Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 13(Binashree – The Skyrocketing 3D Printers)

Many are successful, but only a few are achievers. What differentiates these two is the courage to take the road less travelled. It requires lots of courage to enter an industry which is still developing and moreover when you don’t possess any expertise in that sector.

Today’s Startup Sunday brings to you the story of such enthusiastic and dynamic young brothers, Sitendu, an Electrical and Electronics Engineer and Somarendu, a Chemical Engineer, who left their 9-5 desk job for making an impact in Indian Tech market with their brand-new Start-up called Binashree.

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With a vision of meet their customer demand with proficient technology with constant innovation, Binashree has already established itself among the top 20 3D Printing Service Providers, 2018 by Magazine Silicon India. And guess what it took only 11 months for them to achieve this feat.

About Binashree

A Bangalore based startup, Binashree is known to deliver high-quality products and services across:

  • 3D printing: Its line of 3D Systems’ printers make way for you to instantly realize clients’ instant solution.
  • Vacuum Casting: They offer a complete turnkey solution for creating master patterns and cast copies based on clients’ CAD designs. They not only make high-quality moulds but also offer a full line of finishing services including painting, sanding, pad printing and more.
  • Injection Moulding: They can manufacture the component parts or finished products or provide a partial project management injection moulding service from 3D part/technical drawing to production part.

Binashree serves different industries and processes

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A dive into the interesting journey

Binashree’s journey started with a basic idea of both the brothers’ desire for their own startup which can contribute to Indian Technological and Manufacturing Industry at par with the Chinese market. “Why are we dependent on China for manufacturing and not doing it in our own country?” is the question which hit Sitendu’s mind. With this objective, he started Binashree with a production team of 15+years’ experience, who are experts in providing high-quality parts and finishing to end-use products according to their clients’ needs and requirements.

Nothing can be a better teacher than a fresh struggle story. The passion with which Binashree is heading towards being public next five years, can be a source of inspiration for the budding entrepreneurs. Like every startup, Binashree has also faced loads of challenges like funding and entering into a market which was pre-occupied by giant players. But Binashree has never looked back and rose with every failure. Even in such technology and machinery based startup, Binashree didn’t get funding from anywhere but still managed not only to survive but to grow as well at a commendable rate. “Passion and optimism are something that can keep you struggling in the market no matter what,” says the founder.

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Binashree’s Clientele Base

Within 11 months of its establishment, Binashree has already completed 50+ projects serving 25+ clients. Firms engaged in research and development forms their clientele base. When asked about the challenges as a new entrant in this industry, Sitendu says that it’s the quality delivered by Binashree which makes it compete with the existing market leaders. He doesn’t believe in advertising as he says that a manufacturing company’s advertisement is the quality of products that it provides which can outperform the existing ones. Word of mouth is the basic advertising strategy followed by Binashree.

Binashree follows an open work culture with no rigid hierarchy. People work cross verticals with the prime objective of taking the budding startup to new heights of success. According to the founder, the manufacturing sector cannot expect an exponential growth like other industries. So if you are targeting that sector, you must have the perseverance to keep on going without being affected by initial slow growth and sometimes even losses.

Words by the founder for the budding entrepreneurs

 “For surviving and succeeding in this competitive environment, you need to be very strong. You may face a lot of challenges but if your vision and goal setting are clear, you can easily overcome those keeping your head high. It actually requires a die-hard attitude to make your dreams come true. For that, you yourself should be able to see your own vision and dream down the line. Never start a startup for the sake of money making. Never try to be someone else. For me, I want Binashree to be Binashree in next coming years, not any other established brand. You can give a better competition to yourself than anyone else. Live your dream and keep on moving towards your goal. Success will chase you.”

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Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 12(Google- Fostering Innovation and Nurturing Startups)

We all talk about start-ups and new businesses that recreate the business models time and again. But the startup that changed the course of this millennium was Google. Today a company with a market capitalization of billion US dollars was once a startup in the year 1996. Two Stanford Ph.D. students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page had the idea of ‘BackRub’, a revolutionary technology that would rank web pages based on how many other web pages linked back to them. A disrupting idea in itself, the two co-founders worked to make their idea a success. And thanks to the world of internet, Google slowly created a buzz that took the entire world by storm.

