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Top 10 Promising & Scalable Startups In Agra

Top 10 Promising & Scalable Startups In Agra

Startups: Students with realistic ideas about organizing startups and developing business models will be offered assistance by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU), formerly Uttar Pradesh Technical University.

We will also explore self-employment opportunities. In addition, 2,500 students have submitted ideas for startups to the university.

A press conference was organized by AKTU assistant registrar Ranjeet Singh on the campus of Raja Balwant Singh (RBS) Management Technical College, Khandari farm. The idea for a startup here could come from any college affiliated with the varsity. The ideas will be tested by experts here. Those whose ideas are shortlisted will help launch their startups from their university. Initially, we will invest in the project and provide the necessary consulting to develop the business into a success. We will also support self-employed students”.

The state technical university will implement this in 2019-20. The school will start seven new courses, including a Bachelor of Vocation (BvOC) for undergrads and a dual degree for undergraduates and graduate students in Bachelor of Technology (BTech) plus Master of Technology (MTech).

The university will conduct state-level entrance exams as part of the application process for postgraduate courses in technology, pharmacy, design, and architecture. They will also assist students with job placement through the institute’s industry interface cell.

“The joint entrance exam for engineering, management, pharmacy, and architecture will be conducted on April 21, 2019,” said Director of AKTU’s Institute of Design, Virendra Pathak. Candidates will receive their results by the end of May. On July 17, regular classes will begin. A laptop will be provided to 200 outstanding female students in the 2019-20 session by the University administration.”.

The university administration took a major decision to reserve 20 percent of all seats in courses for students outside Uttar Pradesh, according to BBS Parihar, director of the RBS Management campus. Students of other states will be better able to take their dream course in UP because of this initiative”.

“Taking cognizance of the inconvenience caused by a computer-based entrance exam to some of the students in rural areas, the university administration has offered offline registration for the testing process.”, said BS Kushwah, director of RBS Engineering. They will now provide question paper. The exam will need to mark answers on the OMR sheet”.

  1. Oswaal 360

 Naresh Jain founded Oswaal Books in Agra in 1984. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it launched Oswaal 360, an online test preparation platform that has been credited with onboarding about one lakh users.

COVID-19, a pandemic that swept across India, led to a dramatic shift in India’s education system. Schools and other institutions had to shift quickly to online activities once offline activities ceased. Yet, despite the crisis, the sector flourished because of digital tools. 

Agra-based Oswaal Books, one of India’s most widely known academic publishers, has handled marketing and finance since its founding in 2001.

Aresh Jain, Prashant’s father, founded the business in 1984. From books to online learning, the company has seen the evolution of the education sector over the past four decades. 

Oswaal Books dominate the offline space. A total of 35 lakh books are circulated each year by the company, including guidebooks for ICSE (Indian School Certificate Examinations) and CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the Madhya Pradesh Karnataka boards. Furthermore, it provides materials for competitive exams such as RRB (Railway Recruitment Boards), NEET (National Eligibility Cumulative Entrance Test), and more. 

Oswaal Books recognized that “learning will occur online” and launched a trial in September 2021 and launched Oswaal 360 last month, a test-preparation platform for high-school classes. According to Prashant, the site has gained nearly one lakh users since its launch.

His narrative discusses the company’s growth, the edtech trend, and its evolution during the pandemic.

After one and a half years of the pandemic, Prashant now has a “much matured” perspective on the industry and the current situation. A process that would have otherwise taken 10 years, he says, has been demonstrated in the past 18 months and has both advantages and disadvantages.

In addition, too much screen time is causing health concerns among parents, according to Prashant, who realizes the value of physical spaces like classrooms and that learning occurs when you interact with your classmates. 

“They also discussed the advantages of online learning during COVID-19. It has, for example, propelled the test-prep market.”

According to Prashant, online exam preparation will gain popularity in the future since “it is not practical for a teacher to sit in front of a student and check to practice papers continuously.”

As a result of this finding, the company launched Oswaal 360, a test-prep platform.

When COVID-19 struck, demand for digital education skyrocketed. The Indian edtech market is expected to reach $30 billion by 2032, according to a report by RBSA Advisors. New-age edtech companies such as BYJU’S, WhiteHat Jr, Vedantu, and others have carved out a niche over time.

