Indore: Powering their entrepreneurial drive with ambition and commitment, two 19-year-old engineering students Dikshant Mahant and Mayank Gandhe bagged the second position in ‘Pitch Premier’ at IIT Kanpur for their start-up ‘Rentoversity’.

Battling for the prizes with start-ups from all over India, the duo won the second spot overcoming technological glitches and unwarranted issues. Talking about his experience, Dikshant said, “I had to go alone to represent our start-up as Mayank had to manage our base and functioning here.” His nervousness amplified being alone, but that was not the only trouble.

“As we have recently launched our app, I had not prepared at all for the presentation,” Dikshant said. Staying awake in the overnight train, he prepared presentation with digital representation of their start-up’s functioning, process and strengths.

Sharing information about their start-up, Dikshant said, “Rentoversity is an app that allows everyone to sign up their used clothes for renting.” He explained that most people buy expensive clothes for weddings and other important functions at home, which are left of no use after a couple of use.

“Investing thousands of rupees in clothes that we cannot even wear again seems like a loss to many a people,” Dikshant said. Solving the problem, the duo made an application where people can rent their clothes and pick up almost new dresses on rent.

Discussing how they came up with the idea, Mayank said, “Recently when Dikshant’s sister (Ayushi) got engaged, his entire family bought lots of new clothes.” After the engagement, his mother worried about spending so much on clothes from their budget.

“While he (Dikshant) was discussing about this with me, we both wondered if we could earn from this investment,” Mayank said. Coming with the idea of putting their clothes to use, their initial work on start-up began.

Working together on the idea for six months, they learned application design and built their own app. “Mayank headed technological base and I handled managing, marketing and presentation,” Dikshant said.

Sharing how they decided to participate in the competition, Mayank said, “We came across the competition in our college and then further researched about it online.” They were young and their start-up was fairly new.

“We were not sure about winning, but it was worth a shot,” Mayank said. They decided to participate as a learning experience.

Sharing his experience at the competition, Dikshant said, “When I noticed that some famous known start-ups are participating, I was nervous and wanted to quit.” His brother-in-law Kritagya Vairagi encouraged him and convinced him to try without worrying about consequences.

As Dikshant felt empowered, another issue cropped up when half-an-hour before the presentation, his laptop failed to respond. “Display blew away from the screen and there was nothing I could do to bring back my presentation,” he said. Refusing to give in to the problem, Dikshant requested another competitor to loan his laptop.

“Luckily he did and I prepared the presentation in 15 minutes,” he said. His hard work paid off when he won the competition. “I was awarded a certificate, trophy and Rs 40,000 cash,” Dikshant shared. Impressed by their project, co-founder of C-mint Sanjay Dutt assured to call them for a start-up building programme.

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