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The Early Days of Google

After Google.com domain was registered on 5th September 1997, Google started draining too much of bandwidth of Stanford University itself. This led to Larry and Brin relocating to the garage of future Google employee Susan Wojcicki, the current head of YouTube. It was around the same time that Brin and Larry got a seed investment of $100,000 from Sun Microsystems founder Andy Bechtolsheim. After being nearly acquired by Excite, a leading search engine at that time in 1999, Sergey and Larry decided to make Google a business after all. They moved to its first-ever office in 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto- the same office building that housed companies like PayPal and Logitech. Google eventually raised $25 million from Sequoia Capital and it started its operations on a larger scale. Google debuted its Adword products in late 2000, enabling businesses to buy ads on search terms. By then Google had already started establishing itself as a search engine and it survived the dot-com bust that ended up consuming lots of new such start-ups.

Google slowly became the tech rockstar in a world where everyone was failing. And this was due to its commitment to innovation and intention to do good things for the world. It believed that a long vision over seeking short-term gains would serve their purpose, which happened in due course of time. On August 19th,2004, Google had its Initial Public Offering on the stock market priced at $85. Today a share in the Google parent company Alphabet costs about $800. Be it developing new products, the revenue model or the employee experience, Google has always innovated and every time it has come up with something new. But according to Susan Wojcicki, Google’s Senior Vice President in Advertising, innovation is a continuous process and doesn’t happen instantly. She has also mentioned a number of times that the spirit of the company remains the same as it was when she joined it in its early start-up days. Although Google faces the investor’s dilemma on whether to expand in newer products or developing the existing one, Google believes in doing both.

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Google started a revolution with its search engine concept that gave its user links to a number of websites as per his required choice on the same page at a time. The concept was not new but how Google offered it, definitely was. With time Google was developing even newer products to offer to its users. It started expanding beyond the search engine and started gobbling up newer start-ups to offer products like G-Mail, Google Docs, Google Chrome and Google Maps which are still very much relevant today. In 2005 Google bought a tiny startup that was making an operating system for digital cameras. It was called Android and was led by Andy Rubin. In late 2008 when Smartphones hit the market users got a taste of the OS, and today Android has the largest user base around the globe. In 2006 Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion from a bunch of ex-PayPal employees and revolutionized the On Demand video viewing industry. Google by that time was getting bigger and bigger. In 2006 it opened up its fully owned and designed data centre in Dallas, Oregon, on the banks of the Columbia river. It has a history of generating maximum efficacy from its data centers. Google is now coming up with driverless cars, or Artificial Intelligence-based IoT which is sure to change the course of the world in the coming future.

Innovation at its Heart

Apart from the number of innovative and easy to use products, Google also keeps innovating and experimenting with its revenue model. The company’s annual report succinctly puts it, “We generate revenue primarily by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising.” The company has a unique value proposition in terms of customer payment options. Unlike the traditional advertising media, which doesn’t segregate the actual prospective user from the mass, Google does it in a much better manner as the user with a specific choice will be advertised by the offering of the vendor himself. This allows a better targeting strategy when it comes to marketing products via an online media like Google. Also coupled with it, customers pay for ads on a cost per click basis, meaning that an advertiser can place an ad with zero obligation. If no one clicks on the ad, the customer doesn’t pay a dime. From the perspective of Google’s shareholders, it gets even better. This is all based via auction. Would-be buyers of AdWords bid for the right to use a particular ad, or phrase, overpay, and Google enjoys a high markup. Underbid, and you risk losing the auction to a more motivated seller.

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Google also believes that nurturing new start-ups can help it learn and grow from them. This is the sole reason that Google offers a range of products starting from infrastructure to AI-based tools and software and best practices to grow one’s startup. Google through its featured programmes help prospective start-ups from raising funds, hiring the right team and building new products. It also acts as a potential influencer helping such start-ups grow through digital marketing. All in all, it gives a launch pad for new age start-ups to work and make use of Google’s state of art tools and platforms to come up with even more revolutionary products and business models. The story doesn’t end here. Besides acting as an incubator to start-ups Google also looks at the positive growth of its employees. It offers its 26,000 employees with a variety of campus styles and free meals, which creates a sense of pride among its employees. Googles co-founders have gone on record to mention that they continuously learn from their employees and their organizational structure is such that most of the problems are solved in a lesser amount of time owing to sharing of information and ideas. A problem can be posted by a techie on the reader boards and another set of employees start solving the problems. This, in turn, brings out the problem-solving skills of the employees and creates a sense of entrepreneurship within them.

Business Roles in Google

Business Roles

The bottom line is that Google not only innovates itself but at the same time helps others to innovate creating an environment for new businesses to grow. It acts as an accelerator, an incubator, an advertising medium, and influencer and an organization promoting entrepreneurship. These principles of Google have let it grow exponentially without going irrelevant in today’s age of rapid change.

Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 11 (Immediate need for Agri-tech startups in India)

A week into Conventus’18 where IMI New Delhi saw some of the best industry stalwarts come and put forward their valuable insights on innovation, the question we all have in mind is whether the boon from innovation would really trickle down to the lowermost sections of the Indian demography. The new age Indian startups are mostly tech-based and are working towards catering the needs of the emerging middle class of India in its urbanized clusters. Whether it is the e-commerce platforms, car rentals or food delivery services for that matter, the unicorns of the Indian startup ecosystem are mostly reaching out to the consumers in Urban India. Moreover, most of these unicorns have high funding from foreign Venture capitalists and banks to run their operations. This brings forth the long-term debate of the Make in India versus the Make for India initiative.

The vision of Digital India, Startup India and Make in India can only be a true success if and only if the rural sector is included in its framework. Mahatma Gandhi had said, “The soul of India lies in its villages.” Rural India which depends on agriculture and dairy farming as its main source of income and employment, generates 14% of India’s GDP and comprises 65 % of India’s employed population. This is in contrast to the services sector which generates about 53% of India’s GDP comprising 22% of the country’s workforce. These figures truly show that there is a disparity in the production efficiency of the agro sector which is majorly unorganized and suffers from information asymmetry. The vision of developing India as a true superpower can only be achieved when such disparity is eradicated and this untapped and unorganized sector is given priority by new age entrepreneurs and investment firms.

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We are aware of the rapid urbanization that our country is facing today. Cities, which form the growth engines of the nation, are mismanaged and faces challenges when it comes to improving the ‘quality of life’ of its citizens. Unplanned growth, unforeseen migration and population pressure add further misery to the dream of clean and sustainable growth of urban India. The most prominent reason for ever increasing issues for planned development across Indian cities is the lack of employment opportunities in the villages. If employment and good living standards can be generated in these parts, it would lead to lesser migration and burden on the urban infrastructure. To end farmer misery and inspire the young workforce to take up agriculture, tech-based startups shall have to play an important role along with adequate support from the government. Farmers should be empowered and need to get a higher value for their inputs in order to boost this sector. This brings us to the story of Amul, which changed the landscape of dairy farming in India. Amul stands for a perfect example as to how a milk-deficient nation became one of the largest producers of milk in the world. A true story of how innovation can change the lives of millions ensuring a better and secure future.

The journey of India’s largest milk producing co-operative started as a protest to Polson Dairy in Anand, Gujarat. Polson Dairy collected milk from farmers at cheaper rates and used to sell them to the then Bombay Government at a higher price, depriving the farmers of their true value for inputs. The farmers took their plea to Sardar Vallabhai Patel who advised them to form a co-operative, and thus Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Limited was formed in Anand. The union saw growth with more farmers getting themselves registered. The rapid growth coupled with cutting down middlemen saw an increase in Milk production which could not be procured under the Bombay scheme. Hence a plant was installed to process the excess quantity into dairy-based products. Later in 1949, Prof Varghese Kurien, who arrived as a Government official to manage a dairy, saw the true potential of this venture and went on to create the White Revolution (‘Operation Flood’), the largest dairy development programme in the world. He helped farmers repair machinery and increase efficiency in their production. In October 1955, the milk processing plant was ready for operation and that year also saw the breakthrough of revolutionizing technology- buffalo milk was being used to produce dairy products for the first time in the world. Prof Kurien named it Amul derived from the word Amulya, which means priceless in Sanskrit. The name also stood as an acronym for Anand Milk Union Limited.

Prof Kurien had the vision to empower small-scale dairy farmers by offering them quality control units and centralized marketing. Both of them were absent from the dairy industry then. The movement gained momentum and the co-operative increased its membership base. In 1973 the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) was set up to market milk and all milk products produced by six district co-operatives in Gujarat. Today GCMMF is the largest exporter of milk in India, and Amul is a ‘House of Brands’ under which a large line of dairy products are marketed in this country. Amul thus stands for an innovation of its era to which millions of farmers had responded.

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Indian agricultural sector has seen two game changing revolutions in its time since independence, the Green Revolution and the White Revolution. It now awaits the third revolution of its kind. This can be brought about by leveraging technology, especially digital technology such as Data Analytics, Satellite image processing, Geo-Information Systems, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to name a few. In a world where technology drives innovation, Indian agro industry needs to come up with newer models to initiate growth. At the same time, the Indian Government needs to encourage more tech-based startups which can deliver solutions to the farmers, government and the financing bodies suited to their requirements. While data can be used by farmers to understand the day to day weather and climate changes, the same can be used by the Government to frame policies and streamline the value chain of agro-products. For the banks and financing bodies, it boils down to risk assessment and startups can help financial institutions to formulate credit lending schemes in a much better manner.

