My Learning (Gyan) on Start-up ventures

Few days ago, i had a discussion with my Graduate school friend on start-ups life cycle and their success. Some of the points mentioned below may interest you and could help you as well.

Few points about Start-up life cycle:
1- On an average Out of 100 start-ups, 90 start-ups dies in within 1 year.
2- Those who survives (say 10) keep themselves on Ventilator via Loans or Family support.
3- Rarely 1 out of balance 10 emerge as a winner after 3-5 years.
4- Incidentally there is no real quick way to ride on growth curve.
5- If your venture is successful, then just imagine its liability and assets after 10 years, you will be amazed that liabilities will remain more with growing assets size.

Why Less start-ups:
1- Success ratio is very less.
2- Family opinions differ maximum times as they know things better than us and we keep disagreeing due to our own intuitions and ambitions. But in maximum cases Family do support once you start, that’s a blessing!.
3- Only very few people start a start-up as their full-time, so they are not vocal about it and only close ones get to know about their start-up.
4- Those who start full-time does not speak loud about their start-up as it adds more pressure and being loud does not bring huge business and success as well.

My learnings (Gyan) so far:
1- Your B-plan should be very very clear and discuss it with any tom-dick&harry. If you feel your B-plan is unique, then google and you will find that more than 100 people had already failed it.
2- Your approach has to be different for Product oriented or Service oriented venture.
3- Know yourself first rather than judging your team members and their strengths.
4- Your core member team is always virtual, everyone has their own back-up plans with less strings attached. Still do count on your core team to find the long term partner(s) among them.
5- Only hire highly committed and dedicated employees and kindly release them as early as possible if they are not meeting their targets.
5- Profitable business comes more from business relations, once you become a stable and trusted ventures.
6- You have to lose something to gain something.
7- Reach your office to learn more gyan.

Jim Corbett Diary

Nothing was planned! Why should we plan? Lets see what comes by default.

Abhishek Sharma, Diwaker Bandanwal, Gopan Jain and me took a weekend break from our tight schedule to visit Jim Corbett National Park.

Lets begin the Journey
Gopal was supposed to hire a rental car, which actually made the whole trip a never ending journey. It was 11:05 pm on Friday (27th June 2008) and Gopal kicked off along with TOP-e-TOP (our driver) to fetch Diwaker. I joined them after 15 minutes and then after next 15 minutes Abhishek Sharma was also with us. We all headed towards Gaziabad from Cannaught Place but nobody knew that tonight we will gonna explore the UP(Uttar Pradesh) State of India.

Routing the Adventurous Journey

Delhi to Jim Corbett Map

As Diwaker has explored International Tourist destinations before, he brought printed Google Map with him which was the ultimate weapon to cross unknown places. Ironically, TOP-e-TOP did not know the exact route to Jim Corbett though he had been to Nainital once. Till gaziabad I told him the best route and then at Lal Kuan Chowk (Intersection of Gaziabad, Dadri, Noida, Hapur) we took the staright road (though we are supposed to take left turn towards Hapur. Here starts the live nightmare at 1:00 AM. We crossed Dadri and reached Sikandarabad then Buland-shahar and somehow we sensed that we are not on right track and thought to confirm someone about the place. Finally, we had crossed extra 50 Kms from our supposed way to Jim Corbett. It was 1:30 am when we took Gulaothi (it was midway between Buland Sahar and Hapur I suppose, Please note that this route was not that good to travel in night) route to reach hapur. Finally, at 3:00 am we found ourselves on right track. Now another adventure comes when we found our car on the right track but in wrong lane and here comes our driver (Mr. TOP-e-TOP) taking naps while driving. Anyhow we managed to drive till 5:00 am after which our driver gave up driving any longer. Now here comes the real action, when Diwaker and Abhishek shared the driver’s seat for 30 minutes each. Hope they enjoyed their role on those bumpy roads.

Abhishek Sharma, Arihant Jain, Gopal Jain, Diwaker Bandanwal (from left to right)

Somehow, the driver forcefully took his share of sleep and joined his actual role as driver at 6:00 am. Around 6:30 am our car tyre got flat and the extra tyre was also of no use (but actually we used it) as its condition was too bad. This time we had feeling to kick this TOP-e-TOP at the maximum height so that he should not come back in front of us. Finally, we reached Rampur at 8:30 then Jim Corbett at 11:30. Thanks to the MAP which Diwaker had with him.

Surprise on Arrival

Abhishek Sharma, Gopal Jain, Diwaker Bandanwal in a Jeep

The best news one can get on arrival is that the Jungle had been closed on 15th June for night stay and will open again on 15th November (Note: due to heavy mansoon season the goverment do not allow to stay tourists in Cottages in the jungle). No issues as we took the ticket for evening safari and decided to go Nainital next day (sunday) before heading towards Delhi. Well, the Jim Corbett Safari (3.00 pm to 6:00 pm) was awesome and we had the real feel of jungle.

