How I bootstrapped my first venture!!!


This is how I bootstrapped my first venture which was started during the starting days of Dotcom bubble.

 

  • Shared office space from a Gingelly oil company where they gave us 100 sq ft space, 5 systems, internet connection and a telephone line for $200 a month.
  • Provided out of our business model services which helped us sustain till we got a groove into our core business. Services we offered were;
    • Linux installation
    • System Assembling & Trouble shooting
    • Java Training
    • Offering real time projects for college students
    • Sub sourcing resumes to manpower companies

Since we were out of college we had big network of friends who were college pass outs or students which helped in spreading our services and we got decent response to recover our monthly expense.

  • Since it was recession there was acute shortage of jobs. We offered jobs for deposit and we got tremendous response for this. We made $2000 from two people which were our six months liquidity with which we stopped all non core activities and concentrated on core business.
  • Apart from those two paid resource. We hired talented people who joined us for no pay. This changed our fortunes.

Having generated 6 months cash flow and a team of talented people we were able to win projects with the HELP of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and market places like scriptlance.com and elance.com.

Entrepreneurship!! Whose piece of cake?


I’ve seen many highly energized people who approach me with their business ideas asking to review their idea or for investment… Most of these people who approached me said they were meeting more people with their ideas for more than six months… When I asked the reason for their wait;

 

  • Some said they had family commitments to fulfill and hence they can’t quit their job.
  • Some said they work to gain experience which would be helpful when they start a business.
  • Some said they are waiting for proper timing (Some said market is at itz high and waiting for correction & some said it is recession).
  • Some say they don’t have enough capital to start a company.

 

There were many more reasons which sound crazy… Though I respect their reason be it genuine or not. I can’t buy their reason for delaying their entrepreneurial ambitions because;

 

  • Mr.Narayanamurthy founder of Infosys had a family (Wife & 2 children) when he started Infosys. Commitments are man made and we have control over our commitments and we have to plan and control our commitments to bring out other desire.
  • Job experience and business experience are different ball game and when one starts a business at any point of time (with or without experience) they have to come across challenges.
  • Timings can’t be timed because when market is on a high note there will be business but costs are high and when there is a recession costs are low but business will be poor. Always there is no right time to start a business or to put it optimistically every time is right time to start a business.
  • Always one need not have capital to start a company. There are many ways to bootstrap and one must read success stories how they bootstrapped in they their early days.

 

I personally didn’t have much job experience when I took up entrepreneurship but today I gained much knowledge and experience which is required by an entrepreneur. But my friends who started business with 8 years of job experience are overcoming the same challenges which I came across.

 

One more thing which I want to tell every striving or wanna be entrepreneurs is “Start something immediately” only then you will create a focus and can find your path. Until then it will be a chicken and egg story…

 

Let me end this blog with this note;

 

  • Ship is always safe in the shores but it is not built for that.
  • Start small Think big Work on quick iterations.

Internet best route for startups!!!


Internet has created lot of opportunities for creating wealth, sharing knowledge and created new type of hobbies… There are lots of success stories on the Net and these are something that we all use in our daily life Yahoo, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and many more which all became big in a very short span of time…

 

But all the above are well known stories and there are many more untold stories of Netpreneurs who maintain a low key profile and still making it big or using internet to make a decent living…

 

There are thousands and millions of individuals are directly benefited because of internet… To my knowledge following types of business are possible with low investment;

 

·        Offering programming & technical services for internet and other applicable requirements.

·        Offering Search Engine Marketing, Internet Marketing & Search Engine Solutions.

·        Webmaster services like running websites that caters to user needs.

·        Even hobbies created revenues (Eg:Famous bloggers will get paid for some posts).

 

Classified services can be further broken into several options and also there could be many options which I could have missed… Over all making a living out of internet is easy and also you can carve your niche and can create a USP (Unique Selling Preposition) quickly…

Interview with Mr.K.Balasubramaniyam, Founder Contus Support BPO Pvt. Ltd.


