For the last couple of years lot of people, especially youngsters have been venturing into Niche professions, which either did not exist till now, or they were at least not easy to get established into. The other way to look at this is that being an entrepreneur with what is close to your heart has become much easier than it was a few years ago, and the fact that there is enough market for these guys to flourish. Here are few people who I know, who are involved in Niche professions, some of them have chosen this path to follow their heart and some of them saw a smart business opportunity.
1. Xtreme Zone, founded by Praveen Krishnaiah. They are the first extreme sports company in India, they introduced sports like Bungee Jumping, Reverse Bungee Jumping in India. Apart from this, they also do wall climbing, paintball, rap ball and obstacle course. Apart from this they also do regular adventure sports like camping, water sports, terrestrial sports and aero sports. They do a lot of sports events for the corporate world or with corporate sponsorship. Praveen is one of the most enterprising people I have known.
2. Ankur Aras Fingers and Feet is a photographer who specializes in child photography. Though have met Ankur, but have not spoken to him in detail about his work, but am impressed by what the media has to say about him.
3. Nandini’s Marrygold Matrimonial Services, the criteria say ‘anyone over 25 years of age, broad-minded, sensitive, intelligent and looking to settle down in a marriage’; they do not entertain considerations of caste and creed in matchmaking, which is a brave step. I am not too sure if they have a website as they do not want it to become just another online matrimonial site. Nandini is a great person to talk to, though I am yet to meet her.
4. Sumitra Senapaty, she runs a travel company especially for women, it’s called Women on Wonderlust. What differentiates her from usual tour operators is not only that she is focused on one segment which is women, but also the fact that she tries and creates a bond with her customers and potential customers. She is equally smart at marketing herself, by being in media at constant intervals, be it print or visual. I have to do at least one trip with her.
5. Arun Verma’s Creativegarh the byline says’ Where creative minds meet, work and play, it’s a community of amateur and professional creatives who have explored their creativity through a variety of mediums. I have been a part of this community for a few years now, have made a few good friends through this, have introduced some creative friends to this community, though have been a passive member most of the times. Arun runs Creativegarh Art and Craft Gallery in Delhi, where he not only showcases his work but promotes and mentors a lot of upcoming creative artists. He is also authoring a book on creativity.
6. Arun Pai, Bangalore Walks, is someone who has traveled the world and is trying to get the walking culture in Bangalore and is doing it pretty successfully. The fact that he has spent time in the corporate world helps him connect well with his target audience. He organizes three regular walks every weekend, two on MG Road and one in Lalbagh, and for groups, he conducts customized walks, which are a combination of walk n ride. He tries to put a lot of Innovation into his offerings just like Sumitra tries to strike a connection with his walkers.
All I want to tell all these people is that ‘All of you inspire me’, and hopefully one day I would be able to write about myself in the same league as you guys.