Updated: Jul 10, 2021
“Nobody is exempt from the trials of life, but everyone can always find something positive in everything, even in the worst of times”- Roy .T Bennet (Author- Light of the heart)
With tough times , people learn to balance things and persevere jovially. The Covid-19 pandemic made us realize a lot of things and determination is one of them. The capable helped the needy and people learned a lesson of staying together by staying apart. Many businesses crippled and learned to stand again. These times showed man that little things matter the most and how important our family was.
Work from home got trendy, people didn’t like it but it was what was required. The economy suffered at large and the time demanded drastic measures. Every business witnessed the grey area and so did Startups but they emerged. “Necessity is the mother of inventions” and so businesses adapted and became better. As Startups are agile and capable of quick changes, they bounced back swiftly when ‘work from home’ was announced. They didn’t suffer in that area like other complex corporate giants but came up with brilliant business ideas.
Several startups that emerged and made the pandemic easy and worked themselves out. They ascended with innovative ideas and impressed the business community. So let’s dig in and see some of such inspirational startups that not only accomplished their dreams, helped people at a large scale but also employed many during the crisis.
1) GREENHIVE: Started with an investment of 60,000INR(Funded by family and friends) During the pandemic, a Rourkela duo launched this initiative which provides you with sustainable daily use products. With environmental conservation in their minds Abhishek Deo and Gaurav Sarangi started this with the aim of providing the commons with eco-friendly products that anybody can replace to reduce plastic-based pollution. They sell through their website and Instagram DM's. They associate with local manufacturers producing bamboo toothbrushes, eco-shopping bags, copper tongue cleaner and many more. Through this they are trying to change the market and inspire commons and companies to switch to sustainable product consumption and production.
2) GRADEASY- The duo Dishant Gandhi and Alok Kumar launched this app in 2020, to let educational institutions have online exams during the pandemic easy and cheap. It’s INR 1 for each exam. This platform enables Subjective as well as MCQ(Multiple Choice Question) exams and also offers question banks as additionals. According to the duo many schools spend more than 10 – 15 INR on student’s written exams. Hence more schools should come up and use this platform for ease and expenditure reductions.
3) FELICITY: Many during the pandemic were left alone in their homes and the lockdown didn’t prove to be helpful to their mental health. People suffered in huge numbers and many couldn’t find help. During such a situation, a Jaipur duo found a solution and launched FELICITY. An online platform for mental health and counselling. Anyone going through depression, anxiety, stress and related mental health problems can use this platform to get help and there were quite a large number of enrolments. Patrika and Vaibhav Khandelwal, a brother-sister duo thought of providing mental therapy online and it changed their lives and proved to be of great help to others. They say that 50% of their clientele comes from semi-urban areas.
4) CHEF JUNCTION: The industry that suffered the most during the pandemic was the food industry. Everybody was hygiene conscious and stopped ordering and eating food from outside. From restaurants to Tapris, all suffered total shut down and no income for 7 months but 2 college mates from Bhubaneswar came up with this idea to provide people with home cooked, healthy and hygienic food. They launched this website to let the users order home cooked meals and it opened a platform for a lot of cooking enthusiasts to get employed and earn a living during the pandemic. Suryanshu and Pritam, BBM students, Xavier’s University Bhubaneswar launched this website in August 2020. This initiative not only helped hostel-stricken students but gave employment to many home chefs.
5) X-RAY SETU: Developed by ArtPark, a Non-Profit Organization in collaboration with startup Niramai and Indian institute of Science. An AI-based system that operates through WhatsApp , detects Covid-19 through X-RAY, processed through an AI system and is free of cost. They have around 500 doctors onboard that aim to help as many people as possible, mainly in the rural areas where there is a lack of facilities most of the time. They are aiming to take more than 10,000 doctors on board to help rural areas where RT PCR and CT-SCANS aren’t available.
6)DABBAWALA: Mumbai's infamous DABBAWALAS have fed Mumbai for nearly 125 years and are still up and running. The Dabbawalas too faced issues during the pandemic but they emerged with an idea to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to Mumbaikars through THE DABBAWALA online services (They are also developing their app). They have tied up with several rural areas, local groups of Nashik and Pune for fruits and vegetables. Through this Startup they are planning to gather income for the Dabbewalas who are presently struggling for an income source.
7) OYOCARE: A renounced startup that has started supporting the healthcare infrastructure by providing next door quarantine and isolation facilities. They are also providing hygienic accommodations near hospitals to front line workers, authorities fighting this time and even relatives of Covid-19 patients . This not only was highly supported by the Oyo partners but lent a hand of great help to all the Common people as well.
8) DECTROCEL HEALTHCARE & RESEARCH: A Lucknow based Dectrocel – Healthcare Research’s AI tool is capable of producing real-time chest X-Rays just for INR 100. It is also capable of detecting Covid-19 induced pneumonia and other related issues. This startup commenced in August 2020 by Ankit Shukla, Saumya Shukla and Nikhil Mishra. This startup has distributed it’s product to hospitals in Lucknow and have done around 300 tests successfully. They aim at helping more and more people through their product and reduce the burden on Lucknow’s medical authorities.
9) DOZEE: Founded in 2015 by Mudit Dandwate and Gaurav Purchani, this health tech startup contributed a lot in the time of crises. Through this platform they offer health tracking both at hospitals and homes for distantly placed patients. They provide subscription-based facilities related to remote healthcare like consultation and many more. Hospitals are using this facility to constantly monitor patient’s cardiac and respiratory cycle and if any issues are found, remote healthcare facilities are informed immediately for help. This facility is being used by 4500 and more homes and more than 25 hospitals to monitor patients.
10) MEDIKABAZAAR: This online initiative is a B2B platform providing buyers with high-end medical supplies and equipment across the nation. This online platform was founded by Vivekananda Tiwari, is multi-funded and caters to the needs of more than a lakh of medical establishments and individual practitioners. This company launched its own products during the pandemic like PPE kits, masks etc. Companies like these took a huge part in stabilizing medical needs of the pandemic engulfed environment of India. They not only made tons of profit themselves but were a huge help in time of need.
11) POOJA SANSAAR: Sanchie Shroff and Aditya Anand launched this startup in October 2020 aiming to provide people with a wide range of ceremonial and Pooja kits delivered at your doorstep. This brother-sister duo took the stay-at-home time as an opportunity to delve in entrepreneurship and commence their own business. It’s an online marketplace where you can find an entire range of ritual kits for all occasions. Whether it be festive or other ceremonial needs, they cater to all your Pooja-related requirements.
In the words of H Jackson Brown Jr, “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” And these startups prove the words. Startups like these not only made their and everybody's worst times better but reversed the atmosphere in their favor. Such innovative minds are not only inspirational to future entrepreneurs but give hope to drooping businesses to give it a push and resurge.
Lastly remembering the very wise words of Gwendolyn Brooks ,” We are each other’s harvest; each other’s businesses; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.