Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – Young Indian Entrepreneurs

How do the regular college students in India spend their free time? Watch a movie, follow TV series, listen to music or go out party instead or even pick up bad habits like drinking or smoking. But not these young extraordinaire! They spent their time building a business so huge that they had to quit their education to completely focus on their work. These young lads are conquering the world one step at a time.1. Varun Shoor

    CEO, Kayako


Kayako is a software company that develops a cloud-based customer service platform and on-premises help desk and customer support software. Varun Shoor started learning programming at the age of 13, and was able to start off Kayako by the age of 17. He never went to college so that he could focus on his business. In 2001, he a bought a laptop for himself with the first money he earned. In the initial days, he cleverly responded to his clients from different accounts which he created for himself to give the impression of being a large company. He knew no one would take a 17 year old kid seriously who is on the other side of the world. This story of a small start up in Jalandhar to a huge enterprise in London proves hard work definitely pays off.


2. Ritesh Agarwal

    CEO, OYO Rooms


OYO Rooms provide an online platform for standardized and affordable stay. I am guessing, you or one of your friends would already stayed at one of their rooms and experienced their comfortable and convenient services. Now an astute business man, Ritesh once sold SIM cards in his hometown, Odisha. He was the first Indian to be chosen for Thiel Fellowship, where he was given $100,000 grant by early Facebook investor and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. The Thiel Fellowship is a two year program given to entrepreneurs below 20 years of age who skip or stop college to start running their own business. Ritesh thought really big and wanted to create an impact and hence put most of the Thiel grant into his business. Such clarity of thought and purpose at this age is unusual and India hopes to produce more young entrepreneurs like him.


3. Azhar Iqubal

   CEO, Inshorts


I hardly know anyone who doesn’t use this app. Crisp news in less than 60 words of significant matters is all today’s slothful generation needs. This powerful app works like newspaper in our pockets. Bored with mundane college life, Azhar Iquabal  was looking for something challenging and came up with the brilliant idea. All IIT dropouts, Azhar Iquabal along with Anunay Arunav and Deepit Purkayastha, built this application which works for Android and iOS. This Delhi-based startup was founded in 2013. Started from a Facebook page, it became India’s highest rated news app with more than 3 million downloads serving more than half a billion page views every month.


4. Deepak Ravindran

    CEO, Innoz Technologies


Innoz or SMSGyan is an offline search engine that allowed users to immediately get answers to their queries by sending an SMS. Over two billion queries were answered by the app in around five years. Deepak along with three of his college friends co-founded Innoz in September 2008. It became one of the largest offline search engines in the world. But once the smart phones hit the Indian markets in 2013, Innoz had to be plateaued. In early 2014, he came up with Quest which was a Q&A platform and marketed it in the US but this app failed to gain much recognition because of competitors like Quora and Jelly. Back in India now, he came up with Lookup, which connects people with local businesses. He saw that people are still using the traditional way of calling the stores, and saw this as a great opportunity to attack this untapped market. Lookup has no major competitors in India right now and is doing really well with over one million downloads. This story of ups and downs teaches us to never give up your passion.


5. Bhavin Turakhia 

    CEO, Directi


Directi is a large scale company that earns a revenue of over $350 million/year. It employs 1500+ people across 8 global offices with over 9 million customers. It offers services across diverse areas like social networking software, DNS managements, instant messaging, large-scale billing & provisioning platforms, anti-spam and anti-virus solutions and much more. Bhavin along with his younger brother Divyank co-founded Directi in 1998. From a startup, the young Turakhia brothers flourished to a huge business that develops mass-market web products serving millions of global customers. Bhavin is also the founder of CodeChef. Since school, Bhavin loved to code and spent a lot of time after school exploring various programming languages. He had created a stock market simulation game to track stock prices while he was in class tenth.  His entrepreneurial passion and zest was clear since early days and he had decided to contribute something valuable to the world. Bhavin believes in pure hard work and hands on experience. He also believes that life is a continuous learning process.


Anup Mehta

Co-founder, Z Nation Lab

Stop Thinking. Start Doing.

Anytime is a good time to start a startup. But the question that arises is how to start a startup? As stated by Paul Graham-“Start-ups don’t win by attacking. They win by transcending. There are exceptions of course, but usually, the way to win is to race ahead, not to stop and fight.”As compared to other working fields, startups have a high risk of failures due to the uncertainties involved. A quality amount of data, with a knowledgeable feed of how to pave your way to start your startup, will prove to be the success mantra for the innovative minds to succeed.

