After more than a year

One of my colleagues at office asked me yesterday.

‘It has been more than a year now and what do you think has changed?’

His voice was one of dreary exhaustion and also one of a person in the last mile. I guess a lot of us go through it sooner or later. I will dwell on this in a while.

Looking back, I can see a picture. I can see a beautiful collage of people moving around. The flurry of excitement when we started. The long hours spent in tuning things for the launch. Oh oh,..let me go to the days when I had a parley with Kunal about joining the company. Oh not so long ago and fresh as a mayflower.

I had eventually joined and never turned back since. We were such a small team and it was funny knowing that everything for our company was happening in that small room. A bag full of beer and a few cigarettes gave us all the company.The portal kept crashing once in a while and people kept using our services for hours, for free. Those were the days when every small interaction was a entry in our log and every customer was contacted to get feedback. Every small thing mattered and everybody was on-top of everything.

We have moved considerable since. Most importantly, for me, we have spoken to so many different people to be able to see all the possible avenues to be able to apply ourselves in our quest to reach out to people and tell them about our services. Interestingly, the list might seem funny as we have spoken to Telecom operators, handset manufacturers and also reached out to people through the regular phone channel. This can be looked at as a sort of vertical integration of sorts. Trying to grab value from every part of the value chain.

We have been able to open up a few more channels from other categories such as travel and premium customers and things are looking pretty spiced up for the moment. Waiting for the point of inflection and I would predict that it is only a matter of time.

I am not keeping my fingers crossed, rather both my legs are on the gas pedal and the clutch. Revving hard and biding for the moment to fire on all cylinders.

Thumbs up!

Baby, what time is it?

Am back to my groove. Working at few minutes past two in the wee hours of the day.

My mother tells me that this habit started when I was really young. I was a playful kid and my father was studying for one of his continuing education courses (as he is still today, though for some other reasons), and he was trying to find some way to make me read up for my class the next day. As I am today, I never studied for my classes until it was ABSOLUTELY imperative for me to do so. Since he had to study for his sessions, he thought he can simultaneously sit by my side and make me study. My mother was happy that she could off-load this headache of making me study onto my father. My father found a way to spend time with me after his hectic office hours.

Little did they realise that they would start a habit that would remain to this day. Habit survived my school, college, post-graduation and my work. To be honest my brain starts to get in shape in the later part of the day and seems to peak towards the night. I sometimes feel that I am working according to time in the U.S. Pretty strange that I should behave in this way.

But, here I am, writing this post when most others of my ilk would have dozed off with plans for the next day working in their mind.  Maybe I was meant to be an owl. Maybe I was meant to be a smuggler or something. Maybe I was supposed to be a night-watchman or something. Whatever it is, I am just loving it.

Let me be and I need to find my papers. Been some time.

People around here,…or maybe everywhere,…

Mindset

It’s been more than two months since I started my journey of enterpreunership. It has been a rough ride ever since. But I have learnt more in these two months than I can remember about business from school.

There are no frameworks in ground zero. No fancy terminologies about an oraganisation. There is no business plan, nor are there financials. All the jargon learnt over 18 months at a business school suddenly pale into insignificance. They do not make sense to your customer when you are starting from the bottom. People do not want to look at cash flows after five years nor are they looking at growth in non-traditional terms. People seem to have developed habits and they do not want to break them in the eye of uncertainty. The biggest obstacle, as always, in a matter of human development, is mindset. The driving goal is utility.

The conundrum is that utility in a non-traditional fashion takes time to make itself evident. But habits does not let us peer into the crystal of imagination. Now someone tell me what comes first.

Photo courtesy:

http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/87838/no_mindset.

Three weeks as an entrepreuner

It has been three weeks since I have left Mumbai to work on a private project.

I have to recollect my experiences in this past three weeks. I have travelled close to 3000kms in these three weeks, with visits to Tirunelveli, Palayamkottai, Sawyerpuram, Bangalore and Hyderbad. First thing is that I feel an immense sense of doing something substantial when compared to my feeling when I was working for Johnson & Johnson. Given that it is a healthcare company and all that, but here I can see people standing in long queues waiting for specialist physicians to attend to them. Some to most of them have come long distances to see the respective physician. I also happened to meet some patients who were recuperating from surgery and could see the kind of gratitude in their eyes for the change in their lifestyle. I knew that I could do something about it and am working on that.

I also had the boon to spend an evening with my ‘Guru’ and discuss my thoughts with him. Thoughts on my career, my plans and my view of the world a large. As usual I returned with some new seeds thrown in.

The long rides in the early mornings, on roads with fields stretching for miles on either side, air thick with the fog caused by the moisture exuded by the fields was magical. I even managed to sneak away to Courtallam in the dead of the night to take a quick shower in the falls as this was the best time of the year to come to this place. the shower was in partial discharge, but just right for tourists to venture and take a bath without getting washed away. Oh the water was like a seasoned masseur, pounding away mercilessly at my torso and at the same time being not too harsh to leave me with a sour body and mind. Refreshing is the word.

I savoured on fresh dosas with brilliant chutneys which people were finishing by the bowlfuls,…balls to north indians,..:)

Now coming to the entrepreneurship part,…yeah,…feels liberating when I am alone and stressful when people look upto me for ideas in my venture, both of which are becoming partnerships.

Good mix of action, mind gymnastics and loads of fun. Like my friend wrote,…

‘I’ve got the fever once again’