I’m a survivor too!!
Became an Entrepreneurship against the wishes of my parents during 1st September 2000 a month or two before the dot-com bubble.I remember it was sometime around December 2001, it was already 15 months of entrepreneurship and things were not getting any simple… World was still reeling under dot-com bubble and 9/11 terror attack has only made matters worse and nothing was gloomy… Life became very challenging and cruel to me as;
- Money due to my mentor & vendors has started accruing.
- All my efforts of winning a project was hitting to a dead end.
- Criticism from friends and family were getting aggressive every passing day.
But every challenging situation throws a opportunity unknown to us!! Like wise an opportunity one day to my dingy office in an oil go-down. The place was hot, dusty and smelled oil everywhere and I had this 10 year experienced US return who came to me asking for a Job. He was too experienced for me to handle and i was not interested give him an offer. But the conversation between us gave me a new dimension.
US Returnee: Hello Sir!!
ME: SIR?? Who Me?
US Returnee: Yes Sir!!
ME: Yes tell me.. How Can I help you??
US Returnee: I’m looking for a Job. Here is my resume.
ME: Resume read 10 years experience, 4 years in US etc etc. OMG!! I Said, you are too experienced to work under me who doesn’t carry any experience.
US Returnee: No Problem Sir! All i need is a job to engage myself. I didn’t want to stay at home and become dumb.
ME: Sorry, I’m not in a position to offer salary. I think you are in a wrong place.
US Returnee: No Problem Sir!! I’ve earned enough money to survive next couple of years. All I need is a job. Pls consider me.
ME: I don’t have any computers to accommodate you.
US Returnee: No Problem Sir!! I’ve a LapTop and I can bring that. Just give me Job & Projects to work thats enough.
ME: Mind Voice “LapTop ah?? I’ve just seen that on TV commercials and on internet”. Then I told him that I’m not in a position to offer him a job.
US Returnee: I’m ready to offer some money for the Job.
ME: I closed the conversation by telling it is not going to work and I was not interested.
But this situation opened an opportunity in life and I thought why not recruit 3-4 freshers and build a product and leverage on that product. The same day posted a walk-in on a Yahoo Groups for Chennai Freshers .
Again this was like a opening up of another devil. I was sleeping and my mother woke me up telling it was a call from mentor. It was 6.30 AM and I picked the phone and here goes the conversation;
Mentor: What did you do?
ME: I did nothing SIR.
Mentor: There are some 200+ people waiting at the entrance of the office.
ME: 200? I made a post for walk-in in Yahoo Group thats it?
Mentor: What ever goto office and see to it that you are talking to the crowd and send them off ASAP.
ME: Ok Sir!! I’ll be there by 8AM and I’ll handle SIR..
I got ready and immediately drove to the spot. To my surprise the crowd has grown to a couple of 1000’s. My mentor has panicked and has sent his staff to tackle the situation. Already I stared shivering and my brain totally stopped working. Even thought of running away from the situation. But I wanted to handle the situation at any cost because I didn’t want the crowd to damage the office.
I Climbed the compound wall and shouted telling I was a startup, till now it is just me and i’m looking for just 4-5 developers. I thought that is it, but to my surprised every individual started pleading to consider them for that 5 opening. There were people who have traveled from Bangalore, Hydrabad & Mumbai for just a Yahoo Group post. That is how the Job Openings became viral during those recession time.
For me coming out of the walk-in was the only thing on my mind. People used every reasons from sympathy factors, to health issues, to parents health issues, to poverty to get a job. One girl was literally crying when she got rejected and then came her father. Her father said;
Sir!! She is my daughter, she is a gold medalist and her self-confidence has gone down. I’ve not seen her like this & i dont want to see her like this. Here is 1,00,000 INR Sir(It was ready cash)!!! Take this and give her a job. That didn’t look like an opportunity. It only made my already panicked mind into more panic and i rejected that offer and sent that man out. Some how i managed to move away from that day..
After moving from that day it was again days of criticism, push from vendors and desperation to succeed. But no where money was coming. That is were i thought why not I call the US Returnee & The Gold Medalist girl and take a Job Deposit from them. Unfortunately I lost their contact.
From then I started to demand deposit for the job which would be returned after a year. Some how I managed to get Job Deposits from 2 recruits. With that money I could settle all my debts and settle all my commitments with 5 months liquidity. With no distraction for 5 months I could turn things by 3rd month and there was no looking back from then.
Life is not a Not Lemonade and this is how I resolved a a situation in early part of my career!!!
It is a Challenge everywhere & it is so much fun having a Challenge. Last couple of week it has been issues of;
- Delivery Delays
- Shrinking Profits
- Server Issues
- Productivity Leaks
- Escalating Costs
And can add more to the list. After reviewing the situation the findings are wonderful and after cracking the problem and working on the solution is always the best thing to do. Now I’ve a aggressive plans & programs to improve our performance on all aspects and move up the value chain quickly and effectively.