Everything is impossible until somebody does it. As quoted by Dennis Crowley-“Don’t let people tell you your idea won’t work. If you’re passionate about an idea that’s stuck in your head, find a way to build it so you can prove to yourself that it doesn’t work.”


Don’t let others decide the outcome of your thinking. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Same is in the case of building your own startup, take risks because ideas are easy but the implementation is hard. The market research will help you to carry out the implementation of your idea with a systematic investigation of, what are the problems which are surfacing the community, Who are the people suffering from the problem?  What are their demands? What your startup can do to solve their problem?  Who are the target customers? At the end it’s all about the customers and their interests and preferences. Targeting the problems of the people and building such a product that will gain maximum attention from the people should be the final goal.

Following are certain eligibility criteria that should be kept in mind before calling yourself a startup:

  • You should be registered in India.
  • Come forth with a new innovative product or service or a significantly improved version of an existing product or service.
  • Startup should be less than 5 years old.
  • Startup annual turnover should not exceed INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year.
  • Startup should not be formed by splitting up or reconstruction of an already existing business.
  • Startups can avail tax benefits only if they are certified by the inter-ministerial board.
  • Startups should be supported by a recommendation (with regard to innovative nature of business) in a format specified by DIPP.

Legal aspects that are primarily considered before starting a startup:


1. The article of incorporation:

Also referred as the ‘The article of association’, ’Corporate character’ or the ‘Certificate of Incorporation’, it consists of set of documents filed with the state that inheres the basic information of the formation of company like: the name of the company, type of the corporation(C or S corporation), company’s address, amount and the type of the stocks issued, and stockholder information.

2. Intellectual property (IP) Assignment Agreement:

Also referred as Rights Agreement or IP Transfer Agreement.

In a startup it is vital to contract the assignment of intellectual property rights to an individual or a business entity. This agreement emphasizes on the transfer of the possession of intellectual property right from one entity to another entity. The party which transfers the ownership is known as an assignor and the entity receiving the ownership is known as assignee.

3. Bylaws:

A simple definition of bylaws is the set of rules that should be followed by all.

In Corporate sector, Bylaws pin down the day-to-day rules that provide a constraint for the smooth functioning of the company. Bylaws specify the duties and the responsibilities of the members of the organization, Board of Directors, Executive members and others.

4. Operating Agreement (Founders Agreement):

An Operating agreement is drafted among LLC and specifies the ownership and management of LLC. The Founders document will document all the essential things that the founder wants to establish in order to avoid misunderstanding among the co-founders.

5. A non-disclosure Document:

A non-disclosure agreement is a legally signed document that agrees upon not sharing confidential information of a company, their products and business strategies with a second party.

A non-disclosure document is of primary concern when you jointly develop a product mostly seen in technology companies.

6. Employee contract and Offer letters:

While hiring new employees, the founders and CEOs of the startup should clearly state out the employee contract and offer letter. These legal documents should draw in the following points

  • Expectations from the employee
  • Employability terms (e.g. working hours, responsibilities, reimbursements)
  • Company conditions (e.g. dress code, paid leave, vacation days)
  • Required commitments
  • IP ownership of work

7. Shareholders Agreement

The shareholder document is a contract that describes the relation of the shareholder with the company. It states the expectations of each party. This document will prove out to be beneficial while resolving disputes among the parties. The shareholder document must be flexible in terms and should meet the requirements of any corporation, big or small. The terms and conditions that should be settlements for finance, transfer of shares, buy-and-sell provisions etc.


Anup Mehta

Co-founder, Z Nation Lab


Every person in the society has certain social responsibilities. But, only a few people are addressing these real problems and are providing world changing solutions. While the entire world is running behind tech startups, there is also a group of people silently working for a noble cause, away from spotlight wanting to bring a change: small or big. One becomes famous once their product grabs the attention of people but, how many of us have ever thought about having a socio-startup? A socio-startup is framed to work for a social cause which will help the common man. Here, we present to you some untold stories of such socio-startups.

