India boasts of a vibrant start-up culture and eco-system that has a lot to offer to budding entrepreneurs with interesting start-up ideas. The last few years have seen the launch of hundreds of businesses offering interesting products and useful services, so much so that there’s an app for just about every service you can think of including on-demand dance classes and hostels for solo travellers, right up to companies selling healthy snacking alternatives. Interestingly, many of these start-ups were founded by people who gave up a well-paying job in the corporate world to pursue their passions. Here are some inspiring stories behind the people who quit it all to enter the world of start-ups.
Bark N Bond
Pranita Balar started BarknBond, a canine training academy that relies on positive training methods to train and better understand dogs. Balar, who has always loved dogs, quit her well-paying job in marketing to turn this passion into a profession. Not exactly a common profession in India, she started from scratch by getting certified as a canine consultant, networking, gathering clients and working her way up to becoming a well-known canine trainer and behaviourist.
Runjhun Gupta started ZipOut, a platform that provides dance classes to corporates and individuals who want to de-stress from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Gupta, whose start-up idea stemmed from her childhood passion for dancing, worked for five years as a financial solution provider before she gave it all up to turn her passion into a paycheck.
The Green Snack Co
Jasmine Kaur spent almost a decade climbing the corporate ranks in a banking and retail job, before she decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge into the health food space. Kaur, a self-described health fanatic, felt that her diet was always going off track when it came to snacking. And so The Green Snack Co that offers healthy snacking options like kale chips and quinoa puffs was born.
Uday Jhamb quit a successful career in the IT industry to pursue his love for travel. Travelling across India, he sensed a dearth of accommodation options suited to solo travellers. He launched the travel start-up Roadhouse Hostels, together with his school friends Rajesh Borah and Shubham Garg. Today, Roadhouse Hostels is a chain of backpacker hostels with properties in Jaipur, Goa and Varanasi.
Suhasini and Anindita Sampat Kumar were working in New York when they emerged with an interesting start-up idea that they felt would be well received in India. The sisters launched Yoga Bars, a company that sells affordable, all-natural and delicious energy bars, with a bit of financial assistance from their eldest sister.
Bankers Vineet Sethi and Manu Singh quit their nine-to-five jobs to transform their passion for music into a regular paycheck. Hysteria, a music merchandise store in Bangalore , caters to rock and roll lovers who are on the look-out for more than just the music. Besides selling licensed music-related merchandise like t-shirts and art prints, the duo has now extended their offerings to include merchandise related to TV shows, movies and comics.
Sukhmani Singh, who worked at A.T. Kearney on the CMT practice, and Dhruv Raj Gupta, an ex-Google data miner, gave up their jobs to pursue their passion for travel. They founded SeekSherpa, an app that connects travellers to locals while offering travellers local crowdsourced experiences on the go.
By Beverly Pereira