2007–2021: A Startup journey story…

Santosh Panda
2 min readJan 16, 2022


Taking you to the year 2007.

I was living in London.

I called my father in Odisha, asking him to register a company.

He knew that I always wanted to start a biz.

He readily went to a nearby CA firm to start the process.

The company got registered in Brahmapur in Odisha on 27th November 2007.

This was my 3rd attempt to start, and the previous 2 companies were open and shut in London & Bangalore.

If you pause for a second, I want to bring your attention to a few points …👇

Living in London, Registering a company in Brahmapur …not Bangalore, Mumbai or Pune... 😱

I started my Startup journey back in 2007, much before startups were “cool.” And, I had tremendous confidence that Startups in India would rise. 😎

I was tracking Redbus from London. Thanks to the already early success of Redbus (cheers Phani), which inspired me. 🙏

There were a few cool startups in 2006 too.

We have come a long way in Indian startups. With Unicorns, IPOs, and Secondary exits, Startup Founders & Leaders have a say in policymaking and taking India to be World’s Top 3 Startup Country in the world.

With PM Narendra Modi announcing 16 January as a National Startup Day, the journey has only begun to make Mother India proud by building World Class Startups from India, For India and For the World.


There are many hurdles for a Startup founder to succeed in their journey.

We believe great ideas can come from anywhere, especially tier-2/3 cities in India, without premium institutions or city as a bias. Hence to support entrepreneurs from tier-2/3 cities.

Young India is super risk-takers, but they need empathy and care to help with journey navigation.

Many ideas don’t get enough reach to get funding and guidance; hence, supporting that will be crucial to see more success.

Global Indians want to launch in India but they can’t simply leave everything to move back suddenly. Hence they need a hand-holding to help them launch.

Many such hurdles to see 100,000 Startups getting launched in India every year. That number might look big but if you are launching a Startup to solve problems globally, there are millions of such to solve.

When I started up in 2007–08, there was hardly any ecosystem to support new startups in India. So I learned with failures but could build my last startup Explara to a good scale 📈 until 2020. Thanks to 100s🇮🇳 of folks and my angels who supported me in the journey. 🙏

With my new endeavor Foundership in 2021, we’re on a mission to help/enable Idea to Seed-stage Startup Folks and Founders to succeed & scale. 🙌

We’re thankful for all the trust and support in this mission. 2022 has just begun…

Happy National Startup Day. 🇮🇳



Santosh Panda

CoFounder -Foundership : Global Emerging-Tech Accelerator for Startups in Web3 & AI. Prev: CEO @Explara 2008-20| Engg eBay UK / BBCiPlayer /Comicrelief