  1. Socialblood

social blood 1

Blood is as essential to life as food or water. One understands the importance of getting blood on time only during emergencies and crisis. Socialblood was founded by an aspiring tech entrepreneur Karthik Naralasetty in 2011. Socialblood, one of the largest online startup is building a network of blood donors who are motivated to donate blood, thereby serving their social responsibility. Socialblood uses Google maps to look for blood donors in the nearby areas and reaches out to them quickly. They also have their own android application. In addition, Socialblood helps hospitals manage data related to donors, available blood stock levels, etc. using the cloud. This story of a young entrepreneur working for such a noble cause truly inspires us to be a part of his mission and contribute to the society in a small way.

  1. Mentor Together : Mentoring the necessitous

mentor togather 1

Mentorship is a relation where an experienced and knowledgeable person guides an amateur in their related field of expertise. After returning from the Manchester School of Business, Arundhati Gupta felt a strong urge about doing something in the educational field related to mentorship and hence founded Mentor Together. It is a Bangalore based one-to-one youth mentorship startup that guides the underprivileged youth to make wise and better career choices in life. Students in their teenage often need mentorship when it comes to choosing the right career paths. Students from the age 12-17 belonging to shelter homes and government high schools are provided guidance here. Any individual willing to contribute to this social cause is selected as a mentor after a three-phase evaluation process. Using a matching algorithm based on the common interests, language, personalities, mentors are allotted to mentees. This noble work of Arundhati and her team should be appreciated by us.

  1. Project Mudra

project mudra 1

There are almost 7.8 million visually impaired people in India which accounts for 20% of the visually impaired in the world. Project Mudra is an ed-tech socio-startup. BITS Goa graduates, Sanskriti Dawle and Aman Srivastava, developed a flagship product called Annie, a ‘Braille Dicta-Teacher ‘. They got this innovative idea during a workshop on Raspberry-Pi. This simple product makes Braille learning spontaneous and easy. It was developed using Raspberry-Pi attached to a small box with 6 pegs. It works in 3 modes, Auto mode, Browse mode and Exam mode. It surely can battle against illiteracy among the visually impaired in India and worldwide. A small effort like this can make a big and positive difference in the literacy rate.

  1. Milaap


Milaap is one of the largest crowd-funding platforms for a personal and social cause which was founded in 2010 by three young entrepreneurs. Milaap allows people to raise money for a cause or a person in need. It also funds rural Indian entrepreneurs. They have a worldwide group of donors and lenders in around 120 countries. Soon after it was launched, it became one of the most important crowd-funding platforms to help thousands of people for charity, medical expenses, educational purposes, natural calamities, etc. There have been contributions of about Rs. 63.34 crore for 49,310 projects. Milaap is not an NGO but a mission-driven startup for a social cause. They have helped in saving lives of many kids, in setting up art schools, music classes in poverty-prone areas, helped children pursue their dream of playing sports. Our small contribution to this venture can help us change someone’s life.

  1. Practo


Practo Technologies is a unique startup which was found by Abhinav Lal and Shashank ND in 2008. Practo aims to be the one-stop destination for patients to find their doctors, pharmacists, gyms, etc. Patients can easily locate suitable doctors and today, over 2 million people are already using Practo. Doctors from over 310 cities in India are a part of this base. Their app helps you book appointments within seconds. Nearly 30,000 appointments are booked by patients through Practo. The application helps you to stay fit and healthy always. You can immediately inform your doctors about your health conditions and immediately get your doubts solved online. Practo Ray is one of the largest online clinic management software provider in Singapore when it comes to market share, Practo has achieved this in less than 2 years after its launch. Practo has provided a very efficient and easy way for a common man to get in touch with medical practitioners.


Anup Mehta

Co-founder, Z Nation Lab

Idiot’s Guide For Promoting Your Business Online

We live in the age of the internet. Everything you do, everywhere you go and even everything you eat ends ups on the internet for everyone to see. One post or one photo can reach out to millions of people in a matter of few minutes across multiple platforms. The power of this tool called World Wide Web is unimaginable. So why not use it for your business?Let’s assume, you have an amazing idea. You go ahead and work towards it.  After days (or months, years) of hard work, your product is ready. Now, what? You need to market it using the internet, which now-a-days is known as digital marketing. With about 85% searches for products and services happening online, an online presence is an absolute must, especially for small businesses. Online leveraging and gaining visibility among the consumers should be given top priority if you truly wish your company to be successful. Automated marketing solutions help you to save time. You can utilize that time to run your business better. Let internet marketing double your efforts!

