An India as seen away from biases
India is a melting pot of myriad opportunities. This notion could be doubted. And, more so it can even be re-doubted by economies that hail developmental leap-frogs of other nations as inferior in front of their progress. But, truth be told, while the naysayers may divulge into the needless, the optimists and the rationalists would more often than not point toward a picture that consists of truth. A truth that is untouched by flawed bickering and one that remains unfiltered by biases is how one would want to speak about India as far as its positives are concerned. Today, new ideas are emerging from everywhere whether one speaks of Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium Scale Businesses, I.T., Software, Physical Infrastructure, Banking or Finance.
But, when you specifically speak of India’s progress as opposed to other aspects that deserve a developmental fix being at an axiom of dormancy and a certain under-performance (climate change, healthcare disparities between urban and rural India, over-population, pollution, land reforms, licensing issues that border on excesses of red tape and bureaucratic shortcomings to quote a few) the picture you get is a promising one.
How Start Ups are breathing in fresh change amidst the global economic rubble
It is quite interesting to note that at the heart of the current global economic slowdown there are these “pint sized” Start Ups that are funneling growth in a climate that hampers any and are thus, impacting the economic cosmos of developing economies such as India.
While it will be nothing less than a lousy assumption to construe that almost every start up that you find is based on technology, yet at the same time- there are approximately over 3100 Tech or Digital start ups in India as per 2014, according to Nasscom, among the world’s leading IT related think-tanks based here in India.
Start Ups and India: a love affair explained best in cosmological terms
It seems what is catering to a positive advent in this direction is not just an environment that’s conducive for hyper-growth inflection for start- up ecosystems but many positives in the ambit of emerging SME businesses such as an increase in the number of M&A’s that are fueling growth in the domestic market.
Literature phonetics will take seconds to compare India to being that goose that lays golden eggs in the start-up basket. And, must it be also said that they cannot be held utterly wrong even if there is a tad bit over-optimism in their regard for the current trend. Almost every single day, we have start ups buzzing up a hailstorm given the sheer range of industries they are emanating from. Whether you speak of Food, Healthcare, Retail, E commerce, Media or Entertainment- start up businesses are inseparable to the current entrepreneurial DNA of an India rising from the holds of its economic past. As of October, 2015 there were as many as 105 new start ups that were brought to life by an amalgamation of investors, promoters, private equity players and seed funding (sourced by trak.in). Most of these businesses border on uplifting ideas that find their bearings in everyday conventions of our life and some delve deep into service offerings that both luxuriate and deliver us from the lens of personal wealth, monetization, savings and other pivotal financial standpoints.
But, an important thought must be given toward recognizing the shining forces that bring life to such ideas.
Seeing an India cultivating fruits of its rich harvest of dedication, creativity and sparkling ideas, we were pleased to catch hold of an individual doing his earnest bit toward contributing to the start up fever. He told us of his idea, not the first that he’s worked on shared with us his early struggles, beliefs in life and his idea behind starting his brand new venture. Traversing the elitist firmament of big businesses in an unputdownable United States, this bright young man found his calling back in India- where he belonged and where according to him, the potential of growth in emerging businesses, especially those concerned with Finance and Technology is limitless. It was a pleasure to interact with Prashant Parikh, founder, Faayda.com
Getting to know Prashant Parikh better
The first thing that personally struck me about Prashant, the young Entrepreneur behind the brand new start up Faayda.com(based out of Delhi NCR), originally hailing from Gujarat is his sense of earnestness with which he speaks about anything in general, be it Delhi, its culture, Mumbai, its crowd, his favorite food and why he loves technology so much.
So, we have these “experts” who before even becoming experts start throwing heavy-duty words all around that unmistakably carry a stench of “Corporate Pseudoism”. Prashant Parikh spared me that horror and I was quite taken with his pleasant mannerisms and an easy-going nature with which he converses about the most serious subjects. The sorted simpleton who’s based in Delhi for as long as he can remember despite his familial roots vested in the cultural vantage point of India: Gujarat is the main brain behind an interesting application based start-up idea which he’s appropriately named “Faayda”. True to the spirit of the name and the idea behind its composition, Fayda’s attempts to provide everyday users, regardless of Socio-economic segregation’s and age groups- an easy and uncomplicated way to record, learn and study their everyday finances or transactions. In a world being literally run and managed by “Apps” (short for applications, lyrically speaking those virtuous amazement’ that help us in every possible and sophisticated way in an era dominated by smart phones) the Faayda.com app helps you to not just manage your budget but handle your bills in a simple and an easy, effective manner.
If Prashant were to put it for me, he would state that Faayda.com has the most simplistic vision, but one that is also powerful. Your Faayda is the mission of Faayda.com
Explaining the rationale of Faayda.com
Accounting and Finance are often vaguely understood subjects. Some still maintain registers where they painfully hand record transactional records on a daily basis. In the strange and often complex ways of everyday book-keeping whose fundamental aim is to help an individual understand the exact status of his money; that which is left from that which is already spent- confusions and lack of clarity are bound to set in.
This is exactly where Prashant’s Faayda.com steps in to rescue you from this hubris of heavy-duty calculation, doing which you can often grey your hair of whatever is left on that burdened scalp.
