Budding startups in Kolkata

Budding startups in Kolkata

November 1, 2013

The words 'technology' and 'India' are now synonymous to the rest of the world. India has proved its mettle time and again when it comes to technology and its application for a better life. While we all know this, we are also aware that India still lags behind in this hot market when it comes to establishing successful ventures. With 'success,' 'India' and 'technology' we also associate tags like 'brain drain' and 'high-paying MNC jobs.'

Many people have decided to ditch the lucrative corporate cheques and take the plunge to establish a true-blue Indian technology venture. The economy may be slowing down, but that hasn't affected the startup scene too much. One Bengaluru-based outfit, launched in October last year, has raked in Rs 35 crore in revenues in just three months; another in Chennai is snapping up companies abroad, and yet another in Kolkata has found a niche in on-demand network security.

WEBEL – The ultimate startup guide

The city of Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Over the past few years, Kolkata has grown to become a major IT destination in eastern India.

WEBEL (West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation) is a support centre for IT investors to ensure the ease of outsourcing operations in Kolkata. Through WEBEL, you can procure office space on rent/lease or even purchase land. Your company can avoid bureaucratic problems by using WEBEL to interact with government bodies and the local municipality in getting power connections or internet connectivity.

The IT Incubation Centre was set up by WEBEL to make the most of the talented human resources and knowledge competencies in Kolkata. Skilled telecom and software professionals in Kolkata can build their own IT startups or turn their ideas into business propositions by using WEBEL.

Advantage Kolkata

  • Among other Indian cities, such as Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, Kolkata has the lowest attrition rate.
  • The city of Kolkata has 12 universities, numerous educational institutes and several affiliated colleges. Kolkata’s internationally-reputed colleges supply IT companies with a large skilled workforce on a yearly basis.
  • You can easily find a vendor in metropolitan Kolkata for any service.
  • The IT sector in Kolkata is growing at a rate way above the national average of India.
  • Kolkata’s low cost of living and growing economy have made it one of the global centres of business.
  • Kolkata’s urban infrastructure and low real estate costs have also made the city an ideal location.
  • The city of Kolkata is the abode of the Eastern Region Council of NASSCOM, which is a leading trade body and also the chamber of commerce of IT and BPO industries in India.

The Startup community

Like every other city in the country, Kolkata too has a strong community of the startups. One event where these people come together to brainstorm on ideas is Startup Saturday. Startup Saturdays are one of India's oldest and most consistently organised startup events.

These events are designed to facilitate networking among entrepreneurs and create an environment of inspiration, where one comes and listens to stories of successful entrepreneurs from the city and learn new skills. They are also meant to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to take the plunge, and also to give 'product' startups from the city a platform to showcase their goods and get a closed-door feedback on their products. Startup Saturdays happen on the second Saturday of every month.

Some notable products from the city

InSynch Tech-Fin Solutions: InSync is a software product company focussed on building innovative solutions complementing SMB ERP products, primarily in the e-commerce vertical. InSync is successfully addressing the integration gap between SAP Business One and Magento, and has already generated $500,000 in revenue.

iQeCommerce: A hosted e-commerce platform to help small business owners set up shop online. The owner is trying to compete with BigCommerce, Volusion, etc. on price, but needs to pay attention to vendors like Moonfruit. The company needs differentiation in a highly competitive market.

Ujjeewan Healthcare: A tele-health company focussing on the primary and chronic healthcare issues for people at the bottom of the pyramid by incorporating technologies like tele-medicine, tele-pharmacy and chronic disease management. Having started operations in June 2012, it has one centre each in Raniganj and Benachatty in West Bengal.

Tookitaki: Helps marketers discover their audiences via analysing social graph data. Simply put, a marketer can define the criteria to describe an audience and Tookitaki's machine-learning algorithm based on contextual search would 'locate' a potential audience. The company would then provide RTB-based platform to reach out to the discovered audience.

Testkeeda: It specialises in online tst preparation and analysis for various entrance examinations. Testkeeda runs through its Facebook page.

Seven Boats: Seven Boats is a full-service digital marketing firm dedicated to providing strategy and implementation services for businesses looking to fully leverage the internet.

Web Prachar: WebPrachar is a Kolkata-based website design and development company specialising in modern web development technologies. The key people behind WebPrachar have been designing, developing and marketing hundreds of international websites for the last seven years.

Parting Thought

While many of these startups are emerging and have scaled up some levels of success, it will be very exciting to see how they progress in their chosen spaces.

Do stay tuned as Team M3.tv shares updates about these startups and how they are aspiring to achieve their targets in the times to come.

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Comments (5)
Shray Rohtagi Reply
September 05, 2014
Find a list of Kolkata based startups on http://www.readstartups.com/location.php?location=Kolkata
Anchal Gupta Reply
June 07, 2014
Where this 'Startup Saturday' held? Can anyone give me the venue details?
Ali Reply
November 01, 2013
Like other cities, Kolkata too provides a lot of opportunities to people who want to set up IT companies. Hope many more start-ups flourish in the city.
Abhijit Ghosal Reply
November 01, 2013
Good article on the city start-ups.
Anirban Saha Reply
October 31, 2013
Happy to share this. A day will come when we shall have more innovation labs, entrepreneurship cells across major colleges in Bengal. Happy to see Startup Saturday Kolkata, Headstart making their mark..
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