Every cool idea has a beginning—and begets a new one. In spite of challenges (the World Bank rates India 132 out of 183 economies for ease of doing business), we continue to go indie through the Indian ideal of improvisation. Case in point: the people creating vegetable farms in frenetic Mumbai—on its rooftops. We’re also finding new niches: take the sports portal organizing big league-style games for you and your colleagues.

Zeba Zaidi with Game On India clients at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi. Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint.

What does it take to keep them going?

In our sixth annual cool ideas issue, these clever ventures will make you want to leave your company—and put your own idea into play.

Rajni George

The culture of innovation

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The work ethic paradox

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The real lasting power of two

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Fresh & Local’s Flyover Farm

Past life

“Incredibly random," she says, smiling.

When she visited Mumbai to document stories about her Indian grandparents, she found herself full of ideas about things she wanted to do here and decided to move. In late 2010, she began Fresh & Local, a start-up creating small projects, including rooftop kitchen gardens and food gardens for NGOs like Sneha (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) and SPROUTS (Society for Promotion of Research, Outdoors, Urbanity, Training and Social Welfare). (Read more)

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Epoch Elder Care

Past life

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Game On India

Past life

“All we could do was go to the movies, eat out, or go to a mall," says Zaidi. (Read more)

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SkillKindle

Past life

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NutraGene

Past life

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Kuppathotti

Past life

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Small Brown Box (

Past life

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Talentube

Past life

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Vigilante

Past life

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Cool Apps

Indian Wine List

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440 Hz

Past life

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Nuru Energy

Past life

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Presidential Wheels

Past life

Eureka moment

“I was in the UK two years ago when I saw a limo passing by. I messaged my dad and said: This is what I want to do," says Goil. Initially, he was stymied by the problem of Indian roads. “I didn’t know if a stretch car was legal or not. When I checked, I realized Indian roads wouldn’t allow proper stretch limos; there was no provision for them as far as the regulatory authorities were concerned." He then adapted his idea—“I found the next best option: modified wagons." (Read more)

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The Yellow Cycle

Past life

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