Being an entrepreneur is a dream of many MBA Aspirants. In order to make this dream a reality, a lot of IIM alumni have struggled and faced challenges in their respective lives. The journey to become an entrepreneur and establishing a successful brand often led to hardships and obstacles. But with their incessant determination and perseverance, they achieved a pinnacle which has become the face of the industry in which they operate.
In this article, we bring for you answers to ‘How to become a successful entrepreneur’. Get inspired by the success stories of 7 start-up firms established by IIM alumni.
Founder (s): Sanjeev Bikhchandani
Service (s): Online job search and assistance
The Success Story: The venture is an ideation of IIM Ahmadabad Alumni, Sanjeev Bikhchandani. He was the man behind this famous job portal that is being accesses by millions of job seekers.
Sanjeev left his lucrative job profile with Horlicks at HMM (now known as GlaxoSmithKline) in 1990 to set up two companies Indmark and Info Edge (India) along with a partner. In 1997, Bikhchandani set up Naukri.com, jobs portal on a server in the United States. As an entrepreneur, the initial 10 years was the most difficult phase for him to establish the venture. He is fortunate to have a life-partner named Surbhi, who took care of the household expenses while working for Nestle, while he wasn’t working back then.
The company did not become a brand overnight. After much struggle, Naukri.com was launched in March 97’ with 1,000 ads taken out of various magazines. Other than naukari.com, Info Edge also owns web sites like Jeevansathi.com, 99acres.com, Brijj.com, Naukrigulf.com, Shiksha.com, Quadrangle and Firstnaukri.com as well.
Founder (s): Aprameya Radhakrishna and G Raghunandan
Service (s): Aggregates car rentals and taxis
The Success Story: The bright alumni of IIM-Ahemdabad launched ‘TaxiForSure’ (registered company Serendipity Infolabs Pvt. Ltd.) in online format to facilitate the customers in car and taxi rentals. The company has partnered with around 25 cab operators in Bangalore and around 15 in Delhi, including branded operators like Mega Cabs and Cell Cabs. The company was rising high with its own branding on about 550 cabs until 2015 when the three-year-old Bengaluru company was acquired by rival Ola Cabs for $200 million. It was one of the biggest sell-outs in the online consumer space.
Founder (s): Deep Kalra
Service (s): Booking flights, hotels, tour packages
The Success Story: The Indian online travel company was founded by an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. The company was launched in the US market in 2000 with an ideology to cater to Indian community for their US-to-India travel needs.
The company’s fate took a turn when IRCTC’s online business model enabled the Indian traveller to purchase railway tickets and low-cost carriers entered the Indian aviation space. At that time, the company tapped the opportunity and launched Indian operations in September 2005. The company also started to focus on non-air businesses like holiday packages and hotel bookings. On 13 August 2010, MakeMyTrip was listed on the NASDAQ and went public, making a debut in the US market. The company also operates through 65 retail stores across 50 cities in India, along with international offices in New York City and Sydney.
Founder (s): Ajit Balakrishnan
Service (s): information sharing, online shopping and many more
The Success Story: The man behind this venture is Ajit Balakrishnan who is an alumnus of IIM-Calcutta. In 1995, he founded Rediff.com, which became a highly successful internet site, and was listed on NASDAQ in 2001. After the completion of his MBA he preferred to launch his advertising business, whereas most of his colleagues joined big brands such as Hindustan Lever and L&T and many more. There was a huge risk of failure, but he successfully did it and created a history. Rediffmail.com is quite popular in India and despite international competition from Gmail, Yahoo mail and hotmail.com, around one third of web surfers in India use Rediffmail at least once a day.
Founder (s): Ashank Desai
Service (s): Information Technology Services Company
The Success Story: Mastek Limited is a multinational information technology Services Company headquartered in Mumbai, India. It is Ashank’s venture who is an alumni of IIM-Ahmadabad. Desai used to spent his weekends at IIM while chalking out plans to revolutionise the country's information management system. After IIM, along with a few of his batchmates,he turned his dream into reality with a initial capital of merely Rs. 15,000/-. Currently, Mastek is a spellbinding success story with its 1997-98 revenue of Rs 91.79 crore and listed on NSE and BSE in India.
Mastek’s success took a turn when CSI (Computer Society of India) organised an exhibition. In that era, Personal Computers were launched and Mastek took orders from big corporate brands such as HUL, Citibank etc. In its 6th year of operation, Mastek was ranked 6th in the list of Dataquest magazine. Since then there was no turning back!
6. Travel Triangle
Founder (s): Sankalp Agrawal and Sanchit Garg
Service (s): Online tour packages
The Success Story:TravelTriangle is a holiday marketplace that helps travellers book personalised trips at the best prices by connecting them to travel agents local to the destination. The owners have quitted their corporate jobs at Adobe and Yahoo in the middle of 2010 and started working on their startup in a garage in Noida. They are alumni of IIM and with an aim to links customers with travel agents who offer the best deals they opened up this venture to make travelling a smooth experience.
Within a year of its inception, TravelTriangle had raised an angel funding round of Rs 60 lakh from a group of individual investors. Its content attracts around 20 lakh visitors on its website every month and serves travellers from more than 65 countries.
The venture is named TravelTriangle as it connects 3 entities: travelers, travel agents and an efficient marketplace.
Founder (s): Supam Maheshwari
Service (s): Online baby and kids store
The Success Story: The venture was initiated by IIM-A pass out & Engineer from the Delhi College of Engineering, Supam Maheshwari. His motivation to startup came from the issues he faced as a first time parent. Maheshwari has even acquired Mahindra ‘BabyOye’ in a stock deal and also secured an investment from the $18-billion conglomerate. At present he is the CEO of by far the largest baby and mothercare retailer in India, both online and offline
In 2012, he also launched a logistics business to fulfil its own orders. XpressBees, which is now run by Saha, started taking third-party orders in 2015 and raised Rs 85 crore in funding after spinning off from FirstCry. In addition, Firstcry has 70 offline stores are mostly located in Tier 1 cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Noida etc.
With these popular ventures on the list, you can also become one of the entrepreneurs carving a niche in your area of interest. All you need to do is pursue MBA from any one of the top MBA colleges of India and acquire or polish the business skills in you.
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