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Defining success on his own terms, at his own pace – An Inspiring journey of Bharat Vyas

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There is a saying in Gujarati that goes “Mor na inda chitarva na pade” (Translation: You do not need to paint a Peahen’s eggs in order to make their offsprings beautiful. They are inherently so). I can very well say that this was not true about me. Albeit belonging to a conservative and religious Brahmin community and without any exposure to entrepreneurship, I ended up being an entrepreneur in my own right . It was said at that time that entrepreneurship is not for the Brahmins, they don’t have the shrewdness and insight to run a business successfully. Well, I can say that even though the saying is not wrong, it not completely right either. And I feel obliged to pen down my journey to share whatever little wisdom I have gained along the way to however small an audience I can captivate.

I was born in an economically poor family, but brought up with values of simplicity, honesty and sincerity imbibed in us from a very early age. Because of our upbringing, we grew up thinking that having a financial security is what it takes to live a happy and fulfilling life. Knowledge and Education was given preference over wealth and luxuries. I was very studious and an introvert, never interested in outdoor games. I ended up pursuing Graduation in Mechanical Engineering and post graduation in Foundry casting from the very reputed IISc, Bangalore. Here I got great clarity and quality education and passed out with good merits. Knowledge gave me the confidence to push on and establish myself with all I had. I gave preference to gaining hands-on foundry experience and getting a job, as against pursuing a Ph.D, and joined Nitin Castings Ltd at Thane, Mumbai.

Foundry Industry is a manpower oriented industry, and I had to strive hard in getting things done from tough and rude mumbai labourers who operated under labour unions at that time. However, I could manage them with good communication skills and a helping attitude. I used to work really hard and sincerely, so my career went on smoothly. However, due to long work-hours and daily commuting of 2 hours, my health took a beating. I used to come home only for dinner and sleep. But the passion of gaining experience and appreciation for  my work made the experience acceptable and enjoyable.

After two years of working at Nitin Castings, my friends at Bangalore started infusing ideas of entrepreneurship. Even though none of us had any industrial experience, we started thinking in that direction based on our technical expertise only. At that time, another opportunity came my way and put me on the difficult juncture of life where my decision would eventually shape my career. I got a job as a lecturer at VJTI at Matunga, Mumbai. The job was offered through MPSC (Maharashtra State Public Service Commission) selection. The entire package was very attractive and was like a golden catch (=success). Immediately after this, I was also offered a job at Godrej Boyce Ltd (Foundry Division) and L&T (Utmal Foundry in Orissa).These wave of opportunities washed away the idea of entrepreneurship and my passion for education and teaching helped me take a decision to accept the position of a Lecturer at VJTI, Mumbai.

Hearing this, my friends insisted me to rethink. For me it was now or never situation. Venturing into the unknown was effectively insignificant, but equally exciting and challenging as compared to the golden opportunity in my hands. And hence, sitting on the seashore of marine lines, I finally changed my decision and rejected the job at VJTI. I was in a state of utter confusion and guilt, but now that I look at it, I can realize that is how destinies are created. I decided to calm my turbulent thoughts by escaping to Valsad for 15 days and got mentally prepared to embrace  entrepreneurship.

We were three partners cum friends to start our first venture named ‘Adroit Controls’ for manufacturing of process control instruments. Due to lack of business experience, shortage of finances and poor market response, we were struggling and surviving. We were unable to wait until we made profits. So two (out of three) of us decided to go for ‘foundry Industry’ which was my area of specialisation, had a good demand in the market and there were very few educated people in this field. We got loan from Government under ‘New Entrepreneur’ scheme, left Ahmedabad and started on to set up our foundry with the name of Nodule Cast at GIDC, Vadodara where my parents had purchased a house.

By the time all the machinery and equipment were installed and got ready for production and marketing, another social commitment came up i.e marriage. I wanted to delay till our new venture reached stability (financial as well as manufacturing), but my well wishers advised me not to co-relate the two. I knew it would take atleast 3 years to get financially stable, especially when we had an unpaid finance loan with zero equity. But I also realised that having a life partner would give me a lot of moral and financial support. At the time of my marriage, the first trial production run was to begin and hence I left for vadodara the very next day of my wedding, giving priority to work.

If I were to summarize my journey, I would categorize it into three phases -

Phase I (‘79 to  ‘99) - Founding of our partnership firm ‘Nodule cast’

Phase II (From ‘99 to 2013) - Running Nodule Cast as a proprietary firm - pay off period to existing partner

Phase III (2013 to 2018) - My son joining the business

Phase I Partnership

The first phase started off with the usual teething problems of starting your own business, which we were not aware and prepared for, like

    • Non payment: Customer would not pay as promised leading to interest burden.  Immoral and malafide intention prevailed even in reputed companies.
    • Corruption: Both at government and customers levels, heavy corruption prevailed and it was like customary ritual. The unit had to handle 20 inspectors during a year.
    • Labour problem: Labour unions were dominant at that time.The unit had to face two strikes losing many work days. We hired manufacturing facilities elsewhere and managed to keep orders completed. Labour attitude was to work less and get more. We fought back by remaining firm and tough and even showed our determination to close down the unit if need be.
  1. However, in spite of these setbacks, we were able to establish a great reputation for our products and services with many well known companies of India like VIZ (now RIL), TPKTI, Bridge and roof, LINDE, G.S.F.C., L&T and many more. We went on to do good business and were able to get profitable year on year. But towards the end of this phase, our partnership came to an end.

Phase II Proprietorship

My partner was not willing to expand, but I had all the intentions to, which gave rise to disputes and so we decided to split. I had no financial backup to buy the company, hence I decided to quit. But later, my partner backed out and the baton was handed over to me. I asked for 2 years time to pay off his share. This was the most challenging phase since I had to manage from my working capital and loans from bank and relatives. But I managed to sail through this tough phase of my career and emerged as a sole proprietor of Nodule Cast. This gave me a lot of freedom in decision making and fulfilling my future plans. I started running the show on my own terms and expanded the business the way I wanted to. Though the rate  of growth was slow, the unit was steadily progressing. Meanwhile during last year of this phase, I invited my younger brother to join me as ‘Accountant’ and a reliable person to look after the business operations and finances in my absence.

Phase III Passing the legacy

During the beginning of this phase, my son who was already having a career in IT, decided to join me. He came with his own aspirations to expand the business. I had to relook and revise my future plans for upgradation and semi-automation with fast ‘implementation’. We started with bringing new machinery and equipments, and brought about changing organisation. Things started falling into place and everything went on successfully. My age became limiting factor to some extent, but I was relieved of day to day tensions of running a business due to his presence.

