Goa sits pretty on innovators map

Innovation, ideation, start-ups are the words buzzing around in Goa now. It won’t be long before we replace, “Going to Goa to have fun” with “Going to Goa on work”. At least, the way the start-ups are mushrooming in the State, portrays a very bright picture for Goa as an innovation hub in the country. Not necessarily all these start-ups in Goa are run by Goans. It is a collage or a mosaic of different young entrepreneurs with fresh and diverse ideas which are keeping the ‘self made’ buzz alive. Today, Goa can definitively boast of having more than 220 start-ups.
Amarsh Chaturvedi a graduate from IIT Kanpur and Co-Founder and Director of Transerve Technologies spoke to Herald and said that, “We thought of starting in Goa because of multiple reasons. Business-wise, it offers substantially lower costs, easily available talent pool, easy approach to four major business hubs: Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad. No other city in India offers such a strategic advantage. Philosophically speaking, the coastline inspires us to expand, reach out to a wider customer base across the world, invite interns from abroad to be a part of our success story. Moreover, quality of life is awesome, thereby offering much needed time to think and innovate.”
Amarsh’s company Transerve is a hyperlocal information systems company founded by a team of IITians from IIT Kanpur. Transerve’s hyperlocal information platform helps its customers use extremely localised information for their decision making tasks. The beneficiaries of the solution range from various cities across the country, which use it for tracking property tax defaulters, real estate decision makers for managing their land/property assets, etc. 
“Transerve has also been helping a lot of agencies working in water resources management (particularly in participatory groundwater management, springs, etc.) for an effective data collection and analysis. We have customers across India ranging from Jhansi and Bhuj to Namakkal in the south,” added Amarsh Chaturvedi. 
Similarly, Rohan Nagarkar, Co-Founder of Cyclingzens says, “We are bicycle rental company which was launched very recently in Goa. Our aim is to provide easy access to quality bicycles for the tourists coming to Goa. We have designed a franchise model where hotels, heritage tours and similar businesses can offer bicycles on rent to guests from their location. We own and maintain the bicycles in this process.” 
Cyclingzens has embedded modern technology in their processes including a tour management app as well as GPS tracking. They are working on developing proprietary GPS tracking systems in bicycles at ultra low costs. Presently the company has 12 bicycles strong with two active franchises but is going full throttle to expand to 100s of bicycles. The target is of 150 before the end of 2015. “We had our first bicycle heritage tour of Assagao with Live Happy NGO on November 26. We have received good response to the idea from tourists as well as early interest from investors,” added Rohan Nagarkar. 
Kerala-born and now Vasco-based, Ajoy Raj, Co-founder and Vice President, Engineering of PlanQube who did his engineering from NIT Surat before going to Purdue University USA for his Masters worked for nine years with Microsoft, Seattle. His Goan wife who also worked for Microsoft, finally decided to settle in Goa. “I always wanted to come back to India, especially Goa, to be closer to family and contribute back to my country and PlanQube was a natural way for us to realize this vision,” said Mr Raj.
The vision of PlanQube is to reinvent planning. The company envision solutions that help with business capacity planning for the organization to align, plan and operate more accurately and efficiently. They are currently working with medium to large enterprise customers in US to build SaaS based capacity planning solutions. “I am keeping my fingers crossed as we have potential customers from USA, like – Microsoft, Boeing and Groupon,” added Ajoy Raj.