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Monday, January 18, 2010

Innovative Indian teens turn cash rich entrepreneurs

Bangalore: At a time, when teens are glued to the computer screens playing games in the virtual world, there is a new breed of Indian teens who are busy managing their own ventures in the real world. For example, Mohnish Nagpal runs a blog 'Sensonize.com,' through which he makes money online by advising people on how to make money online. Coming back home after college, Nagpal starts working at 5.30 pm when his target audience in the U.S. wakes up and logs on to the internet, reports Economic Times.

One of his posts lists blogging, affiliate marketing, paid surveys and writing articles for directories as some of the ways of making money online. "Very few people know that you can even earn by tweeting," Nagpal says. With a steady five-figure income, he doesn't have to worry about pocket money. "Every time someone clicks an advert on my blog, I get paid for it," he adds.

This year, Nagpal, who first earned Rs. 5,000 off the internet at 13, started Limespace Networks, a website-hosting firm that caters to 35 customers. A student of commerce and IT at MMK College in Mumbai, Nagpal has already made it to a list of top international bloggers aged 21 or under on Retireat21.com, a forum for internet entrepreneurs.

Another teen entrepreneur is Mumbai based 13-year-old Monik Pamecha, who runs a website etiole.com, a networking site for 'geeks' called iluvtech.org and URL shortening service hop.im. Pamecha's sites are so popular that they are regularly visited by Public Relation executives of gadget companies who deliver their latest products at his doorstep in anticipation of a review on his five-year-old blog, Etiole. Pamecha has recruited 26 other authors from around the globe. Each gets paid from the advertising income generated by the website traffic they attract. Apart from reviews, Pamecha posts technology tips. Now, Pamecha, a student of Lilavatibai Podar School in Mumbai, is all set to launch a media-sharing website also.

Farrhad Acidwalla is the Founder and CEO of web development and media company Rockstah Media. "I created an aeromodelling and aviation website that attracted a lot of attention and sold it later," says the HR College student who has several customers including corporates. "I have just bagged clients from the education industry in UK," he says. Acidwalla, who earned his first revenue at the age of 13, stays up all night to run his business. Today, the self-taught web-developer works with a team of web designers, developers, search engine specialists and social media marketers to build and promote websites.

TJ Dzine is a firm managed by Tanay Jaipuria, which provides web design, graphic design and search engine optimization services. Jaipuria works for 20 hours a week and occasionally gives up hanging around with his friends. Charging between $75 - $100 for a logo and $250 - $300 for a website, the Mumbai based lad designed 25 logos and created ten websites last year. Jaipuria dreams of studying computer engineering and starting a business venture in the manner of Silicon Valley start-ups.

After being recognized as the world's youngest certified professional web-developer at the age of 14, today at 23, Suhas Gopinath is the Chairman and CEO of Globals, an IT consulting firm that specialises in web-related services. Gopinath began his journey at an internet cafe in Bangalore where he struck a deal with the cyber cafe owner and offered to run the place during lunch if internet use was made free for him. "With internet charges at Rs. 10 per hour and pocket money of Rs. 25 a month, I needed to maximise every opportunity I got," he says.

The first website Gopinath created was called Coolhindustan. "But, of course, Hindustan is much cooler today, thanks to the power of the youth," he says. During his entrepreneurial journey, Gopinath had to face several obstacles to gain the confidence of companies, due to his young age and the lack of academic qualification.

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