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Monday, 29 February 2016

A 19-Year-Old has developed an app that can detect developmental disorder in a child in 45 secs.

A 19-Year-Old Harsh Songra has developed a mobile app ‘My Child’ which helps parents in early diagnosis of developmental disorder among their children. Bhopal-based Harsh has developed this app with the help of his childhood friends and now his Co founders Aafreen Ansari and Shreya Shrivastava. Something that's more intriguing than a 19-year-old making a revolutionary app in healthcare section is the fact that, Harsh himself is a victim of the problem he’s addressing today. Harsh was diagnosed with Dyspraxia when he was 11 years old. Dyspraxia which is a form of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a disorder that affects fine and/or gross motor coordination. He made the app in order to raise awareness as well as diagnose the symptoms of developmental disorders as early as possible, right from the 24th month of the childbirth. 

In India, 13 to 14 percent of all school children suffer from one or the other kind of learning disability. And like most of the parents, Harsh’s parents were also unable to identify problems in their son’s development.

However, Harsh Clarifies, that this app is not trying to replace doctors, but is meant as a reference point about disorders from which the child may be suffering from. He adds that the idea behind the app is to empower parents with technology and also to ease the burdern of doctors.

Harsh is currently in his second-year computer science engineering and is a huge admirer of Elon Musk Founder of Tesla Motors. In India, he regularly interacts with Shashank N D of Practo, Lalit Mangal of Commonfloor and Ravi Gururaj, a serial entrepreneur, a business mentor and chair of the Nasscom Product Council who is also apparently mentoring the child prodigy.

The app collects data from parents like height, weight, etc. And then asks a series of questions with Yes or No option. The entire process takes 45 secs and based on the response it recommends possible areas of concern for a child and also recommends the actions to be taken.

At present, ‘My Child’ app has a 4.2 rating on Google Play with 5000 downloads.

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg recently put the teen on the world map by applauding him and his startup on the social media. Harsh has already enrolled for the FBStart Program which is a program designed by Facebook to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps. Sheryl Said, "We're supporting developers like Harsh who have great ideas but can't always access the resources they need."

Pankaj Jain, Partner, 500 Startups says, “Getting information about developmental disorders and details on whom to speak with on a simple mobile app just by answering few simple questions is transformative.”

At present, My Child team has total five members and ironically the teams average age is also 19. My Child recently secured $100k in a seed round from a group of Angel Investors in India led by 500 Startups including Samir Bangara, Anisha Mittal, Amit Gupta, Pallav Nadhani, Lalit Mangal, Arihant Patni, Dr. Ritesh Malik, Deobrat Singh, Saurabh Paruthi and Singapore Angel Network.

Harsh states that funds will be used to improve the technology and the entire development of the app. He has plans to make the app into a preventive tool and as a go-to guide for parents.

Harsh is our true inspiring chatur and what he has accomplished in such a young age will inspire many young entrepreneurs in improving the quality of human life and health care sector overall.

The global statistics of children suffering from such developmental disorder is alarming, what's even more threatening is little empathy and understanding on the subject. Harsh also wants his app to transform into a help guide for the mother during pregnancy to prevent her child from unexpected disorders he wishes to empower the parents with the ability to track their child’s development easily by getting all the red flags on time. We are proud that we have young entrepreneurs like Harsh Songra in our country.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Team Which Has Created More Than 10,000 Affordable Computers From Scrap!

We all are slaves of technology, we want a new gadget as soon as it is out in the market. We don’t even think twice before replacing our phone just because it is a bit dated. While a lot of people are busy buying new things, there are a few people who believe in re-using what we already have.

Mukund BS is one such person. A 33-year old young entrepreneur, he truly believes that job satisfaction should be the priority and money eventually follows. An electronic engineer and an IIM graduate, Mukund was travelling with his uncle once when the idea of selling affordable computers struck his mind. That is when Renew It comes into picture.

Incorporated in 2009, Renew It started operations in 2010 with much research and hard work. “Initially I was the only one to do all the work including, marketing, managing finances, meeting clients, etc.,” Mukund says.

