Ever heard about BIG BANG, yes the theory about how the universe came into existence. At first, everything was chaotic and a mess. After much time and numerous building and destruction processes, a thing which came out of single point grew so vast and diverse known as the universe. Similar is the case with startups, they begin with a single idea, face enormous turmoil during the initial stages, but as they progress, they create a beautiful universe of their own.
Talking of such startups, we have one budding right here in the institute, Udnkhatola, a business to business proximity-based advertising service. The problem which the team identified was that people spend a lot of time in commuting and during this time, they pretty much don’t have much liberty to indulge in other activities. This provides a unique opportunity for targeting the advertisements of the nearby stores and shops to the ongoing customers itself. In a way, the company is making ongoers aware of the market landscape of the area they travel. When the device (a tablet) installed in buses, autos, rickshaw comes in a set radius (decided by the customer) the advertisement of the customer starts playing and some amount of money is charged accordingly. The team which comprises of seven members: Swapnil Kulkarni (Product Developer), Divyanshu (Marketing), Kishan (Branding), Shivam (Technical), Adarsh (Technical), Pulkit (Operations), Dev Mittal (Designer); recently participated in an event called Startup Yatra by Startup India Initiative. After clearing the first round held in MCIIE, they went to Lucknow for a three-day acceleration program in IB hubs where they were selected among the top six startups after final pitching and were incubated as part of IB hubs by Startup India and the UP government.
This team was functional way before the inception of Udnkhatola. During the second year of the members, they used to work in SKILL INDIA which is a well-established startup under MCIIE. Later, they participated in HULT Prize 2016 and emerged as the winner in BHU campus. The tale of Udnkhtola began after HULT. One day when the team was walking down the road and discussing what to do after HULT, an OLA passed by them. At that moment, Divyanshu bumped into a thought of starting a service for advertisement in OLA or autos. After half an hour of deliberate discussion, they settled for the concept of placing a tablet in transportation services like bus lines, cabs which displays the advertisements of their customers when the vehicle comes in a set radius. With this unique idea, the team set out to materialize it and started looking for resources. Their hard work has resulted in many positive outcomes, Udnkhatola is now a registered product under Hostade Services Pvt. Ltd.. This achievement is a significant milestone for the company as most of the college startups fail to reach this stage. The startup based on such a unique concept deserves a special name and Udnkhatola rightly does the job. The name is intriguing and quirky, one of those that can be easily recalled. Another trivial fact is that the word Udnkhatola has OLA at its end, kind of the tribute to the OLA which initiated everything.
It has been a long journey for the team and throughout they have been developing and working from the college campus itself. From this, they have gained insights about entrepreneur ecosystem of college. They suggest that the college needs to have a co-working place where people working on different ideas interact with each other. Divyanshu personally feels that there is a lack of motivation towards startups and entrepreneurship from our authorities. In fact, students also have a reluctant attitude towards startups.
“If you have to invest some money in your idea, don’t hesitate. Because if your startup doesn’t work your experience will work for you,” says Divyanshu.
The team believes in cooperation rather than competition. In general, if any person has any startup related queries or wants to personally interact with them for developing some idea or wants to work for Udnkhatola, they love to collaborate with such people.
Having being incubated in IB hub and selected among the top 3000 startups across India by IIM Kolkata, the startup has laid its foundation and looks solid for expanding its service into its first city (Varanasi or Lucknow). “One thing of which I am very assured of is that if this product works in Varanasi, then it can work anywhere in the world.”- Swapnil.
We congratulate the team for their tremendous effort and wish them good luck for their future endeavours.