First Step Towards Entrepreneurship

Take the risk and start up !!

You have graduated out of college with that rolled up sheet popularly known as “degree” in your hand, and now you have a choice to make. Of course there is that high and constant paying job in the corporate sector and given the uncountable benefits, you think you are definitely making a right choice, the smartest choice to be precise.

But is it?

Are you really meant for that desk job?

I tell you some inspiring stories of people who ditched the corporate sector, and took that mammoth and menacing step, to make their dream come true. Read on to discover the amazing stories of these start-ups. Read on to find the inspiration to take that dive and enter the start-up world.

1.MU-SIGMA

WHAT IT IS:

Mu-sigma is a management consulting firm that offers analytic services. In the world of increasing business complexity and Big Data, organization have the compelling challenge with scaling the use of analytics and making it an inherent part of all business decisions. Mu sigma recognizes this surging need and helps organization to manage analytics and Decision Sciences in a sustainable manner.

FOUNDING:

Founded in 2004 by Mr. Dhiraj C. Rajaram

STORY:

Mu-sigma is one of the fastest growing companies of the world and has a gigantic total of 163 million dollars in funding. But like all great companies, this one also arose out of a novel mind.

Dhiraj C Rajaram had no intentions towards entrepreneurship. He himself was quoted saying that. Mu Sigma was made out of his uncontrollable urge to learn and explore. Another reason was his faith in innovation. He believed in the concept of trial and error and experimenting. More you experiment, more you innovate. Mu sigma was pitted against giants like IBM, Accenture when it started, but the reason why it is successful that it gambled with the concept of business analysis. It gave world am out of the box idea- it got on-board people who were applied mathematicians, professional analysts and programmers- all clubbed into one- called a decision scientists.

I had told my wife that I had this brilliant idea. I told her that we would sell our home and put all our money into starting this company.

Some very big companies wanted to buy Mu- Sigma. But Mr. Rajaram never opted for it because of the fear that his idea might die out. All that matters in the end is his idea.

LESSONS TO LEARN:

  • Put your money where your mouth is. If you invest your own money, you are bound to be more careful with your judgements.
  • Stay determined . Do not let giant MNCs shake your confidence.
  • Believe in your vision for your start-up. Although there will be many people doubting it, stand firm on your ground.

2. MYNTRA

WHAT IT IS:

Myntra.com is an Indian e-commerce company, which gave a new shape to fashion and casual lifestyle products. In the field of fashion start-ups, it is India’s first.

FOUNDING:

Founded in 2007 by IIT Madras graduates Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena, a fourth executive Raveen shastry joined a short while after Myntra began.

STORY:

This start-up was initiated in a three-bedroom apartment in south Bangalore and there has been no looking back for myntra since then. The mastermind behind myntra, Mr. Mukesh Bansal, worked in Silicon Valley earlier and have been closely involved with start-ups before. Bansal and his friends closely observed the American personalised gifting sites for inspiration before launching Myntra. The crucial factor which complemented the growth of Myntra was the flexible business model it offered. Today Myntra.com is India’s largest on demand personalization brand for gifts and various other merchandise. Its other phenomenal features include delivery within one hour ( a slow clap for that!), enabling customers to personally design and mix and match etc etc. The list is never ending. Myntra offered products from 350 Indian and international brands by 2012.

In 2014, Myntra merged with Flipkart to give a tough competition to industry maestros like Amazon, Future Group etc.

LESSONS TO LEARN:

  • Have a grip in the field in which you want to set up your business. According to the demands, formulate your business model.
  • Hold on to the basic idea, but remember identifying customer’s needs is important too.
  • Infuse the right talent. It is important to get senior and experienced people who fit into a start-up. For example, Mr. Bansal has taken on board the likes of Sanjay Ramakrishna, who has worked with google and Intel .

3. EASE MY TRIP

WHAT IT IS:

It is one of the rapidly growing players in the field of tourism and travel industry in India. With flight tickets to bus and train tickets, they have it all.