Mukund (Left) and Raghav, co-founders of Renew It
Renew It collects scrap computers from corporates and sells them at affordable rates to the needy people after the required repair and maintenance.

Started with a team of two which included Mukund and his cousin Raghav Boggaram as co-founders, Renew It has now grown to a team of seven technicians and sales persons.

How it works?
The business model is very simple. We tie up with the corporates and take all their scrap computers. The team of technicians work on it to convert the scrap into a working machine. The process of buying the computers from these corporates is often a long procedure and can take as long as six months.

“The system is not organized, people often tend to sell the scrap at per kg rates which is not a good idea in case of computers,” Mukund says.

The team makes sure that they provide computers to the needy at an affordable price.

After getting the scrap, the team of technicians start working on it and convert it into a working machine. The process takes around 2-3 weeks depending on the efforts required to fix the old machine.

The organization has sold 10,000 computers so far in a span of five years. “We were lucky that we had our family’s support so it wasn’t hard to arrange for finances,” Mukund says.

The challenge
Mukund elaborates on this aspect: The biggest challenge or should I say fear is that I don’t know what will be the way forward, say, 5 years later as technology is completely evolving.

When he first started working on the idea of Renew IT, computers held an important place in the society as the smartphones weren’t there. “Now when I see people doing most of their work on their phones I don’t know how useful computers will be in future,” Mukund says.

Another challenge which Mukund faces is the unavailability of right type of scrap. Also, uninformed customers is yet another issue. “Some people in not so developed areas don’t know how a computer works. So sometimes they wouldn’t handle it properly which reduces the life of a machine,” he says.

The team has successfully sold over 10,000 computers so far.

Scaling Up
The company which started in Bangalore has now extended to Hyderabad and Mumbai. They also provide after-sale services to their clients for free for one year. Started with the initial capital of around Rs. 20 lakhs. They have grown to a capital of around Rs. 50-Rs.60 lakhs.

Mukund says: “All we want to do is good work, money will eventually follow”

Lessons learnt “One thing I have learnt in this journey is patience, you just sometimes have to wait for things to fall into the right places,”says Mukund.

He also believes, “You don’t always have the answers to everything. You will make mistakes. Money is always the by product. You do the right thing, it will come.”

Friday, 26 February 2016

These Amazing-Looking Motorcycles Are Made Exclusively with Bent Spoons

American artist James Rice has become an internet sensation for creating beautiful motorcycle sculptures using nothing but bent spoons. Photographs of his unique creations have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of likes and shares. He also sells his figurines on Etsy from time to time, each priced in the range of $3,000 to $4,000.

Spoons are an unusual art medium, and Air Force veteran Rice would probably never have used them if his wife, Jeny Buckley, hadn’t erroneously ordered them for wedding favors. “I had a lot of spoons I erred on, but didn’t want to throw them away,” she said. “I asked Jim to make something cool for me.” Rice, who has always been a good artist, immediately thought of motorcycles.

“I was good in art,” he later revealed. “I could draw, but I really liked taking things apart and putting them back together. I made my own bikes. I restored cars, built motors. In middle school, I built a mini bike. Anything that had a motor in it, I was intrigued.” 

So a few hours later, Rice had built his very first sculpture – a basic motorcycle made of spoons and wheel bearings for tires. “That was before I went 100 percent spoons,” he said. After that, he kept building more models, each one more detailed and intricate than the last. And he stopped using other materials, focusing only on shaping each detail with stainless steel spoons.

Over time, Rice has come up with ways to bend and shape spoons without the use of heat or hammering. So he’s able to give them the shape the desired shape without spoiling their original beauty. “Jim flattens, bends, twists, and shapes the spoons by hand,” the description on the Etsy page reads. “Everything on his chopper is spoons; engine, wheels, tires, gas tank. He truly sees how to make the unassuming spoon into something most of us would have never thought of.”