The objective of Oswaal books, according to Prashant, is to “make learning simple” and not be misled by trends.

“I have realized from my contact with my team that this (leveraging technology) is coming from an aspect of dread or FOMO (fear of missing out),” he adds of the platform’s introduction and integration of technology in schooling.

He claims that they wanted to employ digital means at one point simply because “everyone was doing it,” and they were afraid of going extinct if they didn’t.

After nearly a year of brainstorming, they concluded: “If anything makes learning easier, we will do it; otherwise, we will not.” Prashant claims he noticed an ideal opportunity in the test-prep industry and decided to jump in.

The course preparation materials are available on a subscription basis, with rates ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 600 depending on the course type.

The story of Oswaal Books began 37 years ago. He claims that his father’s family owned a separate publishing company, which inspired him to pursue the field.

“Education was collecting momentum because people from all walks of life were seeing the value,” he recalls of the 1980s. Furthermore, most books were published by the government and were out of step with market demands.”

He argues that this necessitated the use of some private players. To establish the firm, Naresh borrowed Rs 1 lakh from his friends. Then, he started publishing books in Agra and selling them to Madhya Pradesh board students. With a circulation of two lakh copies per year, it gradually became a major competitor in the market, competing with the likes of S.Chand (founded in 1939).

In the 1990s, the company expanded into new areas, such as printing books for the CBSE and ICSE boards.

After returning from London in 2007, Prashant and his wife, Swati Jain, joined the company. They built the company’s website the same year, believing that “the internet will become large in the coming times.” Divya Jain, Prashant’s sister, also joined the company in 2017.

Prashant has been selling books online since 2008 and has seen the digital economy evolve. “Because internet penetration was so limited at the time, we only got orders from Bangalore and a handful from Mumbai.”

Until 2020, the online demand for books in the total business climbed from zero to over 20%. But, according to him, this number has risen to about 45 percent in the last year.

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Oswaal Books intends to expand its internet presence in the future. It will provide an app with study materials for the National Recruitment Agency Common Eligibility Test (NRA CET). The app will be available in Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, English, Telugu, Malayalam, etc.

The decision is in response to the increased demand for material in non-English languages.

“The youngsters of the hinterlands are the ones who take these examinations the most. You can’t expect customers to modify their language preferences simply because your product isn’t accessible in their native or regional tongue.”

To summarise, education in the future will be more advanced and personalized. Will technology, on the other hand, play a central role? Will it fully eliminate the offline space?

The answer, according to Prashant, is no.

“Teachers and students are looking for items that make teaching and learning as simple as possible.” And it’s for this reason, that Prashant believes a hybrid approach — a mix of online and offline technologies — will shape India’s educational future.

startups

Company Overview

Legal Name Oswaal 360
Industries  Edtech
Founder(s) Swati Jain
Founded Date September 2021
Total Funding Amount NA
Investors NA
  1. Ulkaria Technologies

Ulkaria Technologies was founded by Vikash Mishra and Sagar Gupta. Both are programmers. I can focus on marketing while Sagar takes care of the various technical things. Harsh Singh and Sanjay Singh are the core team members.

Ulkaria LIC Software is our first product for LIC agents. How did we develop it? Agents with so many LIC policies have difficulty remembering information about the policies, including premium amount, date of premium, maturity date, and benefits. Olkaria LIC Software allows LIC Agents to manage their policies while generating awesome reports and presenting them.

LIC agents can fully concentrate on their work thanks to our Ulkaria LIC Software, which functions as their assistant.

We sell Ulkaria LIC software, which is not a fancy business model, but it provides us with money for our operations.

There are over 1,000,000 LIC Agents in India, and they are targeting them. By making sure that they will target almost 1% of the user next year.

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Company Overview

Legal Name Ulkaria Technologies
Industries  LIC Agents
Founder(s) Vikash Mishra and Sagar Gupta
Founded Date NA
Total Funding Amount NA
Investors NA
  1. Exalta 

Exalta was founded in 2009 by Ashutosh Verma, a bootstrapped company. A company that manufactured 10 solar air conditioners in 2015 is now producing 300-500 solar air conditioners per month and is even exporting to countries like Oman, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Dubai.