Today, we are in a position to scale greater heights as we had

    • Exports getting started to USA, Saudi Arabia (UAE), Europe
    • Turnover increasing every year,
    • Finance reserves getting created for future expansion
    • ISO-2015 certification
    • Good PIR (past track record) with many (about 35) customers all over india including PCL(Chennai), MRPL(Mangalore) , TPKTI, Punj Lloyd, Refineries, HPCL(mumbai), etc

Epilogue

As an afterthought, I believe that we could do what we did because we believed we could. Looking back at my journey, I want to sit back and list down my mistake and blunders I made. I keep asking myself  - ‘Have I got what I was capable of?’ and ‘Have I achieved as per my qualifications?’

It is very difficult for me to define success. Success is a continuous process. There is only one thing - Push ahead, irrespective of the challengings, your shortcomings, circumstances. My success has been a progressive realisation of my vision & objectives.

If health permits, I’ll like to continue working till I am 75. After that, I would like to spend most of my time fulfilling my hobbies - mainly music, education and consultation. My passion for teaching surpasses all.

Through these years, I have realized and learned that

-Never remain long with incompetent & negative people or environment
-Lookout for trusted criminals in your colleagues, friends etc.
-Be assertive in your communication
-Tough times come and go, but you have to remain a tough person learn to survive a   bad situation.
-Never think turnover as your profit, your money is only few digit figure after    deducting Tax and other government liabilities. Keep some investment allowance    reserve for contingencies.
-It always takes more time than you think it will take
-Respond, but not reachout
-Generate satisfied customers. You can not sell what you want, you have to sell what   a customer needs

Success is not what others decide, it is onto you. It is a journey to enjoy.

A Visionary With A Heart Of Gold – Eeshan Arun

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Yes you read it right, it is our esteemed pleasure to bring the inspiring journey of Eeshan Arun, hailing from Bihar but born in Gorakhpur and spent his formative years in Bhilai and by his 3rd grade shifted to Vizag where he stay put until his schooling. Eeshan moved to Bangalore for his under graduation from CMS Jain university in the Media Studies and holds an MSc in International Business from the prestigious Warwick Business School, London.  While the average person would probably be ecstatic once they hold a master’s degree, Eeshan however has a trail of multiple degrees and certificates in his name, it would certainly be unfair if I wouldn’t mention the list and here it goes- he is a PG diploma degree holder in Cyber Law and Cyber Forensics from National Law School of India University and recently completed a PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights from National Law School of India University. The hunger for pursuing academic excellence he claims is a family thing.

Eeshan realized his calling for entrepreneurship as early as in 8th grade he recalls, that each passing day the fervour to start his own business only became stronger and it became his dream to achieve ultimately. With such clarity in his dream his direction though was faded. But he says, “ In due course of my life, as I learned more, I grew a liking towards creativity and marketing. During my Masters in UK, I understood the basics and the principles which governed this space” . At this time he observed back in India there are many many small scale businessmen lack the expertise in the strategic skills and ideas or lack resources to achieve more than the required financial output. Eeshan understood the gap and started pitching his line of business wherein his venture will provide services in business models or marketing strategies and ideas at affordable prices various clients across various domains.

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One can easily wonder if Eeshan's venture happened by chance he quickly clears saying “ I believe one has to take control of his/her life and making the best out of the time, energy and capability that one has got. Definitely I pay the entire credit to the dream I envisioned each day and the vision I foresaw to make an impact on the business world through my enterprise ”. With his humble upbringing, Eeshan considers his father a hero who stood as an example to him in shaping his vision. One such humble teaching he recollects is, “ My father a Health Official commutes daily to his work which is 40 Kms away, by public transport despite having his own measures to commute. These day to day observations and teachings are what has taught me, how being grounded helps in becoming a strong person. I take each day at a time and my education, upbringing and experience into making the venture is not just a mere business idea - but an ecosystem of learning, teaching, bettering and collaborating, that is needed to make the world today a better place” we couldn’t agree more.

eeshanarun team

To start a venture that is rooted in his dream and made with lots of passion is a no mean feat, it was his time in 2014 at YouFlik (India’s first social network at that time), the direction in which the company was headed did not seem right to the company’s sustainability in this dynamic market environment. Eeshan recounts, “ With my team, we spent many sleepless nights in rebuilding the company with our relentless brainstorming and strategizing. At that time, I realised that my passion lies in  building companies from their start and watch them grow. That was my Eureka moment ! Off I went to start my own venture, that not only went through or rather is going through its own growth curve, but is also always a part of playing the pivotal role in some other company’s growth curve too!.”

Every entrepreneur will and has to face the challenges set in building the respective venture, likewise Eeshan recollects his way up, “ India, still being in the transition phase from the primary (agricultural) to the secondary (industrial) economy, services are not often given their deserved importance – especially one that involves intangible outputs like designs and consultancy. One other challenge which we faced in the beginning, and still do, is making any client understand what they can expect from us. There have been times where clients have approached us, discussed their business ideas, given us a year’s time and asked INR 1 billion as revenue into the company. While it is good to be ambitious, it is a non-negotiable demand to stay as close with reality as possible. My goal of starting this company is to bring a positive change in the marketing space and the industry today - by plugging in better content, design, ideas and values.” He further describes the turnover of his venture with much satisfaction, “ The company is garnering quite a humbling turnover from the time it has come into picture despite having about 800 start ups in just this industry. Having said that, if happy clientele were the measuring scale, which is the one I swear by - we can say we have been a 100% successful. To me, a happy client goes a long way!”

Eeshan is an undeterred entrepreneur and a risk taker, he believes in failures more than successes because failing is more real than anything else! “ So, if I fall, you’ll see me pick myself up more gracefully than the last time” he quips. With much learning and education, Eeshan is looking forward to enter the Social Entrepreneurship very soon. A restless entrepreneur that he  is he foresees that once his company is established, he would make use of his knowledge and expertise in the social venture. As a responsible citizen, Eeshan firmly believes giving back to the society is very important to him. It is worthy enough to mention that his company is tied up with Telangana Medical Foundation, where we take part in social activities which are aimed at providing education to those kids, who are suffering from learning spectrum disorders like Autism, etc.

When enquired on what keeps him stay motivated this high in his game, Eeshan says it is constant learning which is his strength and also his soul food that keeps him going extra mile to achieve his dream. It’s his motivation that enables him to achieve success with all his abilities and perform to his full potential but, “ Some times, gracefully letting go and upholding to my values, is succeeding. Because in the bigger picture, life is all about being a better person.” He further adds, “ In every aspect of life my ideals can never be touched, hampered or bent. Honesty, sincerity, integrity and trustworthiness form the core of my functioning. In no situation or condition will I bend them for closing a deal or moving ahead in life - because if I did, then am I really moving ‘ahead’ in life?”