Now that Rice has used up all the extra spoons lying around the house, he and Buckley spend their free time looking for more spoons at thrift stores and yard sales. And their friends regularly bring over spare spoons as well. Buckley, who names the models after animals they remind her of, revealed that it now takes Rice months to complete each one. “The Wasp took him about nine months,” she said. “That’s when he made some custom tools to bend and shape them without hammering. The Owl took about four and a half months. They wouldn’t take as long if that was all he did, but he usually works around 60 hours a week at his regular job.”

Rice’s latest creation, named ‘The Bagger’, is 21 inches long and weighs a little over seven pounds. After winning three awards at Washington State Fair’s Fine Art Show, it is now available for sale on Etsy, priced at $3,899.99. His work has also been covered by CNN, Buzzfeed, and Seattle’s Q13 Fox News. But what baffles Rice the most is that a photograph of ‘The Wasp’, featured on the Facebook page of motorcycle movie Why We Ride, was shared a whopping 130,453 times. “I never thought that would happen,” he said. “People are loving it. Not just the biker crowd, everybody likes it.”

“And that’s what I wanted, he added. “I wanted some kind of legacy. Something to be remembered for.”

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Youngsters buck the trend to startup in textile: The rising duo behind ‘Maku’

Startups are the craze and people starting up straight out of college aren’t a very big shock anymore. The internet wave has set in and it has given an opportunity to many starry eyed youngsters to dream big and build their own fortune. And this is the sector which gets most of the attention in media as well. In this process, offline businesses get sidelined sometimes and the value they’re creating doesn’t get enough light.

One such example is the story of Maku Textiles- a designer brand that originated from the slow fiber movement which encourages the use of hand woven cloth. Weaving is a dying art and the government is initiating numerous projects for the upliftment of these communities but hardly anything trickles down to the people for which it is meant.

Santanu Das and Chirag Gandhi
Santanu Das, a designer from NID Ahmedabad was aware of this situation and wanted to do something via which the weavers can be helped directly. Chirag Gandhi, an engineering graduate from Nirma University joined forces with Shantanu to startup Maku and it has been almost an year since they started full-fledged operations.

So, what they do?
To explain in layman terms, the duo makes designs and gets them woven from the weavers in West Bengal and Kachchh, GUjarat and then they sell it in the markets. But there is a far deeper story here.

The middlemen rule
The textile industry is huge in terms of the amount of money involved and the scale at which it operates but the people controlling it are few. A close knit clan at the top which then widens up hugely at the bottom and the biggest role that is played in this business is by the middlemen. The ‘hand woven textile’ industry is formed by the weavers at the bottom with a local middleman who manages them and delivers to the textile firms or individual dealers. And then it sold at exhibitions or boutiques. The markups are huge and a cloth which is sold at expensive price points hardly 5 % goes to weavers.

And the change
This set rule is what Maku and a few others in the market are trying to change.

“We want to create a better ecosystem for these weavers so that the craft is not lost and it is a fair deal for everyone in the game, from the weaver to the middleman to the end customer,” say the duo. Other brands in the hand woven textile market started out in a similar fashion but eventually there is a greater coincidence that happens.

Santanu and Chirag have started out with the motto of anti-fashion which doesn’t allow them to showcase their garments at fashion shows and they want to keep themselves as pro-weavers but the model is still shaping up. The duo had started up with some money from their parents and their own savings. They have now managed clocking in average revenues of around INR 1 lakh a month. Their main sales happen via exhibition in different cities in India, stores and direct sales via their FB page and other connections.

The Road Ahead
Currently based out of Ahmedabad, Maku is shifting base to Kolkata and is also hiring people to expand their business. VC funding is not a conventional route for such startups and hence they’d be looking at getting a loan from a bank in the near future. This designer-engineer duo is on an ambitious trail and the possibilities for Maku as a socially conscious brand is huge.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Organic PC - Nature and technology coming together in a very unusual way

I’m sure most of you know pumpkin is great material for pie and Halloween lanterns, but how many of you knew it makes a great PC case? Yup these photos prove that parts can be easily mounted in a big, orange pumpkin and still function perfectly. Original idea and great craftsmanship, my hat’s off to the guys who worked on the project, well done!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Ramya Sriram – Turns on the tap of creativity to create visual stories

“I think my biggest blessing in life is that I was allowed to pursue whatever crazy idea I got into my head. My focus kept shifting, with periodic obsessions — one day I would want to be a zookeeper, another day I would want to recycle the paper in the house. I took these ambitions with utmost seriousness, and being encouraged to do so led to many interesting experiences,” says Ramya Sriram, Founder of The Tap, which according to her is, “a storehouse for stories that originate from my wandering mind and pondering pencil.”

