In the fast-paced and stressful world that we live in today, comfort in any form is sheer bliss. Nowadays, one has the privilege to order food at any time with just a click; buy designer clothes from local stores and get them delivered at home; call a plumber or electrician at a moment’s notice; and get home delivery for emergency grocery items. The credit for making our lives simpler and more efficient goes to the Hyperlocal businesses. Hyperlocal offers a platform for users to avail local services of better quality at anytime. Hyperlocal startups such as Tinyowl, Grofers, and Zomato have already established their dominance in the huge market. Owing to the marvel of digitization and huge consumer base, Hyperlocal has a future of exponential growth. The Startup Saturday theme for October was Hyperlocal business agenda, consumerism and the need for on-demand services.
The event commenced with a talk by Paritosh Sharma, founder of PayUMoney, who proved to be a major crowd-puller. He kick-started the event with the declaration to create something powerful and he managed to accomplish that goal. The focal point of his speech was the key lesson of creating a powerful story to connect with the customers, investors and stakeholders. He stated that one needs to be the champion of one’s story. He enthusiastically shared his experience, where the golden words shared by his investor did act as a great source of learning. He learned that an investor does not merely invest in a company, he invests in the person. Paritosh Sharma shared the story of his startup Hashtag, which built a crowdsourcing platform for startups to validate their product ideas. It was selected by Intel & UC Berkeley as part of the Technology 2 Market Accelerator in the valley. Although, it did not prove to be successful as a product, it grew strong as a growth and retention consulting firm. It gave a genuine and productive way to connect with customers. Paritosh stated that a customer is someone who has the same problem as us, so one should emotionally engage with the customers and their problems. He also briefed about his HALLABOL initiative, where 202 startups tweeted in a 45 min session, hence 5.5$ worth of word was spread for 0$. It literally became the language of startups. He ended the speech on a learning note that it’s tempting to explain everything but it’s better to leave space for interpretation. His mesmerizing oration won the hearts of the audience.
After the keynote speech, the first startup pitch was by Hitesh Agarwal, founder of Lazyshopr. Hitesh likes to introduce himself as an Entrepreneur, a Startup Enthusiast, a Tech Explorer and a Big Data analytics fan. His startup is as interesting as his personality. His web-based startup enables customers to buy products from local designer stores, from the comfort of their homes. Lazyshopr enhances convenience and cuts down the hassle. His idea struck the right chord with his customers, henceforth his startup has grown exponentially in the last 8 months. The audience appreciated his visionary idea of creating an app-based service in every Indian city in the upcoming years. He overcame the major hurdle of persuading the non-tech savvy designers to embrace his unique idea of web-based system. He concluded his presentation by sharing the key lesson that – ‘Persistence is the key to success’.
Next presentation was by the young entrepreneur Rachik Murarka, founder of DoDukan. Buying groceries always tend to be boring, tiring and monotonous. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could order your groceries online and get it delivered at your choice of time? DoDukan is here to fulfill that wish. It brings local stores online and has established a system where the need of customer is fulfilled even before the demand is generated. They have a predefined inventory and schedule for better service. Users get notification on the app for different grocery items. DoDukan also provide the luxurious feature of ordering a single item, and delivers products on an emergency basis. This startup also boasts of supplying a wide range of products. Rachit Muaraka received a huge applause and some worthy suggestion from the audience.
Utkarsh Lohia, founder of JustShop24 was the next speaker. JustShop24 is the fastest growing online store. Having established a successful consumer base in Bangalore and Delhi, Utkarsh Lohia has started to expand its reach to Kolkata. JustShop24 has an in-house logistic team and is about to launch its app very soon. The feature which gives it an upper hand amongst its competitors is its 24 hour model. Their motto is “Order Karo and Bhul jao”. In addition to that, multiple payment option, reorder and refund facilities are an added advantage. In a span of 3 months, JustShop24 has been ranked number 1 by Google for ‘Online grocery’ in Kolkata. In September, it got 80-100 orders and has 10,000+ customers registered on its website. It was even successful in garnering a lot of media coverage for its rising success. Utkarsh laid focus on the fact that customer loyalty is the biggest challenge he faced. The audience truly believed in his ideas, and even expressed the willingness to explore Justshop24.
The last speaker was Vikash Bhotika, founder of Felicity. Taking inspiration from Paritosh Sharma, he presented his startup in a wonderful story format. The story comprised of a guy whose bibliophile nature led him to discover a great hidden opportunity for a startup. He realized that there are very good products hyperlocally which fail to create a market for themselves. He grabbed this opportunity to transform a potential hyperlocal market into a successful ecommerce market. Felicity is involved in non-specialized retail trade in stores. The beauty of Felicity is that it laid its foundation on a back end ecommerce model. His speech was extremely engaging and budding entrepreneurs in the audience were able to connect with him.
The October 2015 edition of Startup Saturday Kolkata was a full house event. We own special thanks to our sponsor Nasscom and venue partner The Conclave. Headstart Kolkata has been climbing the ladder of success and is becoming a powerful attraction source for startup enthusiasts. Headstart is growing its network with a broad synergetic reach. Due to a spectacular management and successful coordination by Headstart team members, the attendees were full of praises and showed extreme willingness to participate and volunteer in the upcoming events. They even made some good suggestions, which will be implemented in the future. Do not regret if you missed the event since we will be back next month with another stupendous event. In the next month, Startup Saturday will be taken to the next level, with the addition of Startup Stalls and Panel Discussion. So be ready!
Written by Annupreeti Verma