In closing, Eeshan describes his success mantra is measuring his own success to the past points and learning from it or improvise it. In simple terms, he is his own competition!

Contact NativeCreativ: 9535763723
eeshan@nativecreativ.com
www.nativecreativ.com

Torch bearer of new age education – Suwarna Surlakar

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Learning is often the only skill for survival for anyone, a strong foundation in any skill of learning is of utmost importance as the foundation will keep the concepts clear and enable us to perform any job easier. While teaching is considered the noblest of all the professions, a teacher who’s intent lies in raising strong roots is unforgettable. We present today Suwarna Surlakar, she’s a one woman army who keenly observed her students and realized that many of them had their fundaments slightly different which lead them to fear in their respective exams. A recipient of International award, ‘Young Woman Engineer’ honoured at the Venus International Women’s Awards, she has filed 2 patents with her students, Droidlock a door locking technology and Smart crop management, an automated agricultural technology. Her story in the following, Suwarna gives a brief account on how she addressed the need for tweaking the way children are educated, her vision to build  her start up Codewell Computers.

My mother was a teacher by profession and retired as a head mistress of Government primary school. I have always watched her shape many children in her school guiding and educating them, I naturally understood that education plays a vital role in shaping up abilities in everyone. After I completed B.E from Rayeshwar institute of engineering and Information technology, Shiroda in the year 2007, I started teaching in engineering college in 2008, along the way I completed my M.E from PCCE Verna, in the year 2011. While I thoroughly enjoyed teaching, I noticed that many of my students lacked clarity in the concepts. This in turn affected their performance in the exams. It was heart breaking to see these students carrying backlogs and loosing confidence.

In times, where there is highest competition at every level in every field, these students will go on to have a low self esteem and would probably need to work harder, starting from the basics. I kept finding ways to get to the root of this problem. That is when I decided to start Codewell Computers, a school for young children. Why children you may ask,  kids are excited and are always open to experiments and that’s what I love about them. Their enthusiasm is their driving force. They are always happy to work on their own and solve problems and experience their success. Also at this time they are getting familiar with science and mathematics and if we make their concepts clear and  build a strong foundation then we raise a bunch of confident children who can attempt furthermore bigger scientific problems with ease.

At Codewell  Computers, we have been training kids on robotics which not only focuses on kits but on the small issues of how science helps in contributing in the digital world. How scrap in their homes can become their friends. We also train them in  simple physics concepts like motions, energy etc. Basic understanding like these increase their interest in studies thereby increasing concentration and confidence. I have seen children focusing in their studies and performing better after becoming part of the Codewell Computers curriculum. Some of the concerned parents I meet often wonder if their child is cut out to learn technology, I want to assure everyone that we live in a digitised world where each of us need to be on par with changing or evolving technology. We at Codewell Computers also conduct Summer and Winter camps for students.

My vision is to inspire many children to innovate and contribute their valuable knowledge and expertise in technology. My venture is the first of its kind to develop books that explain electronics with animated books. This book has live circuits with re-useable components that kids would love to use and develop interest in technology.

This book is released under the name KIDZTRONICS Level 1, this series will have many more levels to come.

Currently level 2 is under development. My motivation comes from my students, when I see them successfully completing each level at Codewell computers with flying colours and seeing them brimming with confidence.

Contact Codewell Compluters @+917262001268 / +919823426380
codewellcomputers@gmail.com
codewellcomputers.com

Building A Marketplace For New Vehicles To Empower Rural India: Journey of Balaji Kaisetty

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Building A Marketplace For New Vehicles To Empower Rural India: Journey of Balaji Kaisetty

Triggered by his own experience of unmet needs as a youngster, Balaji Kaisetty set up NayaGaadi as a Multi utility platform to meet the automobile needs of the Rural India.NayaGaadi.com is on the road to revolutionize the new automobile buying experience by using the online channel.

The Early Story

Hailing from a rural village in Andhra Pradesh called Thadukupeta, Nagari Mandal of Chittoor District, Balaji Kaisetty admits that his certain desires and needs were not met during his younger days due to the rural market dynamics, especially when he wanted to own a bike and tractor of his choice! “The rural Indian automobile consumer is grossly underserved,” opines he. There are no showrooms or dealers, no service centers in many rural parts of the country as it is unviable to set one up. This left a lasting impression on him.

After spending 20 years in Global IT Companies like IBM, Hewlett Packard, Wipro Technologies in various roles, He, along with Sangeetha Thulasi, setup NayaGaadi in 2015. NayaGaadi is rural India’s first multi utility marketplace for all new vehicles. The platform connects all brands, and categories of new vehicles under one roof. NayaGaadi is currently operating in Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Berhampur (Odisha) and has served customers in four Indian states (Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu) and plans to expand to 30 more Tier -1 cities in the next 2 years.From every Tier-1 cities thousands of rural and semi rural areas will be supported..

Digitizing Automobile Retail with NayaGaadi

NayaGaadi offers personalized service and delivery, be it multi brand test drives, vehicle financing needs, insurance assistance, registration, deals and discounts and takes care of last mile delivery. Essentially, NayaGaadi is a solution to India’s Automobile Industry problems and its Bridging the Gap between Urban and Rural Automobile dealerships and consumers by bringing transparency, flexibility, simplicity and convenience. NayaGaadi’s solution addresses the automobile needs of a rural consumer by connecting them to all brands, under all categories of new vehicles. Its technology driven marketplace connects dealers, automobile manufacturers, banks, financing companies and insurance companies and consumers.

For the buyer, NayaGaadi offers a platform that allows them to buy a new vehicle – autos, bikes, mopeds, cycle’s, cars, buses, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and more –with home delivery facility. Balaji explains that on the seller side, it acts as a platform for launching new electric vehicles and mobility solutions to help new age EV startups reach their target audience within a short span of time. Additionally, this platform also connects body builders, fabricators, custom design specialists in the automobile sector with the new vehicle consumers to understand their needs. “This will help consumers get standardized service, cost and quality deliverables with simplicity as a key focus,” says Kaisetty.

To make all this happen, the company has established partnerships with dealers and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) across categories. It gets its revenue from every new vehicle sold through its platform in the form of commission from dealers, OEMs, banks, insurance companies and value added product vendors. Nayagaadi uses Technology  and marketplace model to reach grass root level auto consumers and positioning themselves as an emerging channel for Automobile companies and Dealers. Automobile Industry will see NayaGaadi as a discovery, demand and delivery platform for new vehicles.

