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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Startup Dreams_All Angles Dont Have Wings !

Finally I though about asking Sirjee, an absolutely brilliant, soft spoken guy, generous with help and absolutely no malice. I mailed of the document to him too and later during dinner reminded him to check his mail. As is with brilliance, he did not care a lot about what is going on. He was happy with his books and his movies for most of the time.

Anyways that guy said that he would have a look and after an hour post dinner he walked into my room with his laptop and some scribbles on it. With characteristic precession born of an incredible mind he ticked off some major points and flaws in my argument. The discussion went on till late in night and when we finally wound up we were both more confused than we were when we started. Rubbing our sleep laden eyes we decided to split and meet up later.

This cycle of discussion and post discussion continued for about a week before we could finally draft out a plan with the basic businesses objectives and recommended actions. I mailed it to Kaviraj and also requested a meet with the investor to discuss the same.

Things moved pretty fast after that and the next day itself we were invited to present our ideas to the investor who was a guy named Ram. Me and Sirjee packed up our laptops and went to his ad hoc office at Usman road which was pretty near to our hostel.

Kaviraj walks in and leads us to the guy’s cabin. My idea of an angel investor was a flashy office with MF Husain’s and Manjit Bawas on the wall. However I was in for a surprise, there were no flashy settings or glitzy corporate halls, rather a paunchy man behind a time worn desk.

However the AC was working splendidly and I gave an involuntary shiver as the chilly air hit me.

Kaviraj introduces us and Ram greets us with an accent that was more American than Indian, with confidence that comes from the understanding of ones capability. However his confidence kind of bordered on the edge of condescension albeit laced with curiosity.

“Kavi tells me that you guys can take off my pants,” he enunciates in a challenging tone. I counter with a smile,” Well, I think he might have been exaggerating,” and that kind of settled that I am not going to take things lying down.

Click Here
  1. Chapter 1 - It Aint So Easy !!
  2. Chapter 2 - All Angels Dont Have Wings ..
  3. Chapter - Began with a Bang

Startup Dreams_It Aint so Easy !

I had bought about my pad and I started penning down, whatever the guy was saying. This was another MBA habit.

Committing everything to memory is sure possible for me, but I learnt that the exact thought process during the conversation cannot be replicated.

I asked him very basic questions and his answers revealed that he had indeed put in some thought before quitting his rather lucrative job and jumping headlong.

Secondly the guy was unpretentious, he had absolutely no qualms in saying that he was at his wits end and had run out of ideas, and I appreciated that.

Later on we went to a stroll in the nearby beach side and I opened my mouth for the first time.

Problem with that guy was that he had a zillion thoughts all floating around.

What I did was to give him a thread so that he could link them all and maybe once they are all linked, fashion a structure out of it.

I also told him upfront that I am not going to do all this for charity; I anticipated some monetary gains as well to which he readily agreed.

I though of putting together a legal agreement but I did not know anything about his source of finances save a passing remark from him about an angel investor.

Back at the hostel I jotted down everything I could remember. Late night he mailed me his business plan and as I read through it I suppressed a smile. It was slightly juvenile and quite optimistic as well.
I spent the night fashioning out a preliminary business plan based on my understanding. When I finished, even I was a confused about a lot of things I had written and I too needed some help. I thought long and hard on whom I could approach for help.
There were a couple but I had already asked for their assistance a number of times and I did not want to overdo it.

Click Here
  1. Chapter 1 - It Aint So Easy !!
  2. Chapter 2 - All Angels Dont Have Wings !

Startup Dreams :)

This is my experience in trying ot make a new business work.

Penned during my time at B-School.

Got a mail among the several early mornings, as is my policy I read ever darn mail right down from forwards, to the god awful chain mails; each one of them. You never know what you can find and how it may be useful.

Anyways, this one was a forward from the coordinator about some guy working for a startup. Something clicked when I read it, maybe because I had some previous experience working on a website sometime back.

Anyways I did not have a frightful lot to do and the prospect of roaming around under the pretext of doing some work was sounding good. I dashed of a mail to him saying that I would like to help and also put in a mention about my previous professional blogging experience.

The rest of the day passed away quite ordinarily. Later in the evening when I logged in again I saw that guy had replied back and that was rather strange. Either he was absolutely jobless or a thorough professional in need of genuine help. There was only one way to find out, to meet him. I took some time and referred to some literature (newly found, thanks MBA!) and sent it off to him also indicating that I would prefer to meet him.

Within the next day we fixed an appointment and met up in the City Centre mall, one of the malls in Chennai.

My first impression of the guy was that he was a hard worker and passionate about what he did.

Passion, however always bordered on craziness and I wanted to find out whether he had actually given some thought before leaving everything for his dream.

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Chapter 1 - It Aint So Easy !!