Bollywood, Finance, and Commerce – the three ingredients of Mumbai aren’t enough to encapsulate its diversity. The city that shelters almost 2 crore people has been the host to many startups that have made its way into everyone’s lingo. However strange it appears, few most sought after names in the startup world had originated from our very own ‘Mayanagri’ (Mumbai). This might seem a bit unbelievable considering the fact that Bengaluru is renowned for its tech marketplace but Mumbai still has managed to nurture startups that have made it big. Here’s is the list:
The Messiah of all entertainment needs BookMyShow originated in Mumbai when Ashish Hemrajani, the founder of the firm had a Eureka moment while listening to a radio announcement that promoted Rugby tickets. During the ideation period, he cajoled his friends Rajesh Balpande and Parikshit Dar to come onboard who handled finance and technology respectively. The company started with the name Big Tree Entertainment, then later changed to ‘Go For Ticketing’ and ‘India Ticketing’ before hooking onto ‘BookMyShow’. And in its sixteen-year long journey, the firm stumbled upon many roadblocks, from a meager Rs 25000 capital to the current evaluation of Rs 3000 Crore, from the world of no credit or debit card to an online giant, the company has seen it all.
A pessimist says the glass is half empty, an optimist says it is half full. An entrepreneur looks at the empty section and adds some scotch either to enjoy the journey or be too drunk to bother.
– Ashish Hemrajani
The Bhavish Agarwal story is nothing short of a miracle for all the tech enthusiasts. From driving the cabs himself to raising $1.3 billion in funding from a foreign investor, the story of Ola cabs is dramatic, poised, and inspirational. While contending with its American rival Uber, this ride-hailing startup was conceived in Mumbai with a fleet of 45 cars across the city in 2010. Started by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola cabs soared high and expanded to 85 other cities with a network of 200,000 plus taxis in no time and by 2014, the firm started its auto service named ‘Ola Auto’. Today the company is valued at $5 billion and Mumbaikars can be proud of the fact that one of the largest names in the ride-hailing space was born in their city.
“Focus on solving real problems and not on making money. There will be enough takers for your solutions. You will help make the lives of some people better and money will follow.”
– Bhavish Aggarwal
Well, not typically a startup now but back in 1996, it certainly was when it was a business directory. And since then the company has forayed into many vistas. It became the largest local search engine and currently, it offers a plethora of options such as booking flights, movie tickets, paying bills, and more. This Mumbai-based company is valued at $655 million and has scored $171 million through IPO in June 2013. The Just Dial story is phenomenal and one such story that Mumbaikar granddads can repeatedly tell their grandsons and granddaughters.
This, however, is just a glimpse of the many stories that inundate the streets of Hiranandani Gardens, BKC, Goregaon, and others. There are many such stories and many more to come. It will be interesting to see what Mumbai offers to the startup world in the impending years.