This is part 2 of the roundup series of TheRodinhoods Open House which happened at BSE, Mumbai on January 16th, 2016. Part 1 – Anupam Mittal & Alok’s keychat is here.
(Alok sir, before the storm at Open House)
When an entrepreneur decides to lay bare his/her startup in front of this awesome amalgamation of thinkers, doers and Rodinhooders, then sparks are bound to fly; emotions run high and there is an intense synergy of hope, fear and love all around.
Being a startup/marketing blogger, I have attended several startup pitch sessions, but there is something magical about TRH Open House sessions: the ones who have attained glory attempt to demystify the secrets of success and the ones who have that spark in their eyes of future glory, attempt to lap up every possible byte of wisdom which is spread all around.
Something similar happened on the evening of January 16th, when 10 dare-devil entrepreneurs decided to showcase their startups in front of the ruthless crowd of Rodinhooders, who mercilessly dissected their plans, insightfully debated the pros/cons of their ideas and lovingly encouraged them to the brim.
TeamIndus – The Audacious Startup!
At a time when 99.99% of digital startups are either attempting to deliver food or sell groceries, there comes an audacious and crazy group of dare-devils who attempt to make a dent in the Universe. Literally.
TeamIndus, the only Indian startup selected by Google for their space venture enthralled the audience with their ‘rocket science’. I mean, it is not often that you witness an idea of this galactic scale, which has no business model or excel sheets to prove their idea; but only insane passion and rock solid determination to prove that nothing is impossible in this world. And beyond it!
When Alok sir was invited at Rashtrapati Bhawan last month, then he witnessed TeamIndus demonstrating their creation, and it incited goosebumps within him – and during their presentation during the Open House, the same emotions were felt by each and every attendee at the historical BSE convention hall.
TeamIndus has infact won $1 million from Google for their initial efforts, and the story has just started. You can find their presentation and details on how you can send your name to the moon right here.
India will help you achieve your dreams; you only need to trust and believe in India
Survive with failure; embrace it and make it your friend
The Inspiring Story of Mubaid & Lazy Ninja Tees
There are some stories which haunt you for a long time; and when an entrepreneur is the protagonist of such a story, then trust me, it becomes deadly.
Something similar happened when Mubaid, the never-say-die young entrepreneur from Hyderabad decided to share his awe-inspiring story at the Open House. The spontaneous presentation, aided by the insanely interesting twists and turns of his startup journey spellbound the audience at the Open House, and infused a new leash of energy into the proceedings.
Within 2 years of the launch, Mubaid’s startup successfully achieved Rs 3.5 crore of yearly revenues from 50,000 buyers without any professional marketing or sales campaign; and it speaks volume about the purity of his efforts.
The way he maneuvered the evils of external VC funding and the manner in which he rejected the Theory of Excel Sheets and the Principles of Growth Curve made his story an epic saga of determination and passion.
Did you know that TheRodinhoods helped Mubaid to achieve sales of Rs 2 crore? You have to be present there to experience the magic!
Getting funded is not the benchmark of success for a startup; your happy customers are
Service is the best form of marketing; advertisements are for bad products
Answer first: Why did you started your business?
The Launch Of The Day: “Driven: On Demand Drivers”
A new app was launched during the Open House, which was in fact the first session of the day. This app has been created by an entrepreneur who was working in a cushy job but was restless with his ideas and passion.
Driven – On Demand Drivers is aiming to become a marketplace wherein any car-owner can book a driver on hourly basis. Having an interface like Uber (which isn’t a smart thing to confess…!) and an interesting algorithm powered backend (which was super cool: Imagine rating the driver based on his acceleration pressure and brake frequency!), this app will rate your drivers and measure their efficiency.
When the founder asked for marketing advice, Alok sir shared a very interesting mantra: “Beg for everything!”
There were several questions raised, for example if I can get an Uber or Ola at one single tap, then why to bother with a driver and the uncertainty of his effectiveness and not to be ignored safety issue? But somehow, he convinced us that we should indeed give it a try and that the targeted audience of his services are those car owners who want to have the control of their own car but the flexibility of a temporary driver.
The market for services, offered via digital medium, is still untapped in India
After cabs, getting a driver is the biggest pain. All a future entrepreneur needs to do is solve it.
The Fascinating Stories of Being Bootstrapped Yet Ballistic
Being bootstrapped means that you are financially limited; crippled with the agony of having almost zero funds to make your dream into a reality.
