Today’s young & fearless entrepreneurs share their honest confessions!

Puneet

I am Puneet, a poet, blues musician, traveller and nomad. These days, trying my hand at wall arts and entrepreneurship as well. The more that I travel, the more perspectives I attain.

Entrepreneurship has a meaning; like any art, it requires an empathy with others and oneself.

2015 witnessed the flocking of the Indian market with a strikingly large number of homegrown ventures. It saw funds flowing in from the government and private firms alike. Though, there is a problem with Indian market, which has surfaced from time immemorial. We are quick to adapt and sometimes far too quick to lead to our own doom. Hence, by the end of 2015, the market was already clouded with umpteen clones. This infestation led to a sharp decline by 39% in year-on-year funding though the deals had still grown by 18%. There has also been a shift of power, as 2016 has seen Delhi NCR region surged ahead of Bengaluru in terms of deals and funding. Bridge funding has increased, suggesting burnouts for startups. (Hmm! Did anyone say mismanagement?)Investors are still clinging to e-commerce start-ups, though a new wave can definitely be seen lurking in the shadows.

In these shadows, I saw a glimpse of light. Only a ray but piercing right through my eyes. When in college, most of my pals were already engulfed in their own startup dreams. I was still writing as I always have and by now, I had Lucy (my guitar) to back it up. So, amid my friends and seniors’ fervent rants about their startups, I was never really interested. Back then, I was not interested in entrepreneurship, though I loved brainstorming sessions, as it had a plethora of human emotions coming from the core (and also alcohol and some grass). I earned my first money when I was 10 from a write up for United Nations. Since then, I had actively participated along with my friends to raise money for causes pertaining to financial needs of my other friends.

When the crypto market was surging, with all its decentralised features, it was inevitable that I do what I know to do and maybe beyond. It still took me a month to understand the base market and what was needed in that market, to be scalable and at the same time break the speed barriers. So, when Mr.Abhishek came to me with the proposal of a platform centre’s with knowledge at its core, rather than mining, I never said no. But then I started on a couple more.

For Mr.Abhishek, it all started from the dorms of IIT Roorkee with a will to change the redundant and create new. The following is his illustrious journey, in brief, in his own words:

“I plunged into the unknowns of starting up with the fellow dreamers, who became my cofounders and first employees. The first company I founded was called Edlogiq, which started out as a Career Profiling Platform and later pivoted to Neuroscience based Brain Training Games. I learnt most of the things about entrepreneurship along the way.

I am a music lover and a Basie from my college days. I like to bang my fingers hard and give the world the music there is in every nook and crack. My travel endeavours have only affirmed the grasp of others needs and my own selfish desires for my current project. Currently, I am working on a fresh Entertainment Tech Startup called oJam where we are changing the way musicians create content and collaborate leveraging blockchain.

We tasted success but also fell on our faces, but it’s been one hell of a ride.”

Priya Randhawa, who runs PR Communications Consultancy, says the start was slow and bumpy but, soon enough things seemed to smoothen out and gained momentum. Right from landing her first few client accounts and projects, to being able to build a team, monitoring and attending to the regular work productivity with the quality and niche perspective promised, to set their work apart from the many other competitors, experts and other biggies in the industry, it’s been a hellava ride.  

Further agrees on Rohit Manglik, who left his well-established job at DE Shaw Group to start EduGorilla – a one-stop community for students, faculties and Institutes.

While being an entrepreneur today is perceived glamorous, mind you, there are times you doubt your own capabilities and call it quits. You may feel safe in the four walls of your corporate office and the handsome pay may further lure you.

Is this normal? Do entrepreneurs feel like quitting?  

Krishna Shah, Co-founder of Moipot, an e-commerce marketplace for Indian Sweets and Savories, says they went terribly wrong in choosing their technology partner. Few months into the development of their portal, they realized that they had misjudged their abilities. “We had to scrap the entire project and start from scratch. It was a major setback. It felt like we had failed even before launching our portal.”

That said, Manglik says there were challenges but fortunately, they strengthened his resolve to tackle them rather than giving up.

Just one year in the business, his start up, EduGorilla already launched India’s largest free study material library and online directory of educational institutions.  

From what we hear, entrepreneurs define perseverance. 

 “Good choices or bad, quitting is never an option, change is.”

Yes, being an entrepreneur is glamorous in umpteen ways but what goes unnoticed are the efforts, the sacrifices not just of that one person but everyone around him. Each compromise is greater than the previous one.

As an entrepreneur, there is absolutely no difference in your personal or proffessional work timings. You are glued to the laptop all day, sleep deprived, sipping coffee for breakfast and coffee for lunch while your friends and family switch off their work the moment they step out of their offices on weekends.

Not to forget, resisting some tempting opportunities on your journey as an entrepreneur. The perks, privileges, a comfortable cubicle, paid leaves and a generous take-home salary. Well, the journey always goes on, if you are ready  or not.

Shalu Varadkar, Founder, Solutions Consultant, lost her father, while growing her venture. She fondly says, “He has been my mentor all my life and still mentoring me.”

But in spite of all the ups and downs, in the face of the happy sad equation of being an entrepreneur we adore the zeal of any entrepreneur !

Their energies are unmatched and contagious optimism brims out their personalities! Go hear out an entrepreneur. They all have a story to share. Different goals but their zeal and passion is the same!

While Priya believes the constant balancing act and making some noteworthy changes and achievements keeps her going, Rohit considers his vibrant, dedicated team and clients’ appreciation for their work as his biggest strengths.  

Krishna says she knows what a person goes through when he’s ready to shell out money just to get his favorite sweet or your favorite snack from his home town but doesn’t get it. This nostalgia and the willingness to solve a problem motivates her.

Why are startups good for our country? Let me rephrase here; why are good start ups good for our country? Let’s not dive into which is a good start up and which is not, as it is a sea on a different shore. The answer is trivial, for the same reason an Olympic gold is good. Startups are meant for catering and serving to need of the masses and our country shelters a large mass of those masses. It is really a good way to evolve and at the same time let them money waves flow to Indian shores.

It is also high time; we actually break the norms and limits of a MNC. It is time for us to break free! Agree?

 

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