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MAIA Intelligence named Most Promising Startup


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As 2009 arrives, i.t. magazine (EFY group)decided to look back at the year gone by while also casting a glance at the start-ups that industry observers and experts predict will make it big in the coming years. A story by Janani Gopalkrishnan Vikram & Vandana Sharma.

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MAIA Intelligence named Most Promising Startup

  1. 1. Start-ups To issue theme Watch Out For In 2009 As 2009 arrives, we decided to look back at the year gone by while also casting a glance at the start-ups that industry observers and experts predict will make it big in the coming years. t success too. he journey from the Compiled by In our attempt to bring you Janani Gopalakrishnan Vikram starting line to the success stories from the tech start- milestone of success is & Vandana Sharma up arena, we approached a few often a rough one. Not experts and industry observers for every venture that starts their opinion on successful Indian tech start-ups worth emulating. out, succeeds. But the one that Naturally, everyone had their own does, often makes a huge impact. favourites. We present you with a list Everything about these ventures— of nominations received from these from their teams, their product experts, along with brief descriptions offerings, their business model of the companies nominated and and their execution of a plan—is testimonials from the industry- watchers. concerted and focused. Now, we leave it to our readers The global recession might have to select the best amongst these, by slowed down some enterprises, but voting for their favourite. The votes it is heartening to see the Indian can be cast at or e- entrepreneurial eco-system abuzz mailed to with activity. A number of start-ups The result of this poll will be have emerged in the tech domain published in the subsequent edition. and some have achieved notable 30 | January 2009 | | i.t.
  2. 2. Myntra ( issue theme Mondial Consulting ( A ‘one-stop mall’ with various divisions that dispense advice on probably everything—from top-level strategy, choosing software and training, to saving money on The company is into creating customised gifts paper clips. and merchandise. It has pioneered the trend of “A very young team of professionals with a enabling customers to create their own products. unique blend of technology and functional “Great team with passion. expertise and exposure. The executive team’s Phenomenal execution. Large premier education and rich experience in corporate gifting market. First- accounting makes them strong professionals time entrepreneurs who are for deliveries in insurance, financial and other executing their plan really well, sectors. Mondial also specialises in financial and are laser focused.” consolidation reporting.” rohit agarwal, charter member, TiE & CEO, techTribe Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MaIa Intelligence iYogi ( A direct to consumer computer Kanaga Networks support service for ( people faced with increasing computing The company complexity. provides solutions and The company software services for leverages the expertise enterprise mobility and experience that and service provider India has developed markets. Its products over the last 20 years in providing technical support to are aimed at enabling customers across the globe. enterprises with “iYogi brings a price-performance disruption into the greater business process efficiency and its carrier customers with consumer desktop support business. In markets such highly reliable and scalable next-gen services. as the US, technical support to consumers and small The company provides services that deliver businesses is very disorganised, and the few organised measurable advantages in terms of development players offer services at fairly high incident-based cycles, quality and time-to-market. pricing. iYogi is unique in providing a fixed annual “Kanaga has a team of talented subscription for unlimited support and dedicated young IT throughout the year. Its innovations in professionals. Overall, I would enabling personalised remote support say Kanaga is dynamic and very services offer added convenience to customer focused.” the consumers.” Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MaIa Intelligence alok Mittal, managing director, Canaan Partners 31 i.t. | | January 2009 |
  3. 3. issue theme ( Inbiopro ( India’s first travel search engine and the country’s first and largest online travel deal aggregator, with offerings on the Internet, SMS and WAP platforms. “It is the first Indian travel portal to launch an application on Orkut and Facebook (India Dekha) to connect travel enthusiasts with each A science and technology driven KPO other. Zoomtra is now the largest travel network organisation, which takes a biological molecule platform for travel reviews with more than through product development cycles and makes it 4,00,000 travel reviews already ready for animal toxicology and clinical trials. posted. It is powered by state of “Excellent business model, the art technology with a strong innovative product development, focus on the Web’s usability.” clear vision, a workforce that is aligned to this vision, and good Himani Pahwa, business manager—new Initiatives HR practices.” Smile Interactive Technologies Group L. Venkata Subramaniam, manager—Information Processing and analytics, IBM India research Lab ( Sporting Mindz ( A print-on-demand (POD) platform for all kinds of self-publishers in India, it caters to authors, NGOs, organisations and anybody who has an idea or content with a niche or small audience and cannot be served by traditional publishing. “They are building a platform with a clear focus on India, which includes