Here’s introducing you to the poster boys of the budding tech and business space
Hyderabad has given an impetus to various start-ups and entrepreneurs – from diagnostics, media to apparel. Be it Samarth Bajaj from Krsala, Arshad Azad of Oh’Look, Karan Kurani from Doctor C or Pallav Bajjuri of Saddahaq.com, they have all added another dimension to the world of business.
This 26-year-old is on a mission to ‘empower men’ via the fashion route. Oh‘Look is a clothing line start-up that rents out shirts to men, five days a week. A set of five branded shirts get delivered at your doorstep every Sunday. After using them for a week, the delivery guy again picks them up on Saturday. The process repeats for four weeks. One can renew the services on a monthly basis. “The idea is to replace ‘lets shop for shirts’ with ‘Lets Oh’Look’ for them,” says Arshad Azad, the chief executive officer. And if figures are anything to go by, in the first month, they had 150 orders. “We had to change the ‘order now’ option to ‘request now’. This overwhelming response was a major boost to us,” he shares. The five-month-old start-up is now aiming to expand to Bengaluru by the year-end and Delhi in the first quarter of 2017.
In October, the homegrown couture jewellery brand, Krsala, commemorated its tenth anniversary with the launch of Éclat Collection, inspired by PV Sindhu. The other change that happened was that Samarth Bajaj joined his mother Bunty who spearheads the brand. The newly appointed director had initially planned to make a foray into the world of films, but confesses, “Krsala was too exciting an opportunity to pass up.” His interest in jewellery was piqued only after he started working in the industry. After majoring in entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he moved to his hometown with the idea of nurturing the brand. However, later he started focussing on the finer aspects of jewellery-making. “I learnt from my mom that there is no shortcut to success and no substitute for hard work,” says Bajaj, who reveals that the team is working on a unique collection for the upcoming year. “It will comprise rose cuts, polkis and precious stones,” concludes the director of Krsala.
CEO, Saddahaq.com & Kahaniya.com
This 20-something is an engineer who graduated from Boston University. However, this techie wanted to do something more exciting than a corporate job. Pallav Bajjuri, founder of Viven Infomedia, has two wings that he helms – Saddahaq and Kahaniya, online platforms for social journalism and fiction respectively. Kahaniya.com is what he feels bullish about this year. “Next year, you will see us improve the quality of regional language content,” says the entrepreneur who started the venture after realising there are more like him who love regional literature. Although the third quarter looks chock-a-block, he says that this December, he wants to tick off adventure and leisure activities from his bucket list. Bajjuri may come across as a hardcore management graduate when he adds corporate jargon to his words, but was a computer engineer before he started to ride the online and app wave. “Given the quality of our work in both the domains, this fact surprises a lot of people,” he said with a chuckle.
DoctorC, the health-tech start-up touted as the “Make My Trip” of medical tests, recently launched its online pharmacy in the city. “We also started experimenting with applying artificial intelligence techniques in the medical field – the initial results have been very encouraging,” shares co-founder and chief technology officer, Karan Kurani. The idea to create a revolution in the healthcare sector took birth in 2013 with its then founder, the late Dr C Dayakar Reddy. “I got onboard because I saw potential in the start-up,” says Karan. DoctorC enables consumers to compare prices and quality across various tests like MRI, CT Scans, Ultrasound, Blood tests, ECG, and the likes, across a variety of diagnostic centres in the city, book appointments and also avail discounts. Selling at an annual run rate of over a $1 million worth tests per year and with presence in Bangalore (besides Hyderabad), the start-up is working on its expansion plans. “We want to further expand our services and also develop more of our in-house technology. We will probably also raise some funds to accelerate our expansion plans,” says the 29-year-old entrepreneur.
Text: Sadaf Aman, Paulami Sen & Nishad Neelambaran