What does one get after throwing together a huge population of enthusiastic youth, a tinge of cost-effectiveness and a dash of entrepreneurial attitude in a blender? Well, the answer is creativity. “Start-up” has been the trend since 2015. Well, the whole thing really took off with the introduction of the web series called TVF Pitchers (“Tu beer hai” had even become the conversation opener for one of my cousins!). With the Government initiatives like “Start Up India, Stand Up India” the start-up environment did get a real boost. Here are a few of the experiences I have had with start-ups in the past few days (Some of them really crazy, the others not-so-much; but each of them kinda memorable).
Going chronologically, the first one on my list is Frools. This start-up supplies fruits depending on the family size on a subscription basis, six days a week. The coolest part about it is the element of surprise – we have no clue about which fruits would be delivered.
I would look forward to opening of the paper bag every evening and checking out the fruits of the day. It could be something local like bananas or sweetlimes, or something seasonal like mulberries and strawberries, or something completely exotic such as dragonfruits, mangosteen and rambutans. In some cases, when we wouldn’t know when a certain fruit would ripen, there would be some sticker attached to the bag, which would help us out (as in case of avocados). He has now diversified to supply tender coconuts and vegetables as well. He even gives recipes for the not-so-commonly-available vegetables… Cool isn’t it?
The next one on the list is Born Adventurer. This start-up is the brainchild of adrenaline junkie nature lovers who believe in redefining their limits with every adventure. My experience with them, a daylong trek to Vikatgad and back, was bittersweet. Although we had our moments, the trek was a wonderful learning experience. Ignoring the aching muscles and pushing myself to complete the trek made me realize that we are capable of achieving so much more than we think – all we need is the will to walk and a can-do attitude. The best part is that we feel so much at ease in the lap of nature, and the view from the top is totally worth every ounce of pain one goes through. A special thanks to everyone who made the trip an experience to remember.
Well, there are quite a few things that makes the next one really special, the one on the top of the list being passion and enthusiasm. For a special occasion we decided to trust the Zomato ratings for Mexican cuisine and not go to the regular restaurants for dinner. Looking at the ratings for The Fusion Kitchen (TFK) at Borivali West, we were intrigued to give it a shot. And I had absolutely no clue how enjoyable the evening would turn out to be. The place is barely 5 months old and already has a rating of 4.5 out of 5!
Although the place is a little cozy, the ambience kicks everything up a notch. With really cool art on the wall, amazing music and a refreshingly creative take on the food, TFK lives up to its name. The love and passion for food they share shone in the way they interacted. Well, the best “jugaadu” part that I loved was the menu – although so simple, it was plain genius. I was pleasantly surprised by the “Paneer Tikka Laced with Dark Rum”: it was something I couldn’t have imagined, and the smoky flavour really kicked it up a notch! My favourite part of the evening had to be “The Flowerpot Surprise.” It looked just like a flower in a pot, and I was left truly amazed after he told us that the “mud” was edible. This one is really worth a try. I am surely going there again soon.
Juugaad.in is a food-based start-up – the USP being that it serves late night food. Although I have not tried this one yet, I am truly a fan of the marketing ideas the guy has employed. It might classify as annoying to some (and vandalism maybe?), it successfully managed to grab some eyeballs. Apart from circulating the usual pamphlets, this guy has spray-painted the contact details on QUITE A FEW places. The most interesting one being on the doors of a dilapidated Maruti 800 car! The car just stood out among the numerous others parked nearby. This guy just gave a new twist to marketing altogether!
Flicbox is one of the start-ups that really makes people with a sweet tooth smile (and makes me grin :D). Applying the idea of discovery commerce or d-commerce, this gem brings imported and gourmet chocolates to one’s doorstep at VERY competitive rates (yup… a fraction of what you would be otherwise paying in malls and airports). In addition to that, on Flicbox Thursdays, one can get chocolates such as Hershey’s for upto 1/6th of the market rates! Well, soon they plan to expand the product line to chocolates for the health conscious too. Although the shipping is currently limited to Mumbai, I hope that they spread their sweetness to other cities as well soon.
The last one is the simplest of the lot, and really got me thinking. At a very rare occasion of an early morning walk near an IT park, I came across a guy – no more than 20 (I guess) selling idlis and wadas. The people there prepare the food early in the morning, bring it in steel containers, and serve it to the people on their way to work at a really reasonable price. Summing it up: home-cooked warm food and reasonable price – a win-win for everybody! An entrepreneurship is not always about making a big splash and big money – it’s more about observing a lacuna, filling it creatively, adding some value in the process, and bringing a smile to someone’s face.