Offering what customer wants

The best way of doing and growing business is delivering what customer needs and how he needs it. India has come a long way and the current Internet and Mobile penetration has changed the Indian and Business Landscape. NayaGaadi is able to educate and provide awareness about their platform and services to make the impact. It has come a long way from when it started and currently has more than 100 + dealers and 15 manufacturers registered on its platform.

Handling huge online transactions

Consumers are very conservative when it comes to making huge payments online. However, the landscape changed with many ecommerce players delivering the goods safely and helping the ecosystem to make reliable and safer online payments. Thanks to many innovative modes of making payments like wallets, QR Code payments, Payment gateways, Virtual payments, Online EMI payments and App based payments which makes online payments easier, faster, traceable and safer. Balaji believes that it is a matter of time for consumers to get comfortable in making online payment for amount that complements a new vehicle purchase.

Not without its own challenges

“We faced numerous challenges in convincing the dealers, manufacturers and customers,” recalls the founder. He says that attracting top talent for a bootstrapped startup is a difficult and time consuming process. “It is even more complex when you are not funded. However, we are passionate about the problem we are trying to solve and we are sure that soon our team will grow faster to meet the demands of the business” says Balaji.

It is tough for any player to meet the demands of a diverse segment of customers in traditional way. However, that’s where technology enabled solutions makes scaling a reality. NayaGaadi is handling this problem with trusted Rural Agent Networks(RAN) creating rural employment and trust which helps technology platforms to provide value and make personalized service and delivery seamless.

Talking about marketing strategy, Balaji admits that as a bootstrapped company, their marketing budget is quite low. However, its customers, who are their early adapters, have become their brand ambassadors and spread awareness about the company. The company also uses social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn  actively.

“Investors also realized that automobile sector needs to change the way it does business due to globalization and changing digital landscape of the country.  And so, a transparent and convenient buying experience is needed when a customer is trying to buy a new vehicle,” opines Balaji. However, for the dealers and automobile manufacturers, online transactions mean discounts. “They are very conservative about the technology platform. But, we are able to demonstrate its benefits to all the stakeholders in the ecosystem,” he says.

NayaGaadi currently works with 10 banks and has sold more than 70 vehicles worth Rs. 3.5 crore and has aided 500 + test drives, so far. The company has even facilitated the launch of India’s first cross over Electric bike called Volta-Zap( now it is known as Smartron Tronxone E Bike ). “Our ticket size last year ranged from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 18 Lakhs and the average ticket size now stands at 13 lakhs.” says Balaji.

Rural Agents and Franchise model

NayaGaadi is looking at tapping the rural youth to build its rural agents network and also create multi brand experience centers run by NayaGaadi franchise network.We are currently in the early stages of the development and working on this process.

Recognitions

NayaGaadi journey is recognized by the eco system in various ways. Some of the recognitions / Awards are:

Selected as launch pad startup from - IIM Bangalore – NSR CELL
Incubated at Govt of Karnataka and IAMAI Mobile10X, NASSCOM
Govt of Karnataka ELEVATE 100 Winner
ET Power of Ideas 2017 - Phase-2 Selected start up.
IIM Calcutta - Smartfifty.com - Top 3000 Selected start up.
Tech in Asia recommended 'NayaGaadi' as curated start up to invest in Asia.

NayaGaadi Team

NayaGaadi Team

Future Panorama

The Company aims to stabilize its technology platform and get more dealers on board, work on its product range, brands and portfolio to help the consumer take an informed decision. In the immediate future, it aims to enter few rural districts in Karnataka. It has also launched operations in Orissa, Barampur District. As a part of its initial expansion in South India, it is targeting five major Tier 1 cities including Hyderabad, Vizag, Vijayawada,Chennai and Cochin.

In the next two years, it plans to enter 25 tier 1 cities in other parts of India. Currently,NayaGaadi is in advanced stage discussion with some of the global automobile players entering India to help and assist them to reach rural India innovatively. It aims to stabilize its technology platform and get more dealers on board. “We are trying to raise an initial pre-seed round of Rs. 3 crore to Rs. 5 crore to aid our expansion plans in south India and grow faster in this vertical.

NayaGaadi aims to build a sustainable new retail ( both online and offline ) experience, customer driven company solving India’s traditional problems.We are trying to build a company which is scalable and sustainable and plans to be listed in Indian stock market in the near future. NayaGaadi will utilize all the technology benefits to create mass employment opportunies in the rural India. Think New Vehicle and Think NayaGaadi ”says Balaji as a concluding note.

Making Cryptocurrency The Next Big Thing – Journey Of Nitin Goyal

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We live in a fast evolving virtual world where many applications and tools are developed in order to make lives less complicated. Our day to day activities have become easier right from shopping to booking appointments to traveling and the list is just endless. However, there are always unexplored paths in IT that can be developed and applied in real life.

Its a great pleasure to connect with Mr. Nitin Goyal, who is heading into the virtual space with his start-up TRETCoin, with a goal to optimise the Blockchain technology. A man of many hats, he is also a visiting professor at the XIM Bhubaneswar, founder of the group ‘Meetup on Blockchain technology' which has now more that 650 active members in Bangalore and has also helped in building successful start-ups for his friends. Presenting here verbatim a brief account on his life, ideals and most importantly his journey on starting TRETCoin.

I come from a conservative business family, born and raised in Agra - the city of The Taj Mahal. While schooling, my siblings and I were very clear that we had to work hard and do well in our respective education. I had never planned on what I should pursue after school or which career path I wanted to choose when I grow up. However, with the determination to do well in my studies, I landed up in IIT Roorkee and completed my B.Tech in 1996 with flying colours. After that, I went on to do my MBA from the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar and stood being the topper of my batch in 2006.

I have always worked in the IT sector right from the inception of my career, at the beginning with TCS in 1996, then with Oracle India and later with British Telecom until recently. My last couple of roles in British Telecom were to work as Platform Director for the Revenue Assurance practice and also set up the Big Data Center of Expertise. I am always abreast with the latest technology and apart from performing my managerial responsibilities at British Telecom, I have been equally passionate about coding, architecture and design.

I was closely following the industry trends specially in the field of big data. This in my opinion is the necessity of survival because it’s a very fast evolving space.My advice to many young IT enthusiasts/ entrepreneurs would be to inculcate the habit of keeping an eye on the current trends in your area of interest as this will help you in the long run.