 Internet Marketing: WHY?

  • Saves plenty of time.
  • Super cost effective.
  • Your business is open round the clock.
  • Mass audience can be targeted at one go.
  • Your business can literally reach any part of the world.
  • Localization of your business to local markets is possible.
  • Audience analysis is possible with better statistics and insights.
  • Personalized communication with consumers is possible that helps build relationships that ultimately helps in building brand loyalty.

Internet Marketing: How?

Specialized Digital Marketing Companies

If you have generated a considerate amount of capital, you can outsource your branding and marketing work to companies that specialize in digital marketing. They will help you build your brand from scratch. From design to marketing, they will handle everything. You can collaboratively work with them to achieve your business objectives. This method will give you more time to run your business and also increase sales.

If you decide to deploy marketing campaigns on your own, keep the following in mind:

 Website is the Boss

Build a search engine optimized website that is simple, easy to use and mobile friendly. The website name should be catchy and should offer the company’s intent to the audience.

Content is King

Have top quality content on all your platforms (website, social media, print, etc.) Try to make it as creative as possible. Use suitable keywords so that your website can be easily tracked.

Change is the only thing that is Constant on the Internet

Constantly update your website with new content to increase audience interaction. Keep adding new and interesting material to increase viewers.

Digital Marketing Strategy is a Must

Every company has a different strategy depending on their product or service. Come up with a strategy that suits your company.  Get smarter insights and improve on the areas where you are lacking. Promote your product and services through Facebook Ads and Google Adwords. Your ads will appear on various websites and social media pages which will help you generate leads.

Be Social on Social Media

Promote your brand over all the social media platforms. Keep your pages active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Snapchat. Publish content in the form of post, images and videos. Use your creativity to make them attractive and catchy. Make sure to deliver your views across the audience.

Clear Call to Action

Landing page is a standalone page which is focused on a single objective. Sufficient information should be provided for the customers to take an informed decision. ‘Call Now’, ’Register Now’, ’Shop Now’, ‘Add to Cart’, call to actions should be very clear specifying the exact intent for a user-friendly experience.

Email marketing

As the name suggests, email marketing is broadcasting messages to a group of people who are potential or current customers. Product & service descriptions, company portfolios, informative ads can be sent. Short & precise information, responsive emails, clear contact details and call to action should be provided. Heavy images should be avoided to decrease the load time. MailChimp, Vertical Response and MailerLite are some of the effective email marketing tools you can use.

Buzzing Blogs

Blogs bring in a large audience through search engines and help in building a content rich website. Try writing blogs on the current or trending topics for attracting more audience.

Neha Jain

Co-Founder, Z Nation Lab

Find Your Guardian Angel Investors

Angel Investor is a term used to signify a person, business or a group that provides financial backing for small startups or entrepreneurs. The capital provided can be one time of seed money or ongoing support to carry the company through difficult times.

There are professional angel investors who own sophisticated businesses and want to extend their own experience in their field of expertise. They think beyond money. They might actually believe in what you do and update you with connections, ideas and some wisdom. Then there are others, they might not be professional investors, like doctors, lawyers or dentists. They have wealthy incomes and disposable finance. They sit on cash cushions, searching for good investment options or might just invest to get some excitement.

Angel investors invest in early stages of the company in exchange for an equity ownership. They are visionary people and care about the quality, commitment and integrity of the founders. Use of futuristic technology and early traction towards your plan might attract angel investors to invest in your business.

Angel Investors Vs Venture Capitalists

VCs Vs Angels | Z Nation Lab

Angel Investors

  • Invest their own money.
  • Invest in the area of expertise or interest.
  • Invest around 10k-250k$
  • Invest in the early stages of the startups.
  • Don’t want to join the board of directors.
  • Lower ROI expectations.
  • Slower business growth expectations.

Venture Capitalists

  • Invest other people’s money.
  • They have their specifications and criteria. They target a range of companies from various domains.
  • Invest over a million dollars.
  • Invest in later stages. They do not invest in pure startups. They will only invest if they see real opportunity.
  • Want to join the board of directors.
  • They expect a minimum of 30% ROI per year.
  • Rapid business growth expectations. They look for tech-based companies since they have fast growth rates.