We have witnessed various Themes at Startup Saturday. Right from food beverages to the omnipresent IT. Startup Saturday even went ahead to change the track, remove the fuss and highlight the jugadu workshop-wallas or the offline entrepreneurs. The struggle is to present the most effective content for Entrepreneurs, by Entrepreneurs and of Entrepreneurs. The Goal is to be an Outlier among the masses and that was the theme this month.
Outlier and Entrepreneur seems to be very synonymous to each other. Who is an Entrepreneur? Isn’t he the one who is ready to solve the problems rather than crib about it? Isn’t he the one who is ready to break the vicious circle of mediocrity, and bet whatever it takes for a better world? Isn’t he an Outlier?
“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” – Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)
Yes that was the theme this time. Though we do consider each one who is ready to take the plunge an outlier, HeadStart decided to showcase the Outliers among the Outliers. The ones who not only took the plunge but dared high enough to create a new model, a new thought process and result in a new industry! They definitely result into a cult following.
The session kick started with a business showcase by Mr Pankaj Patel, of Logix Microsystems Limited. Mr Pankaj Patel presented (PPT on Slideshare) the challenges he faced to bring Logix to a stage it has reached today. Outliers and Entrepreneurs as we know are stubborn enough to follow their passions. Right after the dot com bust when Internet shops were shutting down, Pankaj believed that Internet had much more potential than it seems to have. Solving one problem after another, whether it is to provide car dealers the right knowledge, the right tools or the right leads, Pankaj went ahead and created a niche of his own.
And with each stone unturned he unleashed new opportunities for his web portal Carazoo. From bringing up his first studio in Los Angeles to providing Complete Lead Management Solution to dealers, Pankaj has created a complete new market and is an uncontested market leader. The company today is mentioned in various reports from Capegemini and is considered among the leaders of its own niche. End of the day Pankaj’s strong belief in himself and the solutions that he proposed for all the challenges he faced has today made him an outlier worth following.
Next was an interesting showcase by Vikas Mujumdar, founder of Surround School. Outliers don’t work with rocket sciences, they work on the very basics. And yes now a days basic understanding is as rare as rocket science. Vikas proved that understanding basic problems and addressing them with perseverance can even surpass the Outlier titles. Surround School understands that the way the current education system works has its own advantages and disadvantages and it targets to fill the gaps in the same.
We all learnt about Sine, Cos and Tan. These terms haunted us in our board exams. But truth be told, many of us even today neither understand the basic implementation of the same nor apply these basic math formulae in life anymore. The irony is today we shell thousands on our kids to mug up the same formulae in the same old way. Vikas claims that it wont work. No child is interested to know Math and Science; what a child is interested in is to know how planes fly? How galaxies works? And many such unanswered questions. Surround School works on this practical approach. Working on Concept Maps it provides Content delivery engine and Visualization tool which can help a child with answers he is seeking and teach him without the academic pressure. This complete new approach can actually bring revolution in the education domain. As they say – “Padhega India tabhi to Badhega India”
Post a short break after the above two showcases, it was time for a real smackdown. The event had a session with the team from Indian Angels Network. Mr Apoorv Sharma, Ajay Garg and Sadeesh Raghavan rocked the stage by opening up to answer every little doubt that our aspirants had about the entrepreneur – investor relationships. After a short fact sharing session by each of the team mates, the session was open for Q&A which was crisp and worth every second utilized. The investors were open to answer questions like what do they look for in businesses, how to get short-listed for a funding, how to approach an investor and the very basics of doing business. If by any chance you missed this opportunity, you seriously missed a gamut here!
The first thing to realize is not the market opportunity or the brilliant idea. What is important is whether you understand business. As the IAN team aptly said “Dhandha Excel sheet pe thode hi hota hai!”
Next on the agenda was Aamir Khan! Okay not Aamir Khan of Bollywood but we had Ankit Mehta and once you meet him you will realize why we term him the Aamir among Entrepreneurs. He showcased his company IdeaForge. So where does Ankit and the IdeaForge team connect with Aamir Khan. If you still don’t know (Seriously you should be knowing this) the unmanned aerial gadget that Aamir develops in the movie 3 idiots (a helicopter type engineering project which was rejected by Viru Sahastra buddhi) was not an idea stolen from Star Trek but a real working piece of Art developed by IdeaForge (Ideaforge presentation).
