“Aditya and I went to the same college; CBIT and that is where we initially met. We were in different streams but were a part of a larger group of friends.
In fact, his dad was our family doctor for many years prior but I realized that fact only when we became friends. Our college life was action-packed and we worked on a number of interesting projects together.
Our batch founded the now-famous college festival, Carpediem in 2002. Along with a few alums, we were also instrumental in resurrecting the Alumni network over the next few years. Between 2000 and 2006, we helped institute annual alumni reunions, formed the US Alumni chapter and created mentorship programs to establish amongst everyone the pride of being CBITian and bring the institution together.
I guess these experiences subliminally gave indicators of our ability to work together professionally. Also, it wasn’t until much later in life that we realized that we were meant to be together.
We both come from different backgrounds. My Dad is a first-generation entrepreneur and I saw him build a business from the ground-up, in close quarters. As a result, it was natural for me to evaluate starting-up as a great career choice once we moved back from the USA to India in 2010. I generally gravitate towards the core principles of the business building; finance, administration and making sure that, regardless of the domain choice, we build a sustainable, long-term business.
Aditya, on the other hand, is full of ideas. Most of them took shape as a result of his experiences. While we were in the Bay Area and he was working at an adtech startup, he talked about the dichotomy of digital marketing. While it brought scale to advertising programs, there were inherent privacy issues that came with it. He prodded our move back to India and be involved in the economic transformation that was happening here.
He is a keen observer and looks to solve problems that he is able to relate to. Over the last 15 years, he has been involved in several digital businesses. With the digital marketing background, he was exposed to the dark underbelly of how personal data forms a critical part of advertising and not enough was being to protect personal consumer data by the companies that hold this data. Breaches seem commonplace without enough accountability. This is something that has been bothering both of us for a while now.
As we move towards rapid digitisation of finance, commerce and communication, we realized that personal data is being rampantly abused by companies and we, as consumers, need to do something and take action. That led to the founding of Zippr and other privacy-focused products. In December 2013, we launched Zippr, which provides a simple 8-character code for an address. This ensures any location can be reached without any trouble, while giving the address owner complete control on who has access to their address. Also, people who do not have Zippr can still use the code as it will open up a browser and give them direction.
Zippr is now India’s digital addressing solution with 20M+ homes using our technology innovation. While he focuses on idea generation and product development, I look into other aspects of the business; finance, organizational development, and others. My background in computer science helps in brainstorming about certain ideas and I chip in where I can, on that front.”
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