In high school, Ashutosh Verma dreamed of making a solar air conditioner. Unfortunately, our home had only one air conditioner, and my parents discouraged me from running it for long periods due to the energy it consumed. That led me to search for a solution.”

To find solutions to his predicament, Ashutosh used to go to cyber cafes and search online frequently. This is how he learned of solar air conditioners. He, however, couldn’t immediately think of turning into an entrepreneur since he came from a working-class background, and he had to struggle his way up. 

Ashutosh started Exalta, a technology firm with an initial investment of Rs 8 lakh, in 2009 as a teaching and consulting company. Solar air conditioners (ACs) are manufactured at the Agra-based company. 

Ashutosh, a data scientist, says that loans from financial institutions were his only option as some funding talks with investors did not materialize. In 2011, the company began actual operations. 

Around ten solar air conditioners were being manufactured by Exalta by 2015. A few hundred solar air conditioners are manufactured by the company every month. It exports to countries like Afghanistan, Nigeria, Oman, and Dubai. 

The company has also diversified and developed other products using solar energy, including geysers, air purifiers, and mini ventilators. Ashutosh, however, says their main product is the solar AC. 

For FY2018-19, the company reportedly generated revenues of Rs 5 crore. 

Ashutosh explains that six 320-watt solar panels are usually required on a residential or commercial space roof to run solar-powered air conditioners. Except for the indoor unit, we manufacture everything in our Noida facility. 

He believes that solar air conditioners last for 25 years or more, which is also the expected life expectancy of solar panels. 

Exalta offers solar air conditioners in five different sizes: half a tonne, one tonne, one and a half tonne, two tonnes, and two and a half tonne. Half-ton air conditioners cost around Rs 18,000, while one-ton air conditioners cost between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh.

According to Ashutosh, solar air conditioners are well-known in the United States, Australia, China, and Europe, but they are still a niche business in India. Solar air conditioners are manufactured and sold in India by Videocon, Mitsubishi, and a few more.

Shreyas Gowda, Product Head at Oorjan, a business that delivers turnkey solutions for solar projects across residential and commercial sectors, says that solar air conditioners are pretty similar to any other standard AC except that they run on solar energy.

“With a continual rise in temperature and electricity unit rates, the demand for solar to power air conditioners is growing,” he adds. In addition, he claims that solar air conditioners are more effective in business spaces than in domestic spaces.

Solar-powered air conditioners, according to Ashutosh, can save 80-100 percent of electricity.

Ashutosh also had to deal with issues such as customer trust and marketing. “At first, I would install the air conditioners for free at distributors’ and vendors’ offices,” he adds. Then, when they realized how well these air conditioners were operating, they paid me and gave me more orders.”

Exalta is primarily a B2B company, but it aims to begin selling on eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart to scale. However, according to Ashutosh, generating demand for solar air conditioners is still difficult. “I’ve had many distributors come to me with questions, but they always end up going to Chinese manufacturers because of the pricing.”

Ashutosh believes that demand for solar air conditioners will increase in India. He claims that demand is already picking up. Exalta currently has 3,000 customers in India and other countries.

“The rich aren’t bothered about solar ACs since they can afford electricity at any price,” Ashutosh explains. However, most of my customers have been middle-class folks who have installed solar air conditioners to save money on their utility costs.”

The company had planned to gather funds, but everything came to a standstill because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The company is now waiting for the market to recover before expanding to smaller locations and launching new sustainable energy products.

“Solar-powered air conditioners would not only help India attain its ambitious objective of 175GW of Renewable Energy (RE) capacity by 2022,” Shreyas says.

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Company Overview

Legal Name Exalta
Industries  Products manufactured
Founder(s) Mr Ashutosh Verma
Founded Date 2009
Total Funding Amount NA
Investors NA
  1. Whiz League

Multidisciplinary tutoring platform available on mobile devices. You can learn how to sing, audition & cast in Bollywood, blog, and more from industry experts. You can download the app for Android or iOS.

