Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 11:
Being an entrepreneur may be the ‘in’ thing these days, but entrepreneurship is a tough task. You get to chase your dreams, live your passion and build something new – but all this comes with a bagful of risk and challenges. Be it concerned parents or future in-laws, a stable and secure job makes everyone comfortable. But a few young entrepreneurs from Odisha have chosen the path less travelled. Instead of being a job seeker, they have created jobs for others. We have listed 5 such young Odia entrepreneurs who have successfully raised millions of dollars of funding to get their start-up ball rolling.
RITESH AGRAWAL, FOUNDER & CEO, OYO ROOMS
Ritesh Agarwal is the 21-year-old founder of hotel listings startup called OYO Rooms. He is born and brought up in Bissam Cuttack, a village in Rayagada district. His venture OYO Rooms, partners with property owners across India and makes sure the facilities meet upto the standard with a starting price of 999 rupees. Through OYO platform, guests can check in and out instantaneously instead of waiting at a reservation desk. Ritesh Agarwal has raised $25 million (Rupees 150 Crore) from Lightspeed, Sequoia and others to build a branded budget hotel network across India.
SANTOSH PANDA, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, EXPLARA
Santosh Panda founded an Event ticketing platform called Explara in 2009. It handles about 1,000 transactions a day and expects revenue of Rs 50 crore for financial year 2015-16. Recently Explara has raised $500K (Rs 3.2 Crore) in its Pre-Series A funding from businessman Ness Wadia, Singapore Angels and Hyderabad Angels to enter into movie ticketing. Earlier it sells tickets in event categories such as sports, travel and food, now tied up with about 30 single theatres and multiplexes in Maharashtra and Gujarat. It will roll out the movie ticketing service next month, competing with market leader BookMyShow.
SUBRAT KAR, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, VIDOOLY
Subrat Kar founded Vidooly, a video analytics start up which is recently listed as the top 10 hottest start-ups by the NASSCOM. It has raised about $1 million (Rs 6.4 Crore) from Bessemer Venture Partners. Founded last August, the company came up with a product that helps content creators and channels on Youtube to attract more viewers to their videos. It helps companies with advice on what keeps people interested in a video, better engagement, and revenue. This engineering graduate is born and brought up in Jajapur town of Odisha. Since there are no other players in India who do such products, Subrat and his co-founders Ajay Mishra and Nishant Radia expecting to leverage the first mover advantage.
SRIKUMAR MISHRA, FOUNDER, MD & CEO, MILK MANTRA
Srikumar Mishra left a highly successful global corporate career in 2009 to founded Milk Mantra. He had prior 8 years extensive experience in setting up new market operations, brand sales & marketing. Milk Mantra produces a range of dairy products. The company has a structured ethical milk sourcing programme, through which it collects milk from more than 20,000 farmers in 500 villages. Its products are available in Odisha, Kolkata and Jharkhand. In June 2014 Milk Mantra has raised Rs.80 Crore from venture capital funds. The company has a vision of creating an exciting, pure and healthy dairy products brand in India.
SITAKANTA RAY, CO-FOUNDER, MY SMART PRICE
Sitakanta Ray from Cuttack, Odisha along with his co-founder Sulakshan Kumar founded a venture called MySmartPrice, which is a price comparison and search site. Ray and Kumar are both graduates from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela. MySmartPrice, raised $10 million (60 Crore) this July as series B funding. They have plan to use the fresh influx of capital to grow its focus on the offline shopping experience. The company began life as a tech and gadget-focused price comparison service, but over the years it has added verticals and new components to the experience. Today, it is designed to navigate the maze of Indian e-commerce sites to find specific products, and at the best prices possible.