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Entrepreneurship bug bites young Kerala professionals

Friday June 03, 2011 11:57:46 AM, Sanu George, IANS

Thiruvananthapuram: Fresh out of college and bursting with ideas, young IT professionals in Kerala are walking out on cushy blue collar jobs and taking the plunge to start their own businesses. Over two dozen startups have sprung up in the state over the last two years.

One such newly launched company is Kochi-based Salt Mango Tree. It offers new age tools in the space of social media, mobile applications, digital marketing, viral and content marketing.

Speaking to IANS, Hiran Venugopalan, 23, one of the co-founders of the company, remembers how, fresh from his engineering college, he started freelancing and met three likeminded people and decided to be his own boss.

"We began with an investment of just Rs.7 lakh, and have seven clients by now. Things are definitely shaping much better than what we envisaged and we have drawn up short-term and long-term plans to see that our dreams materialise," said Venugopalan.

S. Vasudevan, a top official at the IT hub of Technopark here, attributes the huge spurt in companies to a low failure rate of startups.

"We at Technopark and at the Infopark in Kochi have set up an incubation centre and it has been a remarkable success. Over the years, we have observed that the failure rate of startups is less than five percent," said Vasudevan.

The incubation facility at the Technopark campus can accommodate close to 45 startups, offering four-seater or eight-seater cubicles. The rent for the four-seater is Rs.7,000 per month and a company can operate from there for a maximum period of 36 months, after which they have to move out.

Japan-based Ylem Infotech Pvt Ltd, a Technopark-TBI incubated company, is the latest to set the ball rolling by commencing its operations from the Technopark campus here.

"Our objective is to have a base here which would enable us to tap the Indian market for software professionals and undertake software development and other services for both domestic and international clients," said Ryo Haishima, director at Ylem which offers software services of flash animations, gaming software and mobile applications.

Another startup that is going great guns is Artin Dynamics that began its operations two years ago and is one of the first few companies in the country to work solely in the artificial intelligence domain.

The success of the firm can be gauged from the fact that it is already valued at $2.3 million.

Then there is two-year-old Big Technologies set up near the Kochi International Airport by four young professionals.

Julious P. Thomson, 27, co-founder of the firm, said he along with his partners started the business with an investment of just Rs.1 million, and now have a client in Dubai.

Then there's 25-year-old Binil Antony, delighted that he opted to start his own mobile development company, Dexetra, a year ago.

"I finished my master's in engineering and I found five others who were working in various IT companies to begin a firm of our own. Surprisingly, all of us got encouragement from our parents who helped us to form this company," said Antony.

Dexetra specializes in iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Mobility and has already developed and launched 14 pilot applications which have crossed over 80,000 downloads and served over 250,000 impressions.

"This we did with just six of us who are partners and three paid employees. We expect to touch five million downloads in five years' time," said Antony.

Now all eyes seem to be on the new United Democratic Front-led government and its IT policy as many experts in this sector feel a positive policy could see a huge spurt in more startups.



(Sanu George can be contacted at sanu.g@ians.in)



 


 

 

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