“We have a huge set of data from the students about their transaction patterns. In a couple of years, we plan to leverage our experience in lending and college transactions to enter the student credit market. Say a student needs money during the middle of his semester for untoward emergency, then we can help him avail those loans through the microfinance industries.”
This is the second article in the ‘Made in Insti’ series where we have interviewed Sandeep Mederametla who dropped out of IIT Madras, started up thrice, came back to campus and is building his tech backed services company in his own style. Sandeep joined hands with Srinvas and Madhu, ex-students from IIT Madras and chose to come back to campus and start PutPeace.com in insti, simply because “which other market can we connect with, the most?” Read on this candid interview to know the team behind the startup which comes to our rescue for last-minute print outs and late hour hunger pangs. The simplicity and depth of these answers exemplify their maturity towards PutPeace.com and life in general.
“Working on something which you like and taking risks based on that is a really good way of learning. Institute is doing a lot of things to maintain this ecosystem by providing safety nets. You can defer placements by one year. Opt for MS in Entrepreneurship to get a degree while starting up. It is working on the ecosystem with Nirmaan and CFI. My suggestion to all juniors would be — give it a shot. There is not much to lose. Either try your hands at starting up, or work at a startup. “
In the third article of this four-part series, we look at why IIT Madras is becoming known as India’s Stanford.
“Sometimes your solution to a problem will seem very obvious. Never think about why someone else hasn’t thought about it. You will be surprised by what is not obvious for many people and how much inertia people have in implementing something new.” Finally, he says, “Most importantly, think big and never be intimidated by the problem or the difficulty in thinking big. The bigger you think, the tougher it is for your competition to beat you.”
In this edition of Made in Insti, T5E’s series on startups by insti students and alumni, Isha tells us all about AmrutDhara, which seeks to provide an alternative to expensive, wasteful bottled water by offering affordable, unpackaged and quality-assured potable water.
Pizza Mutiny is a brand that many insti students are familiar with, by virtue of their notebooks that are, apart from being very reasonably priced, also popular for the sets of free coupons and the ‘bunk meters’ that come along with them. “It felt great every time a student thanked us because he just got an extra Papa Johns Pizza because of our coupons,” AP says. The ‘bunk meter’ and timetable, although simple additions, seemed to be “things everyone actually found useful”.
When asked about the inspiration behind Bloodline, Siddharth says, “We were faced with the desperate need to find blood donors at the critical hour. Many of us had faced it at different points of time. One of our team members, Sheeba, had to find blood for a relative for an operation. Ashwin, another of my team members, had to go through the same process for his grandmother’s cancer treatment. We got together and wondered, why is it that in this world of fast internet and social connectivity, we can’t reach out to people? If we can share photos and videos that can be viewed by thousands of people in a few minutes, why can’t we do the same for a critical need?”
One of the selling points of a solution like Tangle is its simplicity – they are so easy to make that it is possible to make one at home. Arun tells us how they went about shaping their initial idea. “We spent a month running through a number of iterations to come up with the perfect dimensions and placement of holes that would make a Tangle usable by 90% of all available earphones. Also, since Tangle is as small as a credit card, you can fit it into a wallet when you’re not using it.”