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Rs 11,000 Crore Company at 21- College Dropout Aadit Palicha’s Success Story

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Aadit Palicha

Aadit Palicha’s journey to success is nothing short of incredible. At just 21 years old, Aadit is the CEO and founder of Zepto, an online grocery delivery service that achieved a staggering valuation of Rs 7,400 crore ($900 million) within its first year. Alongside his childhood friend and co-founder, Kaivalya Vohra, Aadit has written one of the most extraordinary growth stories in Indian corporate history.

From Humble Beginnings to Astounding Success

Born in Mumbai in 2001, Aadit Palicha exhibited entrepreneurial talent from a young age. At 17, he launched his first venture, GoPool. Although he initially enrolled at Stanford University to study computer science, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted his plans. Undeterred, Aadit made the bold decision to drop out of college and pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.

Together with Kaivalya, they first launched KiranaKart, a startup that unfortunately failed to gain traction and closed after ten months. Despite this setback, the duo persisted and launched Zepto in 2021. Their determination paid off, as Zepto rapidly attracted significant funding and experienced exponential growth, propelling both founders into the millionaire club in record time.

Zepto’s Meteoric Rise

Zepto, under Aadit’s leadership, revolutionized the online grocery delivery market. By 2023, the company was valued at over Rs 11,000 crore ($1.4 billion). This success catapulted Aadit Palicha to the ranks of the wealthiest individuals in India, with a net worth of Rs 1,200 crore as listed in the 2022 Hurun Rich List. Kaivalya Vohra, his co-founder, also boasts a net worth of Rs 1,000 crore.

An Inspiring Story of Perseverance

Aadit Palicha’s story is a testament to the power of resilience and vision. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and initial business failures, Aadit and Kaivalya’s unwavering determination led them to build a billion-dollar company. Their journey is an inspiring example for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere.

Conclusion

Aadit Palicha’s remarkable journey from a college dropout to the CEO of a Rs 11,000 crore company serves as an inspiring reminder that with determination and vision, incredible success is achievable. His story of perseverance in the face of adversity is a beacon of hope for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Startups

Ice Cream Sensation Hocco Raises Rs 100 Crore, Valuation Soars to Rs 600 Crore

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Raises Rs 100 Crore, Valuation Soars to Rs 600 Crore

Ahmedabad-based ice cream brand Hocco has successfully raised Rs 100 crore (approximately $12 million) in a new funding round. The investment, led by the Chona family and existing investor Sauce VC, has propelled Hocco’s valuation to an impressive Rs 600 crore. Prominent angel investors, including film producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, also participated in this funding round.

Expansion Plans Fueled by New Capital

Ankit Chona, Hocco’s managing director, revealed that the funds will be used to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity. Despite being just eight months old, the brand is already projecting to achieve Rs 200 crore in revenue for the fiscal year ending March 2025.

Legacy and Growth Trajectory

The Chona family, known for selling their legacy brand Havmor to South Korean conglomerate Lotte for Rs 1,020 crore in 2017, is now focusing on Hocco’s rapid growth. Sauce VC, which has invested in notable new-age brands like Mokobara and The Whole Truth, now owns approximately 10% of Hocco.

“We started in October last year with high hopes, but the response exceeded our expectations. What we anticipated achieving in our second or third year, we’ve accomplished in the first year. Our current plant capacity is between 40,000-50,000 liters a day, far surpassing our initial projection of 15,000 liters by May. By next summer, we aim to triple this capacity to 1.3 lakh liters a day,” said Chona.

Competitive Landscape and Industry Insights

The Indian ice cream industry, valued at around $5 billion, has seen the emergence of several new-age brands like Noto, Get A Way, Go Zero, Frubon, and Minus 30. These brands are challenging established players such as Amul, Mother Dairy, Hindustan Unilever’s Kwality Walls, and Jaipuria group-owned Cream Bell. Investment firms like DSG Consumer Partners, Jungle Ventures, Saama Capital, and Fireside Ventures are backing these new players.

Manu Chandra, founder and managing partner of Sauce VC, commented, “The growth in the ice cream market reflects the increasing disposable incomes directed towards impulse and indulgence categories. Quick commerce channels connect digitally savvy consumers who seek instant gratification, a trend that wasn’t possible five years ago.”

Quick Commerce and Market Expansion

Chona emphasized the potential of quick commerce in expanding Hocco’s reach beyond Gujarat. “Currently, our revenue primarily comes from Gujarat and some quick commerce sales. We started quick commerce in February, and our sales through this channel have been doubling every month,” he said. Hocco plans to penetrate deeper into Gujarat and expand into Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Delhi-NCR by next summer.

