Indian Startups and F.R.I.E.N.D.S.


Let’s face it up straight: Friends is undeniably among the few TV Series which left in its wake not only a cult following of mushy young adults like its many counterparts, but also one that influenced the very lifestyle, speech and mannerisms around the world. In what seems like a very uncanny comparison, we bring to you a few Indian Startups which remind us of those oh-so-beloved characters.


  1.       Zivame:

       Phoebe Buffay:” I wish I could, but I don’t want to.”

Phoebe Buffay is as quirky as one can possibly be, with her abilities of seeing auras and cleansing them too, and her devil-may-care attitude about it makes her all the more endearing. Zivame couldn’t care less about flouting societal norms (read burdens). Zivame undid the shackles which surround the taboo of a market segment which remained largely unserved until its advent. The social stigma and general discomfort surrounding the physical purchase of underclothing for women gave Zivame a head start, and it continues to rule the market and how!


  1.       Zomato:

      Rachel Green:” Well, maybe I don’t need your money.

      Wait, I said maybe.”

Rachel Green was an apt personification of the old adage, “Nobody’s Perfect”. She made mistakes, and yet somehow always managed to pull off ‘one of those job things.’ Much to the appreciation of customers, Zomato recently admitted that in the quest to expand international operations, it had completely ignored its Android application which they themselves find ‘outdated’ now. However, they pulled a classic Rachel by dusting off their shoulders, getting up and promising to deliver to the customers’ expectations in future.



       Joey Tribbiani: “I’m not even sorry.”

Joey was known primarily for his way with the ladies (and maybe, for his uncompromising love for food!) In what seems like an unlikely but apt similarity, just as Joey’s ‘reputation’ preceded him, so is the case with, which has been in the news for more wrong reasons than right. But with quite a number of impressive acquisitions, aggressive marketing, continuous expansion and recent investment of Rs. 100 crores from Softbank, has clearly taken the negative publicity in its stride.


  1.       Paytm:

      Ross Geller:” Pivot!”

Ross was the quintessential embodiment of a modern man. He had a well-paying job as well as constant support from his parents. Much like that, Paytm, with unwavering backing from Alibaba, has emerged as a prime competitor even in the retail business for giants like Flipkart and Amazon, apart from the online recharge sector where they are reigning anyway.


  1.       CouponDunia:

       Chandler Bing:” I say dumb things I say more dumb things

       before 9am than most people say all day.”

Chandler Bing, with his impeccable comic timing and hilarious but painfully sarcastic quips, almost always won us over. CouponDunia too, is known for its refreshingly fun work culture, with regular parties, familial colleague relations and its flat organisational structure, which is oft missing in ambitious start-ups. Talk to an employee about it and you’ll never hear the end of it!


  1.       Ola Cabs:

      Monica Geller:”  Why can’t you just accept it,

      we’re winning because I’m better than you.”
The competitive streak in Monica was highlighted multiple times during the run of the show. In a clear parallelism, Ola Cabs has seen an aggressive expansion in a bid to give their prime competitor, Uber a run for their money. The numbers run in favour of Ola, which has raised about $1.2 billion in investments so far. Shutting down its food and grocery appendages, it now has single minded focus at growth in the Cab sector.

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