Getting into the Jim Corbett

Abhishek Sharma, Gopal Jain, Diwaker Bandanwal, Arihant Jain (from left to right) in the Jim Corbett National Park

The feel of the environment was beautiful and so natural that you just fall in love with nature. Jim Corbett is actually famous for Tigers as it has around 165 tigers till date. During our short 3 hours visit we did not find even a single sign of tiger, but we caught the glimpse of lots of deer (especially samba, i think there were 3 types of deer in Corbett), birds, elephants etc. The Old Iron made Machaan was quite real experience and as we got to know from our guide that the Tigers are not Man Eater in Jom Corbett. If possible I would like to visit this Jim Corbett once in a year to refresh myself in the lap of true nature.

Crossing Sunday

Arihant Jain, Diwaker Bandanwal, Abhishek Sharma, Gopal Jain (from left to right) in the Nainital Lake

Next day we moved towards Nainital and crossed 90 kms in 3 hours, we did boating in Naini Lake and then had our lunch. It rained heavily in afternoon (God’s grace that we did boating at right time) and we headed towards Delhi at 2:00 pm on Sunday (29th June 2008). You would not believe that we returned to Delhi at 4:00 am on Monday (30th June 2008). I will say that the driver was not that good, and screwed some our time due to his non-sense. But anyhow it was interesting to find some people to whom we give the responsibilities and get stuck with no way left. It was a short weekend journey which we spent more than half moving in a car. We learnt so many things from this journey.

One should keep traveling in different transportations for different places with different people to get the best out of your journey and take the adventure out of the boring routine life.

CoolAge Buddy

Vicky Gupta

Writing something for someone very close is not easy, but there is no harm in trying too. Vicky and me have few things commom (apart from being a normal human being) like we both are LEOs by sunsign, we had our schooling and college together. I am sure Vicky is my only friend with whom i spent close to 12 hours per day for almost 6 years.

We both met when Vicky Gupta joined our school in class 6. We became very good friends from class 9 as we both used to measure our school distance on our cycles. If i am not wrong Vicky used to have ATLAS cycle and mine was HERO. Well, in our class 10 borad exams Vicky surprisingly scores 2nd rank and me luckily got 3rd rank. The irony was we both were not expected by our teaches to find any rank in top 3. 

The rising of self governed life (here begins class 11)
Vicky, Ankit, me and later on Anupam joined Sahil Study Circle in sector-8 Rohini for our entrance examinations preparation. From there started the second half of life with little active focus on girls and more lazy focus on studies. As a confused aspirant of Medical Entrance, i joined medical batch of Sahil Study circle and vicky, ankit, anupam joined Engineering batch. I admire the Sahil’s faculty but their management was quite poor which we guys always contempt. Anyhow, only ankit goel managed to get good rank in NSIT where as rest of us decided to drop an year and study for Engineering though i found engineering as my cup of tea this time.

One black year passed and we (Vicky, and me) got admission in Delhi College of Engineering. DCE is something which is attached very deeply to our lives because we learnt few personal, some emotional, new professional things from there only. If we guys were not in DCE i think we would have been somewhere in IIT (LOL). Its God grace that we are blessed with DCE and someday this college will proud of us as well.

Dawn of True College Life
I got Electrical Engineering and Vicky got Mechanical Engineering, though we would have been enjoying the same branch if he had not freezed his upgradation. The college life certainly would have been different if we were together in Electrical branch. Anyhow there was one surprising thing in DCE, if you belong to Electrical 2002-2006 batch then your seniors and peers used to assume that Electrical guys are blessed with best chics in college.

I forgot to tell you that Vicky lives very close to my house though 5 minutes walking distance in actual. So me and Vicky used to go together via RTV, Metro, Car to DCE and had good time in RTV by listening to chirpy girls of JIMS college. Well, i would like to give a pause to our extra college activities by sharing some lovely college memories. It was our college Engifest’2003 and as usual trio (vicky, gopal, arihant) were checking some group for JAM session. On our first day of engifest me and gopal had good incident which is unforgetable for some people. Next day vicky and gopal managed to share dance floor with some IGIT girls, without much delay vicky asked those senior IGIT girls for friendship and there inked something from IGIT for vicky in future. Anyhow this serial process of sharing dance floors went on for first 3 semesters and then trio got departed because of personal reasons and all.

