These four entrepreneurs are motivated by a passion to make a difference in the society.
What do Abhishek Kumar, Shruti Sharma, Dhimant Parekh and Anuradha Kedia have in common?
Well, all are alumni of the Indian School of Business who, motivated by a passion to impact people's lives, abandoned hefty pay packages at established firms to become entrepreneurs.
Kumar (class of 2009) founded Madpiggy, a mobile app-based platform that enables users to find deals and discounts in retail outlets near their premises.
Sharma (class of 2006) incorporated Pristine Edutronics, a training and development company that aims to collaborate with educational institutions and train students to improve their employability.
And Dhimant Parekh and Anuradha Kedia (class of 2007) dreamed up 'The Better India', a website that offers optimism and showcases India's less-known inspirational stories.
Gurgaon-based Kumar, director, Madpiggy Solutions (P) Ltd, said, "After gaining substantial experience in business development during my stint at pharmaceutical companies such as Biocon and Dr Reddy's, I felt like starting my own venture, so I conceptualised 'Madpiggy'."
Shoppers have always loved discount shopping, he explains. But how does a user decide which mall or store to visit on a discount day?
It's either by seeing an advertisement for a sale or by calling a friend. "We don't have centralised access to complete information on deals and discounts near our location along with the store contact details. So the basic idea while designing Madpiggy was that it should have updated information about outlets and malls near shoppers' premises."
"Mall owners and merchants were excited, as such a platform never existed before. We launched our service in NCR in January 2015 and have registered over 40 shopping malls and 800 independent outlets. Currently, the app has over 2,000 users in NCR, including Android and iOS users. Our plan is to cover all shopping malls, outlets and brands in NCR and as many merchants as possible. We plan to expand our services to Mumbai in June-July this year and thereafter add one city every month," Kumar added.
Similarly, Shruti Sharma (now Parashar), based in Panchkula (Haryana), started Pristine Edutronics, a company that aims to collaborate with educational institutions and train students for careers.
"After a brief stint at Godrej Properties Ltd, I joined my family business, Rikken Instrumentation Ltd, which manufactures energy meters and test and measuring instruments. We faced a huge skill shortage there. So I started this company, which aims at employability enhancement for technical and MBA graduates," said Sharma.
Pristine Edutronics was founded in August 2012. The idea is that there is no dearth of employment opportunities.
However, there is a shortage of manpower with appropriate skill-sets, especially in cities that lack metro status. The venture therefore aims at reducing skill gaps through 'finishing classes'.
Similarly, Anuradha Kedia and Dhimant Parekh started 'The Better India' in Bengaluru three years ago to showcase little-known inspirational stories from India. Having spent over 10 years in the corporate sector, Parekh felt that such "happy stories" would be the perfect antidote to negativism.
He added, "At 'The Better India' we show that the system can work - an abandoned poor girl can become the MLA of her province; little children can, and some do, share their birthday gifts with those that cannot afford such luxuries, etc."
The founders hope for a ripple effect - that by reading such positive stories more people will want to make a positive impact through their actions.
Parekh recounts how an article soliciting help from readers for providing solar lamps to students in electricity-deficient Odisha received an overwhelming response and 1,000 solar lamps were presented to students.
Currently, Better India is working with many companies on their CSR outreach programmes, and has raised Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) from Intellecap Impact Investment Network and other investors.