I started looking at technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality, Machine Learning and Blockchain and immediately realized the huge potential and disruptive forces being unleashed by them. I was following Bitcoin closely since late 2015 when it was more of a fad. I think that we have not even touched the surface with Blockchain technology yet and there is a big force at play that can be as disruptive as the internet was in early 90's. I quickly understood that this is the next big thing that can change the business scene in a major way.

Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, I always had that bug inside me to start something on my own. While I enjoyed my corporate job, I was more keen on developing my own venture in Blockchain. So, I quit my job at British Telecom in April 2018 and have been relentlessly working on building up my start-up TRETCoin which is due to be launched by July 2018.

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The disruptive potential of Blockchain technology is not limited to payments and fin-tech, but there are multiple possibilities in the retail and loyalty space which we are planning to tap with the launch of TRETcoin which is a cryptocurrency that is (T)radeable, (R)edeemable, (E)arnable, (T)ransferrable.

It’s in our human nature to love freebies and gifts. In many ways we are rewarded with loyalty points and rewards when we associate with a certain bank or other merchandise, too often these rewards are ignored by most of the customers as we all find it cumbersome to run though the process in collecting the gifts assured, but after a period of time the rewards expire.

To the customer, this loss may be none or negligible (because it’s mostly ignored), but given a choice to redeem the rewards in terms of cryptocurrency, I am sure everyone would be happy to try. That’s the aim of TRETCoin - to target that gap and provide the customers the rewards they might have neglected and ensure they are benefited in long term. The fundamental responsibility I see here is when the customers are convinced, it’s our duty to keep them satisfied. When customers find that reliability in us, they will fearlessly make use of TRETCoin. That is my motto, to always do the right thing and ensure the customer is happy.

Right now, since TRETCoin is in a very early stage, it’s too soon to predict the future. However, one lesson I have learnt is that one must not look at an outcome when you start-up but enjoy the process, the uncertainties and the challenges. The outcome is not in your hands, but if you like what you do and are flexible to align to market shifts and trends, then the outcome will more or less fall in place. It is essential to identify the right moment and take the leap, sort your finances and be open minded. It is also imperative to be rational when you decide to do a start-up and not be emotional and also learn when to stop.

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For any venture persistence is the key to remain in the business because the road you tread upon is not always rosy but a mix of sweet successes and few bitter failures. Whenever I have been involved in the building of a start-up my goal has been, how can anyone be impacted with our solution. How can we improve the quality of life. At the end of the day all that matters is, how could we simplify our regular activities with ease and how many lives have I touched.

Contact Nitin Goyal @9740811600 nigoyal@gmail.com

High On Life…and Fitness: Pooja Menon

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“The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your Calling.” Sitting in front of a desktop, about 14 years back, I used to wonder when I would find my actual calling, that which would want me to look forward to Mondays, give me joy. Very few are fortunate enough to find “It” and pursue it too. I can very happily say, I have been one of them.

I was born in Delhi, brought up in Gujarat and Kerala, did my college in Chennai and got married and settled in Bangalore. After taking Science in my school, I was really hoping to do Nutrition and Dietetics in Chennai. Unfortunately, or as luck would have it(cause life has its own plans), I ended up doing English Literature and pursuing my NIIT course.

The obvious transition was getting into the IT Sector. I started my career as a Quality Assurance Assistant, followed by being a Graphic Designer for an MNC, and then jumped on to becoming a Technical Writer in Bangalore. I went to work, trying to convince myself that I am loving it and genuinely look forward to Mondays. But heart of hearts I wasn’t that convinced. I would constantly question myself, is this what I am supposed to do for the rest of my life?

I got pregnant and promptly quit my job by the end of my term, primarily because I wanted to enjoy this phase of my life and also because what I was doing was not exciting me so much. Our first born came into our lives in 2004 and  I got busy with him and the house, putting my career on the back burner, except for occasional projects. I was still looking for my Eureka moment.

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My second bundle of joy arrived in 2010. This time, I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy too, piling on weight with the “licensed” eating. I was around 95 kilos when my son was born. After that started the joint aches and pains and inability to move freely due to the added mass on me. I used to always enjoy working out, so I decided to restart where I had left off. Finding it difficult to lose weight, I sought guidance from someone to train me, but back then there weren’t too many trainers to help ladies like me. That got me thinking, maybe I can train myself to train people who need that extra push, that extra guidance.

The mere thought of it charged me up, and within 6 months of my delivery, I joined the Reebok Certified Group Instructors Training program. Still struggling with my weight, I put in my heart and soul into the training. I saw the kilos shedding with proper lifestyle changes, diet modifications and exercise. With that, dawned the realization that maybe this is what I am meant to do…this is my calling. I was meant to make people feel the way I felt when I started getting back into shape. That was my Eureka moment. And there has been no looking back ever since.

I started taking Aerobics and Step classes in 2011. I would travel a distance of over 20 km at 5 in the morning to take two back to back classes for a mere 300 Rupees. That was my starting. I always remind myself of that, it helps me stay grounded and thankful. The same year, I happen to stumble upon a Zumba Fitness Certification happening near my home. Since we needed to constantly upgrade ourselves, I thought I might as well attend the course. Without attending a single Zumba class, I completed my certification, and there I was, in love all over again. I fell harder this time…. Completely loved Zumba and started taking classes in studios and communities ever since.

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I constantly like upgrading myself, so during these 8 years of my journey as a Fitness professional, I have done a lot of certifications, which I use on a daily basis for my clients. I have certified in Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids junior and take classes for kids between the age group of 4 to 11. The other certifications include Zumba Toning, Zumba Sentao, Jukari Fit to Flex, Cardio Kickboxing to name a few. I also certified as a Personal Trainer from the American Council on Exercise(ACE) and started taking Personal training sessions for clients.

I completed my Sports Nutrition Certification from ACE and was able to handle the diet requirements for my clients. I have also done my Nirvana Fitness course which is a form that concentrates on correct breathing and includes Yoga and Pilates set to soothing meditative music. This helps to heal internally and destress and detox the system. I am currently pursuing an Image Consultancy course from ICBI, so that I can assist my clients with looking and feeling good inside out.  I love baking too and have done a couple of orders for birthday parties.

In the midst of all the work, I wanted to do something which challenged me, tested me to the limits. I attempted the Everest Base Camp trek in November 2017.. 12 days of trekking, under extreme climatic conditions and basic amenities made me appreciate what I had back home. It most importantly made me realize that once u set your mind on a goal, it can be accomplished, no matter how tough the path is. I intend doing more such treks in the future, time permitting.

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My biggest achievement in my life so far has been the smiles I have bought into people’s lives. Be it with an insanely crazy Zumba session, or an intense body conditioning class, be it a relaxing Nirvana session, or guiding my girls with what colours or hairstyles suit them. Nothing compares to the satisfaction that comes from them coming into class, with those wide smiles and glint in their eyes, and going back feeling good at the end of that one hour.

