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Mohit Rangaraju & Arpita Kapoor — Mech Mocha

Mohit Rangaraju and Arpita Kapoor, though two completely different people, are set on the same goals and passions. Mohit, a number-cruncher, is interested in behavioural psychology and music, while Arpita, a problem-solver, is a cook at heart and loves spending quality time with her dog Yoda. Together, they are on an entrepreneurial journey — a journey that started with, well, curries.

Mess food is a sore point with all hostel dwellers. Heard of anyone who has solved this problem? Arpita and Mohit did. During their undergraduate days at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (ABV-IIITM), Gwalior, the duo realised that curries, and not chapatis/rice, were the core problem. They quickly tied up with a few leading restaurants to deliver a choice of curries in bulk quantities to their campus (about 10 kilometres away from the city). The students would place their orders through a website or an app and the restaurant would deliver the cumulated quantities to their campus, which would then be retailed to the students.

The startup, such as it was, quickly gained traction. However, Arpita and Mohit soon realised that this was a logistics business. Their heart, however, lay with technology. During their coursework, they found a deeper calling in gaming and in 2011, while they were still at college, Arpita and Mohit co- founded Mech Mocha, a startup to create mobile games contextualised to India.

Partnering on multiple projects and activities, the duo recognised that they had complementary personalities that made them a great team. Arpita was a visionary with a very positive outlook whereas Mohit depended on numbers for decision making. On starting up, they quickly realised that a good team is not all that it takes, especially when entering a market they knew nothing about. They had their fair share of trials and tribulations. Negligible prior business experience, nebulous industry environment, and a shortage of resources added to their troubles. Sometimes, the hard spells lasted for a few months at a stretch. A resource crunch often left them questioning their decision to start up.

“Have a personal network of people who can give you the right advice at the right time. Remember, this network of people needs to grow along with you.”

Sticking together, drawing on each other’s strengths, and not losing the sight of their vision has helped the duo successfully keep their chin up. Their perseverance and razor- sharp focus has paid off. Their game Chhota Bheem became one of the most popular mobile games in India, surpassing Temple Run and Candy Crush. Within a few months of its launch, the game was downloaded more than a million times. Partnering with the prestigious Halfbrick Studios, they are now creating the Indian version of the hyper popular Jetpack Joyride.

In their short journey, this energetic duo has already checked off a few large milestones on their list. They are now eyeing to become the go-to people for mobile gaming in India. Arpita and Mohit know their game and their story has just begun!

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