On a successful streak

City students are giving their entrepreneurial dreams wings as they set up their own companies

May 06, 2015 08:42 pm | Updated 08:42 pm IST - Hyderabad

Aneeq and Kaushik of Spaceman & Mammoth

Aneeq and Kaushik of Spaceman & Mammoth

A new crop of Hyderabadi youngsters are looking to do a lot more than be just students. From setting up their own photography studios to launching learning solutions companies or tracking apps, these students can’t wait to get started with their entrepreneurial pursuits, even as they juggle college and full time classes.

Small beginnings

Take for instance, Puranjani Kabra and Raveena Kandregula, two second year students from St. Francis Degree College. With a common passion for photography and filmmaking, the duo set up Project Sonder and have shot some weddings and even a fashion show for Gaurang Shah at Taj Falaknuma apart from a music video on a song by The Script. Puranjani talks about what prompted them to take the entrepreneurial plunge: “I have been into photography for a while now, doing self-driven projects and experimenting. With Raveena I got interested in filmmaking as well and I thought that instead of doing internships, we could combine what we both have and start earning by doing what we love best. My father’s willingness to invest in us provided the final push for us to begin.”

Raveena chips in, saying, “I love feeling busy. It is a challenge to maintain college attendance, stay up late hours and still be able to do shoots. But it is definitely a challenge we love. Project Sonder’s vision is to capture, through photographs and videos, every emotion and the story behind every life, as if it is the centre of the universe – rare, vivid, and complex in its own way. We are excited about this and do not want to limit ourselves in any way. We will complete our graduation in a year and if everything goes as planned we would love to continue.”

The larger picture

Aneeq Dholakia on the other hand, decided a regular 9 to 6 job was not for him. The fourth year student at IIIT-Hyderabad knew he wanted the freedom to do things on his own terms and decided to launch his start-up Spaceman & Mammoth along with his partner Kaushik Nooguri, who is also pursuing a course in CS. “Most of my batch mates have landed plum jobs through placements and I realise I may not make as much as they will even in the next couple of years; then again they all plan to take a break now before they join their jobs, but I cannot afford to do that since we are working on establishing our start-up. These are sacrifices I’m willing to make. After experiencing what it is like to do your own thing I am willing to spend 24 hours doing something I love,” he says, adding, that their company is all about introducing experiential learning programmes. “We have a three-day boot camp coming along called Reboot for undergraduate students to reflect on their current scenario and discover new, exciting and unique opportunities. The idea for this came along when we attended an event by AIESEC where we conducted a session called Spaceman vs. Mammoth. That is where the idea to reinvent the whole learning process came from,” he explains.

Time Management

The going doesn’t get any easier for these student-turned-entrepreneurs. It involves a lot of juggling and time management to be able to handle both academics and their work. Ravneet Singh Kathuria, a student of IIIT-H, who along with five other friends launched Brthe, a tracking app, says, “I think getting our families to see our vision is the hardest thing to do. It helps that we receive so much support from our mentors at CIE. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and as of now most of our days and nights are spent working on Brthe. Sometimes one person from our group manages to get us proxy attendance and we catch up on missed lectures later. It’s all about time management and I’m willing to do it to be able to realise my entrepreneurial dreams,” he says.

But it is not just about setting up their own companies. The idea is to take forward their vision and receive funding to establish them. Jeevan Chowdary, who launched Shoppers Express — a company that helps you get cash backs on online purchases — , says that his company recently received funding and will soon be employing four full time employees as well. “Our whole business philosophy is to create a cohesive experience for users to engage in e-commerce. Across our company’s touch points, we strive to give; give as we get. And that in my best opinion is what good businesses do. Entrepreneurship is something like connecting the dots. What I realised is that if anyone wants to launch a start-up, he shouldn’t search for the ideas and try to implement them. The best way to go forward to identify problems he/she faces and implement an efficient solution. Provide that same service to the world to bring out the entrepreneur in you,” says the IIIT-H student, who is looking forward to completing his one year of entrepreneurship along with Rohit, his technical head.

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