This being said, there are various startups which have been venturing into the development sector to create change and their products can bring in change by bridging the gap between the farmers, the government and the lenders. But startups venturing into this sector have yet not attracted funding compared to their contemporaries working in purely commercial sectors, largely due to the time-frame of these startups to realize high returns. This is indeed a matter of concern and it requires the intervention of startup boot camps and incubation centers to train new businesses to scale up their offerings bringing in more innovation to the way they can improve the ‘quality of life’ for the rural folks.

India still has a long way to go to be a developed nation, but the seed can be sown only by strengthening the rural population through innovation driven by technology and the right intent.

Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 9 (ELON MUSK- The visionary with an impeccable spirit)

The Human Mind has always baffled many scholars, researchers, scientists and philosophers for its sheer ability to think and perceive the unimaginable. Sir Albert Einstein once famously quoted, that “Logic will take you from A to B. But Imagination can take you everywhere”. To what extent this quote is valid can be judged by the way that humans have evolved only through innovation over the centuries. From lighting fire to producing nuclear energy and from making wheels to sending the man on the moon, we have practically achieved a lot as a species. Human race over the generations has been blessed by such thinkers, philosophers, and innovators who have challenged and disrupted their time and have come up with discoveries and innovations that none could imagine then. Even today we have visionaries, who with their imaginative minds cross all the boundaries that bind a normal person, to create a better world for those living therein.

When we talk about visionaries, one such person who has changed the way multiple industries work is Elon Reeve Musk. Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk’s journey in becoming a visionary and an entrepreneur started at the age of 12 when he created Blaster, a BASIC-based video game, and later sold it to a Magazine known as PC and Office Technology, for approximately $500. Later being inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Musk believed that the Internet, Renewable Energy and Space Travel would be having the biggest impact on the lives of the people worldwide. This week’s Startup Sunday would thus feature the journey that Elon Musk took as an individual to establish three very different ventures and how he built those enterprises from scratch with a never say die attitude. Such an undying spirit was the result of his conviction to his own ideas.

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Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 30 (Pre-Budget Series)

Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley is all buckled up to present the Union Budget 2018 of India for the fiscal year 2018-19 on February 1. This is going to be the last full-fledged budget presented by the Modi Government before the 2019 General Elections.

Looking at the current landscape of the startup industry, we present to our readers a pre-budget series providing a comprehensive analysis of the general state of affairs of key sectors in India including agriculture, eCommerce, logistics, health, education and real estate from the lens of the startup ecosystem. This series also comes with the expectations of different stakeholders in the Indian startup landscape from the upcoming budget 2018.

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Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 24 (8minutes)

It’s time for the human race to enter the solar world and take the nation forward through technologically innovative solutions which will improve the quality of lives of many people. This Startup Sunday “let’s think solar” and take a step towards spreading awareness regarding solar power.

8Minutes is the brainchild of three dynamic personalities- Arjun SriHari, Dev Arora and Anuj Gupta. It is a revolutionary startup aimed to transform the energy sector by generating electricity through solar energy.

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Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 22 (Unacademy)

“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” With our Prime Minister dreaming of a Digital India with quality education reaching the most inaccessible corners driven by Digital Learning, this Sunday brings to you a startup which takes democratisation of education to another level.

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Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 21 (InMobi)

InMobi, a mobile advertising and discovery platform provider has been in the news for various reasons: A 950,000 dollar fine for ignoring privacy policies; talks of acquisition by Google or Microsoft; senior level attrition and a possible IPO. Against all odds, the Indian unicorn recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Let’s unravel the journey of India’s second profitable unicorn startup (after MuSigma)

Naveen Tewari cofounded mKhoj with fellow IIT alumnus Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena and Abhay Singhal.  In 2007, mKhoj started as a SMS-based search and monetization business. The idea was born with a vision to change the way advertisements are seen on mobile devices. In 2008, mKhoj was enhanced from SMS-based services to mobile advertising and was rebranded as InMobi.

Over the years, it grew from a single- bedroom flat in Mumbai onto a global arena where it competes with Google, Facebook and Apple in the market for data-driven mobile advertising. The company was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Disruptive Companies of 2013. InMobi was also recognized among Fast Company’s “2016’s Most Innovative Companies in the world”

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Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 18 (Mu Sigma)

It is befitting of a billion-dollar company in the business analytics space to be named after the symbols of mean (Mu) and standard deviation (Sigma) of probability distribution. One of the best performing companies mu sigma, headquartered in Silicon Valley of India, has over 140 clients including many of the Fortune 500 companies. It has been able to raise an enormous grand total of 163 million dollars in funding over its 9 years of existence.

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