The Tap stands for simplifying life into comics. It is about using visual vocabulary to break the barriers language presents. Ramya allows her imagination run free to create visual stories.

She had never thought she would end up drawing comics. But her random drawings of friends on Facebook (using a laptop touchpad), posted for fun got her the first break. A friend asked her to run a comic strip for his magazine. “The first order I got for a custom comic made me think perhaps this could be more than a hobby. I started taking my work seriously, putting more thought into it, finding different ways to express different stories, and playing with formats. I really enjoy the process of having to think for someone else and translate that into an illustrated story,” says Ramya.

At school in Hyderabad, Ramya was inclined towards extra-curricular activities like arts, crafts, music, and dance, always preferring piano lessons to PT classes. In spite of having the freedom to decide what she wanted to do she was not sure what academic path to choose once school was over. She ended up studying engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore.

Again, after her graduation, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next. She found herself frantically applying to a variety of colleges, companies, and taking entrance exams. Eventually she settled to work as an editor in a publishing house, a job that she stuck to for over five years.

Working at the publishing house helped Ramya understand herself: “I edited books at work; and went home and drew comics. I proofread academic books; and went home and wrote travel stories. And that’s when I realised that drawing and writing were my constant companions, and my calling! It happened by chance.”

Ramya founded The Tap as a space to hoard stories:

I found myself sitting in client meetings itching to draw comics, itching to know what would happen if I had more time to devote to The Tap. So I finally took the plunge.

Ramya Sriram
She turned all her complete attention to The Tap. Ramya feels that given the humungous support she enjoys from her family and friends; it is unfair to call her a one-woman army. “I have very supportive family and friends whom I can count on to holler at visitors at flea markets to buy my stuff, to help me understand excel sheets, or tell me when my drawing of a cow doesn’t look like a cow,” says a grinning Ramya.

Despite the love and support Ramya enjoys, she has had to buckle up and face the challenges that come hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship. “I’m terrible at saying no. Earlier, I would beamingly take up each and everything that came my way, sometimes at ridiculously low prices, without realising how much time and energy I was putting into it,” says Ramya. But later she understood later that it wasn’t a healthy way to work. “When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, you invest a lot in it. And it’s best to keep track of this investment, not only the monetary kind,” she says.

She is not very good at delegation, but it is something that she is working on now. Also to ensure that she did not run away from planning (which she is not good at) Ramya attended a course on entrepreneurship and developed little strategies for herself. Says she, One of the things that really influenced me was the concept of opportunity cost. So, I apply that to big and small things alike. Every decision I make, I ask myself — what will I lose? And the lucidity of my answer to that question makes or breaks my decision.

As an entrepreneur Ramya loves the freedom of working on a variety of projects that involve ideation and creating content. She enjoys not being boxed into a routine. Though she does miss the chai/coffee breaks with colleagues and the liberty of taking leaves and running off to the hills – a few thrills of a full-time job.

As an entrepreneur she has realised that despite being a very ‘go with the flow’ person, laying some ground rules and setting small targets really helps. It keeps things real. Another important learning that she has had is: “I understood that it’s really okay to experiment with various things till you find something that you are comfortable with, not something someone else wants you to be comfortable with. Once I accepted that, things got much easier.”

The future beckons Ramya as she looks forward to more projects, more challenges, more drawings, and more stories! And she adds: “I also plan to expand The Tap merchandise range and add more to the online store.”

