RIL Microsoft Ventures nurture start

Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) partnered with Microsoft Ventures in September to set up a GenNext Innovation Hub, an incubator for start-ups, in Navi Mumbai. The first batch, comprising 11 start-ups, ended its 19-week workshop last month. Microsoft Ventures helps by conducting workshops, mentor meetings, seminars, and customer, partner and investor meetings. RIL, on its part, has provided the infrastructure and also invites the heads of its departments to hold workshops. Mint profiles four of these 11 firms, speaking to their founders about their company’s vision and their technology solutions


COMPANY: Coitor IT Tech (P) Ltd

ENTREPRENEUR: Mahendra Vellingiri and K.R. Sivasubramaniyem


EDUCATION: BE, Anna University, BE, Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College

A few years ago during the Diwali season, Vellingiri decide to help out his father in the saree shop that the family owned. What struck him was the time and effort that went into stacking, folding and placing the garments after they were tried out by customers.

“Customers would try on garments and throw them aside in a few seconds and we would take very long to fold it back to its original form. To add to it, repeated trials would damage the garment and we would have to incur a loss, and sometimes we were even forced to sell the garments at half the price to clear them off,” he said.

This prompted Vellingiri to use augmented reality technology to develop a virtual dressing room solution. A large-sized screen with a camera displays the clothing options that are available in the store. The customer simply has to select the dress or jewel she wants and view herself on the screen.

Coitor IT Tech charges retail stores Rs.15,000 per screen, which includes software and services. Currently, 15 stores in Chennai are using the solution, according to Vellingiri.

His company is looking to partner with e-commerce sites so that customers can use the mobile app or the website to see how the outfit looks on them.

“We have already partnered with retail brand Jealous21. Our solutions have a huge potential for online shoppers as people still find it difficult to understand size, shapes and measurements,” Vellingiri added.