FOUNDING:

Founded in 2008 by brothers, Rikant Pitti and Nishant Pitti

STORY:

Ease my trip was found as a fitting reply to a con. Rikant Pitti’s father was a businessman, and had to travel a lot for client meetings. His travel agent used to book tickets for him and one day, Rikant found out that the agent was charging them over 1.5k more than the online prices which amounted to over a loss of 20k per month!.

So ease my trip virtually began when Rikant started booking tickets for his dad. And subsequently for all his relatives. Perfect example of what we call a “jugaad” entrepreneur. Rikant’s elder brother Nishant was in IIT Delhi, and his parents obviously expected the same from him. But Rikant knew where his heart lay. So he took admission in Kurukshetra university( where attendance wasn’t a problem. GOTCHA!). Meanwhile, he and his brother started Duke Travels which soon transformed into Ease My Trip. The rest, as we say, is history. They have a vast web of travel agents and a client base of over 800 companies today and their turnover is in crores.

LESSONS TO LEARN:

  • Know where your heart lies.
  • Don’t try to hold yourself back, even if you feel your family or friends won’t support you.
  • Try to solve the problem rather than cribbing about it like Rikant solved his Father’s problem in this case.

4. ADISTER

WHAT IT IS:

Adister basically sells student notebooks at very cheap prices, almost 40 % of the market price. The low cost of an adister notebook, is due to the advertisements it carries.

FOUNDING:

Founded by IIT Roorkee graduates Shubham Agarwal and Anubhav Goyal.

STORY:

Adister was formed at a dorm room in IIT Roorkee and registered huge success in its early days. Shubham got a unique idea of revolutionizing print media advertising industry. Have you ever thought why a newspaper is so cheap? It is because of the advertisements. Shubham and Anubhav thought of applying the same concept to notebooks since that had its own unbeatable advantages( like you always carry a note book, which means you always carry the ad). The idea is simply amazing. Shubham got some local advertisers interested in his idea and started working on it. He even went to Saharanpur near Roorkee,( since cost of printing was high in Roorkee) to get his first batch of notebooks printed, which astoundingly got sold out within first two days. For funding their second batch, they took help of IIT Roorkee B-Plan competition and won Rs.50k from it. There was no turning back for these young entrepreneurs since then, they shifted to Delhi and set up an office over there and have been printing and selling notebooks since then.

LESSONS TO LEARN:

  • Learn to face minute problems and don’t be disheartened by them.
  • A successful entrepreneur must have two contrasting qualities- patience and impatience both. Patience to think coherently, and impatience to innovate and become better.
  • Always stay in touch with people who can offer help or fund your start-up.

5.ALMA MATER

WHAT IT IS:

Alma mater is India’s biggest online apparel store providing merchandise/memorabilia to school and college alumni.

FOUNDING:

Founded in 2009 by Varun Agarwal and Rohn Malhotra.

STORY:

Initially all Varun Agarwal and Rohn Malhotra wanted was to design a sweatshirt with their school’s name on it. It was Varun who came up with the idea and they both spent the next week making phone calls, traveling to Tirupur and giving their idea a shape. They exhibited their samples at their school reunion and grabbed their initial investment. Since that first shirt, the company has expanded from schools to any institution that wants memorabilia. Soon these boys went national with an order from a Chennai based school. The company has delivered 3,00,000 units and is continuously working to increase this figure. In 2012, Indian Angel Network (IAN) invested in Alma mater.

Alma mater also introduces PLAY in 2013 that enables anyone to customize a t-shirt online and then get it printed.

For those of you who haven’t recognized Varun Agarwal yet, he is the author of the book How I braved Anu Aunty and built a million dollar company and the director of the famous Anu aunty video.

LESSONS TO LEARN:

  • Brave some Anu aunty and set on a different journey.
  • Put social media to a good use. Use it as a marketing tool.
  • Be who you want to be, not what others think you are.

All that was common in above five inspiring stories was a enthusiastic entrepreneur who had an idea and the courage to execute and infuse. Well, I have much experience in this field as well and we are working on our own startup.Next post will be about Startup and the whole fun associated with it.

Happy Reading !

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