Here is a story from Ramya-

Story of Ramya Sriram

Monday, 22 February 2016

Guy Gives Up Lucrative Career to Build Whimsical Treehouse in the Middle of Nature

Unhappy with his high flying career in fashion, New Yorker Foster Huntington gave it all up to live life on his own terms. He is now in the news for building ‘Bro-topia’, an outlandish dwelling made up of two treehouses connected by a swinging rope bridge, on a grassy hilltop in southwest Washington state. 

It all started in 2011, when Foster quit his job at Ralph Lauren, sold all his belongings, and lived in a mobile van for months. He was working as a men’s fashion designer and although he initially found the job exciting and challenging, Huntington realized he didn’t care that much about clothing. “I remember looking at photos of bush pilots in Alaska and their ruggedly stylish world and thinking: ‘I can take photos. I don’t want to live my life in the city. I want to go do something else,’” he told New York Times.

So he pursued photography for a while, making money creating photo books, but in 2014 he decided that he wanted to spend his time fulfilling his childhood dream of building an epic tree house. So he pooled his life savings, got a few friends on board, and started working on the project on his family’s property in Skamania, Washington.

Photo: Foster Huntington
“I’d saved money and I’d always wanted to build a treehouse and decided just to do it,” he told ABC News. “We’d always go to my family’s property and camp and it has great trees and was kind of just begging for a treehouse. I called up one of my best friends from college who is a carpenter and designer and we started scheming and planning.”

The duo got in touch with other friends and until they finally had a group of 20 working on the two houses. “We started bolting things to trees in June 2014,” Foster explained, adding that they didn’t have a concrete plan when they started, but made things up as they went along. “We had to figure out solutions the entire time. It was a constant problem-solving experience, which is what’s fun about building.”
Photo: Foster Huntington
“We were doing the roof wrong in one part and we lost about two to three weeks. It all goes according to plan until you have to start working on it, and from there it just comes down to maintaining momentum and being flexible.”

They eventually built two beautiful houses overlooking a relaxing hot tub and a skatebowl.. Both houses are under 200 square feet, perched at heights of 20 feet and 30 feet above the ground. They mostly used reclaimed Douglas fir and western red cedar to make the all-wood dwellings. “The interior is rustic,” Foster said. “Nothing fancy but [has] nice custom woodworkings, like built-ins.”

Photo: Foster Huntington
Foster now lives and works out of the treehouses, which, he admits, is much more convenient than his previous stint with living on the road. One of the houses serves as his studio, while the other, named ‘Octagon’, is his bedroom. New York Times describes his studio as “toasty and light-filled”, sparsely furnished with a shelf that holds his cameras and lenses and a desk for his computer. The small house his mother built, located on the property about 100 feet away, serves as his source of electricity and plumbing.

Being a photographer, Foster took plenty of pictures of the construction process, which he used to make his own photo book titled The Cinder Cone. He ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to raise funds to produce the book, collecting nearly $80,000 from 1,951 backers.

Photo: Foster Huntington
“Since finishing the houses, I’ve been organizing these images, drawings, and notes into a book,” the 27-year-old wrote on the Kickstarter page. “Think of it as one part instructional book, one part photo book, and one part tiny homes book. My goal is to make something that shows the process from dreaming up a seemingly outlandish idea to the final result after thousands of hours of hard work and the moments that happened in between. I hope that the result ignites the imagination of people’s inner kid and gets ideas going for their own projects.”

“I could have bought a house,” he said, speaking to New York Times. “But this is so much better. For me, it’s realizing a childhood dream.”

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Thrill-Seekers Could Soon Ride the Clouds with This New Sky Surfing Board

‘Wingboarding’ is a new type of adventure sport that will soon be made available to thrill-mongers around the world. Developed by Wyp Aviation, a startup company trying to “take aviation to the next level”, the WingBoard provides riders with a stable platform that flies through the air rather than falling towards the ground.

