Get Inspired By Successful Startups

Successful Startups

Take Inspiration from some of the most successful Startups. Understand the key factors contributing to their success.

Name of the Company About the Company - कंपनी के बारे में What Made it So Successful? कंपनी की सफलता का कारण How did it Start? शुरुवात Website Link - लिंक Media Coverage

Business Size | Operations

Revenues of $6,149 million in 2010. It is estimated that Dell has a market share of 13.9% in the market for personal computers. They serve a worldwide market.


Limited rane of operations. Consumers could choose from limited models by visting stores.


Allowed computers to be configured according to choice and provided delivery to the doorstep of customers. They also provided very good after sales service support.

From the very beginning, Dell was a pioneer in the "configure to order" approach to manufacturing. Individuals could customise their computer according to their specifications and it would be shipped to them. This concept was very new at that time. The prevailing practice would be to deliver large orders to intermediaries on a quarterly basis. To minimise the delay between purchase and delivery, Dell had a policy of manufacturing close to it's customers. Furthermore, low inventory was another feature of the Dell model.

Founded in 1984 by Michael Dell as PCs limited with capital of $1,000. There he sold IBM compatible PCs from his college room. He quit college and received $300,000 capital from his family to pursue his business.


Business Size | Operations:

Adidas :

Revenues in 2010 were reported to be €13,450 million.

Nike :

Revenues of $19,014 million in 2010.

Both serve a worldwide market.

Their focus has been on aspirational branding. They have tie ups with sportpersons/teams which enhance their brand image. The quality of their products is consistently good. They have a stong focus on store design as well. Their product differentiation is based on pricing, sport type, technology and produce signature goods for sports persons/teams. They are successful because of their continued excellence in Marketing.

Adidas aims to be the leading sports manufacturer in the world. It has a broad and unique portfolio, spanning from apparel to footwear for professional atheletes. By sponsoring stars such as Sachin Tendulkar, manufacturing kits for teams such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, they ensure a global market presence. Nike gained considerable visibility in India by sponsoring the national cricket team. Worldwide they have sponsored football teams such as Manchester United, Barcelona, Arsenal, the Brazil National Team and many others. They sponsor the tennis player Rafael Nadal as well the basketball player Michael Jordan.

Adidas: Started by German Adi Dassler when he started manufacturing sports shoes in his mother's wash kitchen in 1924. Before the outbreak of World War II, his shoes gained a worldwide reputation through making shoes for the German National Football Team and for American Sprinter Jesse Owens who recorded a tally of 4 gold medals in the Summer Olympics of 1936. Nike: Originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike was founded by track athlete Phillip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in 1964.


Business Size | Operations:

Since it's inception, Skype has an estimated user base of 520 million users world with revenues close to $860 million in 2010.

Skype offers voice calls over the internet for free (PC to PC). Over time they introduced video calling and calls can be made to landlines and mobile phones by purchasing Skype credit. It has been designed to work on both the Mac and Windows. They allow for screen sharing.

High Quality of Free Calls over Internet.

Though VoIP services had been around before Skype, they had been largely client-server based. Skype on the other hand was designed as a peer-to-peer network. It makes use of background processes running on computers. To expand it's operations Skype began writing software for smart phones as well as tablets.

Founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström from Sweden and Janus Friis from Denmark.

Domino's Pizza

Business Size | Operations

Revenues of $1,425 million in 2010. There are over 8,000 locations in over 60 countries.

Their primary product is of pizzas. They do provide a variety of side dishes, pastas and sandwiches in some locations. Customers associate Domino's with speedy delivery of pizzas. They recognized the fact that inefficient pizza delivery systems existed following which they have started a 30 min guarantee for delivery of pizza's which was appreciated by many customers.

They follow a franchising model. It has been postioned as a pizza delivery outlet more so than an eat in restaurant. They provide training, marketing activities, finance and human resources to their franchisees.

Launched in 1960 by brothers Tom and James Monaghan in Michigan, USA with $500 of capital.


Business Size | Operations:

There are over 200 locations in over 30 different cities in India.

They serve a variety of coffees, baked goods and sandwiches. Barista has been credited for starting the Coffee Café culture in India. Customers see Barista as a place to relax and to enjoy good quality coffee.

Barista has adopted a customer-centric approach. They have focused on providing the customer a warm and welcoming ambience.

