Updated: August 16, 2019 6:07:16 pm
Over 1.77 lakh jobs were created in 2018-19 (till March 31) in India with an average of 11 employees per start-up, according to the Annual Report 2018-19 of the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). While it is not up for debate that young India is moving towards start-up, what is surprising is that the fever has been caught up by the adolescent as well. Many children, under 18 years of age and pursing school from across India have not only come up with unique start-up ideas but are running their own firms too.
Here is a quick look at some of the unique ideas by Indians which are running and profitable, not to surprise, these are not only based on new-age technology but also have social value.
An app that narrates the history and culture of the spot you are standing at
Avantika Khanna, 17-year-old and currently a class 12 student in Sri Ram School, New Delhi has created a mobile-based app ‘India Story’. The app runs on GPS navigation and can narrate the history and culture of each monument and historically-prominent place. The data and historical facts which the app narrates are also curated and verified by a group of students who work in Khanna’s team.
She started working on the idea from as young as class 9 but had to put a halt to it because of her board exams. “I was on a trip to Edinburgh and saw that the country has preserved its historical monuments and culture in a great way. We in India also have a rich culture and history but we do not preserve it well. This inspired me to create a resource bank which would have the details of all the major historical points across the country,” said Khanna.
The app provides audio-guided tours. Every time a person reaches an audio site, it tells the user about the history of that place. Started alone, Avantika now has a team of 25 students. The app covers a total of 10 cities across India and is expanding. The team consists of IT, content and marketing staff — all of whom are students. India Story app is available on Android and the iOS version is yet to be released. Within a month of release, the app already has nearly 200 downloads.
Khanna, who currently is pursuing humanities, wishes to study in America. “I want to study Economics. I have applied at a US university. I wish to study how culture and history impact the different aspects of the economy and converge that knowledge for bettering my app. I wish that through India Story, our country has a better representation across the world,” said the 17-year-old. “We need to understand that our history is a huge part of who we are. We need to revise the story-telling art of India in an interactive and more appealing way so that it appeals to a wider audience,” she adds.
One of the key issues, faced as a young entrepreneur, said Avantika, is that a school student is not given the same amount of attention as the adults. “The most difficult part was to pitch business to adults and convenience them to listen to what I had to say.”
AI-assistant for school and real-estate process
Aarushi Nema, 17, a student of DPS RK Puram, Delhi, got inspired by the fictional character JARVIS from Marvel comics which was Tony Stark (Iron Man)’s natural-language user interface computer system. Aarushi’s innovation also understands human language or natural language and communicates back in the same, however, her database is focused on school and home-related issues. For instance, paying the bill, a number of units consumed in a month to knowing attendance of a student, their class teacher’s contact — practically every information there is on the particular website can be narrated back to you on simple asking of a question.
She calls her bot as ‘The smart interface’ and it can connect as many apps as the user wants form cab-integrator to food ordering to online shopping. A user can customise the number of applications they wish to add or remove from the operating system – implying the control they wish to give to the software. Nema informed that she thought she could create her own JARVIS only after attending a coding class at school. “I started learning to code in school but it was very basic so I started to learn more about my interest on the internet. I opted for several online classes before developing the bot,” she said. It has been four years that the 17-year-old is learning to code on her own.
She currently has five team members working in her firm, two real-estate-related clients and is also in the final stages of collaborating with her school to provide their services online. Arushi also believes that many young minds often put their ideas for later considering their age. “I want to tell people that if you have an idea, work on it, express it. Age, gender are just hurdles in mind, if you have a thought, you need to make people aware of it,” said the young-entrepreneur who turned her love for a character into a business.
Board games that can help children learn code
Samaira was just six-years-old when her father Rakesh Mehta, an IIT-Delhi alumnus based in the United States, started teaching her coding. With just one hour daily practice, Samaira released a board game for children to learn to code called CodderBunnyz. Now at 10, she has recently come up with seemingly the world’s first board game to learn to code with AI called CoderMindz with the help of her brother – Aadit (7 years). Samaira has picked up many computer languages including Java and Python and is now teaching programming to her brother. Through her board games, she has decided to guide one billion children.
The board games have earned her a revenue worth $1,00,000 over the years, most of which she is spending on developing newer products. Apart from being a CEO at CoderBunnyz, this small wonder often deliberate talks and hosts workshops. Read more
Robot which can replace waiters
Seventeen-year-old Ishant Pundir from Nahan, Himachal Pradesh dropped out of school after class 11 to work on his pet project, Asper. Six prototypes and one year after dropping out of school, Pundir has created, what he claims to be the first-ever artificial intelligence (AI) enabled personal assistant robot. Pundir’s father is a retired school teacher but did not object to his son’s decision to drop out of school.
It is an amalgamation of smartphone and speaker-based virtual assistants which are provided by tech-giants including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. Pundir might have dropped out of school but continued learning relevant courses. “I am constantly learning about new technical courses such as robotics, AI, machine learning (ML) etc through MOOCs (massive open online courses). In my current course, I am learning from a former Google engineer who is working in China. I have enrolled in multiple online courses,” he said. He has already been invited by the IIT-Delhi to display his project in its Pan IIT- alumni meet. Read more
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