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Dotcom startups are the buzz at IIT

Launching start-ups is the latest craze on the IIT campus, and online portals are amongst the most popular. A number of websites listing restaurants, clothing stores to customised products have been developed in IIT-Delhi recently, reports Tanya Ashreena.

delhi Updated: Mar 01, 2009 00:02 IST
Tanya Ashreena

Launching start-ups is the latest craze on the IIT campus, and online portals are amongst the most popular. A number of websites listing restaurants, clothing stores to customised products have been developed in IIT-Delhi recently.

For the foodies

Last July, third-year student of IIT-Delhi Anushuman Fotedar with his two juniors Piyush Taneja and Teemish Gupta and IIT alumni Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal got together to launch www.foodiebay.com — a food portal with a database of menus and contact details of all the restaurants in town, along with maps on how to get there, reviews, and discounts.

“We created the website since all of us eat out a lot, and whenever we wanted to order food we had to go through scores of menus, and still had a limited choice,” said Chaddah.

Though still in its nascent stage, the website is registering over a thousand hits per day, and has been ranked amongst the ‘hottest 25 startups in India’, by various review portals, such as www.appappeal.com.

The photo shop

Photography was a hobby for this group of IIT graduates. So, Ankit Khanna, Ashish Goel, Nishant Kyal and Animesh Jain decided to create www.itasveer.com, a portal which allows you to order digital photo prints, create photo gifts like calendars, mugs, greeting cards and t-shirts with shipping services all over India.

“Websites such as www.itasveer.com are helping to popularise photography as a visual art form. Photographs can be tailored to a person’s mood and how they want to fill up space,” said Subi Chaturvedi, a professional photographer.

For bookworms

Riding on the success of www.amazon.com, Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal felt that the concept of an online bookstore could work in India. As a result, they decided to introduce the service in India, having estimated the prevailing competition to be weak. Thus, what came up was www.flipkart.com.

The duo experienced several hurdles. “Making contacts with suppliers and convincing them about the concept of an online bookstore was not easy. We had to schedule countless meetings with payment gateway providers, some of whom were not very comfortable working with a startup. Then the biggest challenge was getting the first customers,” said Bansal.