Tag - entrepreneurship

5 Reasons why you must start a Crowdfunding Campaign for an entrepreneurial venture

Dreaming doesn’t cost a penny. True. But, to bring those dreams to life, you need capital.

Usually we have an idea, a product, or a service to provide to the masses, but no capital to bring them to life. I suggest, before the idea rots, try your hands on crowdfunding on India’s biggest crowdfunding platform – Ketto. It helps entrepreneurs understand how to prepare and present their proposals in a manner that attract their target audience and angel investors.

21st century advances have made life a lot easier. It’s time you fire up the enthusiasm within, and raise funds for your own venture online on our crowdfunding platform. Apart from simply raising funds for your venture, crowdfunding has a lot more to offer in exchange.

Here are five reasons that make crowdsourcing advantageous:

For entrepreneurs:

1. Feedback before launch

Along with raising funds, Ketto gives you a chance to test your product, so that even if your offering falls flat on face in the online space, you will be able to fix the problem areas before launching it in the market. On the other hand, if your product gains attention, you know you’re on the right track! A pretty safe attempt, right?

2. Upfront cash to bootstrap your business

Paucity of capital draws entrepreneurs to alternative funding methods, out of which crowdfunding proves to be the most effective one. Fundraising for a start-up can exponentially increase productivity by providing upfront cash to bootstrap a start-up business.

3. An already-established customer base before launch

If you are in the testing phase of your venture, a reward-based crowdfunding campaign – where you give away your product as a reward to the backers – can create a customer base for your product before it is out in market.

For customers:

4. Experience the exclusive service/product unavailable in the market

A backer gets a first-hand experience of using an exclusive product/service they would love to use, even before it’s launched in the market, making it even cooler for the customer! They get perks in forms of rewards and experiences in exchange of money.

5. Early bird prices

In the initial phase of testing a product or service, a backer can bag spiffy gadgets and exclusive offers at a reduced price. Once it’s available to the market after a successful crowd funding campaign, its price is sure to skyrocket! Isn’t it better to grab them before?

Choose success as a choice

Whether you have a fledging business or a start-up facing significant challenges in accessing capital from traditional sources, fundraising can be your saviour.

Ketto empowers you with the power to be successful. Start an entrepreneurial fundraising campaign on our website and take your venture to new heights. Because… Success is never an accident. It’s a choice.

Nimaya Foundation: Transforming the Future

nimaya blog image

“‘Nimaya’ means opportunity,” shares Samyak Chakrabarty, co-founder of Nimaya Foundation.  He, along with his fellow co-founder, Ayesha Thapar, have been creating such opportunities for the children of Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir Primary.

The foundation’s name “reflects our goals of empowering by providing opportunity,” he elucidates. Created in 2012, this Mumbai-based NGO aimed solely at empowering women “from under-resourced communities by enabling them to use their skills in entrepreneurial contexts and achieve economic independence.”

Dharavi, a paradoxical balance of under-resources but high efficiency of work, became Nimaya’s focus area.  “It is also a very enterprising community, thus, we felt that there is a lot of scope to uplift people here,” he adds.

The plight of the school was brought to their notice by a lawyer who incidentally had done his own primary schooling there. Once the goal was set – to ensure these bright Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe children continued to get an education – the founders began to build a solid framework for the Marathi-medium school to blossom in. “We engage with educationists who help us better develop the school’s curriculum and introduce new subjects that the children have not been exposed to.”

Samyak is also the Managing Trustee of Thincquisitive Foundation, an organization that undertakes projects to effect positive change. He associated it with Nimaya’s initiative to support the school. The result – an enhanced curriculum including subjects such as sports, arts, spoken English, music, dance, general knowledge and an introduction to technology – now allowing the children a holistic educational experience for the children.

Constantly striving to offer the children unique experiences, Nimaya has organized enjoyable, imaginative events such as the Harley Davidson Mumbai Riders Club Christmas party. This particular event was made possible thanks to a donor who is a member of the club.