Developed in company with DRDO, Netra – the unmanned aerial system can help in multiple areas and solve issues we never thought are solvable. (As Aamir’s character said in 3 idiots) It can be used to monitor and direct City traffic, Help during emergencies, Combat Terrorist attacks, Surveillance, Security and many more emergencies. Right from monitoring the avalanche activity of Kashmir to monitoring intrusions at the shores of Kanyakumari – the aptly titled Netra can show you the world from a bird’s eye view. Apart from Netra, Ideaforge also developed Alternate energy products that can help save power for the rising India. Their green mobile chargers are sold across various locations in the country including eBay. For the rural citizen where power cut off is part of their daily lives such products can keep the mobile revolution on. Outliers deny accepting problems, they strive for solutions and hence shape the world of tomorrow.
Post IdeaForge’s simple solutions for a better world, we had a showcase which highlighted very complicated Design and Engineering Solutions. So did we understand it? Thanks to the wit and humor of Abhishek Jain from Zeus Numerix, attendants understood how precise science can be and why that matters for our survival. Zeus Numerix is in the simulation business. It provides solutions to ascertain how real life models will react in various scenarios by simulating it with the help of in house software and hardware. As Abhishek explained, Many times a fighter jet, if in wrong position or velocity, drops bombs that return back to hit and crash the same jets rather than the enemy. And bombing oneself is not a great idea! What Zeus Numerix does is that it provides real simulations via which one can calculate how the object will move, how the temperatures will change, how events will occur and how the subject will react to it. Just imagine the permutations that one can do and the speed in which the R&D can be done if we can simulate everything precisely without doing a trial in reality. All this is on the Indian soil, thanks to the Zues Numerix team.
An IITian by background Abhishek manages the marketing part of his company and is very good at presenting complicated facts in ways the layman can understand and appreciate. Today Zeus Numerix is one of the very few companies that work in this niche and provide solutions that are precise to this level. Having such talented team and innovative startups flourishing in India is definitely a boon and inspiration to the Entrepreneur community. Outliers do what we deny can be done, and than they achieve what we cant even imagine
Last but not the least we had a business pitch. A – 5 minutes of fame, where an Entrepreneur presents his concept and the audience react, question, cross question and appreciate. While all the business showcases were Outliers, the business idea that was pitched was nothing short than an Outlier too. It was an idea which almost everyone in the audience appreciated and said “Why didn’t it click me?!?”
Kunal and Naman from FreeCharge.in presented a new way in which you can recharge your mobiles almost free of cost, everytime. How is that possible? You simply log in to their site and select the denominations, post that you even select same amount of Free coupons of a retailer of your choice (currently McDonalds and Barista are available) and you pay for the recharge. Your mobile gets recharged instantly and the coupons of same amount are delivered free to you at your doorstep. Free recharge for the customer, more business for the telecom companies, and more footfalls for the retailers. And all that is equal to more fame and business for FreeCharge! Are you thinking why it didn’t click you? Well, be there at Startup Saturday because that’s where innovative ideas breed.
With this concluded yet another very successful Startup Saturday. An event happening in 6 cities across India and no budding entrepreneur can afford to miss! By the way with evolving Entrepreneurship scene in India, HeadStart too is outlying to the next level. HeadStart will soon initiate a new set of event called HeadStart Evolve (Don’t worry our favorite Startup Saturday will continue as it does) Evolve will be a premium workshop event teaching a certain topic to Entrepreneurs. More can be found out here*link*.
Hope you enjoyed this brief roundup of the Outliers session. Do mark the second Saturday of next month as your Startup Saturday and be their to experience the inspiration, knowledge and fun! Go, get it!
About the Author – Himanshu Chanda is a business blogger and a regular visitor at the Head Start Saturdays. He shares his business insights on BizDharma.com and tweets @himanshuchanda
Annkur P Agarwal is the co-founder of Pricebaba & SahiGST. Pricebaba is a product research engine that helps you research and shop consumer electronics. SahiGST is a SaaS platform for Indian SMEs to effectively manage their GST compliance.