My next venture is starting a studio where I can bring all that I have to offer under one roof. Group classes, like Zumba, Nirvana, and Body conditioning, which will be a holistic and rounded approach to Fitness. Nutrition counselling, Image Consulting counselling and Mind Body workshops will be a part of it too. Very soon, it shall see the light of day. One more secret wish is to be able to start a Baking Studio. U can come bake your cake, eat it too, and then work it all off!!

All this has been possible because I waited for my Eureka moment, and pursued it. My super supportive family has been my backbone, helping me achieve my dreams all along. Every obstacle that I have faced, I have been able to take it up as a challenge and overcome and move ahead. Like someone very rightly said, “It never gets Easier, you just get Stronger.”

8 years of hard work, 8 years of utmost satisfaction, 8 years of bringing smiles to faces, 8 years of meeting amazing people I am in touch with even today.. 8 years of learning and building my knowledge about Food and Fitness, 8 years of inspiring people to become trainers themselves.. 8 years of unadulterated joy doing what I have always wanted to do. It’s time to bring it all under one roof. Not an entrepreneur in the true sense, but almost there. Many more years of changing lives lie ahead of me, and I am rearing to go. Like they say, “Every day is another chance to get stronger, to be the best version of YOU.. cause YOU matter…”

Pooja Menon conducts Zumba and Nirvana on-premise classes. She can be contacted on email at poojamenon05@gmail.com

Building A Geriatric Ecosystem – Santosh Abraham

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Building A Geriatric Ecosystem – Santosh Abraham

 

I was born and brought up in Trivandrum, Kerala.  After completing my graduation, I took up a job and worked for a couple of years there. I came to Bangalore and started working in a reputed corporation. The charm of the city was too tempting for me to move anywhere else. I therefore settled here with my family, however my parents continue to stay back in the native. My parents, like many of our parents, are quite independent and live a highly principled life helping everyone in need. My sister and I have grown up with these core values instilled in us.

With my ageing parents staying away from me, it was getting challenging to be at their disposal for immediate help when they were physically or emotionally weak. Although some of my relatives helped them, yet that never could be a permanent solution.This led me to look for a service that could take care of such situations. But sadly, there was not much available for geriatric care. That’s when I realized that I had to begin a venture that would cater to the care of not only my parents but many others too. With the rise in the number of nuclear families, there was a clear gap where geriatric care was concerned.

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My Strength, My Parents

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With my daughters - My Pride and Joy

With 20 years of experience in a comfortable job, starting a venture wasn’t quite easy. I faced a lot of criticism for taking this step but nothing would deter me from changing my mind. When you are set on an uncertain path inspite of discouragement, you will find people, like minded too. One such person is our co-founder,Vandana, who could relate to my vision and share my passion towards geriatric care. Together, we thus started ElderAid, with a vision to bring geriatric care to mainstream focus. Today when we talk about geriatric care, many of us associate it with hospital and sickness, whereas there are quite a lot of elders who can still be productive and add value to the society in many ways.

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Family Time

We, at ElderAid, want to be the single point of contact for the families and want to promote the importance of mental and physical wellness and well-being among elders and its positive impact on their health in a long term. Culture mindset is our biggest hurdle. Most people expect ElderAid to be a free service given the noble cause, whereas ElderAid is a 'for profit’ social enterprise. Other biggest road block is that people look at geriatric care more as a reactionary service than being proactive about it, which ensures better quality of life for the elders.

There is hardly any work done for the senior citizens through CSR activities. Advocacy for this sector is quite important as most of the organisations come under the 18% GST for the service rendered. In my opinion, people and corporates need to look beyond their current set of sectors that they work with under CSR scheme, there are lot of sectors that need awareness and acceptance from the society. From a corporate point of view, lot of measures can be taken to promote healthy living, importance of being active, mental health through their CSR activities, which will help their own employees and productivity.

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The team that eats together, stays together - The ElderAid Team

I thus foresee a bright future ahead for ElderAid. Our intent is to take it to as many families as we can so that they can enjoy the benefits of the services we offer. We have many satisfied customers who are happy with our venture and when I hear their stories I feel all the hard work that has gone in building up ElderAid, has paid off. At the end of the day, that satisfaction is what gives me a high.

In the journey of entrepreneurship, you really have to just focus on making your dream into reality and to achieve this, one has to be always self motivated. Highs and lows are part of the dream and they keep you grounded too. That’s what success means to me – leaving behind a legacy, to touch lives in a positive manner, to be able to influence someone’s life and change it for the better and work productively for the society.

Contact ElderAid @9845066344 Santosh@elderaid.in www.ElderAid.com

Democratizing Education: Piyush Kumar

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Lionel Messi once remarked that it took him 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success! Spend some time with the founders at urTutors.com and you would realize that each one of them not just brings complementary skill sets to the table but also the unique trait of being ready for the long haul.

urTutors.com is a promising new venture offering affordable online and offline tutoring solutions through its platform for classes 6-12. It connects certified home tutors to students and manages the tutoring process with proprietary content and analytics. The unique proposition that the start-up has come up with is development of skilling centers for tutors to prepare the next generation of qualified tutors to fuel their demand of students worldwide.

A look at the composition of the founding team and the passion that they put into their work and you get an idea that they are marching in the right direction to become a pioneer in the edTech space by ‘democratizing education’ as they call it. The team has Prof. K. C. Sinha, a top Mathematician of the country with 35 years of industry experience as a Professor and author in Mathematics, as their Chief Mentor. His books clock an annual sale of close to 4 lakh copies per annum. Prof. Sinha has been a reputed name in the competitive examinations (like IIT-JEE) segment for over three decades. 

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Prof. K. C. Sinha

The other directors of the company include Anurag and Abbyshek Chandra, both IIT graduates from Kanpur and Roorkee respectively. Abbyshek also has an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad. The two have been running a successful publishing company Eduwiser Publishing Group in the K-12 segment with some of the best authors in their respective fields like Prof. K. C. Sinha and Prof. P. Bahadur on board.

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Anurag Chandra

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Harshit Laddha

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Abbyshek Chandra

urTutors [www.urtutors.com] was the brainchild of Piyush Kumar, the CEO of urTutors. It started from very humble beginnings in the streets of Bengaluru where this young engineering graduate started offering quality tutoring services to his clientele. He carved a niche for himself in the market in seven years. At one point in time, he was managing over 100 tuitions with around 20 consultant tutors when he met Harshit Laddha, the CTO of urTutors who also happened to be his junior from college. Harshit was working with HP when he decided to leave his plush job to give the required technological ammunition to fuel Piyush’s vision of setting up urTutors. “The motivation to build a platform that solved a real problem was enough to bid goodbye to a cushy job!” says the calm and collected Harshit.

