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Last updated: 14 Apr, 2015  

smallvsbig.thmb.jpg Small-town entrepreneurial dreams have just got bigger

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Gajal Gupta | 14 Apr, 2015
There are stories of people hailing from the country's hinterland who made it big in cities and even abroad. With changing times, these dreams have got even bigger with a handful of new-age entrepreneurs proving that inspiration, passion and hard work can translate into great success stories.

Take, for instance, Smartprix.com, which was co-founded in 2011 by 20-year-old Abhinav Chaudhary from the dusty Uchain town in Rajasthan's Bharatpur district. Today, it is considered one of the best online websites for comparison shopping.

"Starting with a few users, we are now dealing with over six million users a month. When they tell us that we are the best online site in India for comparison shopping, we feel proud of the fact that it was sheer hard work which brought us the accolades," said Chaudhary.

Or, take the case of PepperTap.com co-founder Navneet Singh, who hails from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh.

"I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but the comfort zone of being in a secure job and social commitments stopped me from taking the plunge. I mulled over the decision for seven years before I started out on my own," Navneet Singh told reporter.

Residents of the Gurgaon IT hub on the national capital's outskirts can order groceries, fruit, vegetables and other items from PepperTap.com via an app.

Then, there is Diwakar Chittora who, though he is from Jaipur faced immense infrastructure issues, in spite of being in the Rajasthan capital, in launching Intellipaat an e-learning website that trains candidates to excel in IT-based programmes.

"Launching Intellipaat is aimed at training people to acquire skill sets that match the requirements of the growing IT industry," said Chittora.

As with Rome, their dreams were also not built in a day.

Starting off their own businesses was not easy, particularly because of no financial back-up and lack of initial infrastructure.

"There are several start-ups that fail horribly. So you have got to be prepared to do a lot of hard work. Prepare a detailed plan, chart out your revenue model and work on it honestly to become successful," Chaudhary advised when asked about the risks involved in starting your own firm.

Before launching Smartprix, in which online giant Snapdeal has a stake, Chaudhary first took his family and relatives into confidence.

But they never lost hope. They took inspiration from other's success stories and remained fixed on their path to success.

"I read about how companies like Flipkart and SnapDeal became leading Indian online e-retailers. The idea that anyone with undivided dedication and determination can be successful motivated me the most," Navneet Singh emphasised.

"The execution of an idea with grit and determination is the key to success," he added.

"The major hurdles that I had to face were infrastructure and resources. It sometimes becomes difficult to find high speed dedicated lines in some areas and in areas where it was available, I had to wait for one-to-two months for the connection to activate," Chittora said.

"For an e-learning business, infrastructure is very important. This includes a high bandwidth network and dedicated servers. Putting this in place was nothing less than a series of hurdles.

"Then, getting skilled manpower was tough," Chittora added.

The long but fruitful journey that these people undertook is now paying great dividends. For all of them, small-town dreams have only got bigger and better.

(Gajal Gupta can be contacted at gajal.g@ians.in)
 
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