Sometimes, entrepreneurs are required to quickly adapt and diversify in order to cope with shifting circumstances. Such is the case for iTracker founders Venkatesh Prasad and Suchith Mahadi who realized a wide variety of uses for their tracking technology. Briefly going over the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys, the co-founders previously conceived their business idea while travelling on a bus for engineering school. It struck the two of them that despite the conveniences of public transportation, there was no notification system that alerted them of when exactly the buses would come. The uncertainty of the matter not only affected older students such as Venkatesh and Suchith, but they also realized that parents of younger students would also encounter the same problems.
Venkatesh was already working in another startup and it was from his exposure from this entrepreneurial environment that sparked an idea to create his own startup dedicated to tracking technologies. Paired with co-founder Suchith, the duo devised an android application that could track the whereabouts of a tracking device. This tracking device could be attached to buses where recipients would receive real-time notifications of their location and arrival times. After receiving good market surveys and responses from clients in Bangalore and Karnataka, the iTracker co-founders received a few good leads on selling their product to schools.
After a bit of difficulty convincing schools to buy their products in Bangalore, the duo team set their course for Hubballi in order to develop their business finesse. Sandbox Startups was a clear choice for entrepreneurial support and it was in fact Suchith’s former association with LEAD that connected iTracker to the tier-ii incubation center. With only an MVP to boast, the budding entrepreneurs received proper guidance from experienced business people while attending informative conferences by both Sandbox Startups and the Deshpande Foundation. It certainly helped that their team of 10 had an office space to continue developing their tracking technology for other uses.
Unfortunately, the iTracker enterprise missed the key marketing period of admissions for colleges in the June-July period, where management was unwilling to consider additional services and parents were not ready for fee hikes for tuition. Thus, rather than waiting it out until next year to attract potential B2C clientele, the co-founders decided on focusing on the B2B segment where businesses could benefit from the tracking device. In fact, fellow startup Freshboxx Enterprises saw value in the technology for the tracking of his delivery trucks and its associated produce. As of now, the iTracker team is now in the works of recalibrating the technology for the purposes of other customers.
Indeed, it was the timing to market that became the biggest hurdle to overcome, bringing forth an additional difficulty that not every school would even follow the exact same period for admissions. But this circumstance lead to other exciting applications to consider for the tracking devices and the level of diversification gave real potential to various sectors. Still, iTracker is intending to try again in the school B2C segment during the 2017 year between January and March, which they deemed as the right period to approach educational institutions. To the co-founders, getting incubation support itself has been a major success itself and the great reception they have received for the iTracker technology gives them motivation to continually develop their products. It will indeed be an exciting chapter in the enterprise’s life to see iTracker scale and develop for both the B2B and B2C markets.
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