It is nice to be with Mr. Balasubramaniyam.K, Founder Contus Support BPO Pvt. Ltd. Bala is a good old friend of mine and he has been tried his hands on lots of ventures from his college days… His has his own share of failures and success and he has loads of experience to share at this young age… Come let us get back to him and know more about him & Contus…

 

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

 

Friends, it’s too early to talk about me or Contus Support.  We have a very long way to go, for now we just identified the path to walk and we have miles to complete.

 

I am a Mathematics graduate and had dreams about starting a company since my college days, along with my friend Sriram.  Even Anand invited us (myself & Sriram) to join his team in 2000, but we couldn’t join him for some reason. 

 

I am environmentally friendly person having great respect and love for nature. I spend most of my free time with likeminded people.

 

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

 

It started when I were in school, when I really didn’t know the meaning of entrepreneurship J  After college I  had been to various ventures which includes Internet, Finance / Banking, etc., where I experienced a mix of Success & Failures. I always believed  the magical word “Dream” by A.P.J.Abdul Kalam.

 

It took us one long year to gather information, raising funds, building team. Finally Contus Support was born on Feb 2008…

 

Q. Tell us about your past ventures and let us know your experience?

 

My first entrepreneur dream came true in the year 2001 when I and Sriram took lease of Sify Iway  in Saidapet, Chennai.  Though it is not a big venture we learnt a lot there and it really helped us to keep the thirst of entrepreneur and that was the reason for the birth of Contus Support.

                                                                                    

Q. Tell us how Contus took shape?

 

As the name (Contus Support BPO Pvt. Ltd) says Contus was started as a BPO company last year and slowly transformed as Software / Applications provider after Mr.Amalraj and Mr.Balamurugan joined the team Contus.  Now Contus is in to Web Applications & Product development.

 

 

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

 

As I mentioned before we started Contus as a BPO and it required huge capital investment. We tried to raise capital for Contus before one year of its inception through friends, relatives and acquaintance.  We were also in discussion with Pentamedia for joint ventures through one of our Director Mr.Dinesh.S. 

 

All these attempts failed and that is when we decided to raise capital ourselves. We were able to raise capital money ourselves because of Mr.Thiaghu.R and Mr.Prakash (Directors) who gave the idea and motivated us on raising money.

 

After formation of the Company, things were not smooth like we expected.  We quickly realized weakness and we changed our business model from BPO to IT / S-A-S provider.

 

Q. Tell us about “Service” offerings of Contus ?

 

Contus Support offers three main services

 

è    Web Applications & Product development    (www.platoon.in)

è    Internet Marketing S.E.O.                              (www.webstreetsmart.com)

è    Technical Support Services                             (www.support1000.com)

 

Q. Have you accomplished everything you dreamt about Contus?

 

No.

 

Q. How did u raise capital for starting Contus?

 

Contus was founded by a team of five (Directors) and we all invested the money equally.    We raised money by applying personal loans from Bank.

 

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

 

We won’t have any impact for us because of this recession. Infact recession is a blessing in disguise. We are getting talented resource for an affordable package.

 

Q. What are your future plans?

 

It’s too early for now to say that.  But I can say we have fixed a very big milestone.  Our next step would be developing niche products which you can get the updates from our website (http://www.platoon.in) in the coming days.

 

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

 

è    Believe yourselves

è    Proper planning

è    New thoughts

è    Execute without delay

 

===========>End of Interview<=========== 


Thank you very much or sparing your valuable time with us Mr.Bala… you have a inspiring story and it was really inspiring to be with you. We wish you and Contus all the very best…

Interview with Mr.Vivekananthan, Founder Pertly


I’m honored to be with Mr.Vivekananthan, Founder Pertly… Vivek’s entrepreneurial journey starts from his student days and let us gets from him…

Q. Good Day Vivek. Can you tell us about yourself?

A. Hi Anand, Thanks for getting me into this interview. I am Computer science graduate dreamt about starting a company to improve the everyday lives of people. Founder of Pertly. Throughout this interview you would find how my dreams became actionable.