“Picking up the right founding team was uncompromisable. I burnt a lot of my personal saving to sustain but didn’t give in to the lure of accepting any funding without building a team that could take urTutors to the highest level. Thankfully, the wait was worth the while!” says Piyush when asked on what made him approach Prof. K. C. Sinha and Eduwiser (Anurag and Abbyshek Chandra) to get on board.

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urTutors Team

Business-wise, urTutors is registering a good growth. A variety of customizable quality services offered by the company has made it a name to reckon with in the local tutoring market in Bengaluru. The team now looks to expand by using its scalable model in both the online and offline modes to other cities across India. “The online education market will grow manifold. We want to build an ecosystem for the tutoring market where the increased demand is met by a sustained resource pool that is both skilled and available at an affordable rate”, says Abby.

When asked how they look at fending off the stiff competition from big players in the market, the urTutors team remained upbeat about its chances. They feel that the education market is big enough to accommodate quality players. “Our confidence comes from the fact that we have focussed on keeping our basics right and have a profitable revenue model in place,” opines Anurag.

The sky is the limit for the urTutors team and they look well placed to take on the challenge.

Contact urTutors @9799554123  piyush@urtutors.com www.urtutors.com

Laying A Foundation To Unlimited Learning: Satish Rajagopalan

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Tech visionary Satish Rajagopalan set out with a dream, an idea, to develop an online platform for Quality Training. This dream became a reality when Satish founded ApnaCourse [www.apnacourse.com] in August 2013. ApnaCourse launched by Fynamics Training Solutions Pvt Ltd (Formerly known as SpearheadEduOnline Pvt LTD) is India's leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform. It is the Online Training Platform for Globally Recognized Certifications and are delivered by Renowned and Certified Experts. At present ApnaCourse provides various courses to thousands of individuals.

Satish Rajagopalan holds a B-tech degree in computer science,an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship and a post-graduation in Finance. He has 9+ years’ experience across multiple industries including a leading Mutual Fund house as a Business Analyst and at India's largest Research and Ratings agency as a Research Analyst.

Thus, we have Satish Rajagopalan,Founder,Director and CEO sharing with us insights on his incredible Journey as an Entrepreneur.

Tell us something about yourself

I love everything tech. My passion is to explore new technologies and assess how they can reduce mundane manual works.  I did my B.Tech in Computer Science from VIT Vellore and completed a Post Graduation in Finance from NITIE Mumbai and an MBA from Great Lakes, Chennai. I graduated magna cum laude (the highest level of academic distinction) in MBA (gold medalist) and a merit scholar in graduation. In the last few years, my focus has been mainly on technology products and cyber security. I’m a CISA, CISSP, CISM and an ITIL Foundation certified professional and have served as a member of the ISMS (Information Security Management System) committee for assessment and implementation of ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and as Director of Technology, in my prior engagements.

What inspired you to be an Entrepreneur?

My dad’s an entrepreneur and I’ve probably been heavily influenced by that.Ever since I joined college, I wanted to be an entrepreneur someday. This thought was triggered when I was at Mumbai, working as a Research Analyst.My friends used to prepare for the CFA and FRM exams and would apply to classroom trainings. But given the work pressure, they would miss out on most classes. Furthermore, some trainers were students who had passed the certification exam few weeks ago and had no prior teaching experience. This motivated me to bring in an online platform with qualified experts to provide quality training. The idea has hence, evolved over the years to what is ApnaCourse today.

"Entrepreneurs need to be self-motivated. I believe it’s the same in my case too. The zest to make it big motivates me to work every day and to do something large.
As far as I can go. In your own company, there are no limits. And once you realize it, there’s no stopping you."

What was the vision with which you started ApnaCourse?

The broad vision was to be an innovator in the Education space, whereby there’s recognition to the business model and the technology landscape that has been built. Internet is so prevalent in our lives today, that it can make a huge impact in the way education is delivered. I wanted to integrate Education with Internet, and that was the seed of ApnaCourse. I may have made a humble beginning but certainly have miles to go.

How was the idea conceived and evolved over time?

The business model that ApnaCourse is today has certainly evolved from what I initially envisioned. While I did want to venture in the EdTech space, the original idea was slightly divergent to the current model. The change has been necessitated due to various external factors. Nonetheless, the core concept continues to remain as is and has been aligned to what I’ve always dreamt of doing.

"There’s nothing more important than education. With internet access reaching the corners of our society, technology enabled education like ours can aid in delivering quality education at affordable prices and make learning ubiquitous".

 

 

What were the challenges and setbacks that you faced at the start of your venture?

There were Multiple challenges. Our biggest challenges were acquiring our first faculty and getting the core team in place. The faculty prospects were highly skeptical about our online application. It took us some time and a lot of effort in getting them convinced and after many weeks, we got our first faculty to sign up. Then there were financial constraints. We have always been a bootstrapped startup. So we are constantly conscious of costs and had to balance faculty desires with our costing models. Other challenge has been to setup the right team. However, none of the challenges were setbacks, we just took them as opportunities and worked towards addressing them and we continue doing the same till now.

What, as per you, are the benefits that you have reaped out of this?

I believe that returns from any venture cannot be calculated only in terms of money. Even though we are doing well financially, there are many other non-monetary benefits that has given us excellent returns.

Today, we have faculties writing to us directly and asking for partnerships. As ApnaCourse stands today, we believe there are no new challenges, just opportunities to grow bigger. Fortunately, our staff is our main strength. They contribute to the success of ApnaCourse. Employees who believe in perfection and perseverance are an asset to any organization. Our value systems are strong, and our vision is a long term one. The skill and enthusiasm with which we approach our goals is extraordinary and it in turn garners immense customer satisfaction.

How do you envision ApnaCourse a few years from now?

Every entrepreneur comes with big dreams while starting his/her venture. There is no motivation without dreams. I too dreamt of being a leading innovator in EdTech space. I continue to nurture that dream and hopefully one day I will achieve it. It’s important to remember that technology cannot be the driver, but only an enabler. It must be combined with efficient business models to derive necessary and desired outcomes.

"In businesses there’s nothing like an ultimate goal, because once that goal is achieved, then the motivation to do more ends. Instead, I keep milestones and as and when those are achieved, newer and tougher milestones take birth."

What, as per you, are the benefits that you have reaped out of this?

