In a city that has a Xavier’s on one end and an IIT on the other, identity crisis is natural for other colleges. But it would be rash to assume that there are no other pockets of excellence in Maximum City. Take, for example, HR College of Commerce and Economics, located in Churchgate — from electric performance of its students at college fests to several successful startups, its students and alumni have done the college proud over and over again.
Here, we take a look at some notable alumni from HR College who gave up cushy jobs and the resultant job security to pursue their startup dream.
Suveer Bajaj, Foxymoron
This one is a summer experiment gone right! Four 19-year-olds decided to start a fun summer project with Rs 64000, and that led to a life-changing decision. Today, FoxyMoron is a leading digital marketing and media solutions agency that offers an array of services including social media marketing, website and app development, search marketing, media planning and buying, video production and PR.
They have over 250 employees, offices across Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bangalore, and clients like Asian Paints, L’Oreal, Castrol, Zee, Red FM and SAB. Enough said!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BeFoxy/
Shashank Jogani and Kavan Antani, BananaBandy
Did you know India has the world’s largest creative community but, due to a lack of a platform to showcase their profound talent, most of them go unnoticed?
Enter BananaBandy! Founded in 2015 by Shashank Jogani and Kavan Antani, both students of HR College, BananaBandy is India’s largest online market network for creative professionals. It serves as a platform for Indian creatives to connect with their peers and showcase, promote and monetise their work. They help monetise artists all over the country and help connect companies to the correct creative professional. Some even have called it a “LinkedIn for creative professionals.”
At its core, BananaBandy is an aggregator of creative services, and they have over 13000+ creatives, 30000+ projects, and have worked with over 1000 companies for various creative requirements.
Fun fact: Banana in the name is not your fruit. It is ‘बनाना’ in Hindi, which is to create, and ‘Bandy’ is slang for ‘exchange’. So, in essence, the name means”Make & Exchange”. Since they are focusing solely on Indian creatives, the name does add a little Desi essence.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bananabandy/?fref=ts
Kalyani Khona and Shankar Srinivasan, Inclov
Inclov is the world’s first matchmaking app focusing on people with disability and health disorders to find love. Of the 1.2 billion people with disabilities, 600 million in the 20-60 age range are single. The app employs matches individuals based on their level of independence, cure availability, medication etc.
An entrepreneur by accident, founder Kalyani Khona started an offline matchmaking agency by handpicking 100 profiles from various cities and setting up Skype calls at the age of 23. She then founded Inclov in January 2016. They work from a home office, where everyone is like family.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Inclov/
Niranjan Nakhate, Frapp
All you students out there, this one’s for you! With all the stress and burden on the shoulders of students nowadays, Frapp is sure to relieve them of some. Co-founder Niranjan Nakhate came up with Frapp to make a student’s life easier.
With Frapp, they are creating the homepage of a student’s life, where every student can find exclusive student offers, cool internships in their cities and access to events and weekly contests.
Facebook Page: http://www.frapp.in/
Dhruv Lakra, Mirakle Couriers
Mirakle Couriers is a national award-winning courier agency that employs low-income deaf adults. They offer on-time, customisable courier solutions for clients in Mumbai, to local, domestic and international destinations.
Mirakle Couriers was founded in January 2009 by Dhruv Lakra, who combined his education and experience in both the business and social sectors to come up with a for-profit social enterprise. All its staff members, including the delivery personnel, are deaf.
While they are present only in Mumbai at the moment, they plan to expand to other cities soon. Their list of clients includes the likes of Mahindra & Mahindra, The Aditya Birla Group, Victory Art Foundation, JSW Group, Indian Hotels Company, Godrej & Boyce and Essel Propack.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/miraklecouriers/?fref=ts
Amtosh Singh and Utsav Vohra, PropShop24
If you feel that every site on the internet has the exact same to offer, Propshop24 is the place for you. The people behind the brainchild, Amtosh Singh and Utsav Vohra, like to think of themselves as the curators of a one-stop shop for fun-tastic design products handpicked from around the globe.
Started in December 2012 with the categories Home, Office, Bar & Party, Propshop24 has grown to include categories such as Personal, Eyewear & Fashion Accessories. They recently launched the first Digital Pop-Up in India featuring 200 + new products every week from brands they love for a limited period.
A team of fun loving chaps, they do things differently because they don’t know any other way. Watch out for their new categories of jewellery, mens’ accessories, kids, pets and a brand new concept called Food Truck in the next couple of months.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PropShop24/?fref=ts
Akshay Gurnani: Schbang
Schbang is a holistic digital solutions agency based in Mumbai. With various services ranging from website design, branding and media planning to video production to marketing strategy, their clients include the likes of Godrej Expert, BBlunt, Good Knight, Lodha Group, Jet Privilege, L’Oreal, Garnier Skin Naturals, Hay Group, Asian Paints, Sequoia Capital and StyleFiesta. The folks at Schbang are young, unconventional and they’re here to create a Schbang!
