“ Run from what’s comfortable.
Forget Safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.
I have tried prudent planning long enough.
From now on I am mad. ”
– Rumi

After more than 6 weeks we are down to our 6th edition of the Starting Up in NITK series, and this time we talked to Nihar Chitnis from SMARKT and how this idea was conceived into form.

– If a stranger were to stumble upon your startup, how would you pitch your product to him/her?

If I were to explain it in a simple line, we are a tech company focused on digitizing local groceries, supermarkets and kiranas.

– How and when did your startup come into being?

When in college, we noticed that our stores were still running a business in a traditional way. While they have been able to form a great relationship with their customers, we realized that we could help these stores upgrade themselves without taking away the traditions in place. The ideation and product development started towards the end of our 3rd year in college, which was back in 2018.

– What gaps would you say are being bridged by your product?

  1. Better business decisions taken by store owners.
  2. Digitizing more operations in the store.

– How has the experience been till now with the performance and responses?

The startup is still at an early stage and has just started to receive the initial market feedback.

– What would be the next milestone considering the current situation/scenario?

To expand into more locations slowly and steadily would definitely be our next goal.

– How has the journey been up until now? Any major roadblocks?

A Major roadblock for any startup is always the initial hiring especially when you’re bootstrapped.

– What kind of support are you expecting from the startup and student community in NITK (or E Cell to be specific)?

  1. An influx of talented and passionate students looking to intern
  2. Networking 
  3. Expertise in the local retail domain

– Finally, how has the entrepreneurship experience been for you and the team behind this operation?

It’s been a difficult path so far but we are striving towards our ultimate goals.

E-Cell NITK is a non-profit organisation run by the student of NITK that aims at manifesting the latent entrepreneurial spirit of young students.We at E-Cell hosts various workshops,speaker sessions,innovative games,competetions for aspiring entreprenuers and support them by providing the necessary resources such as seed funding,mentoring,consultancy and networking.