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TheRodinhoods Unmeetup Hyderabad – A Meet Up To Remember

So the day finally arrived when I attended the FIRST ever meet up of my life. (Yes, you read that right. Introvert, remember?) I’ll be honest with you I was dreading it. The thought of meeting so many people in the same room was terrifying but I made a commitment and I decided to keep it. Plus, I really, really, wanted to meet Asha and Aarini!

I headed to the venue straight from my office, mentally preparing myself. Bonus: I got to spend additional time with the lovely mother-daughter pair. People started walking in soon and I was perched in my spot, taking down notes already. Abhishek, the anchor, officially started the event with a small overview on we took off.

The Introductions

Once the seats filled up, introductions began. The nervousness turned to thrill with each intro. From aspiring entrepreneurs to interesting stories to entrepreneurs looking for co-founders, we had them all in the 30 odd people who showed up. I mean, the diversity was a pleasant surprise and I realize just how much potential Hyderabad really has!

The enthusiasm was contagious and it just kept growing. Interactions began during this phase itself. No one wanted to wait for the networking phase to get to know each other!

Meet the Rodinhooders!

1.     Santosh (Truckopedia): Owns a food truck discovery service. Anything you want to know about the food truck business, he is your guy! From permits to set up a food truck to locating the nearest food truck to you! What’s more, they service the entire country.

2.     Saurab: He heads a virtual incubation startup. They provide capital to startups! As Asha put it, you should all have his contact details and picture on your phone!

3.     New dad Daya Gaddala (Visual Tonality): This amazing gentleman came straight from the hospital to attend the meet up! He owns a photography and videography startup and specializes in “anything visual.” We wish him and his newborn lots of happiness and success!

4.     Karthik (Dry Wheel): Karthik hails from Vizag. He owns a waterless car cleaning service. He is also planning on starting another venture on the lines of entrepreneurial awareness, providing them with mentorship.

5.     Rahul Jacob (Ride It): Rahul’s startup helps corporate employees with ride sharing options. They bring together people who can offer rides and who need rides. When cars aren’t available, they send dedicated cars as well! Ride It raised funding recently!


Inspiring Stories

Karthik Venkat: My Dream Store

After graduation, Karthik tried a couple of entrepreneurial ideas before having the epiphany that is popularly known as My Dream Store. His earlier ventures didn’t really solve a problem or make a difference to anyone. This realization made him think harder and come up with a brilliant new concept.

Seeing as to how difficult it was to cope up with dead inventory, he decided to use technology to solve the problem. He started Mera Merchandise but due to lack of coding knowledge, it stumbled. He started again in 2014, this time calling it My Dream Store, and today, his bootstrapped startup that takes your design idea to execute and market it is funded and is scaling to greater heights.

Takeaways from Karthik Venkat:

1.     Get validation from customers first. Understand why they don’t want to buy from you. Realize where you are going wrong. You can approach the investors after that.

2.     Money is not the only thing you need. Money won’t bring you the right people to work with.

3.     When you hire, see it as a see it as a long term association. Hire someone you think you can work with through out your life.

4.     Be ruthless when you are firing. Keep your emotions out. (This advice he got from Alok over email!)

5.     Your team is the most important part of your startup. Success depends on the team.

6.     Believe in yourself. Only if you believe that you can stretch your limits can you stretch them. BELIEVE.

7.     Books will tell you a lot but you really won’t execute them. Experience counts. That is why you should attend meetings and interact with everyone.

8.     Experiment! The worst that can happen is failure and, mind you, failure is not a bad thing!


Rituraj Chaturmohta: Paratha Post

Rituraj is one of the earliest Rodinhooders. His paratha delivery service was completely offline to begin with. He moved to Hyderabad in 2013 and his first day revenue was 3000 INR. There was no looking back after that. Today, Paratha Post is not just funded but also acquired! It now a part of Hello Curry with 2 crore revenue!

While they are expanding big, Rituraj has joined another startup in Delhi. He now wants to lay off for a couple of years and “give back the life I took from my family.” (One of the sweetest, most touching things ever, isn’t it?)


Takeaways from Rituraj:

1.     A big wad of money won’t solve your problems. You need to have a consistent flow of money from your operations.

2.     Passion is good but it doesn’t bring home food. Be objective while making decisions.

3.     Be ruthless. (See how this has been repeated?)

4.     Trust your partner. If you can’t trust him, you simply cannot build a business together. (It was amazing how he kept mentioning his partner Mukesh throughout.)


