Road less taken

Refusing to be shackled, these young entrepreneurs from small towns are making it big in Hyderabad.

May 22, 2015 07:37 pm | Updated 07:37 pm IST

Ram Nutakki

Ram Nutakki

According to American entrepreneur and author Scott Belsky, ‘It is not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.’ Entrepreneurs in the city certainly seem to agree when it comes to realising their start-up dreams. Despite humble beginnings in life, these entrepreneurs are determined to make a difference with their entrepreneurial pursuits. Refusing to be shackled, these small town entrepreneurs decided to push their boundaries to set up successful start-ups and are now set make it big in their own right.

Take for instance, Ram Nutakki, founder of Ynew, a re-commerce portal that encourages people to buy used and refurbished gadgets like laptops and cellphones. “When we started 2.5 years ago, we had a different vision. However, along the way that changed and we now have Ynew. Before I decided to become an entrepreneur I was running my own business consultancy, which I did straight out of college. So I’ve been through my share of changes and along the way I have realised that for an entrepreneur, adaptability is one of the most important qualities,” he says.

Hailing from an agricultural family in a small town in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, Ram was all set to become a doctor until circumstances forced him to drop out of MBBS mid-course. He then went on to pursue a degree in B.Pharmacy, which also he had to discontinue. He finally completed his graduation in BBM and then went on to do his MBA in Hyderabad. “I’m a first-generation entrepreneur and expectedly my family was not too convinced about it. But my stint as a business consultant gave them some confidence in my vision. At the end of the day struggle is part of the business, but I believe in adapting to the circumstances and being emotionally resilient.”

For Jay Guru Panda, who co-founded Wazzat Labs, a visual search engine for fashion e-commerce portals, launching his own start-up is a break away from his upbringing in Damanjodi in Koraput district of Odisha. “I moved to Hyderabad to study at IIIT-H and by the end of it I knew that I wanted to set up my own company. Wazzat allows people to use the image of an outfit they like, to scan various e-commerce sites and find similar styles and patterns. We’ve tied up with various retailers, one of them being Target in US. Wazzat Labs was set up soon after I graduated and we participated in and won the Google Launch Pad event earlier this year; and also received seed funding. Right now we are looking to raise a larger sum in the third quarter of 2015,” he says, adding, “Fortunately, my parents trust me with my choices and I didn’t have to work too hard to convince them when I decided to set up my own company. These days, there is a lot more acceptance of start-ups.”

Sunil Mohan Ranta, who hails from a small town in Himachal Pradesh with a total population of 600, too decided early on to not settle for a regular desk job. Which is why, he launched his company Crypsis even as he was pursuing his Masters’ degree. “At Crypsis we work with technology start-ups throughout their product life cycle, starting from conception to the launch and beyond. We have a lot of US clients today and are a 30-member strong team. Fortunately, we are at a stage where we don’t need to raise any funding for the company,” says Sunil, adding that convincing his family initially was no mean feat. “Though initially, my family was sceptical about me setting up my own company, today they are at ease with my decision. At the end of the day I wouldn’t trade my entrepreneurial pursuit for anything else.”

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