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Company Overview

  1. Daily2Home 

In addition to the growing crop of startups seeking to tap into the potential of smaller cities, one of these is agri-tech startup Daily2Home, which delivers fresh vegetables to consumers on demand.

The problem it solves: Getting fresh vegetables delivered at customers’ homes, while providing a steady stream of revenues to farmers.

In the kitchen, there is something special about working with fresh produce. Besides being tasty, it holds a lot of health benefits. But, unfortunately, we do not have access to fresh fruit or vegetables very often in the city, so we have to make do with what we have.

Agra-based Daily2Home is among those startups that are solving such pain points. In Agra and Mathura, the agri-tech startup promises that clients can order fresh fruit and vegetables by clicking on their computers.

The first time he contacted Atul Chauhan was during his training for the Probationary Officer (PO) position at Manipal Bank of Baroda Training Institute in 2014. Together, they discussed their entrepreneurial dreams and formed an immediate bond. Atul used to come up with agri-related ideas while studying for his Master’s degree in Agri-Business. Atul studied a great deal about the inefficiency of supply chains of fruits and vegetables during his time at IIM Ahmedabad, which contributed to food waste,” Kapil explains.

In addition to Atul, Siddharth Singh was invited to participate in the project. During his CAT preparations, Atul knew Siddharth. They started their first company in 2015 after finalizing the blueprint. As a friend of Atul’s, Ravi Dutt Sharma has joined them full time since January 2017, after initially helping them as a consultant.

When the founders realized that there were no players in smaller cities, they had their eureka moment. So Agra, Atul’s hometown and where they could easily access help, was selected for the beta testing of Daily2Home.

During his time at Gati Logistics, Atul completed his food engineering and agribusiness studies at IIM Ahmedabad.

 Siddharth graduated from IIM Lucknow with an agribusiness degree. The alumnus of IIIT Jabalpur, Kapil Sahu, is with Bank of Baroda with over a year’s experience. Ravi began as an early investor in the company and later became a co-founder.

There are more than 20 employees employed by the firm, both part-time and full-time.

B2C was the company’s initial business model. Since then, the firm has scaled up from serving over 50 B2C customers per day to serving 500 customers now. Over 90 customers in the B2B segment, including the Akshaya Patra Foundation, Subway, Pind Balluchi, Sagar Ratna, and Goli Vada Pav, among others. We launched the B2B segment in May 2015.

Additionally, there was a little initial hiccup with the last-mile delivery and ensuring that service quality was maintained for small orders, too, even at greater distances. Low-cost procurement was also a problem. Farmers’ products were also in short supply.

“We got into a cold room first, which provided us with the buffer we needed,” says Atul. Then, by tying up with local grocery stores across the city, we built a hub-and-spoke network for retail sales, which helped reduce delivery distances to less than two kilometers. To improve the efficiency of our operations, we invested in new technology. We have also seen huge success with app-based ordering for our B2B business.”

Delivery types are divided into three categories. If the customer orders a minimum of Rs 200, they can get their products in an hour. An order of any size can be delivered within two hours (there is no minimum order size required). Orders placed the day before will be processed the next morning, and customers will benefit from a five-percent discount.

Over 50% of the company’s revenue in FY17-18 increased compared to FY16-17.

According to the corporation, the fresh fruit and vegetable business in India is estimated to be worth $200 billion.

Freshokartz in Jaipur and Freshboxx Ventures in Hubli are two agritech firms concentrating on Tier-II cities. Agriculture accounts for around 15% of India’s GDP, with fruits and vegetables accounting for about 30%.

Daily2Home now features four grocery stores as partners. In addition, the company intends to partner with 20 more in Agra before the end of the year. “In Mathura, we’ve already begun operations. “In this fiscal year, we plan to establish operations in Jaipur, Lucknow, Indore, and Bhopal,” Kapil adds, adding, “By FY19, we plan to raise our customer base in the B2C segment to 2,000 every day, and in the B2B segment to roughly 150 customers.” Our revenue target for FY19 is Rs 10 crore, with a revenue goal of Rs 50 crore by 2020.”