Mubaid Syed (Lazy Ninja and Ship Ninja)

Mubaid is one of the most refreshing people ever. There’s a certain air of sincerity even in his smile that makes you want to listen to him. And, oh boy, what a journey he has had! With an aim to start the “coolest T-shirt brand in India,” he started Lazy Ninja. Despite discouragement and taunts, he went ahead with his dream.

He had no experience, no business knowledge, and no money. He had to even take a loan to create his current account! Some of his friends pooled in to get him off his feet. Thus, he had 20,000 INR to get started. Initially he was only on Facebook but two and a half year down the line, he has managed to convert the 13,000 INR into 3.5 crore revenue!

He faced hiccups throughout with lakhs of rupees being stolen once, a vendor disappearing after being paid, and what not. He had to start from ground zero quite a few times but nothing hurt his spirit.

While he was happy that his “incoming was more than outgoing,” he went on to share how he got carried away by the whole “investor bear trap.” Seeing how everyone else around him was raising funds, he thought he should do it too. The distraction made him lose focus and his business suffered. That taught him never to lose focus and to concentrate on his goals.

Takeaways from Mubaid Syed:

1.     Bootstrapping is highly recommended.

2.     Don’t compare yourself with anyone. You definitely don’t need funding just because everyone else does/is.

3.     Complete and utter focus is the key to success.

4.     As long as you are happy, stick with your small business. It is not about the size of the business. It is about your satisfaction.

5.     Don’t keep changing yourself and your business model for investors. Stick to what you are doing and the right one will ultimately invest.


By now I had loosened up and was enjoying myself, despite not having uttered a word. We posed for a group photo and then it was time for refreshments and networking. At this point, the enthusiasm was out of the charts. Everyone started mixing up, exchanging business cards, getting to know each other better, and cracking a joke or two.

The food sponsor: The First Meal

The delicious snacks were brought to us by the amazing team of The First Meal, a budding startup, focusing on the most important (and neglected) meal of the day. Everything from packaging to the quality (freshness) of food was spot on. I loved how neatly they had stacked the food in the box. The samosas were especially delicious!

I don’t know how meet ups usually are but I can positively say, through the expressions and feedback, that this one was a huge success. While I am still skeptic about meeting people, I wouldn’t mind attending more TheRodinhoods meet ups in the future.

Thank you, Asha, for making this possible. Thank you, everyone who came and brightened up the atmosphere with their amazing stories. Yaayy to Hyderabad and double yayyy to TheRodinhoods! J


Added by the Editor: Rodinhooders of Hyderabad are grateful to Rodinhooder Joginder (who is an inventor!) for graciously hosting the meetup at one of his offices. He was busy that day giving interviews on his latest invention but managed to attend the entire meetup which extended till 9pm!! Check out what he’s made!


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  1. thank you for the extensive round up, kritika – we loved meeting you too and hope you will attend the next meetup when it happens!

    am really really happy that i made this trip to hyderabad and could meet all of you for the first time!!

    i took down a few quotable quotes – will add them in the comments 🙂

  2. some of karthik’s quotes:

    “you’ve got an idea, you’re into the market”

    “instead of talking to your investors, talk to your customers”

    “more than funding, your team is the success for your startup”

    “time & team are the most imp ingredients for the success for a startup.”

    3 imp points:

    – while building a team, don’t worry about your equity

    – listen to your early customers

    – don’t hesitate to experiment – stretch your limits

    the amazing thing is that my dream store is not just another marketplace for tees. it is the zepo of tee-shirts! it enables every designer to get online by creating an online store from them and looking after all the backend apart from the manufacturing!!

    karthik and his team are helping designers become entrepreneurs and is building a community which is already 500 members strong!!

  3. for me, rituraj’s story came alive – i’ve read it on trhs but to see and hear him share his experiences was a big goosebumpy moment for me. 

    he had taken an education loan to do his mba. and then worked for tcs for a few years to pay it off. then realising that #hyperlocal is the next big thing – he jumped into it! his story, to me, is how the quintessential rodinhooder starts up!

    “restaurants are capex heavy because they are asset heavy. funding is moving towards asset light models which can scale faster.”

    on how unpredictable the “the thing about food is you can never say where it will work, and where it won’t work” 

    on the difference between a businessman and entrepreneur: “a businessman is into barter, whereas an entrepreneur creates”

    after his successful exit, rituraj has now joined peppertap and is more than happy to connect with rodinhooders who are keen on doing all things #hyperlocal

    rituraj has lots of ideas but right now wants to return his lost time with his family. he says he owes it to them. he missed playing ball while his first child grew up and doesn’t want to deny his second child any daddy-time 🙂 

  4. Amazing!!

    Loved what Rituraj said “give back the life I took from my family.

