Aged 24, with a degree of B.E Biotechnology, hailing from Guwahati, Riddhinil Roy is the Northeast India’s first Startup Accelerator “NE8x“. His father, Mr.Hriday Ranjan Roy, is working as an Administrative Officer in National Insurance Corporation at Guwahati, Assam while his mother, Mrs. Mousumi Roy was a school teacher and currently a housewife.
His team has named their startup ‘NE8x’ as there are eight states in the Northeast. The sole aim of the platform is to support/assist startups from the region refine their ideas and to upgrade their current technology and operations to a global level.
An online rendezvous with Riddhinil Roy gave us the following insights.
- When did you start your startup? What was the trigger? How did the idea occur?
Riddhinil: We started in July 2016 and it has been a matter of almost a year now. I was supposed to judge a hackathon on Smart India at Shivamogga, Jawaharlal Nehru College of Engineering. But due to some of my personal issues at my home place, I could not attend the event. That was the trigger, I started thinking that I am invited to judge hackathons but here in my native place, very few people are aware about the same. Is there any platform in the region that caters to the regional startups, that was my first question and that is how it all started.
2. So who are your mentors?
Riddhinil: Implementing an idea in true terms is the actual test and that is where you need mentors, people/domain leaders who have been there, done that. Our platform NE8x currently have more than 54 mentors. We have taken lot of guidance from Shraddha Ma’am of The Mentorpreneurs, Mumbai. Nidhish Sir from StartupMitra is also one among the mentor panel.
3. What is the reaction in your family, school and home town about your success?
Riddhinil: We were a little lucky in this part. Since ours was the first of its kind initiative for the region, the youth especially friends in my neighbourhood, schoolmates were really excited. I also found a lot of mutual connections as there is lot of talent in Northeast India.International media, digital platforms, local and national print media also published a lot about us. To be frank, parents were supportive. Any work that has value for our society here has their respect. My school principal, teachers are so supportive that to this date they leave me with their well wishes and message me congratulating us on our small but significant milestones. Among awards, NE8x has been awarded ‘The Best Startup Accelerator of 2016’ by All Assam Entrepreneurs Association. NE8x was also awarded ‘The Best IoT Startup Accelerator for Assam’ at Assam Tech Summit held at Guwahati recently.
4. How is your venture impacting in the promotion of startups/businesses in NE India?
Riddhinil: We believe transparency is the biggest thing in any field. We often hear how companies manipulate charges and quotes and outsource projects/requirements at a much lesser price. Small things seemed a lot complicated in our region. And the most shocking fact was that our own people are fooling the region in certain aspects.That changed a lot, after NE8x came into the scene equivalent break-down pricing I unbiased reviews I quality quotes from economical service bidders changed the game by making the project requirements open source.That way, not just in promotion we have made them more efficient in finances with better operations and a clear cut budget atleast while they are bootstrapping
5. What according to you is the startup scene in NE India right now?
Riddhinil: The startup scene has started here already since the last 2-3 years but you can find a lot of first generation entrepreneurs starting up, since last year. The figures are shooting up and the requirements for company registrations, team hiring are increasing at a faster pace in our region. Initially, startups in the region were focussed in creating online applications for the existing markets like traditional handicrafts, handloom. But right now the current trend is to build application centric platforms from the region. Regional SIDBI funds, IIE and NEDFi has been sanctioned lot of funds to develop the startup scene in the region and a lot of it is currently being used in ground action. We believe that with more incubator centres under Atal Innovation Mission, the startup scene will improve.
Riddhinil also let us know that he takes Steve Jobs as a role model in marketing skills and is a great admirer of the innovation and creativity of Elon Musk and his incredible initiatives.
They had spent Rs.4,500/- to start off the work with their panel of servers, attached websites and apps to come up with the services in the region. The rest expenses were taken care of by personally bootstrapping with subscription models from the platform of NE8x and client projects. NE8x operates mostly from their Guwahati outreach office. They are in almost 14 cities across including all the metro cities.
In the future ahead, Riddhinil and his team aims to bootstrap more initiatives under their banner to help the local talents diversify the logistics and distribution chain for the startup community. They believe that at the pace their initiative is receiving support and the increasing number of sustainable start-ups from the region, Northeast India can be looked upon as the next big startup hub of India and also an important centre for South-East Asia economy.
Team UniTreed is proud of Riddhinil and his team at NE8x and wishes them all the success ahead.