Meet 5 startups leading the way in innovation from beyond the metros

No doubt the metros have been at the forefront of the startup revolution, but entrepreneurs from beyond the metros are also proving their mettle when it comes to innovation.

India’s startup revolution has largely been scripted in the country’s metros – Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chennai. Over the past year or so, smaller cities – be it Lucknow, Patna, Vishakhapatnam, or Jaipur – have also been gaining ground when it comes to innovation. New-age founders from smaller cities are pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams and all set to give the major startup hubs a run for their money.

Union and state government initiatives, infrastructure support, the availability of talent, and investor confidence are ensuring that startups in smaller cities also get the attention they deserve.

While the list of innovative startups from these cities is growing longer by the day, today YourStory takes a look at five startups from beyond the metros, which are leading the innovation revolution.


The startup is a B2B company that provides custom drone development (from designing to manufacturing) for other businesses to help the latter deliver their products. The Lucknow-based TechEagle has now come up with drones for quicker delivery of ready-to-drink tea. In partnership with Online Kaka (another Lucknow-based food delivery startup), TechEagle delivers tea up in a 10 km radius and has a holding capacity of 2 litres. Orders are taken through the online app and tea is delivered to customers’ doorsteps.

Founded by Vikram Singh in 2015, while he was still at IIT-Kanpur, TechEagle also imparts training in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles and drones to bridge the gap between students’ theoretical and practical knowledge.


Jaipur-based agritech B2B startup Apnagodam connects farmers and traders with godown owners. The startup, founded by Sanjay Agarwal in 2016, identifies idle factories, old sheds, and godowns that are no longer in active use and then overhauls them to be used as agri-warehouses by nearby farmers to store their produce. It also provides facilities such as CCTV, loading machine, internet access, moisture meter and fire safety measures along with financing options to farmers. Farmers can also avail of finance by pledging their stored produce.


Indore-based Gramophone aims to become the one-stop platform for farmers. Co-founded by Tauseef Khan, Nishant Vats Mahatre, Harshit Gupta, and Ashish Rajan Singh, Gramophone helps make farming more predictable and profitable for farmers.

Gramophone founding team

Tauseef and Ashish quit their jobs in Bengaluru and moved to Indore while Mumbai-based Nishant and Harshit did the same to start this entrepreneurial journey. Their agritech startup helps farmers get access to important crop advisory and weather information, coupled with the best products to grow. It helps boost farmers’ productivity and helps them to increase their income.

Drone Nation

Ahmedabad-based Drone Nation was founded by Vichar Shroff and Chetan Reddy as an end-to-end aerial solutions provider of drone-mapping services. The application of these services runs across aerial photogrammetry, mapping and surveying, 3D modelling, inspection, and monitoring. The solutions are used in slum mapping and in sectors like roads and railways, and power distribution, among others.

The team won the XBuild, the official hackathon of the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), in May 2018, and has received a $50,000 research grant from a leading US defence company to develop disaster management solutions using drones.

Drone Nation’s Chetan Reddy (right) and Vichar Shroff (left)

Swaayatt Robotics

Swaayatt (Sanskrit for ‘autonomous’) is a Bhopal-based startup developing an autonomous self-driving vehicle technology tailor-made for Indian roads, keeping in mind the unique problems and traffic snarls.

The startup is also developing technology for mobile-robot navigation for indoor (warehouses and industrial) and outdoor navigation functions. Founded by Sanjeev Sharma, an alumnus of IIT Roorkee, the startup won the National Pitch Perfect competition at the CII India Innovation Summit 2018 in Bengaluru.

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