Techies take leap of faith with start-ups


Biswanath Patel had never been a morning person. Getting up early in the morning and reporting to work everyday at a bank was just not his cup of tea. He managed to stick along for some time. But the idea of ‘being his own boss’ was something that constantly played in his mind. An IIT Bombay graduate, Biswanath found that his thoughts found resonance in colleague and fellow IITian, Yogesh Tomar. Together they decided to take a leap of faith! And thus was born, Buyt, a comprehensive search engine and comparison website for e-commerce. One can shop for anything from clothes, accessories to gadgets from the website. City techies are giving up the corporate rut to start up innovative online ventures, to add some ‘real value’ to their life and others.
“A lot of things is required for a start-up to fall into place. A team with complementary skills that could rely on each other, an idea that is potent to develop into a viable business and of course, funds to sustain onself in the initial phase,” says Yogesh Tomar, a IIT Delhi graduate and co-founder, Buyt. The fact that Biswanath and Yogesh had worked together for three years, had some savings to sustain them and no responsibilities back home, led them to take the plunge.
Online shopping sites are the biggest draw. Another shopping site, Chiclique, started by three young city girls is all set to revolutionise shopping for women. “Somebody, one’s told me, what is the fun if you become a company’s director at an old age. That line sort of stuck to me. Me, Shivani and Sughandhika had full time jobs at some point and were drawing good salaries but as is the universal corporate dilemma, we did not have enough time to spend it. So we thought, why not create an online portal which is a one-stop-shop for everything a lady needs — the outfit, accessories and the complete ensemble,” says Harshita Singh, co-founder Chiclique. She worked for McKinsey for two years, before deciding to move ahead on her own.
But then it might not always be that easy, to go ahead on the uncharted terrain. Starting something new requires immense self-confidence and patience. “Hiring a team of rockstars for my start up, was a challenge because it is hard to find people who are actually passionate about startups,” says Sahil Baghla, co-founder and CEO of Bluegape, an online fan merchandising portal.
Sahil is a IIT Kanpur and chose not to sit for the placements at his institute altogether. He just wanted to start something fresh. “I had couple of offers from corporates but I was very much inspired from people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg. Building something awesome and different which can solve some real problems was more exciting than doing what everyone else is doing,” adds he. The satisfaction of starting up an online venture and seeing it flourish, is all worth the teething problems. Zomato, one of the most promising start-ups from India, that gives food menus, prices and ratings of the restaurants in various cities of Iindia, was also started by young city techies. “The biggest challenge initially was to collect menus and there were just three of us who would do it on the weekends with our regular corporate jobs. It took us two months to just collect and scan menu cards of these 1,200 restaurants. But more than four years now, it feels like we only started yesterday, because we are constantly having fun innovating and chalking new strategies to expand,” says Deepinder Goyal, co-founder, Zomato.

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