It was just around a month back or so, when I accidentally logged into The Rodinhood
web-portal where a friend of mine had posted his start-up story. I have been hooked since then.
On one such browsing occasions thereafter, I came across something titled ‘OpenHouse in Mumbai’ and that got me interested since I had an opportunity to make a presentation (just the second time till date that I have presented Theek Kar Do before an audience). But the theme was a bit different – ‘Celebrating Pain’.
So what, I still wrote a mail to Asha and she shot back, ‘stick to the template’. And after certain to and fro, we finally had an acceptable presentation (the selection process was still pending). Then suddenly she dropped in an email to me and Akancha that this is Hardik’s presentation. I was not sure what did that mean – do I present or not. Another email exchange confirmed my doubts – it was a Yes [obviously for the presentation ;)].
From then onwards till the Saturday of the openhouse, I would make small pointers for the best way to get the point across and try and remember them (unfortunately I haven’t developed a habit of writing it down on a piece of paper) and forget them after a while. Saturday morning, I realized that I know what I have to speak only to forget a part of it when my name gets called out to begin the presentation. Not blank really, I can manage impromptus, but being just a 6 month old entrepreneur asking to address 200 RodinHooders was a big thing man.
And by speaking earlier, Alok and Sushrut (from Hammer and Mop) had already raised the bar. But when you speak to peers, all inhibitions are laid to rest.
So what is Theek Kar Do all about?
Theek Kar Do, a one-stop repair centre for electronics, laptops and home appliances, not only claims to fix devices after their warranty period is over but also guarantees prompt service within two hours and tops it with a three month warranty.
All you need to do is call us on 80-80-TKD-TKD (i.e. 80-80-853-853) or fill up a form on www.theekkardo.com and we will take care of the rest. The service provider of your area who specializes in that particular product is sent to your house. We make a unique 3-2-1 promise to all its customers; three months warranty, two hours service at your doorstep and one stop repair shop. Besides, all the technicians that are sent to you undergo a background check.
So, moving back to the theme, we were ‘Celebrating Pain’ at the open house.
We all co-founders (Sonakshi, Bhavishya and Shantanu are like below 22 when we started working on the project around a year back. Of which, Bhavishya and Shantanu were not even 18. To run a business in a city like Mumbai, we knew we needed capital. And we did not want to borrow from our parents. That clichéd hindi dialogue is there to suit the situation – ‘khud kuch kar dikhaane ka junoon’. Sonakshi and I are chartered accountants by qualification so we estimated our capital requirement, worked in a corporate for a while, got the salary and once we met the requirement, we called it quits. At a personal level, to ensure that I could contribute enough capital, I have not seen a movie (in theatre) since almost 6 months now (and Saransh I am a big movie buff just like you). Have given up on small things and luxuries to save the capital and invest in the business. I know I will recover it with interest over time. Today, the only suggestion I could give – it’s ok to beg, borrow or steal (strictly avoid the last one). Ask your family, friends, and relatives to invest in the start-up pool – it’s all cool.
Another issues is, the more qualifications or degrees you hold, the more difficult it gets to start-up. Being a CA, eyes would pop out when I would tell people that I want to quit that job which pays me lakhs a year and start a repairing business. It’s nowhere connected. Then, the other major problem was that my parents reside abroad, so they expected me to complete my education and head back home. I was the perfect example of reverse brain drain. Came to Mumbai to pursue my graduation and now not willing to go back. Another major obstacle. But all said and done, ask them to believe in you just like always and tell them all you need is a year or two and I am just 23 today (not 13) – age is on my side. It will take time, but as you do well, they will be your best support system.
If you are planning to work with a co-founder who is not of the same gender as you, then personal relationship (current or past) helps a lot. Unfortunately, I have been single all my life and am totally clueless about the girls nakhras, attitudes and yes – I do not understand obvious, subtle hints (Akancha – no offence). We shared a common vision of organizing the unorganized repair segment and that’s all that mattered. We used to debate for days on certain marketing promotional activities, creative differences and stuff. But then sit across the table and talking it all out is the only solution. Please avoid the emails, FB’s, BBMs and the whatsapps. You are partners – face each other. All said and done, its because of my co-founder that I can call myself an entrepreneur and I respect her for that.
That’s enough of it. *phew*
At the end of it I feel proud that just been 6 months into the venture, I had a story to tell and if inspired then consider my task done.
And finally was sort of officially inducted as a RodinHooder with the t-shirt. Thanks guys.