It’s sort of a cross between skysurfing and wakeboarding and involves surfing through the sky on a board while being towed by a plane. The daredevil stunt is meant to emulate the comic book superhero Silver Surfer, who can travel through space on his surfboard-shaped craft. “The WingBoard is like a wakeboard, but instead of slicing through waves behind a boat, you’re being towed by a plane, carving through clouds,” said founder and lead engineer Aaron Wypyszynski.

31-year-old Aaron, a flight test engineer by profession, has been passionate about aviation since he started building lego aeroplanes at the age of four. He spends all his spare time in his workshop, trying to make all his aviation dreams come true and says that his inspiration to develop the WingBoard came from Talespin, a cartoon he used to watch as a kid. In the series, an animated bear named Kit Cloudkicker would jump out of his airborne plane and ride through the clouds.

For now, Aaron has built a scale model of the WingBoard, which “combines the ability of a wakeboard or a snowboard and brings it to three dimensions.” It works with a system of cables that allow it to be towed behind an aircraft, while remaining stable enough to withstand the weight of one person. Wheels at the bottom of the board will help it get airborne, and the rider would need a parachute to get back safely to the ground. The board will contain a separate parachute as well, to help it hit the Earth gently.

The mock-up version has successfully performed barrel rolls behind an aircraft in the test run, and Aaron is currently trying to raise funds ($275,000) to make the first prototype. If everything goes according to plan, he believes that Wingboarding may become a popular spectator sport in the future. “There has been no way to truly fly behind an aircraft,” he said. “You can strap on a snowboard to your feet and go surfing, but really what you are doing is falling.”

This Rock Is Actually Fire-Powered Wi-Fi Router

At first glance, this rock, placed strategically in a small clearing in the woods part of an outdoor museum in Germany, seems like an ordinary boulder. But a closer look will reveal that the inconspicuous 1.5-ton boulder is far from ordinary. It’s actually an art installation with a fire-powered WiFi router and USB drive hidden inside !

Created by Berlin artist Aram Bartholl, the rock, named ‘Keepalive’, tries to highlight the contrast between ancient and modern survival techniques. Bartholl revealed that his inspiration to merge the concepts of primitive and modern survival came from the sight of people selling BioLite stoves during Hurricane Sandy. In the absence of electricity, people were actually using the flame-powered stoves to power their devices and stay connected. “It was funny – the power goes out, and people would buy these little stoves and make a fire to charge their phone,” he said.

So he created a rock that runs exclusively on the energy generated by a thermoelectric generator that converts heat into electricity. Visitors at the Springhornhof museum need to return to the basics of survival and make a fire next to the rock in order to use the installation. When a sufficient amount of heat is produced, they can connect to the router using their smartphones.

The network runs on Piratebox, a DIY-software that creates offline wireless networks. Using this network, visitors can access, browse and download files stored on a USB drive, bored into a different section of the rock. The drive contains a range of interesting, bizarre PDF survival guides for the modern world, including a Do it yourself Divorce Guide’, a ‘Drone Survival Guide’, a ‘Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide’, and ‘A Steampunk Guide to Sex’.

Some of these weird uploads might have been the work of mischievous visitors, but Bartholl doesn’t mind. In fact, he’s all about public data-sharing, having created Dead Drops, the world’s most epic file sharing network consisting of USB flash drives embedded into walls all over the world. But Keepalive, named after the technical term for a message sent between devices to check connectivity, is meant to be more obscure.

“It’s not about easy access,” Bartholl said, speaking to Hyperallergic. “It has a whole dystopian idea to it, like, will we need something like this in the future? Or somebody finding this in a hundred years – is it still working and they figure something out and they make a fire, or is there going to be a moment where we’re going to need to make fire again to get access to the data?”

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Everything you want to know about Rs 251 Make In India smartphone

When Steve Jobs launched the iPod, it was one of the biggest launches in history. He very elegantly pulled it out of his pocket and used the tagline “1,000 songs in your pocket”.

Ringing bells, a smartphone company which was unheard of till date, was suddenly in news this week for promoting the idea of a smartphone with a price tag of Rs 251. Now the fact that the phone is subsidised or does it really cost this less to make a smartphone so cheap is quite debatable.