Arihant Jain (left) and Vicky Gupta (right)

Dawn of Real College Life
From our 2nd year onwards things became practical, everyone got busy with their future plans like MBA, Placements and all. Some stories were still cooking at some places, but the charm was loosing and everything will soon fade away was crossing the mind. It is an irony that initial 2 years of every engineering graduate goes without love to its college, faculty and most importantly no strings attached to their liabilities for college. In our last 2 years at DCE vicky and me had very practical life focussing our long term goals. By the end of 5th sememster we started preparing for CAT and joined TIME. By the end of 7th semester Vicky had placements in HCL, Siemens and me got in PATNI computers. 8th semester in engineering degree is the most stressed as well as relaxing depending on one’s luck and efforts. Finally, our DCE (Decent Chapter of Engineering) Life ends with no regrets and no pain, but with some good lessons and memories for rest of our lives.

Lets see what almighty has planned for us, though we just hope that what we have planned together should come true one day.

Big ShowMan

Dhiren Achtani

I was thinking to write something about my friends. I have written about them in their social networking avtaars but still i want everyone to see them in terms of arilogy. This is for one of my closest friends Dhiren Achtani.

I do not recall when we met first time in our college, i think it must be during our to and fro journey back to home in early weeks of our college.  I happen to remember a very early event we encountered or made in RTV (rural transport vehicle) from our college to the urban land of delhi.

It was raining, me, anand and dhiren were waiting for some transport. RTV came and few more first year students along with us board this RTV. Dhiren and Anand joined the seats with driver and ofcourse i was left for some (i wish this should not be happened) beautiful incidence. I had an umbrella with me which was soaked with lots of water and now it was time to fold it and pack it back into my bag. Before this simple expercise i strangely shaken that umbrella to reduce some water out of it, and by doing that i incidently happen to shower some extra drops to the people around me that too inside the RTV. It was unexpected to see smile on some pretty faces sitting around me. Now what you call at first sight did not happen this time, but something crossed in my mind. This incident was one of the sweetest events from that college memeories. After this our RTV got some movement and we guys as usual started our youth-talks of those times.

In some another incidence from our 1st semester: me , dhiren, guru planned to watch some movie. Incidentlly that day it was also raining and we went to PVR Janakpuri to watch Bips movie JISM. It was my first intentional BUNK from  college lectures otherwise this credit was always shared with our lecturers in mutual with whole class. I drove my car to PVR and parked it just behind another similar color car. Dhiren went off to buy the movie tickets and in his return way, he just happened to sit inside a car just similar to our car. Me and Guru just rolled on our seats laughing badly and after few seconds faint faced dhiren joined us. Only me and guru (GurKirpal singh) can imagine the way dhiren got into that similar car and closed the door like his own car and then got down like nothing has happened. That day i found one of the qaulities of Dhiren to handle unusual incidences with witty and cool nerves.

A quick conclusion drawn on few similar and other incidences weighs this big guy on Nerves side. We anyhow together shared and worked on those things very well which requires indulgence of witt, brains, thoughts, logics etc. Me and dhiren are quite compatibles when it comes to nerves as we think very much similar and bring close conclusions though we are two different brains.

But my idea of writing do not go without putting NERVES on hold as VALVES are of much more concern this time. Yup lets find out some valves beats.

It was another college fest night, if i am not mistaken it was PULSE 2003 in AIIMS. Anupam, Dhiren, Gopal me and Vicky were trying to manage some passes to get into the auditorium to see some pure heart breaking ramp-parade. Interestingly, the big boss Dhiren started some candid conversation with some girl. The girl was mind-blowing as by default every unknown girl looks same in night “OWL OWL”. Suddenly, the door of the auditorium opened and we all fled into the auditorium. Look who is missing?
Dhiren was nowhere and i was trying his cell-phone and feeling bad about him as well. My cell-phone flashed a message saying “i am back-stage”. Dhiren was having good time chirping with Maitry College birds, and after some time he returned from the front-stage to us and was happy to behave like a bully LOL.

This time it was our DCE Grad-Party at Last Chance Discotheque. Every next guy was boozing around and some beginners were vomiting as well. Everything was going fine and some last sights were chasing towards end. Dhiren also beat few valves here as well and this time thanks to the other side. After that party got over we all went to comesum near Nizamuddin Railway Station and stayed there for an hour and then went to SDA Railway Platform and had chat about our life at DCE which i do not recall but it would have been some confessions i suppose.

Arihant Jain (left) and Dhiren Achtani (right)

Dhiren and me had very good time together in college and share very strong bond. It is not tough to find good friends but spending good time with good friends makes you best friends. College got over, professional life started but still we have a long way to know more and more as some new Nerves and Valves keep evolving in our lives. I wish we will get some phase later on in our lives to spend more time either as a B-school students or some B-venture partners.