As 2009 arrives, i.t. magazine (EFY group)decided to look back at the year gone by while also casting a glance at the start-ups that industry observers and experts predict will make it big in the coming years. A story by Janani Gopalkrishnan Vikram & Vandana Sharma.
- 1. Start-ups To issue themeWatch Out For In 2009 As 2009 arrives, we decided to look back at the year gone by while also casting a glance at the start-ups that industry observers and experts predict will make it big in the coming years. t success too. he journey from the Compiled by In our attempt to bring you Janani Gopalakrishnan Vikramstarting line to the success stories from the tech start- milestone of success is & Vandana Sharmaup arena, we approached a few often a rough one. Notexperts and industry observers for every venture that starts their opinion on successful Indian tech start-ups worth emulating. out, succeeds. But the one that Naturally, everyone had their own does, often makes a huge impact. favourites. We present you with a list Everything about these ventures of nominations received from these from their teams, their product experts, along with brief descriptions offerings, their business model of the companies nominated and and their execution of a planistestimonials from the industry- watchers. concerted and focused. Now, we leave it to our readersThe global recession might have to select the best amongst these, by slowed down some enterprises, but voting for their favourite. The votes it is heartening to see the Indian can be cast at www.itmagz.com or e- entrepreneurial eco-system abuzz mailed to email@example.com with activity. A number of start-ups The result of this poll will be have emerged in the tech domain published in the subsequent edition. and some have achieved notable 30 | January 2009 | www.itmagz.com | i.t.
2. Myntra (www.myntra.com) issue theme Mondial Consulting (www.mondialit.com) A one-stop mall with various divisions that dispense advice on probably everythingfrom top-level strategy, choosing software and training, to saving money onThe company is into creating customised giftspaper clips. and merchandise. It has pioneered the trend of A very young team of professionals with a enabling customers to create their own products. unique blend of technology and functionalGreat team with passion. expertise and exposure. The executive teamsPhenomenal execution. Large premier education and rich experience incorporate gifting market. First- accounting makes them strong professionalstime entrepreneurs who are for deliveries in insurance, financial and otherexecuting their plan really well, sectors. Mondial also specialises in financialand are laser focused. consolidation reporting. rohit agarwal, charter member, TiE & CEO, techTribe Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MaIa Intelligence iYogi (http://www.iyogi.net) A direct to consumer computer Kanaga Networks support service for (www.kanaganetworks.com/) people faced with increasing computing The company complexity. provides solutions and The company software services for leverages the expertise enterprise mobility and experience that and service provider India has developed markets. Its products over the last 20 years in providing technical support to are aimed at enabling customers across the globe. enterprises with iYogi brings a price-performance disruption into the greater business process efficiency and its carrier customers with consumer desktop support business. In markets such highly reliable and scalable next-gen services. as the US, technical support to consumers and small The company provides services that deliver businesses is very disorganised, and the few organised measurable advantages in terms of development players offer services at fairly high incident-based cycles, quality and time-to-market. pricing. iYogi is unique in providing a fixed annualKanaga has a team of talentedsubscription for unlimited supportand dedicated young ITthroughout the year. Its innovations inprofessionals. Overall, I wouldenabling personalised remote supportsay Kanaga is dynamic and veryservices offer added convenience tocustomer focused.the consumers.Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MaIa Intelligence alok Mittal, managing director, Canaan Partners31 i.t. | www.itmagz.com | January 2009 | 3. issue themeZoomtra.com (www.zoomtra.com)Inbiopro (http://www.inbiopro.com/)Indias first travelsearch engine andthe countrys firstand largest onlinetravel deal aggregator,with offerings on theInternet, SMS andWAP platforms.It is the first Indian travel portal to launchan application on Orkut and Facebook (IndiaDekha) to connect travel enthusiasts with eachA science and technology driven KPOother. Zoomtra is now the largest travel network organisation, which takes a biological moleculeplatform for travel reviews with more than through product development cycles and makes it 4,00,000 travel reviews already ready for animal toxicology and clinical trials. posted. It is powered by state of Excellent business model, the art technology with a stronginnovative product development, focus on the