AT a time when the union government is
providing thrust to cashless economy and e-commerce, a batch of enterprising
students from prestigious National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Odisha’s
Rourkela steel city have successfully launched the pennyindia.com,
an entrepreneurial venture.
The pennyindia.com, the
flagship entrepreneurial venture from National Institute of Technology
Rourkela, has completed a year. Such venture comes under the technology innovation
industry relations (TIIR) of NIT Rourkela, raised by the institute to
promote innovation, entrepreneurship and incubation.
The one-year completion was organised at
the main auditorium of the TIIR building. As per the two promoter of pennyindia
it is India’s highest cashback, exclusive coupon and affiliate network
site. It basically works in the e-commerce sector and tied up with over 200
online stores like Flipkart, Amazon, snapdeal oyo etc, providing the users a
wide range of stores to choose from along with cashback, mobile recharge,
gift coupons etc.
“We give back 95% of what we get as
cashback to our customers making it the highest such site of the country and as
of now we have more than 12000 registered users,” said perhaps one of the youngest
COOs of the country Abhijeet Sahu. In fact the whole cashback site is a
venture of two roommates Abhijeet and Sarada Sahu, both second year
students of Computer Science of NIT Rourkela.
“It was Sarada, who is the CEO of the
company, actually started it and later on I joined as he invited and then came
in the help for us,” said Abhijeet. They were grateful to two of the professors
of NIT R, Rajeev Panda from the department of MBA and Bibhuti Bhusan Biswal, of
department of Mechanical and presently heading the TIIR. “We are extremely
obliged and grateful to Panda sir and Biswal sir,” said Sarada, the CEO, who is
little introvert in comparison to Abhijeet.
After they struck the idea and started
working on it they approached both Panda and Biswal for further help. “In fact
we did nothing it was their determination, which really worked. And as a
teacher of marketing I just gave them some insight into the working of an
organisation” said Panda modestly. And Biswal added,
“TIIR is meant for it and we only facilitated
rest is their hard work and willingness to work long hours for which they have
been able to bring their baby to this level.”
During the first year celebration they
launched their first ‘t’ shirt brand Ovotees and this can also be customised.
“As the business grew we grew in
confidence and launched our own in house ‘t’ shirt brand,” said Sarada. They
have got a place in the TIIR building for giving final touches to the apparel.
Speaking about the achievement of the duo
Abhijeet said, “we were invited to the Make in Odisha conclave of the
state besides, we were also part of the India affiliate summit at Gurgaon
from 28th to 30th August 2016 and were highly appreciated.”
Today the two men company has 10 with
them. “Some are working purely for fun like some of our batch mates and four
have been hired for us doing marketing, e-commerce and other activities,” said the
CEO. Now they have their NITian friends like Abhipsa Panigrahi doing the
content writing; Biswajeet Kiro the chief of graphics; Gourav Panda, chief of
HR. Shiv Shanka Sahoo a commerce graduate handling their off line marketing.
Apart from Shiv rest all are in their second year of engineering in different
It was the HR head Gourav who handled the
entire annual day celebration yesterday at the TIIR auditorium.
He said “I am enjoying my work.” Similarly
Abhipsa, who looks after the content said, “It is really challenging and I love
it because my creativity is getting an exposure.” For Kiro, “I have the
knowledge of graphics and have been given the freest possible hands so what
better can I expect.”
In the last one year the venture has made
a good turnover. Ask them they just smiled and kept quiet but they are now pay
masters also for the five who are working for them, this does not include their
“They just need few treats
to keep their interest going as true friends,” said Abhijeet. Both of them
said, “We are the youngest start up in the state and second youngest in the