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

A.  During my second year of college I took up a challenge of taking a project which my seniors left it off saying they cannot do. I challenged them and started it off, added to the fact that I don’t know any programming language at that time. I geared up in preparing for that project. I hardly got a week’s time to deliver. I started reading good books and slowly 4 individuals highly talented voluntarily joined with me saying they would help me out to complete this project.
We put our best efforts and we completed the project on time and delivered on the said exhibited time. Our team got praised everywere and eventually we won the first prize for best project exhibited.

This is the first event that acknowledged my skills. That is the proud moment I started finding opportunities everywere. I decided to take the road less travelled [during our college days]. I haven’t prepared for any campus interview, even my favorite teachers scolded me for being a bad example for my juniors. I never give up, I focused my energy in forming a team and again a golden opportunity knocked at me, this time it’s pretty big, our college is being selected for an open source project named “Tamil Database” its been funded by Tamilnadu government. I took up that project for two reasons, a. I don’t have capital to ignite a company b. I don’t like to ask it from my parents, becoz its my dream and I don’t want to risk my parent’s hard earned money. I see this as a golden opportunity.

With many helping hands from IIT, especially from Dr. Hema moorthy [Prof. Computer science department] we were able to complete that huge project.
Once after completing my degree I still had very less money to start a company so went for interviews and almost through to Accenture, but that is the best moment as one of my senior called me up [with whom I decided to start a company during college days]  asked me to join hands with him to co-found a company in Chennai. My parents believed on me and I came to Chennai to start my entrepreneur carreer. My first company is Universal Elements. We developed a travel product and it got very high profile clients in Chennai. We have grown a considerable way and we developed from 2 t o12. After a year or so myself and my co-founder got a difference in attitude. It was him who called me up to start a company, hence I left my company with empty hands and cheerful memories. I gave all my clients to them, but they refused to take up one single client whom they cannot manage, so I took them up resided in friends place and did projects for them to feed myself. This is how Pertly evolved.

Q. What are you hobbies other than your business?

A. It includes playing chess, reading books, watching films, spending some time with friends.

Q. Tell us how Pertly took shape?

A. After being a one man, I started with typical office cum residence, then slowly we have moved to a separate office of ours. This is how Pertly took shape.

Q. Tell us about your previous ventures?

A. We started to sell our services and products. We learnt that products is the only way were you can bring harmony to the lives of people. Our product did it for travel industry.

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

A. The biggest challenge is forming a team and finding the right balance between demand and the resources to fulfill the demand.
As for registering a company we did outsourced it to Mr. Bala (Cogzidel), they did a great job and I found no problems in forming a company.
As far as post formation is considered, its all about creating talent pool.

Q. Tell us about Pertly’s business model?

A. Our initial motto is “Do one and do it better”, It doesn’t mean that we would stick to only one in our lifespan, it means we would be in only one until certain process is evolved above the threshold. Once our base is strong we can build how many ever floors we want on the top of it.
We have started our focus on products, we are prototyping ideas, I suggest wait for few months to know more about that.

Q. Tell us about Pertly’s services & products?

A.
We are currently a service oriented company.
We design and develop applications pertaining to web. Our service offerings includes:

  • Graphic design
  • Websites – PSD to XHTML/CSS compliant websites
  • Content management – WordPress, Plugin development
  • Ecommerce
  • Payment gateways
  • Webapplication

Q. Do you feel the impact of recession? How do you plan to overcome this recession?

A. We are growing actually. Yes payments are getting delayed but other than that we don’t feel the heat. We are indeed expanding our team and starting growing ever faster.

Q. What are your future plans?

A. We are in the starting phase of our product designs and all I can say is only that, I can say more about that once official announcements are released.

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

A. “All things are created twice, once in your mind & once in the real world”, so create your idea in your mind and start evolving it faster and faster.

  • Register your company as soon as possible.
  • Get networked with fellow entrepreneurs

I hope you all enjoyed this interview let me know your thoughts on to it.

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

Thank you very much Vivek for sparing your valuable time with us and it was really inspiring to be with you. We wish you all the very best… To know more about Pertly kindly visit http://www.pertly.co.in