“We also support individual farmers cultivating better crops by either not using pesticides or growing products with better qualities” (size, taste, sweetness, etc.). Customers are notified about them via SMS. Customers can order such products over the phone or purchase them at one of our partner grocery stores. We will expand this initiative in the next few days. Currently, we are supporting only two farmers. Still, in the winter, the Agra region grows more veggies and fruits, so we promote up to 40,” Kapil adds, adding that one of the startup’s primary USPs is the direct promotion of local farmers among clients.

“At the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandi, we locate farmers.” From there, we develop a relationship with them. “We go to their farm and see their farming process before finalizing the relationships,” explains Atul. Over the last three years, the company’s business model has shifted from B2C home delivery to a fruit and vegetable supply chain. As a result, it claims to have honed its skills in delivering low-cost delivery solutions for fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly in Tier-II cities.

Company Overview

Legal Name Daily2Home 
Industries  Agri-tech
Founder(s) Atul Chauhan, Siddharth Singh, Kapil Sahu, and Ravi Dutt Sharma
Founded Date 2014
Total Funding Amount NA
Investors Bootstrapped
  1. My fee point

Schools and parents can pay fees through My fee point. In addition, through can manage fees for several children and access the app for free from multiple devices through the portal. Android, iOS, and Windows users can use the platform, which is still in beta.  

Company Overview

Legal Name My fee point
Industries  Platform for online fee payment
Founder(s) NA
Founded Date 2016 
Total Funding Amount NA
Investors NA
  1. Pakumania 

One-third of India’s population is attributable to internal migration, according to the 2011 census. These statistics are consumer gold to Pakumania’s three founders. Even as these 400 million people leave their hometowns to live in bigger cities, they feel a nostalgic yearning for all the good things about their small hometowns. Among those things are family and friends. The founders shared this affliction and launched Pakumania to provide a solution to the most solvable aspect of this yearning — food. They focused on desserts.

In their desire for the local delicacies from their hometowns, three individuals grew hungry and fell together to find a solution on a more permanent basis. Our three friends realized that our problem was not unique to us; other Indians, friends, and relatives faced a similar situation. So we decided to launch our platform to address this issue permanently. Here, people can order authentic pakwan, namkeen, or mithai from their hometown to be delivered to their doorstep. This was made to make it so that people could order pakwans from specific locations where they are famous. So you can eat namkeen in Indore or pethas in Agra, for example. Vaibhav Shrivastav, the co-founder, says this was the start of PakMania.

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One-third of India’s population is attributable to internal migration, according to the 2011 census. These statistics are consumer gold to Pakumania’s three founders. Even as these 400 million people leave their hometowns to live in bigger cities, they feel a nostalgic yearning for all the good things about their small hometowns. Among those things are family and friends. The founders shared this affliction and launched Pakumania to provide a solution to the most solvable aspect of this yearning — food. They focused on desserts.

In their desire for the local delicacies from their hometowns, three individuals grew hungry and fell together to find a solution on a more permanent basis. Our three friends realized that our problem was not unique to us; other Indians, friends, and relatives faced a similar situation. So we decided to launch our platform to address this issue permanently. Here, people can order authentic pakwan, namkeen, or mithai from their hometown to be delivered to their doorstep. This was made to make it so that people could order pakwans from specific locations where they are famous. So you can eat namkeen in Indore or pethas in Agra, for example. Vaibhav Shrivastav, the co-founder, says this was the start of PakMania.

Although most migratory Indians miss home-cooked food, they are not always the perfect consumers. Indians do not tend to buy food regularly. Sweets and namkeens are commonly bought in our local shops or marts, and we have been doing this for a long time. The quality and taste of these items are a major reason for this.

To ensure the customers get the best possible namkeen or mithai, Shrivastav says that they have worked hard to find the right vendors from the right city. “This ensures that the products are of high quality and offer the best taste possible,” he says.

Another significant hindrance was logistics. As our focus is mostly on sweets and pakwans, he explains that the most important aspect is to prevent the products from perishing during the delivery process from a vendor to the end-user. Therefore, one of our biggest logistical challenges is ensuring that their shelf life and quality are as long as possible. Furthermore, so the end customer can enjoy their pakwans while still fresh, we ensure that the sweets and pakwans ordered reach them within the shelf life. Therefore, we face a major challenge in ensuring timely pickups and deliveries.”