By empowering you to have immediate and hassle free access to every minute detail about your everyday transactions, that allows you to keep a tab on the outflow and inflow of money, Faayda.com is enabling you to observe the best possible finance relation decisions. The clarity for the same depends on your existing capacity to spend or not spend.
Making complex simple
In simplistic terms, Faayda.com has assembled a system by virtue of bringing to your service/usage an app that constantly keeps a record of your everyday expenses. This ultimately empowers you to take cognizance of the money you save and spend or have spent. That which is spent on any transaction gives you an idea of what is saved in your account as readily available balance or figure and hence, this money you save or are left with makes you take better and financially viable and effective decisions. Therefore, what this simple albeit big purpose app is doing is that it is becoming your own personal “Financial-Health” manager which remains driven to help you meet your financial goals in life. Doesn’t this just sound awesome?
To download the Faayda.com app, copy the following link in your browser and do the needful https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.faayda&hl=en
Faayda.com according to its founder
I wanted to assemble a simple and uncomplicated system that helps unlock our desire to make the most or best possible use of the money that is available to us. Therefore, the idea was to see the conventional situation in a hitherto less understood way. Most of us, think of money being this commodity or everyday liquid or usable asset for which we spent hours and hours of our endless energies in trying to amass it. But, what happens once we get the money? Do we all have the correct, practical or rational understanding of how to best judiciously utilize that money?
I am afraid not.
So, basically, what Faayda.com does for you is that it enables you to take control over your money rather than allowing it to govern or control you, which often in our country is fast becoming an everyday reality. Through faayda.com I am simply trying to empower users to let their money work for them instead of working for the money.
Is Faayda.com Prashant’s first major breakthrough?
Often at the heart of a young and enterprising young man lies an ocean of burning ambitions and desires and a whole lot of semi attained and nearly conceptualized ideas and plans about life. To say that Prashant Parikh always knew what he wanted to pursue from day will only be a misnomer. Youngsters are often confused and most of their ideas germinate from a meek impulse to do something different for the heck of it.
But, he didn’t flock to this allegiance of thinking. Fiercely independent and ever a fan of depending on his gut feel whilst examining the practical realities- he persevered against the odds such as an unfriendly start up climate and a general lack of clarity about his future. He underwent several career shifts that took him from Web hosting in India at a time when the concept was fresh but unknown- to-launching his own retail E Commerce platform centered on E tailing of Indian products which he later sold to a similar business in the same category.
Life before Faayda.com
Some succeed because they are destined to, the rest make it because they just have to. Prashant Parikh was dreamy eyed like most his age when he went to further his academic interests in the domain of Finance from the revered DePaul University.
There were goals being accomplished, his grades were picking up and life was all smooth and soft at an easy going Chicago for this erudite thinker before he started self introspecting about what he really wanted to do for a living. Then, all of a sudden just when a young man was about to come of age, a tragedy struck United States, his field of dreams.
Toward the final stages of his course Prashant witnessed a cultural and economic mayhem in an America left scarred by the events of 9/11.
Sad and confused, Parikh returned to India where he waited quite hopelessly for nearly 2 years to get a decent job. The period following 9/11 left even the brightest of minds hailing from both the Corporate or other spectrum’s quite listless.
He told me there wasn’t an interview that he hadn’t applied for and would still fail to hear an appointment letter. This prompted him to look around and what he observed was that Internet being relatively still new in an India that was remarkably just about to forge a potent relationship with this knowledge tree- Prashant opened ishopindia.com
His first daring attempt catered to foreigners’ in the West, in USA and UK to buy goods or products based about India with an Indian-ness to it. Spices, exclusive food items, cooking utensils, groceries, health supplements and many other articles with a twinge of Indian-ness to it got Prashant started. But, he soon realized that his brand name “ishopindia” wasn’t generating the numbers he had expected it would. The reason being, another popular and bigger business titled closely similar, literally identical to it- ishopindian was getting in the online hits, since it had already been in existence and commanded greater following. Social media revolutions and cults of our time like Facebook or Twitter were hardly even in use for they hadn’t been invented.
After 18 months of doing IshopIndia, Prashant moved on putting on a brave front. He sold ishopindia to ishopindian and forayed toward the exciting new world of IT enabled businesses.
With SpeedHost, his second and an equally pertinent business venture, Prashant opened a major website hosting company in India. This new business gave him greater confidence and enabled him to meet new exciting people in an India that was still relatively younger to our days of digital obsession and suicides over technological evolution.
Running the company for 4 solid years and evolving into a better, abler professional, Prashant then sold SpeedHost to Directi after 4 productive years of being at the helm of its affairs.
In a world where change is a constant, the urgency to reinvent oneself according to the need of the hour hold keys to success. This, according to the man is his USP (Ultimate selling point of Prashant) in a de facto world that functions on the convergence of critical needs and path-breaking ideas.
Today, from Retail to IT to Finance based App- he has done it all and has only got started on what shall hopefully be nothing short of an exciting yet very profitable journey. Remember, if his app does well and scores big time- it is indirectly our “faayda”.
What’s Up Life team wishes the gritty and candidly brilliant individual all the best for all future endeavors.