5 IIM graduates who skipped placements for start-ups

18 Mar, 2013 ET Bureau; Devina Sengupta & Sreeradha D Basu

but students feel their ideas cannot wait for long as others may pick them up.• In odd lot of students at the premier Indian Institutes of Management has decided to make way for their classmates jostling for jobs in a tight economy. start a network for photographers. It may not be the best time to walk out on campus placements. Some of them from the 2013 batch have opted out of placements to sell sanitary napkins to rural India. with the economy on the slouch. • Jostling: Push . and make algorithms that predict the market. The entrepreneurial road is less travelled. but the drive is strong.

Venkat R .

• CIIE: Centre for Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship . and clients pay the start-up. Connects photographers with clients for assignments Investment: Rs 5 lakh from CIIE and Rs 4 lakh bootstrapped along with 2 other partners Venkat R started an online firm called Focaloid. Venkat has received a seed fund of Rs 5 lakh from the CIIE and has raised another Rs 4 lakh along with two other friends who have just quit regular jobs.Institute: IIM Ahmedabad Venkat R. Age: 26 • Start-up: Focaloid. where photographers get assignments.


Gaurav Midha .

within months of joining campus. Beyond Numbers. along with two batch mates. Age: 26 • Start-up: Data analytics firm Beyond Numbers Investment: None yet Gaurav Midha's start-up partners took up job offers during placements at IIM Lucknow. . started a data analytics firm." he says. "Data analytics is still a relatively new concept in India but it's been growing at 20%-25%.his dream kept him going.Institute: IIM Lucknow Gaurav Midha. Midha. but Midha decided to take it forward. But he is the only one who's stuck to the course . I want a share of that pie.

Niranjan KM .

• . I can sell each napkin for around Rs 3-4 which is about half the cost for such a product from an FMCG major. "The big companies see money in the urban areas. while I plan to concentrate on rural areas." he says.Institute: IIM Indore Niranjan KM. He had earlier thought of being a candy maker or mineral water producer but realised the market potential for sanitary napkins was big. Niranjan's research showed rural women know little about sanitary napkins and his marketing campaign includes raising awareness through skits during festivals. of which Rs 25 lakh has been approved by Tamil Nadu government Niranjan KM plans a start-up to manufacture and sell sanitary napkins in rural India. Niranjan will start the plant in global manufacturing hub Tirupur. Age: 23 • Start-up: Selling sanitary napkins to rural India Investment: Needs Rs 1 crore.

Ajusal Sugathan Achin Agarwal .

" adds Sugathan. "Unlike the West. Indian markets do not use the algorithm-based trading method. but our live simulations have shown good results." says Ajusal Sugathan. currency. • . volatility and derivatives Investment: Tied up with Kolkatabased brokerage firm Shivmangal Securities on a profit sharing mode "We have developed seven to eight models and our simulation tests show we can predict market movements. fixed income.Institute: IIM Bangalore Ajusal Sugathan & Achin Agarwal Age: 24 • Start-up: Hedge Quants Specialises in quantitative trading and investment strategies across Indian equities.


Why India is not the best place for startups 31 May. 2013 • Regulatory roadblocks are emerging as the biggest challenge for scores of entrepreneurs catering to the growing demand for innovative services from Indian consumers. Let's take a look at the top few issues .

Banks decline. or just 3 days in Singapore.The banking issues • Registering a Company: Takes almost a month in India. . often certified by a CA. if a startup doesn't possess a service tax or VAT registration. Opening a Current Account: Requires 6-7 set of documents. compared to just a week in the US.

Denmark ranks 1st. which may take years. Bribery In a global index that ranks countries with the least amount of corruption. Singapore 3rd and India 94th . distribute company's assets and wait for court hearings. meet all creditors. 2013 • Shutting Down An entrepreneur needs to present a winding up petition to the court. appoint liquidators.Hutting shop is very difficult 31 May.

closure and acquisitions of some e-commerce companies who were unable to raise follow on venture capital funding .Policy related issues for Web and Mobile industries • E-Commerce Policy Hurdle: Ban on foreign direct investment in companies engaged in retail ecommerce Affected parties: Online retailers who want to raise funds from foreign investors Impact: Has led to layoffs.

mobile value added service providers. and acquisitions of many mobile value added services companies. closure. daily deal startups Impact: Has led to layoffs.• Mobile Value Added Services Regulation: Ban on bulk SMSes. over-regulation of Do Not Call registry Affected Parties: Has impacted bulk SMS providers. telemarketing agencies. H .

Affected parties: Social media content websites Impact: Very few new ventures being launched Mobile Remittances & Digital Payments Policy Hurdle: Ban on encashing currency by users of mobile money products. Affected parties: Financial services startups. telcos and mobile money startups Impact: Hampering launch of new business models that revolve around online payments . Way ahead in intolerance • Social Media Policy Hurdle: Websites which carry user generated content can be pulled up in court.Way behind in technology.

India’s strengths as a market • Cost competitiveness Skilled workforce Large domestic economy Access to financing Keen interest from foreign investors Strong fiscal policy Policy stability & predictability .

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