Their products have a fragile shelf life, adding to the dilemma. To address this, Shrivastav says, the company has done tie-ups with India’s leading logistics partners to guarantee deliveries within two to seven working days. From the comfort of their homes, customers can enjoy fresh pakwans.

Their love of food brought together the Pakumania team. Their ability to relate to the idea and develop a wholesome solution using their ideas was the cherry on top for Vaibhav. Vaibhav Srivastava, Nikita Vora, and Premanshu make up the majority of Team PakuMania. Team members contribute to the firm’s direction overall, but each is responsible for specific areas. Vaibhav oversees vendor relationship management, logistics, and financial matters, among his responsibilities. Kirita oversees the marketing side of the business and builds relationships with clients. In addition to managing online marketing, Premanshu has responsibility for maintaining IT systems. As well as this, Chandan Shrikant, who contributes to all these areas, is also part of the PakuMania team.”

Launching a business together has been the best thing they’ve ever done. “The ability to put our ideas into action to start and build the firm provides us enormous pleasure,” he says. We’ve set up information booths in enterprises like IT firms to meet with end customers and introduce them to our concept while also learning about their needs and how we can better adjust ourselves to serve them better. In addition, we’ve handled many bulk orders and met all of our delivery deadlines with ease. Several customers from various industries, such as IT specialists and manufacturing business owners, have complimented us for the quality of our products and our fast delivery.”

Vaibhav’s decision to become an entrepreneur was the best thing he could have done, but it wasn’t easy. “As a young and first-generation entrepreneur, one thing that bothers me the most is how people tend to underestimate me due to my lack of experience. The age factor is their key argument. “When there are so many stereotypes and biases that people like me have to struggle with from the beginning of our startup experiences,” he says, “I usually find it difficult to demonstrate my abilities.”

A portion of Pakumania’s initial investment was contributed by the founders’ finances. Potential investors are now being sought. As far as their future venture is concerned, they are ready to step up their game. Vaibhav says the firm plans to expand its product range aggressively and include a greater array of products for the nation’s most remote areas. This is to ensure that no consumer feels left out in tasting every pakwan that is popular in the various Indian cities.”

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Company Overview

Legal Name Pakumania
Industries  Food 
Founder(s) Abhinav Gupta
Founded Date NA
Total Funding Amount NA
Investors NA
  1. EduSift

Parents and schools can communicate through EduSift. There are digital diaries, attendance tracking, galleries, directories, holidays, diet charts, help desk, news feeds, and school vehicle tracking options. There is a web version and an android version.

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Company Overview

Legal Name EduSift
Industries  Communication platform for schools and parents
Founder(s) Daniel Yates, Robert Hutte
Founded Date 2015  
Total Funding Amount $16.1B
Investors 2,888 Number of Investors
  1. Smartkeeda

iTestPrep is a platform for preparing for online tests such as NIFT, IBPS Clerk, IBPS RRB, IBPS PO, SSG 10+2, CLAT, SSG CGL, MAT, and CDS. It provides a question bank, tutorials, videos, and analytics to determine what are the most pressing questions. In addition, the course covers quantitative aptitude, verbal reasoning, English, general knowledge, current affairs, and interview preparation. You will be charged monthly depending upon the length of the course.

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Company Overview

Legal Name Smartkeeda
Industries  Online test preparation platform
Founder(s) Devansh Bhadoriya
Founded Date 2013
Total Funding Amount $231.8B
Investors 12,812 Number of Investors
  1. Turnout Pro

School administrators use Turnout Pro to communicate with students. IStudents and teachers can access attendance information, exam results, transport information, bulk messages, performance reports, student/teacher leave information, timetables, and fees. Among the clients are the SKL convent school, St. Augustine school, the intercollege of Shri Genda Lal Mahere, the Sardar Patel public high school, the John’s Mary Junior high school, etc.

Company Overview

Legal Name Turnout Pro
Industries  Student information and notification platform for schools
Founder(s) NA
Founded Date

2012

Total Funding Amount NA
Investors NA

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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