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Ticket Collector to UPSC Officer to Shark Tank: Founder Won Rs 45 Lakh for Anti-Theft Luggage Idea

Arista Vault, started in 2018 by Atul Gupta with Purvi Roy, makes anti-theft bags, luggage and wallets, ensuring safe travel. Their best-selling product is a bag that will follow you around without any handles or belts.

Ticket Collector to UPSC Officer to Shark Tank: Founder Won Rs 45 Lakh for Anti-Theft Luggage Idea

Most of us know someone who has lost a wallet or a bag during our travels. It might be because they left it or it got stolen. Pickpocketing and luggage theft cases are unfortunately a common occurrence while commuting.

A similar case of pickpocketing made Atul Gupta, the founder of Arista Vault rethink the way people look at travel safety. “I got my wallet stolen on the Delhi metro and was technically stranded with no money on my way to an important event. This triggered a thought and I started to brainstorm ideas on how we can make travelling safer using technology,” he says to The Better India.

Co-founded by Atul and Purvi Roy, the startup makes products that make our travel safer. From smart wallets to luggage, it has made travelling safer for many.

Recently, the duo won the sharks over at the TV show Shark Tank India and won a deal of Rs 45 lakh.

A Unique Journey

Besides their unique products, what is interesting is the journey the founders had before collaborating.

Now 39, Atul’s career started at the age of 17. “I was the youngest person in my batch to clear the Railways exams and got posted as a ticket collector. This was the first time I was acutely aware of the fact that a lot of people lost their luggage to theft. I could see the distress and loss it caused to the people and had always wanted to do something about it,” he says.

While working in the railways, Atul also started to prepare for UPSC CSE to become a government servant.

“It was not easy managing both things and I failed four times before cracking the exam,” he recalls.

“I served as an officer, conducting audits of national Navratna companies and Maharatna PSUs of the Government of India. This marked around 13-14 years into my service. While I enjoyed being a civil servant, I yearned to create something of my own,” he says.

The startup has launched smart wallet which anti-theft and enables you to track its location.
The startup has launched a smart wallet which anti-theft and enables you to track its location.

Coming from a business family, Atul wanted to become an entrepreneur himself. “It was a huge decision to take an early retirement but I did not have the direction of what I wanted to do next,” he says.

It was around this time that his wallet got stolen when he was on his way to an event. “It was at this event that I met my co-founder who was herself in a similar dilemma as me,” he recalls.

At that time, Purvi was the founder of a fashion company which designed clothing for women’s office wear. “I had to have quite a fight to become a designer in the first place. My family was always against my decision and wanted me to pursue a traditional degree. However, after all the fights, I did not find my work to be fulfilling. I was in a dilemma and wanted to do something that had some impact,” she recalls.

When the duo met and Atul expressed how he wanted to do something around travel safety, Purvi decided to jump on the opportunity. “I decided to become a part of Atul’s vision and we both decided to collaborate to start Arista Vault in 2018,” he says.

In 2018, Atul and Purvi along with their friend, Col Krishan Kumar Singh, started the company.

Merging travel safety with technology

Recalling how their brainstorming would go, Atul says, “We were inspired and triggered by my stolen wallet, so that is what we first tried to develop – a smart wallet. The smart wallet has a chip which once activated becomes anti-theft. They have 3000mAh Power charging, location tracking and RFID protection.”

Explaining the various types of products they make, Purvi says, “Currently we have three categories of products. We have smart wallets with different price ranges and variants. We also have a bag with fingerprint locks. These bags are designed to store your laptops and other valuables and can be locked with a fingerprint. Only the owner can access the bag once it is locked.”

The third category of products is smart luggage.

“This luggage is not just anti-theft but it also has various other features. The luggage has a ‘follow me’ option in which it detects your motions and follows you. This way you don’t have to drag it around. You can also ride on it for 5 km. The advanced AI sensors ensure smooth movement, and prioritising security,” she adds.

Calling it the ‘Robo suitcase’, Purvi says that it is the most popular and best selling product on their website. “People are very intrigued by it and the sales of the suitcase have been the highest,” she says.

Based in Delhi, the company has been experiencing more demand from the Southern part of the country.

“The product delivers what it claims. You know how you keep losing your wallet here and there. The problem is no longer an issue for me because I can easily track it with my phone. The best part is the charging facility so I do not have to worry about my phone dying as I can charge it on the go,” says Aqib, a customer who purchased their smart wallet.

Recently, the duo went on to Shark Tank and charmed all the sharks. “Even at the show, our luggage was the star of the evening. All the sharks loved riding on it and they kept moving it around,” she adds happily.

Talking about their experience, she says, “The experience was amazing. Before entering, we were very nervous and my hands were sweating but once we started talking, all my anxieties went away. Although the sharks had a few doubts about the market of the products, we were able to convince them. We went inside to crack a deal and I am glad that we could do that,” she says.

The duo were able to bag a Shark Tank deal of Rs 45 Lakhs.
The duo were able to bag a Shark Tank deal of Rs 45 lakh.

Discussing their future plans, Atul shares, “We are proudly making all the products in India and are planning exporting the products to the US. We are also in the process of opening experience stores. Our first store is underway in Ahmedabad and we will keep expanding throughout the country. We are also planning to open stores in airport to tap more customers.”

(Edited by Padmashree Pande; Picture credit: Atul Gupta)

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