providing good support for Sports products that help monitor and enhance a Indian language content. Pothi is bridging the gap player’s performance. The company focuses on both between the flexibility offered by digital content elite athletes and on grassroots athletes in rural areas. and the convenience offered by a traditional book. It focuses on currently popular sports like cricket, and upcoming (in India) sports like football. Using Pothi’s platform, books can be personalised “They have good plans in place, a dedicated for buyers, content can be re-purposed for people team and so far their implementation has been with vision disabilities, and even collaborative excellent.” content creation and distribution is very easy. People can even create books of their own.” L. Venkata Subramaniam, manager - Information Processing and analytics, IBM India research Lab Himani Pahwa, business manager—new Initiatives Smile Interactive Technologies Group Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely of Venkat and in no way represent the opinion of IBM India Research Labs. 32 | January 2009 | | i.t.
  4. 4. issue theme Desicrew ( ( A BPO service An online provider that open marketplace works to create a for travel suppliers win-win situation and travel agents between urban to do business clients and the with each other, rural workforce of seamlessly. The India. While the portal offers company provides some of the solutions to its best deals and clients, it also pays deep discounted close attention to a inventory on multiple products like air tickets, social agenda. hotels and package holidays through suppliers “I think it has a unique leaning towards getting from across the world. “Experienced team. Sharp, hardworking people from rural areas involved people who have domain expertise in the in the IT revolution, which does travel market. Expanding to new markets two things: it gets them to after establishing themselves in the enterprise participate early in the curve, space.” and makes good commercial sense.” rohit agarwal, charter member, TiE & CEO, techTribe Sunil Malhotra, CEO, Idea farms MAIA Intelligence ( Aspiring Minds ( The company is into developing business intelligence reporting and analysis products. These BI products are next generation reporting solutions built from the ground up on Microsoft .NET technology. “MAIA is the only Indian BI product company in the country and named in the Gartner Hype Cycle The company seeks to identify employable for India 2008 report. In a short span of 30 months freshers and match them to jobs at par with their and with a team size of less than 35, this company skills. It also seeks to help unemployable freshers to has successfully developed improve their skills to become suitable for the job and marketed its innovative and market. affordable software in the business “Great team. Large market. Great execution. intelligence (BI) space. 1KEY BI, Young entrepreneurs who have tackled the gap MAIA’s flagship product is real between colleges and careers.” value for money—a Mercedes at the price of Maruti.” rohit agarwal, charter member, TiE & CEO, techTribe Zoeb adenwala, CIO, Essel Propac 33 i.t. | | January 2009 |
  5. 5. issue theme EKO India Financial Services RouteGuru ( ( RouteGuru makes The company geographical offers a platform information and that connects related services financial service accessible, usable providers to and valuable to the unbanked consumers and customers. The businesses. company’s mission The company’s is to be a master recently launched landmark, intelligent, turn-by- outsourcer and turn directions service uses ubiquitous access tools help its members get better value from service like SMS, Voice and WAP (wireless application providers, and help service providers get better protocol), without any hardware requirements like profits while serving its members. a GPS device. “With the usage of mobile phones as a channel, “A great team, innovative product, good overall EKO is able to reduce transactional costs potential, excellent brand presence.” below Re 1, and thus is able to create a scalable financial services infrastructure Digbijoy Shukla,director-Strategic relationships, techTribe and supporting evangelistTM to many start-ups with a sustainable business model. Backed by a fantastic and a passionate team EKO has Studiosmile ( the potential to scale.” An incubation Digbijoy Shukla,director-Strategic relationships, techTribe and supporting centre with the unique evangelistTM to many start-ups philosophy of setting up an entrepreneurial eco-system to help budding entrepreneurs Robhatah Robotic Solutions turn their business ideas ( into successful ventures, by allowing them to Robhatah focus on the core idea while Studiosmile takes care of provides robotics all other requirements of the business, and provides technology traditional and e-business analysis, strategic planning, licences, development, design, and implementation support. “Studiosmile excels in providing infrastructure, new concept and product technology and help desk services, HR services for development building the right team as well as legal and financial and consultancy expertise. In addition, veteran entrepreneurs and services to its senior industry professionals are available for clients. mentoring and guidance, allowing “A robotics IP (intellectual property) new ventures to benefit from their company, with years of leading research, an years of experience. Studiosmile’s experienced team and renowned investors, track record includes the successful plus a huge portfolio of patents.” incubation of the likes of Quasar, Tyroo, Zoomtra and Zumtra.” Digbijoy Shukla,director-Strategic relationships, techTribe and supporting evangelistTM to many start-ups Gopikaa Davar, business director—International Business, Quasar Media 34 | January 2009 | | i.t.