At just 27, Nitesh Kumar Prajapat, a brilliant student of IIT Kanpur (2012) and IIM Calcutta (2017), had a dream to pass on the flavor of real Indian delicacies from local set ups at your doorstop via Appeti, a curated web marketplace.
Followed by his companion, Dimple Parmar, he was all set to set up something investive after doing his MBA. Nitesh planned to be a part of Development Bank of Singapore via campus placement whilst Dimple concentrated towards her big dream.
But, their dream confronted an unexpected jolt when Nitesh Kumar Prajapat got diagnosed with stage 3 cancer during the year 2016. His test results showcased the growth of 12 lumps in his two-sided lungs, pelvis, as well as belly.
The man wishes to overcome this illness and started treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US.
An entrepreneurial approach
During the last phase of their summer internship during their first year at IIM Calcutta, Dimple saw a few transformations in Nitesh. He felt exhausted and had pain in his abdomen. The pair ignored these warning signs and thought the problem took place owing to the mutual pressure of managing their business while doing their studies at IIM Calcutta.
Nitesh visited Apollo Clinic in Kolkata alone
“He had to take the blow of this news on his own the first time. When he returned back to the campus and shared the prognosis with me, I was too shocked to even cry,” Dimple recalled.
Even though his condition was serious, Nitesh remained positive.
He stated, “Just as a startup is always ready for a sudden jolt, we too have learnt to function in a hands-on manner. In fact, you could say this is our new startup, where the goal is to get cured. We undertake funding for our cause, have angel investors and mentors (doctors, experienced patients), source raw material (medicines, enzyme supplements, meditation videos), and undergo a monthly report update (share the results of scans and tests with friends and family members).”
The journey thus far
The first chemotherapy treatment made Nitesh’s body weak and dependent.
“Being budding entrepreneurs, we had invested a majority of our funds in our startups and were unable to afford the cost of treatment when he was diagnosed,” said Dimple.
After going through the treatment for a period of 1 year, the pair thought that things were improved. However, the medical doctors notified them that he was currently combating a stage IV cancer.
“It was a nightmare. I tried handling my academic work, my startup, and Nitesh’s treatment. Nitesh himself would try focussing on his startup whenever we mustered enough courage to do so. We soon saw our sales go down,” she remembered.