Barista began operating in India in 2000.


Business Size | Operations

Revenues of $10,710 million in 2010. Starbucks is the world's biggest coffee chain with over 15,000 stores in 50 different countries.

Key products are whole bean coffee, made to order beverages, boxed tea and baked goods. Customers associate Starbucks with high quality coffee, a place to relax and socialize. They aim to position themselves as a third place between home and work.

Starbucks followed the concept on market saturation when it started franchising it's business. Starbucks locations can very often be close to each other. This would lead to shortened delivery times to locations and reduce management time as well. If one Starbucks had a long line, another was always close by. This was a big risk to take at that time, but it paid off. Another interesting aspect is that Starbucks spends less than 1% of it's revenue on advertising. It relies on word-of-mouth advertising more. This indicates that there was an extremely strong focus on customer satisfaction right from the beginning.

Opened in Seattle in 1971 by three partners selling high quality coffee beans and coffee equipment.


Business Size | Operations:

Revenues of $16,200 million in 2010. Subway is the largest single chain restaurant in the world. It has over 35,000 restaurants in 98 different countries. In terms of number of restaurants, Subway has surpassed McDonalds.

Core product is submarine of 'sub' sandwiches. Customers associate Subway as a healthy and economical option. Sandwiches are prepared right in front of the customer and are customisable to their tastes. The menu has some staple items, but is customised according to local tastes and preferences.

Subway follows a franchising model. The distinguishing factor is that their sandwiches are prepared in front of the customer (somewhat akin to an assembly line) where the customer can pick and choose ingredients as per their wishes. They also use the freshest ingredients possible. The owners claim that it is the simplicity of the model that has attracted customers and franchisees alike. They have positioned themselves as offering healthier options as compared to other fast food restaurants.

Frank D Luca borrowed USD 1000 from a friend to start the business in 1965


Business Size | Operations:

Revenues of $9,156 million in 2010. Profits are generated through various fees. Some products are charged at a fixed rate. eBay also launched an affiliate program where profits were shared on the basis of an algorithm.

eBay began as an auction site, where bidders competed against each other for products. This allowed buyers and sellers to get the best deal for buying and selling old and new prodcts. It allowed one-to-one and one-to-many deals. It enabled users to see pictures of what they were buying, extended across geographies and provided a secure payment portal through PayPal.

eBay is a remarkably efficient market created by connecting individuals who wouldn't otherwise be connected. It was the world's first example of online social networking. The company has since expanded by acquiring innovative businesses, such as, StubHub, Bill Me Later and others, which have positioned the company as the global leader in e-commerce and payments.

Started by Pierre Omdiyar in 1995 as AuctionWeb. Inc

Business Size | Operations:

Annual revenues have been reported to be $34,204 million. Mainly revenue is generated through sales, but there is a small proportion that comes from advertising.

They made commerce more convinient through the internet. The founders of Amazon were the eary visualisers of the ecommerce model, which eventualy materialised. Their website has a huge amount of variety (books, DVDs, toys etc) and people know that they will get good prices.

Amazon has a simple mission statement- "to be earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online". The use of Amazon Affiliates where third parties can also sell their products has helped their growth. Perhaps most importantly, Amazon was successful because of their warehouse management systems. The ability to maintain efficient levels of inventory and shipping to worldwide customers on time has been a feature of thier success. The order fulfillment system is highly efficient and errors are kept to a minimum.

Founded in 1995 by Jeff Bezos. For many years the company did not turn profitable. In 2001 it recorded it's first profit. Whilst most eCommerce companies went broke during the burst of the dot-com bubble, it proved Amazon's model as a successful one.


Business Size | Operations

Yahoo had generated revenues of $6,324 million in 2010. Yahoo Mail has an estimated 273 million users. Most of it's revenues are generated from adverstising.

Started off as a search engine and web directory. It expanded into a web portal. Popular products include Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Games.

Yahoo's web directory was organised as an hierarchy rather than a searchable index of pages. Yahoo also made a series of acquisitions which has led it to becoming one of the most visited websites on the internet. Yahoo believes that focusing on teamwork, innovation and a customer centric approach will lead it to success.

Founded in 1994 by Stanford University graduates Jerry Yang and David Filo. It started as a directory for the world wide web and was formally incorporated in 1995.