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A Man From Tamil Nadu Who Started Selling Dosa And Idlis With Just ₹1K, Now Has A ₹30 Crore Empire

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Prem Ganapathy was a class 10 passout when he decided to move to Mumbai. He had no particular skill set, but with enough determination, ₹200 in his pocket, and a zeal to make something out of himself, he established a ₹30 crore food empire. His is a story of hardships and betrayals – one that gave birth to the beloved Dosa Plaza franchise.

Telling his early life’s story to “The Economic Times”, Prem Ganapathy revealed that he belonged to a poor family from Nagalapuram in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district. Due to financial problems in his family, he had to abandon his dreams of higher studies to support his which included his seven siblings.

Shuffling through a number of odd jobs, he barely managed to fetch around ₹250 a month, which he used to send back home.

He left for Mumbai when an acquaintance offered him a salary of ₹1,200 per month, unaware of the fact that he’d be robbed off of his own little savings that he had. Without informing his parents about the decision to shift his base, he was left stranded in Bandra. Back then, he was just 17 years of age.

He hardly understood the language and didn’t know anyone in the city. He wanted to return, but having no money on him, it was not a viable option for him.

So, he decided to stay and hoped that lady luck would change his fortune. And she did.

In his heart to heart with The Economic Times, he also revealed that he had got a job washing dishes at a local bakery with a meagre salary of ₹150. In the next two years, he picked up a number of odd jobs at various restaurants. He managed to save as much as possible.

Fast forward two years, he had enough savings to start his new venture selling idlis and dosas. He rented a handcart and ploughed in ₹1,000 to buy the basic ingredients. He set up a shop on the street opposite the Vashi train station. Seeing his business boom, he brought in two of his brothers, to help him out.

What set them apart from the local competition was the fact that they laid a huge emphasis on quality and cleanliness and were well-dressed.

In a conversation with Your Story, he said that the recipes of the idlis and dosas came out of his native place, the authenticity of which attracted a lot of customers. Soon, the small venture started generating a net profit of around ₹20,000 every month. They even managed to rent out a small space in Vashi where they would prepare all of the ingredients and masala every day.

In 1997, they leased a small space in the same locality and named it Prem Sagar Dosa Plaza.

The outlet was frequented by a number of college-goers who taught him how to use the internet. The access to a wealth of information gave him the opportunity to experiment with a number of recipes from across the world – schezwan dosa, paneer chilly, and spring roll dosa. By the first year itself, they managed to introduce 26 innovative dosas, reports The Economic Times.

Ganapathy had always dreamt of opening a small shop in a mall. After being repeatedly turned down, the management of Centre One mall offered him the opportunity to set up an outlet in their mall.

Garnering a lot of praise from the public, he was bombarded with a number of franchising requests. He happily agreed. The first franchise outlet opened in 2003, at Wonder Mall in Thane.

According to The Economic Times, they now have 70 outlets of Dosa Plaza across the world, with seven being spread across New Zealand, Dubai, and Oman. The business which started off with a seed capital of ₹1,000 has now grown into a ₹30 crore company.

All the mishaps that followed after he stepped on the soil of Mumbai could have made him turn back and leave. But he decided to stay. Stories like his is a testament to the fact that having your eyes set on a goal will lead you to wherever you wish to head in.

Source: ScoopWhoop

 

 

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Billionaire Azim Premji helps create India’s newest tech unicorn

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Billionaire Azim Premji has helped create India’s latest tech unicorn: a fast-rising software startup that symbolizes the growing investor interest in the Asian nation’s enterprise technology space.

Icertis, which competes with SAP SE and Oracle Corp. to help businesses manage contracts in the cloud, has raised $115 million, propelling it to unicorn status as investors flock to enterprise software makers.

The advanced-stage funding round in Bellevue, Washington and Pune, India-based Icertis was co-led by Greycroft Partners LLC and PremjiInvest, the fund managed by the family office of Indian tech billionaire Premji. Existing investors including B Capital Group and Cross Creek Advisors participated. With this, Icertis has raised over $211 million.

The enterprise software segment is heating up as investors from Tiger Global Management to Sequoia and Accel scour the industry for India’s next startup giants. Many are expected to be business- rather than consumer-focused, as the country’s talent pool shifts from IT outsourcing services for global clients toward designing and providing online software.

Icertis said it now helps customers worldwide manage over 5.7 million contracts, from supply chain and procurement deals to employee agreements and nondisclosure pacts, that have a total value of more than $1 trillion.