  5. i think we all were awestruck when mubaid came and starting sharing his amazing stories and experiences. i had requested him to share the struggle and downsides but his story was so engaging, each one of us has become a mubaid fan and am sure lots of people ordered a tee from lazyninja that same night!

    i don’t think any post can give justice to mubaid’s awesomeness – his story of how he sold out his first 1000 tees in 15 mins flat and he didn’t know what to do after that!

    of how he pataoed his dean in mba college to bunk classes while he was busy selling tees (they used to be stacked up in his hostel room!). the dean said he could skip lectures he didn’t like; so he skipped all of his lectures!!

    then how he broke the news to his parents – job placement at goldman sachs vs making tees 🙂 “kaun ladki shaadi karegi” 🙂

    [it’s such a treat to listen to mubaid’s hyderabadi hindi :)]

    he said, he had only one dream/goal: “to make the coolest t-shirts ever and to bump into people on the road who were wearing his t-shirt” that was his dream and he never got distracted from it (except when he focussed on funding in between!)

    “don’t look for funding just because everyone else is” 

    [here he mentions how he started reading startup and funding news on YS and techcircle and other places and got very distracted. now he has stopped subscribing to them and is focussing on building his products]”don’t get lost in jargon and excel sheets”

    “once you service your customer – that becomes your lifelong marketing” mubaid frequently calls his customers to seek feedback. he answers all his customer service queries by himself even if he has someone else to do it.

    the best part was when he mentioned he thought of starting a STARTUP COMMUNITY! and then someone told him about therodinhoods – he then joined trh and gave up that idea :))))

    there’s so much more. i guess we’ll just have to bring him to our next Open House 🙂

    thank you mubaid for being YOU!

  6. Thank you soooo much.. 🙂   

    Its really generous of you to explain it in so much detail. I actually wanted to talk only about Fund Raising and the challenges faced. But once we got there, I thought since lot of people are looking to start something of their own, I talked more about the journey and challenges faced. It was all on-the-spot. But I had a lot of fun.. :p

    And Amazing event. That’s exactly what I had in mind when I wanted to start the Startup Community (StartupNinja/Startup Simply) which will be open for all to share their journeys and experiences. Really glad to have found TRH.

    And I would love to come to next Open House and meet more awesome people.. 🙂  

    More power to TRH community!!

  7. @Kritika – Great.. You covered the entire event in so much detail. 

    Thanks for detailed article.

  8. I was there at the meetup. I have attended number of meetups, conferences. The beauty of this meetup was, it wasn’t artificial. The flow of energy at the meetup was amazing, and it was original. Mubaid and Rituraj were awesome.

    Mubaid is calm and composed. I became a fan of him within a short span of time.  As a comtemporary psychology observer, I think Mubaid need to add a little bit of corporate and diplomatic flavour to his business affairs. He has THE honesty factor. Contemporary world needs not only honesty but also manipulating people intelligently. Rest all will follow u Mubaid.

    I just said my observation, dont feel bad 🙂

  9. I don’t subscribe to your viewpoint, “honesty but also manipulating people intelligently“. Why and what for you need to manipulate people? Integrity still hold  important place in business. If you’re looking for instant gratification then you may be correct but if you’re trying to be long term player try to remain integrity at all levels of business. What if your employees see this and start manipulating you and what would be your reaction, kindly think on these lines?

  10. Hey Asha and Abhishek, good to see this happening in Hyderabad and great job at organizing, i wish i could make it for the event. Happy to see the responses already. Great write up Kritika.

    PS: Asha, this is 3rd time we are in same city and missed to meet 😛

  11. i know manoj – we missed each other by a bit! even in goa you were a stone’s throw away 🙁

    next time you guys must have it on a saturday when you can make it!!

  12. Thank YOU, Mubaid! 🙂

  13. Thank you, Manoj. 🙂

  14. It was a fun un-meetup. understood about perseverance when mubaid shared about his journey and the importance of believing in your plan and executing it. Inspiring talk by Rituraj. Looking forward to more such events in hyderabad. 
    Thank you asha and abhishek for making this happen. And thank you kritika for such a lovely write up. 

  15. I mentioned “manipuation” in a positive connatation sir. I believe only intelligent people manipulate others in a given context. Manipulation can/has to be done in a healthy way without losing the integrity. We all do it all the time. The only purpose of manipulation is taking over the situation and make the things to happen. As we perceive that word in a wrong notion, it might have appeared like that.
    If any of my employes manipulate me, I would prefer to give him a hike.

  16. Thank YOU, Santosh. 🙂

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