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Small Towns, Big Ideas

It is a known fact that the economy of small towns is not as buoyant as metros and  Tier I cities. However, Indian startups belonging to small towns are trying to prove it wrong. Although most investors and VCs chase startups from bigger cities, small town startups are holding their own and tasting success. In spite of launching their ventures from small towns, their founders have met with startup success well beyond the boundaries of their small towns.

Here are some of such successful big startup ideas from small towns:


Rohit Bhat, Founder of Robosoft Technologies

Rohith Bhat, the founder of Robosoft Technologies, launched his venture from the small religious city of Udupi in Karnataka. Robosoft has built a number of best-selling mobile apps and games, including the popular app Camera Plus which has been downloaded more than 27 million times. Bhat always believed in his products and was confident they would be accepted by consumers all over the world. He wasn’t particularly bothered by the fact that his company was based in Udipi. He even hired local talent that helped him in his startup success.


Nishant Patni, Founder of Culture Alley

Founded by Nishant Patni in Jaipur, Rajasthan, CultureAlley helps its user learn English through their mother tongue. Till date it has helped over 3 million users learn the English language. It offers hundreds of interactive and free lessons, dictionaries, interactive games and even lets you chat with English language teachers. CultureAlley is a prime example of how successful ideas can be born in small towns.


Ashish Tandon, Chairman and CEO of Indusface

Founded by Ashish Tandon in his hometown of Vadodara, Gujarat, Indusface is an information security company, which protects its clients from cyber attacks and hacking through the use of new technologies. It has over 800 global clients in 17 countries and aims to cross a turnover of Rs. 100 crore in a few years. Some of these clients are biggies such as Bharat Petroleum, Reliance and even NSE. Tandon believes that implementing his big startup idea in his hometown had many advantages, one of the chief ones being able to stay with his family and  help his daughter with her Maths homework.

Related Article: Y Combinator Picks Three Indian Startups For Its Next Batch


shibi-salim-senzitShibi Salim launched his venture SenzIT in Thiruvananthapuram. SenzIT provides services and products which help in the field of crime detection and evidence collection. His products are advanced investigation analysis tools and data recording systems which work from a central broadcasting server. Apart from helping investigation agencies, SenzIT has recently offered a similar product for the judicial system too, through which they can stream live videos and collect data and recognize patterns. Even IBM has partnered with SenzIT for their technology. Salim says that one of the factors for basing SenzIT out of Thiruvananthapuram was the low cost of living and the work-life balance which are not possible staying in metros or big cities.


Nemesh singh
Nemesh Singh, Founder of Appointy

Like many innovative entrepreneurs anywhere in the world, Nemesh Singh had a string of professional failures before hitting the jackpot. Even as his earlier ventures went bankrupt, they gave him his next big startup idea, Appointy. Appointy helps in scheduling appointments in industries such as healthcare and wellness.  Nemesh aims to take his business to the next level where they can schedule appointments in other areas such as salons, spas, dance and Yoga classes, etc. The startup is based in Bhopal, with over 70% of its users in the US. This bootstrapped company expects to cross revenues of Rs. 150 crores by 2018.


LabInApp is another small town success story. It was founded by four college-mates, Girish Shirigannavar, Pavan Shinde, Pramod Ramdurg and Vinayak Hulabutti. Their big startup idea was to design a 3D, interactive virtual laboratory for students in rural India. This allows students and teachers to perform experiments on computers or mobile phones. In July 2015, LabInApp received Rs. 63 lakh from Unitus Seed Fund backed by investors like Vinod Khosla and Ranjan Pai, and entered into tie-ups with nearly 50 institutions. They plan to expand to in Karnataka and Maharashtra.labinapp

These few examples of small town startup success prove that you can come from anywhere, as long as you have an innovative idea and the courage to go after your dreams.

Also Read: Want to know which are the top 5 Indian startups in the world?

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The Author

Deep Mehta

Deep Mehta

A startup enthusiast & a digital marketing specialist. Founder of a digital marketing agency - DigiChefs, likes to read, research, debate & predict the trends in the startup ecosystem.

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