One of the co-founders, Akshay Gurnani, an alumnus of HR College, is one of the few who can merge the three worlds of Creative, Media and Technology. Today, he leads the Integrated Solutions Department with nearly 80 employees working with him.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/schbang/?fref=ts
Abhinav and Raghav Aggarwal, Fluid Al
Abhinav and Raghav Aggarwal founded Fluid AI when they were studying at HR College. Their company today is revolutionising the artificial intelligence space, with some of the largest banks and corporates as their clients.
Both self-learnt coders, Abhinav and Raghav were winners at one of the world’s biggest 24-hour coding competitions, the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in New York. Raghav dropped out of IIM Ahmadabad and Abhinav dropped out of ISB Hyderabad, as they both felt that HR had given them everything they needed to succeed in the business world. “Dr Shahani (Principal of HR College) was a huge inspiration and support for us in college and even now she’s an active advisor. You need mentors like that to succeed,” says Raghav. In fact, they created and implemented the entire online LMS and online test system for college when they were in college.
Today, they work with companies like Barclays, Vodafone, Rolls Royce, Deloitte, Government of Mauritius etc, and their company has been selected as one of the top 35 startups in India by PM Narendra Modi’s Startup India campaign. You can see the video showcased at the national event about them: www.fluid.ai/startupindia
They were also recently covered in Forbes Magazine in an article titled “May the AI be with you”.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/trutechwebs/?fref=ts
Aditya Sanghavi, Snackible
We all are guilty of the occasional snack binge. Aditya Sanghavi of Snackible has come up with a simple yet delicious solution for this. While working at a consulting company, he made a simple observation of how his colleagues would end up munching on extremely unhealthy snacks.
As one idea conceptualised into another, what started in April 2015 as a humble snack delivery service has now grown at a rapid pace and delved into multiple sales channels with over 12,000 customers, spanning 80 cities. They have recently even made a dashing entry into the retail sector and are currently stocked in over 120 stores in the city of Mumbai, including Cheddar and Nature’s Basket!
At present, customers can indulge in a dynamic menu of 18 items such as whole wheat waffles, cream and onion whole wheat thins, pizza stick dips and so on, with an additional 2 every month. Now one can place an order from anywhere in India.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/snackible/?fref=ts
Anuja Shah & Sama Jashnani, Down to Dash
Down To Dash was founded to capture the essence of connecting with like-minded students in college. The application is for students and can revolutionize the way they experience college life.
The process is made to be student-friendly – sign up with your college email address, select what you want to do on that particular day, DTD will show you students who are up for the same, and you can connect with them over personal or group chats and socialize and make new friends.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DownToDash/?fref=ts
Yash Mehta and Vidhi Shah, Living to Change
Living To Change is a non-profit initiative that aims at enhancing social welfare at the grass root level. While in their first year, Yash and Vidhi worked towards supplying basic necessities to people in need. They are currently working on implementing projects in the education and healthcare sector. Through their learning and development programme, they aim to provide academic assistance to underprivileged children while also working towards their holistic development.
Cofounders Vidhi and Yash feel that their journey with Living To Change has been enriching and life-changing, and it has helped them grow in ways they never thought were possible.
Yash, Jahan, Delzaad, Sanvar, Sumit, Chirag & Avnish: Boheco
19 January, 2013: A bunch of seven passionate graduates from HR College (Yash P. Kotak, Jahan Pestonjamas, Sanvar Oberoi, Sumit Shah, Chirag Tekchandaney, Avnish Pandya, and Delzaad Deolaliwala) decided to establish the Bombay Hemp Company, India’s first industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis company to effect seismic change in the rural and agriculture landscape of India.
BOHECO aims to reform agriculture in India and boost its role in the economy. It works with local industry and farmers to manufacture and research innovative agro-products.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BOHECO/?fref=nf
Akshay, Krish and Aatef, Togglehead
A full-service digital agency based out of Mumbai, Togglehead focuses on social media, design, and technology. For the last 4 years, they’ve successfully built unique digital campaigns and experiences for over 200 of India’s top brands. With a growing team of 60 employees, they are charged with creative digital energy. A young, rapidly expanding agency, they are driven to create digital properties ranging from Social Media Setup and Management, website and app design to development, SEM and SEO.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ToggleheadIndia/?fref=ts
Neha Badlani, Silver Lining Image Consultants
Neha Badlani established ‘Silver Lining Image Consultants’, a PR consultancy, as a platform to achieve creative freedom and express her own individuality. Neha feels the flexibility of working at her own pace, yet the challenges of the volatile market, keeps her on the edge at all times, making it a thoroughly inspiring and exciting career path.
SLIC services clients in the Beauty & Lifestyle/Travel & Hospitality/F&B space along with promoting entrepreneurs and start-up ventures.
Darshil Shah, Jeff Mandot & Dhriti Sonawala: Blazonion
What started out as a simple passion for digital marketing & design, by Darshil Shah, Jeff Mandot and Dhriti Sonawala, has now set out to transform the way restaurants look at marketing themselves. Blazonion Restaurant Marketing Solutions, one of its kind, was an idea curated to cater to the constantly growing and ever-competent market of restaurants in the city. Still in its early stages, Blazonion has found itself entrusted by some of the renowned restaurants of Mumbai to tackle their marketing problems.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/blazonion/?fref=ts
The main image for this article was sourced from Facebook