Webs usability.clear vision, a workforce that is aligned to this vision, and good Himani Pahwa, business managernew Initiatives HR practices. Smile Interactive Technologies GroupL. Venkata Subramaniam, managerInformation Processing and analytics, IBM India research Lab Pothi.com (www.pothi.com)Sporting Mindz (www.sportingmindz.com)A print-on-demand(POD) platform for allkinds of self-publishersin India, it catersto authors, NGOs,organisations andanybody who has anidea or content with aniche or small audienceand cannot be served by traditional publishing.They are building a platform with a clear focus onIndia, which includes providing good support forSports products that help monitor and enhance aIndian language content. Pothi is bridging the gapplayers performance. The company focuses on bothbetween the flexibility offered by digital contentelite athletes and on grassroots athletes in rural areas.and the convenience offered by a traditional book.It focuses on currently popular sports like cricket,and upcoming (in India) sports like football.Using Pothis platform, books can be personalisedThey have good plans in place, a dedicatedfor buyers, content can be re-purposed for peopleteam and so far their implementation has beenwith vision disabilities, and even collaborativeexcellent.content creation and distribution is very easy.People can even create books of their own. L. Venkata Subramaniam, manager - Information Processing and analytics, IBMIndia research LabHimani Pahwa, business managernew Initiatives Smile InteractiveTechnologies GroupDisclaimer: The views expressed here are solely of Venkat and in no wayrepresent the opinion of IBM India Research Labs. 32| January 2009 | www.itmagz.com | i.t. 4. issue theme Desicrew (www.desicrew.in) Farepool.com (www.farepool.com) A BPO serviceAn online provider thatopen marketplace works to create afor travel suppliers win-win situationand travel agents between urbanto do business clients and thewith each other, rural workforce of seamlessly. The India. While the portal offers company provides some of the solutions to its best deals and clients, it also paysdeep discounted close attention to a inventory on multiple products like air tickets, social agenda. hotels and package holidays through suppliers I think it has a unique leaning towards getting from across the world.Experienced team. Sharp, hardworkingpeople from rural areas involvedpeople who have domain expertise in thein the IT revolution, which doestravel market. Expanding to new marketstwo things: it gets them toafter establishing themselves in the enterpriseparticipate early in the curve,space.and makes good commercialsense. rohit agarwal, charter member, TiE & CEO, techTribeSunil Malhotra, CEO, Idea farmsMAIA Intelligence(www.maia-intelligence.com) Aspiring Minds (www.aspiringminds.in)The companyis into developingbusiness intelligencereporting and analysisproducts. These BIproducts are nextgeneration reportingsolutions built fromthe ground up onMicrosoft .NETtechnology.MAIA is the only Indian BI product company inthe country and named in the Gartner Hype Cycle The company seeks to identify employable for India 2008 report. In a short span of 30 months freshers and match them to jobs at par with theirand with a team size of less than 35, this company skills. It also seeks to help unemployable freshers to has successfully developed improve their skills to become suitable for the job and marketed its innovative and market. affordable software in the business Great team. Large market. Great execution. intelligence (BI) space. 1KEY BI, Young entrepreneurs who have tackled the gapMAIAs flagship product is real between colleges and careers.value for moneya Mercedes at the price of Maruti. rohit agarwal, charter member, TiE & CEO, techTribe Zoeb adenwala, CIO, Essel Propac 33 i.t. | www.itmagz.com | January 2009 | 5. issue themeEKO India Financial Services RouteGuru (www.routeguru.com)(www.eko.co.in)RouteGuru makesThe company geographicaloffers a platform information andthat connects related servicesfinancial service accessible, usableproviders to and valuable tothe unbanked consumers andcustomers. The businesses.companys mission The companysis to be a master recently launched landmark, intelligent, turn-by-outsourcer and turn directions service uses ubiquitous access toolshelp its members get better value from service like SMS, Voice and WAP (wireless applicationproviders, and help service providers get better protocol), without any hardware requirements likeprofits while serving its members. a GPS device.With the usage of mobile phones as a channel, A great team, innovative product, good overallEKO is able to reduce transactional costs potential, excellent brand presence.below Re 1, and thus is able to create a scalablefinancial services infrastructureDigbijoy Shukla,director-Strategic relationships, techTribe and supporting evangelistTM to many start-upswith a sustainable businessmodel. Backed by a fantasticand a passionate team EKO has Studiosmile (www.studiosmile.com)the potential to scale. An incubationDigbijoy Shukla,director-Strategic relationsh