Gaurav Rana, Co-founder of Yatrikart, transforming on-the-go retail with innovation and empowerment.

Gaurav Rana’s Journey from Balancing Acts to Retail Brilliance

Let me take you on a ride through the remarkable journey of Gaurav Rana, a small-town guy from Haryana who turned challenges into opportunities and created a unique entrepreneurial path.


So, rewind to when Gaurav was just 17. Yep, that’s where it all began. Fast forward to 2012, he’s doing the ultimate balancing act—burning the midnight oil as an engineer at Volvo Eicher and hustling through the day with his event management company, Vocano Events. Gaurav fondly calls it a “balancing act between sustenance and passion.”


In 2016, he bids adieu to Vocano Events and steps into the beauty and wellness scene. Enter Calipso, a beauty services booking platform co-founded with his brother, Mohit Rana. The business takes off like a rocket, serving thousands of customers within seven months. But, here comes the plot twist – the pandemic hits, and they have to make tough calls, letting go of a chunk of their inventory.


In 2021, Gaurav takes a step back from Calipso, passing the baton to his brother. But wait, he’s not done yet. His radar locks onto the struggles of small vendors and hawkers, especially those selling goodies on trains.


And voila! Yatrikart is born in 2021, co-founded by Gaurav and his partner in crime, Shivangee Sharma. It’s all about ‘retailing-on-the-go,’ collaborating with hawkers to sell everything from essentials to non-essentials on trains and roads. Gaurav and his team are on a mission to address the challenges faced by these unsung heroes, providing them with licenses, training, and tech support.


The Yatrikart crew, a cool bunch of 20, is on a mission. They’re knocking on the doors of the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Labour, seeking permission to empower these last-mile entrepreneurs. Gaurav isn’t just changing the game; he’s changing perceptions too. Hawk-what? Nah, let’s call them ‘captains’ to shake off the negativity.


In June 2022, Yatrikart hits the jackpot, securing $450,000 in a seed round from Shuru-Up’s Digital Platform and Artha Venture Fund. Anirudh A Damani from Artha Venture Fund sees the magic in what Gaurav and Shivangee are doing—streamlining the chaos of standalone merchants and hawkers at transit hubs.


Gaurav’s story is like a rollercoaster of resilience, adaptability, and a dash of rebellion against the norm. With Yatrikart, he’s not just creating a startup; he’s on a mission to bring positive change to an age-old profession while catering to the ever-evolving needs of travelers. Buckle up for the Gaurav Rana adventure! 🚀


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