“Quick commerce is a significant disruptor for the ice cream industry. It satisfies the immediate demand with 10-minute deliveries. However, the challenge is that these platforms carry numerous brands, limiting the depth of SKUs. Nevertheless, it’s a huge opportunity,” Chona added.

What do you think about Hocco’s rapid growth and expansion plans? Do you believe quick commerce will revolutionize the ice cream industry? How do you see new-age brands competing with legacy players in the market? Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments below!

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Deepika Padukone’s 82°E Secures Rs 50 Crore in Latest Funding Round

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Deepika Padukone’s D2C startup 82°E-Secures Rs 50 Crore in Latest Funding Round

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) personal care brand 82°E, co-founded by Bollywood icon Deepika Padukone, is set to raise Rs 50 crore (approximately $6 million) in an extension of its seed round. This latest injection of capital marks the first round of investment for the company this year, fueling anticipation and excitement in the beauty and skincare industry.

Special Resolution Passed for New Investment

The board of 82°E has approved a special resolution to issue 50,00,000 Series Seed 2 CCPS at an issue price of Rs 100 each, according to regulatory filings from the Registrar of Companies (RoC). KA Enterprises LLP, an investment entity owned by Padukone and her family, is expected to participate, with other investors likely joining as well. The funds will be used for expansion, growth, and general corporate purposes.

Previous Funding and Ownership

This new funding round follows a successful seed round in December 2022, where 82°E raised $7.5 million from DSG Partner, IDEO Ventures, and Padukone’s family office. According to TheKredible, Padukone and her family office currently hold a 59.6% stake in the company, while actor Ranveer Singh owns 5.32%.

Rapid Growth and Financial Performance

Launched in 2022 by Deepika Padukone and Jigar Shah, 82°E offers a comprehensive range of skincare products for both men and women, including cleansers, face masks, moisturizers, and sunscreens. The brand has shown significant growth in a short period, with its revenue from operations reaching Rs 22.82 crore between March 2023 and December 2023. For comparison, the company’s operating income was Rs 11 crore in FY23. Despite its rapid revenue growth, the company reported an EBITDA loss of Rs 25.1 crore during the same period.

Competitive Landscape

82°E competes with established brands like Plum, mCaffeine, Wow Skin Science, and publicly listed Mamaearth. With its strong celebrity backing and innovative product range, 82°E is well-positioned to make a significant impact in the competitive D2C personal care market.

What do you think about the rapid growth of 82°E in such a short time? Do you believe celebrity-backed brands have an advantage in the competitive D2C market? How do you think 82°E will fare against established players like Mamaearth and Plum? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Meet the Entrepreneur Who Turned a WhatsApp Group into a Rs 6400 Crore Startup with Mukesh Ambani’s Backing

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From WhatsApp Group to Billion-Dollar Company: The Inspiring Journey of Kabeer Biswas and Dunzo

Kabeer Biswas, the founder of one of India’s most notable startups, Dunzo, transformed a simple WhatsApp group into a Rs 6400 crore enterprise. This incredible journey saw Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, invest a staggering Rs 1600 crore into the business, propelling it to new heights.

The Humble Beginnings

Dunzo started in 2014 as a basic WhatsApp group initiated by Kabeer Biswas. The group’s quick rise in popularity caught the attention of investors, including Mukesh Ambani. His significant investment of over Rs 1600 crore marked a turning point for Dunzo, catapulting it into the big leagues of Indian startups.

The Visionary Behind Dunzo

Kabeer Biswas, although not the sole founder, was the visionary force driving Dunzo’s inception. Alongside Ankur Agarwal, Dalvir Suri, and Mukund Jha, Kabeer transformed a simple idea into a thriving business. His journey to success wasn’t straightforward; it was marked by diverse experiences that shaped his entrepreneurial spirit.

Before diving into the startup world, Kabeer worked in a plastic factory in Silvassa and then transitioned into sales and customer service at Airtel. His first entrepreneurial venture, Hoppr, was acquired by Hike, which inspired him to continue his startup journey.

Challenges and Triumphs

Despite its meteoric rise, Dunzo has faced significant challenges. The company reported a loss of Rs 1,800 crore in FY23, a 288% increase from the previous year. Additionally, the past 12 months have seen delayed employee payments and the departure of several high-ranking executives, including the finance director and two co-founders.

The Road Ahead

Despite these hurdles, Kabeer Biswas remains optimistic about Dunzo’s future. The company’s ability to attract significant investment and grow rapidly underscores its potential. Kabeer’s diverse background and relentless drive continue to steer Dunzo through its turbulent times, aiming for stability and growth in the coming years.

What do you think about the journey of Dunzo? Do you believe it can overcome its current challenges and emerge stronger? Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments below.

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