I believe that returns from any venture cannot be calculated only in terms of money. Even though we are doing well financially, there are many other non-monetary benefits that has given us excellent returns.Today, we have faculties writing to us directly and asking for partnerships. As ApnaCourse stands today, we believe there are no new challenges, just opportunities to grow bigger. Fortunately, our staff is our main strength. They contribute to the success of ApnaCourse. Employees who believe in perfection and perseverance are an asset to any organization. Our value systems are strong, and our vision is a long term one. The skill and enthusiasm with which we approach our goals is extraordinary and it in turn garners immense customer satisfaction.

How do you envision ApnaCourse a few years from now?

Every entrepreneur comes with big dreams while starting his/her venture. There is no motivation without dreams. I too dreamt of being a leading innovator in EdTech space. I continue to nurture that dream and hopefully one day I will achieve it. It’s important to remember that technology cannot be the driver, but only an enabler. It must be combined with efficient business models to derive necessary and desired outcomes.

"In businesses there’s nothing like an ultimate goal, because once that goal is achieved, then the motivation to do more ends. Instead, I keep milestones and as and when those are achieved, newer and tougher milestones take birth."

 

What are your expectations from this venture?

Expectations vary over time. Currently my short-term expectations are to constantly deliver more and more value adding and new age courses on the portal. The long-term expectation is to make ApnaCourse the one stop shop for all professionals to learn and enhance their skill sets.There are certain risk areas that we monitor constantly, and I would be lying if I say we had no fallback plans. Nonetheless, we are quite confident on our business model and the market approach, so we aren’t too focused on executing a fallback option soon.

What is that one goal that you work for?

The plan is to become the one stop learning center for all professionals. In this regard, we are constantly adding newer and market relevant courses. My personal plans are to stabilize the product and then to start other related tech focused business while passing the baton to able seniors who can ensure its maturity and growth.

""The ultimate goal is to be remembered as an individual who made a mark in his field."

 

 

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage it?

Failure is my greatest fear. It probably is with many entrepreneurs because not just us but our families, friends and even colleagues are dependent on our success. I get a lot of support from my family and my team is well supported by senior members who understand delivery pressures and align teams to perform at their best potentials.

What are your ideals?

Trust yourself. I’ve been criticized many times for being in the space I’m in and for the business model of ApnaCourse. I’ve just followed my instincts most of the times and fortunately the odds have been low.Just believe in yourself and if you feel your idea is good, then go with it. Don’t bother on what others say or do. If you can be your product’s first paying customer without any bias, then rest assured there are many others who’ll want to buy it.

What does success mean to you?

For me, success is an everyday mantra. It’s not an ultimate goal. If at the end of the day, you feel good about something and if you have achieved what you set out to, for that day, then that is success. And it is this success which will give you a peaceful sleep that night. So, success can be money for some, recognition for others. It’s what each one defines. But it’s what is going to give you happiness and peace.

“I will go as far as I can to succeed. In your own company, there are no limits. And once you realize that, there are no stoppages and there is no stopping you”

 

 

Contact Apna Course @+91 73536 05333  support@apnacourse.com www.apnacourse.com

On A Mission With A Vision : Sreekar Kothamachu

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The turn of events

As an Engineer by profession, I have learnt that solving any complex problem requires connecting 2 dots at a time. Once I have figured out which 2 dots, I do a deep dive into the details, analyze the pros and cons and then move forward with taking decisions. But that is not how it happened when i started my own venture - Nesa MedTech. If I had analyzed it as much I usually do, I would never had been able to leave my cosy corporate job in healthcare and jump onto the entrepreneur bandwagon. Having said this, I had always aspired of being an entrepreneur, of doing what I am doing now, but when i saw an opportunity walk right in, I had to grab it with all I had.

The goal setting

I was very clear from the beginning that I wanted to continue working in the healthcare domain and innovate medical devices, since I had more than 10 years experience working in reputed healthcare companies with core expertise in domain knowledge, system engineering and medical regulatory standards. But I was not sure what. There were a few feedback's and thoughts that I  had gathered from renowned doctors about this, but on further validation with other doctors, I got contradicting opinions. That is when I decided that I should spend some quality time in hospitals observing the daily activities of doctors and patients to find the pain areas or gaps that the system faced in terms of technology. I was sure that I would get some insight on how and where to start.

After a few months of my research, I could narrow down my goal to look at the real unmet clinical problems that occurred in hospitals. And shortly, I found the specific ones that I wanted to focus on to find solutions with my very first startup. And thus, after 6 months diligence, I founded and registered NESA MEDTECH PRIVATE LTD.[www.nesamedtech.com] with a vision of developing novel and affordable diagnostic and therapeutic devices for emerging countries, like India. Our vision was to pursue business through innovation and technology and build minimally invasive therapeutic device innovations at an affordable cost to address social and economic burden.

Sreekar Kothamachu team
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Aligning to Entrepreneurship

As an individual, I felt I was not living up to my potential while working with a corporate as I always believed that I could do much more. That is when I decided that some day, I would like to run a business of my own. And I have realized that entrepreneurship is the only way to explore yourself beyond your limits and limitations and exploit the ample opportunities available to you. I am having a great learning curve in this journey in various aspects. The experience from this journey has given me a platform to speak at various corporate forums and engineering colleges.

The product(s) that we are developing are yet to be accepted in Indian markets and reap financial gains. But these are the hitches that every  new product or company face in their initial years and are termed as teething problems. It is a matter of patience and perseverance. But what motivates me and keeps me going are the out-of-the-box solutions that we build and the tremendous socioeconomic benefits it will have in the near future.

The fair share of challenges

Challenges for an entrepreneur are an everyday thing. I may sound philosophical, but that’s the fact. My major challenge was to leave a great, cozy corporate job and plunge into entrepreneurship at a time when I was just blessed with a baby girl.

My greatest fears are the technical and strategy decisions that I have to take on daily basis  - Am I doing this right? Is this the right step to take?. However, we undergo periodic exercises where we have discussions with our mentors to ensure that I am on the right track. I know that at any stage, I can go back to the corporate world for leadership roles and that thought gives me the security from What-ifs. However, I don't want to go down that line of thought and defocus from making this venture work.

Anticipating the future

Giving back to society has been our motto from the time we started. Working in healthcare domain and developing solutions that have great social impact is the fuel that we need to fire our passion. The ultimate goal is to keep evolving at every phase of life. Success is about clearing your to-do's on a daily basis consistently for a period of time. Entrepreneurship is a journey. I have still not planned my distinct destination but my immediate destination is to develop a demonstrable product and initiate clinical studies on patients.

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