“If an underdog 5-pointer can do it, anyone can!”
“No one in my family has been in business. Dad worked for SBI & I was brought up as a typical middle class kid. So, when I made it to IIT, I wanted to leave with a good package. But it took a few months to realize that I wasn’t interested in what I was studying.
My classmate Rahul & I worked on a start-up, Exambaba in our 1st year. Exambaba helped kids with past exam papers–it was a hit! But we had to take it down because it got tough for the professors to prepare questions.
It shut down, but tasted success! In the coming years, I worked on many start-ups. From Recharge123 to Homework Mafia where we helped Indian students earn extra pocket money by completing assignments of kids from abroad; I earned lakhs at 20! When college was ending, I asked Dad, ‘Should I explore new ideas or get a job?’ When he said, ‘Try new things!’ I was relieved!
So after college ended, Rahul & I started Housing.com & we had over 100M dollars in funding at 22!
In fact, I went back to IIT Bombay to hire graduates. The funny thing is, a year ago, I hadn’t been shortlisted by any company, but a year later, there I was, hiring 45 students!
But just how we made it from 0 to 250M, we saw it go back to 0. Half of the company got fired before the merger… The validation I received when Housing did well, turned into ‘We knew this would happen’ taunts. My peers were doing better than me; I went into a spiral, ‘Did I make the right choice?’ ‘Should I pursue an MBA?’ I retrospected where I’d gone wrong, but decided to keep going, as I knew nothing else!
Back then, UPI was new in India, so I chose to explore it. That’s how Khatabook was born–an app for merchants to keep a digital logbook.
This time, I learned from my previous mistakes & I’m working towards a long term vision. The problem we’re trying to solve has an impact on India & that gives me purpose. And today, we have over 1 crore merchants using our app! Honestly, life’s been a roller coaster!
So when I’m asked to give advice to budding entrepreneurs, I say– I wasn’t offered a job during my placement, I saw the highs of success & the lows of failure, but here I am, surviving, thriving! If an underdog 5-pointer can do it, anyone can!"