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Successful and famous start-ups by IIT, IIM & BITS alumni


Knowlarity, a cloud telephony company, was  founded in 2009 by Ambarish Gupta and Pallav Pandey. The two IIT-ians pooled in their experiences of working at global consulting firm McKinsey to launch the  new venture. They decided to address the need for technology for India’s  small and medium enterprises, creating a platform for voice application services  hosted on the cloud or common servers. Knowlarity hosts a number of telephony products  that are sold through a common direct and channels sales network. The  company also plans to expand its sales force to reach a wider set of enterprise  businesses across India. As the start-up has grown, it has received multiple rounds of investment.

At 25, Wharton graduate Kunal Bahl quit his  cushy Microsoft job based in Seattle and even convinced his IIT Delhi alumni
Rohit Bansal to take a leap of faith in 2007.  Bahl launched Snapdeal.com — now  popularly called India’s answer to Groupon, the world’s biggest provider of daily online deals. The model is quite similar to how Groupon makes revenues (or losses at the last
count). Snapdeal.com charges about 35% upfront for any deal. . The rest has to be paid directly to the merchant on delivery of service or good. The employees job is to get discount deals from merchants.

It is a classic start-up story- two  childhood buddies who graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology and turn
their backs on corporate careers to launch a venture of their own. TravelTriangle, an  online travel services company launched by Sankalp Agrawal and Sanchit Garg is  clocking revenues in crores. Both first generation entrepreneurs who  quit plush postings at Adobe and Yahoo in the middle of 2010, Agrawal and Garg took nearly a year to fine-tune their concept before launching
their venture. They started out in a garage in Noida with a business model that  links customers with travel agents who offer the best deals. These are  value-added deals customised to specific needs of the traveller. Each  request by a customer goes to at least three travel agents with operations in  the area that is the client’s destination. The agents compete among themselves to provide the best experience and price to the vacationer. Soon, they roped in a third  friend from school, Prabhat Gupta, who graduated from IIT Guwahati the same year, as a core development member.
Phanindra Sama was 25 when he founded the pioneering venture together with his BITS Pilani batchmates Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri. In June 2013, they sold redBus to the Ibibo Group for an estimated Rs 600-700 crore, the biggest overseas strategic acquisition of an Indian internet asset. RedBus now sells over a million tickets a month, and the gross  value of transactions on the site last year was about Rs 600 crore, up from Rs 350 crore the year before. Given the operators’ wariness to computerize, redBus initially worked on the basis of seat quotas from operators, and returning unsold seats within a defined time before the departure of the bus. Three and a half years later, they introduced a bus ticketing software for the operators that could link to the redBus portal. To their utter surprise, it was a phenomenal success!
TaxiforSure Business
Aggregates car rentals and taxis Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G, both IIM-Ahmedabad graduates, launched Taxiforsure in 2011 as an online platform through which consumers can rent taxis. 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, which claims to have reached operational profitability in Bangalorehas also done its own branding on about 550 cabs that are operated by small local operators. The past couple of years has seen the launch of a number of online and mobile based taxi booking services. The two cofounders expect their company to earn revenue of Rs 100 crore by fiscal 2015.
Updated: June 5, 2014 — 3:10 am
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