Bangalore is India’s #startup capital where hundreds of entrepreneurs are on the prowl for funds with all kinds of hacks. But this duo has taken jugaad – the Indian term for hack – to a new low. (Hat tip to Bangalore Mirror for reporting this first.)
Two hardened criminals met up in jail and decided their next caper would be to hop on the startup bandwagon in the city, which is on a roll again this year after a tepid 2016. They decided to hire programmers to develop an aggregator app for parents looking for suitable schools for their kids. But they soon ran into a problem when they came out of jail and tried to set up their startup. It would cost over US$3,000 to do their app, they discovered.
Crookstarter: They had set a fundraising target of snatching chains from 29 women.
So they resorted to a time-worn modus operandi to make quick money in Bangalore. For decades now, one of the most common crimes here is to ride a two-wheeler around on crowded streets and snatch gold chains from female pedestrians. It’s a tradition for women in India to wear gold chains, so there’s plenty of loot available. This can be very painful, especially when earrings are also snatched.
The wantrepreneurs – MN Jabiuddin alias Tabrez from HBR Layout and G Arun Kumar from Mahalakshmi Layout – had 1.2 kg of gold from snatched chains, worth over US$50,000 when they were nabbed. Police said Arun Kumar had contacted software developers to build their app, but the duo got greedy and continued with their chain-snatching spree. They had set a fundraising target of snatching chains from 29 women.
The chain-snatchers were eventually spotted on a CCTV camera during one of the incidents, and a match with police records helped nail them down. Both are habitual criminals who have been in and out of jail.
One thing’s for sure: the startup culture has permeated every section of society in India’s Silicon Valley.
Needless to say, entrepreneurs should stick with legitimate financing sources and avoid crookfunding. A starting point for that would be the many active VCs and angel investors in the city.