But does it stop an entrepreneur from achieving the impossible?
If you had been at the Open House on January 16th, then every preconceived notion about being bootstrapped would have evaporated from your minds.
There was an entrepreneur named Sudeepta Sanyal who bootstrapped her startup The Blueberry Trails and made it into Rs 2 crore revenue company. Her mantra: “Forget about perfection.. coming out is perfection” actually struck a chord among all those who are still waiting for the right moment (which never actually appears!). Catch her presentation and answer her query here.
Then there was Shailesh Jain, co-founder of Mirraw which is a marketplace for wholesale garment traders, which has expanded into a 50 member team. But that’s not all. Mirraw’s Revenue: 100 crores!
He bootstrapped this venture and in between, when a VC asked him to meet, he said, “Dude, I don’t have a ppt.. is it ok?”.
Maybe this is the real power of being bootstrapped: you are independent, you are free and you are awesome.
Sample this: when Shailesh asked the crowd whether anyone has heard their brand called Mirraw, and none of the hands shot up, then I was speculating a sad face or an excuse.. but no! He went ballistic, super happy as he said, “Thats right.. you are not my target audience..” [You can go through his presentation here.]
And this statement encapsulated the core message which every artist and entrepreneur should frame in their mind: Your creation is not for everyone. Create and ship.. your audience will ultimately find you.
Being bootstrapped makes you flexible, and efficient. Being bootstrapped is fun.
E-commerce is hardcore retail business; you cannot solve it by throwing money
It’s not the answers which you should seek.. it’s the right problems which should fantasize you.
Captivating & Sensuous Firechat FinTech Session With Suresh Venkat
Suresh Venkat, the enigmatic TV and Media personality was kind enough to moderate a firechat session involving three daredevil entrepreneurs from the fintech niche; and the 45 odd minutes which went into it turned into a unforgettable experience for the audience.
Suresh Venkat is like that magician who knows how to mesmerize his viewers, and is aware of the power of that pauses in between or the lethal execution of that ‘stare’ which can install terror within the person who is sitting opposite him. He not even spared the audience members, as the first task which he did was the physical stimulation of all attendees which energized one and all.
Like an experienced navigator, he threw questions after questions and like a skilled pirate, he extracted the deepest secrets and fears out of Sharad Singh, founder of Valuefy, Ravinath Dasika, co-founder of Tavaga and Kalpesh Desai, founder of Nudge.
$2 trillion worth of financial services market was decoded and demystified live infront of the 500 plus audience members sitting at the belly of capitalism called BSE (by the ways, only 10% of those who were present at BSE that day have actually bought a mutual fund ever.. This speaks volume about the potential which lies ahead!)
One message for all children: “Start a business!”
Are we in a bubble right now? “Yes”
How to optimally use Rs 100 per day for a new business? “Buy a domain and startup!”
Shailendra Dhakad, founder of Carmel Organics came all the way from Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh to share his fascinating entrepreneurial story involving organic farming and marketing of the same. Shailendra has recently won CNBC Masterpreneur competition as well.
A strange trivia: This was his very first presentation which he shared in his life!
TheRodinhoods is that platform which inspires individuals to do things which have never been done; and the inspiring story of Carmel Organics and all the daredevil entrepreneurs who were brave enough to face the crowd just proved that.
While coming back from Mumbai to Delhi, I met an aged Muslim businessman from Dubai at the airport, who was using the free WiFi to stream movies on his iPad. I asked him how does one become an entrepreneur? And he replied, “Beta, yeh to Khuda ki rehmet hai.. jigar chahiye pehle kadam ke liye.. Sau baar marna padta hai, fir uthna padta hai..” (Son, it’s a blessing of God. You need guts to take the first step.. You need to die a hundred times and then need to again get up..)
More power to all the entrepreneurs.. Wishing them best of luck in their journey.
And, eagerly looking forward to the next Rodinhoods Open House with more fireworks, more energy and more inspiration.
I am Mohul Ghosh, a Writer & a proud Rodinhooder. I blog about business & marketing at Trak.in and manage Social Media at APN News Channel (Noida). I am ‘almost’ done with my first fiction novel (which I have been saying for the last 3 years) and about to start my first non-fiction book on Digital Marketing and Content Creation. Follow me on Twitter or become friends on Facebook.