With a small unit of four people devoting themselves to improving the quality of life of the women and children of this Dharavi community, the involvement is entirely hands-on. “We interact with these communities on a weekly basis,” he asserts. “We are actually launching our pilot programme this year,” he says, referring to the entrepreneurial programme for the women of the Dharavi community. “They are a group of women whose children attend Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir. They are already showing a great deal of promise and are excited to kick-off their business training in September.”

These women were selected using specific criteria. “They had to be below a certain income bracket, have a desire to start their own business, know basic reading/writing/mathematics and be able to commit to a year’s worth of training and full-time work,” Samyak elucidates. “The current pilot project features 8 women who want to learn tailoring so they can someday launch their own brand of clothes. They are from a low-income background, have two-three children on average and are very enterprising. They are Marathi-speaking and are eager to contribute to their household incomes and further their children’s educations.”

The mentoring programme is set in place. “We have two tailors who have been working in the social space, teaching tailoring to impoverished adolescents for 22 years. They will be training our group of women. We also have a business trainer, who is a fluent Marathi speaker, and experienced with working with rural women. They will be teaching them the basics of starting a business.”

The programme is three months long, with 2 hours of training 5 days a week. “This will alternate between basic stitching techniques and embroidery. One day a week, they will be taught business basics; this includes book-keeping, budgeting, etiquette training for client meetings and idea-generation,” he lists.

“We plan to recognize these communities’ potential by building upon their skills and helping them break free from their current socio-economic situations,” he concludes.

We wish Nimaya Foundation and its beneficiaries the very best through their on-going campaign on Ketto, and for the future. And, though we repeat ourselves – may their tribe increase!

All Hail Women Cabbies!

4. Revathi RoyRevathi Roy is a rally car driver turned entrepreneur in a simple cotton sari. Have you ever met a woman like that before?

Roy started Viira Cabs on January 17 with Preeti Sharma Menon, a friend who was looking to do something new. Viira, meaning courageous woman, is unique in its structure.

Her company employed and trained women to be drivers at a time when, she says, “No one had ever heard of a commercial driver being a woman.” Whilst it’s a cab service for women, it is also a female driver bureau, a recruitment agency and a motor training school.

All drivers, whether part of the regular cab-service or whether hired by customers as personal chauffeurs, go through a training programme. For Rs 10,000 and over a period of three months, women at Viira’s motor training school undergo 155 hours of driving, in addition to classes on road knowledge, traffic signs, martial arts, customer relations, etiquette and grooming.

4. Revathi Roy's Drivers

Once trained, many of these women are recruited by large corporations and hotels. Today, some of them can be seen at the front of a BMW.

How did Roy come up with such a great idea?

“Viira came about because I saw a need,” Roy says. “It was just a normal business.”

However, know that her “normal business” isn’t exactly ordinary. It has empowered hundreds of young women by recognizing that driving is a skill that can given many Mumbai ladies a dignified living, apart from a whole lot of confidence.

“Viira is a very powerful platform for poor, urban women who are now able to earn up to Rs 12,000 a month. I see this every day. My hope now is to go to Tier 2 cities where Indian women are most starved of opportunities,” Roy says.

But Viira’s USP, beyond being all-female, is undoubtedly its service. A quick look at the inside of a Maruti Eco Viira cab and you’ll know precisely what that means.

Every woman has to wear blue jeans and a striped shirt with polished black shoes. In addition, Viira has given its drivers silver nail polish, pink lipstick and a pair of pearl earrings. But if these gentle-looking creatures are harassed, God help you.

“If drivers find eve teasers they’ve been told to just hammer them. We’ve put pepper spray and batons in every single car. We’ll deal with the cops later,” quips the co-founder. The women also get karate lessons as a part of their training.

While Roy thinks there’s a market for this kind of business in many cities, she knows that it is Mumbai’s relative safety that has made her ventures possible. Her hope is that Viira will increase the mobility of senior citizens and young girls who will feel much safer in the hands of a trained, female driver. “The attitude of Indian mothers is changing. Now they know their daughters go out and drink. They realize they may as well keep them safe by putting them in the hands of a woman who at all times is playing the role of a mother or a sister.  A man can’t be a woman. And just because a woman is sitting at the wheel she doesn’t become a man.”

Revathi Roy – she is ‘Viira’, indeed!