother, Himanshu, who had just quit working as a software developer and was already based in India. Both of us felt the need for a scientific and a defined approach to assess employability in India and this is how Aspiring Minds was incepted.
I returned to India in June 2007 and we set up base in Gurgaon. The name of the company was inspired by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s book, Ignited Minds. We decided to go for ‘aspiring’ because we serve the youth and help meet their aspirations in a fair, scalable and efficient manner.”
‘Quantifying employability’ and envisaging a new concept, Aspiring Minds is also responsible for inspiring the academia, government and industries through its employability research and publication in shaping public policies and plans. It is currently working on quantifying and analyzing jobs in the vocational sector. With a worldwide impact and helping thousands to find their ideal job, Aspiring Minds is one inspiring start-up success story.