Interview with Mr.Ajith Laxman, Founder eBizLeads

It is nice to be with Mr. Ajith Laxman, Founder eBizLeads. Ajith hails from an entrepreneurial family and entrepreneurship is not a buzz word for him… He had a 2 year stint with HP and a short 4 months with another startup before starting on his own… Come let us get back to him and know more about him…


Q. Hello Ajith. Can you tell us about yourself?


A.  I graduated from Crescent Engineering College (Chennai) in 2005. My first job was with HP, where I was working as a Java/J2ee Developer for 2 years. I also worked for 4 months with a startup based in Chennai handling marketing and sales. Currently I consult for internet based businesses.


Q. When & how did your entrepreneur desire started & blossomed?


A.  I did not enjoy working as a software programmer and felt I wanted to do something that I am really passionate about. Also, I had no clue what I wanted to do. The month I completed my 2nd year with HP, I felt if I don’t venture out now, it could be never. I had a bank balance of Rs.50,000 when I quit. I moved to Chennai (from Bangalore). The cash I had would sustain me for 6 months and I told myself if I were smart enough I need to find something that I was passionate about before the time and resources run out. If I fail, I had to get back to a software job.


Q. What are your hobbies other than your business?


A.   I read books, listen to music, play the guitar and enjoy travelling, visiting nature’s most virgin un-touched places, star gazing. I am right now working on a pet project of mine, which would be a community portal that would bring people of interest groups like star gazing/ astronomy, nature lovers, photography, travelers etc. together.


Q. Tell us how eBizLeads took shape?


A.   I read a book called the Long Tail by Chris Anderson. This was an eye opener for me on how Internet is changing our lifestyle and commerce. I started studying how various internet businesses work and got to understand their models.

        I started promoting websites on the internet and soon started offering the services for clients. My first client was from Ireland. He was retailing mobile phones and accessories through his portal. Right now, I have my own internet based business where we do online retailing of gift items and collectibles in US by partnering with one of my past clients.




Q. Tell the challenges you faced (Pre formation & post formation)?


A. Pressure from family and relatives was a factor before formation. They were concerned I was losing a lucrative career in software. But when they started seeing some progress in what I was doing, they were supportive even when things were down for me. Post formation, the biggest challenges were in creating a system and process to make sure things go on smooth and organized.


Q. Tell us about eBizLeads business model & Services?


A. We consult for businesses/websites, offer them services like search engine marketing (SEO and PPC).

Who can use our service?

People who are interested in selling their products or services on the internet can use our services. Also small businesses who wish to get more leads to their business using the internet. Internet is a powerful medium today. Just like advertising in radio, TVs and Newspapers, a lot of people turn to the internet for attracting customers and increasing their brand reach.


We also own our own internet businesses where we sell products targeting the US market.     


Q. How did you raise capital for starting eBizLeads?


A. There is a lot of thrill in bootstrapping. There was no capital to start with and I was offering services through freelancing sites. Slowly we started scaling up and now we are a team of 5.


Q. Will this recession have any impact in your plans? If yes how do you plan to overcome this recession?


A.  Obviously it will have some impact as customers will think twice about spending. Whether there is recession or not, there will always be products that get sold and people that need such services. In fact, in times like this people tend to spend a lot on effective advertising. Cost per acquisition of a lead for a business is the least through the medium of internet so I only see a spike in people taking such services.


Q. What are your future plans?


A. Currently all our customers are either from US, UK or Australia. We are planning to extend the services to local Businesses in Chennai too. For Indian market, the rates need to be competitive and you need to score in volumes. Hence, you need a well equipped team with clear defined process to execute the projects.


Q. What is your advice for new startups and wannabe entrepreneurs?


A. My advice is do one thing at a time. Take a task; see it through to the end and only then move on to the next. A lot of times you may be pursuing an idea and all of a sudden something else comes along that you find interesting and you divert your energies into the new one. It’s like pushing a car to get it to start and just when it is about to start, you move on to the next and so on and the cycle keeps continuing. Stay away from that habit.


Thanks for the interview Anand.


=========>End of interview<=========


Thank you very much Ajith for sparing your valuable time with us and it was really inspiring and informative to be with you. We wish you all the very best…

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