However, at present, screen replacement costs about Rs 2000. While the debate on the manufacturing costs will go on forever, we have to admit that a smartphone at a cost of Rs 251 is definitely a steal deal.
Here are few things which you should know about the Freedom 251.

1. One of the best features of the device is that it comes with dual camera. It has a 3.2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front camera. A quick search online will reveal that even the cheapest dual camera phone will cost a minimum of INR 4,000.

2. One of biggest issues faced by users is that the most low cost Android smartphones don’t come with the latest operating system. However, Ringing Bells has solved this problem by releasing the phone with Android Lollipop. Will it support future updates is something will all need to wait and see.

3. Freedom 251 does not disappoint in terms of connectivity. When you get both 3G and 802.11 b/g/n wifi along with GPS one cannot ask for more.

4. The phone comes with 1GB ram and 8GB internal memory, which is expandable to 32GB.

5. Another big boost are the preinstalled apps for farmers and women safety. Most women do not have any safety app downloaded on their phone. Having such preinstalled will help increase women safety and decrease the rate of crimes against women.

6. Considering a smartphone, the 1450mAh battery is small and would be enough to last around half day. But do we have the right to complain when you get a smartphone for INR 251?

7. Bookings for Freedom 251 will start tomorrow, February 18, at 6.00 am. So set your alarms for 5.55 am tomorrow and keep your fingers ready.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Phanindra Sama confirms redBus acquisition; says best is yet to come

RedBus founder Phanindra Sama has confirmed to that South African based media and internet group, Nasper, has acquired them via their India subsidiary, IbiboGroup. The particulars of the deal are undisclosed. A press release regarding the same has stated that –

All the travel entities of ibiboGroup (MIH India), including, will continue to run independently and operate as separate businesses to drive deep focus. The founders and management teams of each of these entities will continue to build out their businesses.

We at have had a great relationship with redBus and have been associated with them since the beginning. Having seen the company’s meteoric growth in the past few years, it was interesting to know what founder Phanidra Sama thought about the deal and what is in store for redBus’s future –

YS: During the early days, did you ever think that redBus would become so big?

Phani: Not really. In the initial days, our focus was to solve a problem with technology. None of us ever thought of how big this would become or where this company would go 5 years from now. But halfway through, we began to think that we’re onto something. All the constituents of the travel industry were happy with what we were providing and that’s always a good measure of how good you’re doing. However, the best from redBus is yet to come. We’re working on some great ideas and I think we are a long way off from our full potential.

YS: How has this acquisition changed things at redBus?

Phani: Almost everything is exactly the same. Especially within the company; Charan and me will continue to work as we always have. The company’s composition is exactly the

YS: What are your expectations going into this deal with the Nasper Group?

Phani: If you look at the Nasper Group, they have a lot of amazing internet companies across the world. Almost all of them are either first or second in their respective geographies and markets. I also spoke to other CEOs of companies that exited with the Nasper Group and all of them shared that they embarked upon a phenomenal learning curve, because of the experience that they’ve got with internet businesses.

Furthermore, with our association with the IbiboGroup, the understanding of the Indian travel customer will become much better. They’ve got experience with the Airline and Hotelindustry which I think will be of great value to us. If and when we choose to go international, this would be a great platform for us.

YS: What are some of the immediate things that you’re working on at redBus? 

Phani: We’ve ventured recently into the B2B space with our agent platform, which is doing extremely well. We will continue to work on that and develop it further. On the B2C front, we’ve pretty much figured out how things work and we will continue to dominate in the space as we have. But we’re seeing some good early success in the B2B front and we’ll be looking to work on that in the coming months. We are market leaders in the B2B space as well and I think we’re getting on the track of exponential growth here as well.

YS: As someone who’s started redBus, what does this deal mean to you?

Phani: Honestly, nothing. Nothing has changed in the organization and hopefully I will continue to live the way that I have been doing so in the past years. I will continue to work harder and better every day as I have been doing so long.

Phani’s humility and hardwork has been the hallmark of redBus’s success so far and we at wish them all the best with their future endeavors.