“As contracts get converted from static documents to digital assets for the first time in history, every dollar in or out is governed by a contract, putting them at the heart of every enterprise,” said Samir Bodas, Icertis’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Every global company faces unprecedented global competition and needs software to manage contracts.”

Icertis is currently valued at “well north of one billion dollars,” Bodas added. The company will use the additional funding to grow its business, including by expanding sales and marketing. Global compliance demands involving Brexit, tariffs, European data privacy regulations as well as rapid digitization has worked in Icertis’s favor, while technologies like artificial intelligence helped enhance the sophistry of its services.

“We have been able to ride the technology wave and assert leadership in the space despite large competitors,” Bodas said, citing consultancies Forrester Research and Gartner.

Icertis works on a subscription model, charging customers based on the number of contracts drawn up and tracked using its software. MGI Research forecasts the total spending by companies for such contract management at over $20 billion from 2018 to 2022, with services on the cloud growing around 37% annually over the same period.

Founded in 2009 when Bodas and friend Monish Darda began exploring cloud-based applications, Icertis in 2015 homed in on building a contract management platform. Today, more than 600 of its 850 employees are based in Pune, where the product is developed. The startup operates a dozen offices from Sofia to Sydney.

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Popular video platform LIKE gets rebranded as Likee to improve user experience

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Singapore-based BIGO Technology Pte. Ltd. has announced a new identity for its popular short video platform, LIKE, to cater to the growing base of Internet users. To be known as Likee from now on, the rebranding intends to customise offerings as per customer demands. The move comes close to BIGO’s recent announcement of investing over USD 100 million in India over a span of next three years to expand its operations.

The app has transformed its features to add more value to users’ lives. The added ‘E’ is a representation of the slogan – More than like – for Everyone (to easily shoot amazing videos); to Explore (a world of videos as well as record special moments) and Encounter (new, interesting and inspiring) users with the nearby feature.

Likee has a new user interface with a brand-new home page and video display style (show vertical label on the video), added features and stickers to curate diverse, valuable content for users and from content creators. It also aims to become a skill-sharing platform and to diversify content, other than offering entertaining videos.

Watch the video below

The app has launched the ‘Talent Creator Union’ to give its users a chance to earn a living by sharing their talent and knowledge with the audience. This initiative will inspire existing creators to create additional valuable content and showcase their talent on the app.

It has also collaborated with celebrities from different arenas to bring a diverse range of content on the app. Shakti Mohan, Zakir Khan, and RJ Naved are actively creating and sharing videos on Likee.

Likee has grown to be one of the leading apps in the social video category.

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WhatsApp’s 5 upcoming features that will make the messaging app more interesting

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WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app in the world. Over the years, WhatsApp has continued to add new and interesting features without compromising on ease-of-use. The Facebook-owned firm is now working on more new features that are set to make the app more interesting and convenient.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode is one of the most anticipated features on WhatsApp. The feature has been often spotted in the beta versions of the app. The Dark Mode inverts the colours to help reduce strain on eyes, especially after sunset. Google has already added the feature on some of its key applications including Chrome browser and YouTube. Apple introduced system-wide Dark Mode with iOS 13. WhatsApp is also expected to add the feature sooner or later.

Quick Edit Media

WhatsApp is working on a “quick edit media” feature. Spotted in the recent beta version of the app, the feature allows users to make changes to media files sent or received. Note the feature is different from the existing edit tools that WhatsApp provides. According to WABetainfo, a website that monitors the latest changes to WhatsApp, users can edit the media in-chat and share directly.

More forwarded info

In a bid to fight fake news and misinformation on its platform, WhatsApp last year added a “forwarded” label on messages that have been forwarded by the sender. The company is now going to improve this feature by adding a “frequently forwarded” label. Whatsapp is also working on a new feature that will tell how many times a message has been forwarded. The feature is expected to be part of the info section which tells when the message was delivered and when it was read.

QR code

WhatsApp is making it easier to add a new contact through QR codes. Expected to launch very soon, WhatsApp’s QR code is said to be very similar to name tags on Instagram. Each user will receive a unique QR code which can be shared with others. WhatsApp already uses QR code for WhatsApp Web that mirrors the phone version.

Hide muted status

Similar to Facebook’s unfollow, WhatsApp’s ‘hide muted status’ the feature doesn’t completely block a contact just hide from the Status feed. Right now, even if you mute a status, a faded version appears at the bottom of the feed. The company is reportedly improving the feature by removing the muted Status feed altogether.

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