I came across a few interesting and young companies all in different areas that are successful or on the path to success.
Here is what I found interesting about them –
Redbus – this online bus booking portal was born due to a lacuna experienced by one of the founders Phanindra Sama. He missed a Diwali at home as he could not get a bus ticket in time despite enquiring with many travel agents. This set him thinking and he and his friends launched Redbus to alleviate the pains of frequent bus travellers. Redbus fully exploited technology to quickly become the go to portal when it comes to booking bus tickets. For example, they started publishing ratings for each operator which was hugely useful for the traveller. These ratings were provided by travellers and hence authentic. On the other hand, to appease tour operators and ensure that they participated in the portal, Redbus resorted to traditional methods to grow relationships. They convinced the tour operators that the rating system would do the ecosystem good and brought them over. Redbus thus became a popular portal and was eventually bought by Ibibo for $150 million. What impressed me most about Phanindra was his down to earth and humble demeanour.
Mani’s Dum Briyani – Started by a vegetarian and catering to a mostly meat eating audience, this is an interesting story too. The founder, Jayanth Narayanan, has thoroughly studied other successful fast food models such as Dominos, Mcdonalds etc. and emulated the best practices. Their strategy was to basically customize/localize other models to the Indian context. Some of the lessons learnt from the other brands were focusing on a single/few products, door delivery, strategic location and so on. By the way, he is an avid blogger too – check out his blogs at http://restobizindia.blogspot.in/.
CloudNine- Started by a neonatologist, Dr. Kishore Kumar, this offers high quality maternity care for women and newborn babies. Dr. Kumar had spent many years practising in developed countries and took the high quality care delivered there for granted. He was felicitated by then President of the US – Bill Clinton for his outstanding contribution in this field and Mr. Clinton commented that the next century belonged to India as the size of the Indian middle class would soon be larger than the total US population. This set him thinking and he realized that progress would not be effective with the high mother and infant mortality rates frequently experienced in India. So, from this sprung Dr. Kumar’s vision to setup quality birthing centers in India. CloudNine has been around for 3-4 years and he proudly stated that since inception, they have not lost a single mother and the infant mortality rate was a high 99.7% and more than comparable to international standards. Of course, CloudNine is not a cheap proposition and this model has to be percolated to the masses for India to truly benefit. However, a start has definitely been made.
What do you think of these companies? Am sure you have come across other such interesting ones too – do share your impressions on them.