Catch em young!

From selling chocolates and sandwiches to drones, Hyderabadis as young as five-year-olds are leaving no stone un turned to become budding entrepreneurs of the future

Published: 30th March 2021 12:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2021 10:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: First-time entrepreneurs are a growing tribe. Everyone knows that money doesn’t grow on trees and many from the new generation, Gen-Y, are starting to find innovative ways to earn an income early in life. Age or a college degree is no criterion for these young ones. Armed with good ideas and the grit to succeed, many are turning into budding business owners. More so since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are interested in owning and creating something unique while finding exceptional ways of problem-solving. 

Nitya is all of five years. She studies in UKG in Pragati Central Juniors, Kukatpally.  With the help of her father, she started ‘Chocolate Stories’ in December 2020 where she makes hand-made crispy coated chocolates. Inspired by her parents PT Chaitanya and T Neelima who sell tender-coconut based drinks, Nitya says she wants to have her own business. “When she shared her idea with us, we were surprised,” says her mother. After carefully choosing her brand logo, Nitya learned about chocolate making via YouTube videos. She receives orders via phone and each of her boxes contains 30 chocolates. She has set herself a target of earning `24,000 this year. “This is the deposit needed for my admission into a school, so I’ll earn it,” says she confidently. Her plan is to become a chocolatier and have her own artisanal chocolate shop. 

- Nityasree Tippavajhala

Teerdha, 13, started selling snacks to her school teachers in 2016 when she was nine years old. A grade VIII student at Fountainhead Global School, Hydernagar, she would initially take pre-orders and deliver them the following day. Eventually, she got a counter at her school and started selling daily. She calls it ‘Foodiet’ which she describes as a healthy snack place. “The snacks I prepare are organic and healthy. I make sandwiches, popsicles, boiled gram, popcorn, cupcakes, fruit bowl, lassi, lemonade, and fresh fruit juices,” says Teerdha. Inspired by her sister who won at Meelo Evaru Koteeshwarudu, she too wanted to do something on her own. “I made a menu and shared it with my teachers,” she says. Teerdha wishes to have more branches of her eatery, and also start a cloud kitchen. 

– Teerdha Vunnam

“My start-up is called ‘Agritech’ and I design affordable drones. These are multipurpose drones used for spraying pesticide, monitor crops, and help real-time information gathering,” says Yukta Raghavendra, 13. A Class VIII student at Phoenix Green, she started the company when she was 12. “When I visited the US with my parents, we visited start-ups and incubation centres and I was fascinated with all the new technology. One particular project that caught my attention was the drone for photography. I thought about how we can use this for agriculture in our country and that’s how it all started,” recalls the young Kokapet resident. She has also received a substantial grant for her product which will be ready by August this year. “I want to continue to grow and invent many things in the agri-tech space,” says she. 

–Yukta Raghavendra

Two years ago, Bhaargavi ran a company along with her younger brother ‘Ty Secrets’ (T for Toyna and Y for Yog). She was in Grade VII at the time living in Habsiguda. Bhaargavi, now 16 was homeschooled until Grade VIII. “My mom and I came up with the idea of starting an online bakery where we sold products with a healthy twist, such as fruit-based cakes made with whole grains and jaggery, nut-based Granola bars, and oatmeal cookies,” says she. “My brother and I went door-to-door in our society sharing food samples, collecting orders and payments,” remembers she. Soon, they started getting orders from friends of friends and extended family. They also had a regular clientele for granola bars in the cycling and runners groups of Hyderabad and started taking orders online. “The learning and experience that we achieved has been tremendous. It has given us the confidence that we can take on any challenges that we may face in life,” says the teenager. 

– Bhaargavi Toyna Kota

Start early

Hyderabad-based Raghavendra P Hunasgi, 37, author, Unleashing Growth; founder, ThoughtFolks Group; CMO - Evolutyz Corp shares valuable tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur.

  • Start early - the sooner you begin the faster you learn and succeed
  • Fail Forward and Fail      Fast - o not fear failing but fail fast, learn and move forward 
  • Learn from peer entrepreneurs’ mistakes 
  • Find a mentor - it is important to have someone with experience and knowledge to guide you through the path 
  • Get the first few customers - quick and fast 
  • Build a commercially viable product - launch the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and do not wait for the ideal/perfect product 
  • Sell value and not a commodity 
  • Remember CEO/Founder is also the Chief Customer Officer - treat your customers well and make them feel privileged
  • Start with the end goal in mind and have a clear blueprint of where you are heading 
  • Always introspect and do periodic course correction

— Tamanna S Mehdi



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