Always had the “keeda” to be on my own and do something independently. Coming from a middle class family, there was always pressure to take up a stable job. Post MBA from XLRI, worked with Tata Group and Network18 Group. Network18 sparked the fire and set the imagination going since it had a very entrepreneur-driven culture. Runtime helped me to connect all the dots.
Access to talent and to finance was always a challenge during the initial years (4-5 years). This is the time when you really get tested. Cash flow at times would be a challenge and the fear of unsustainability would keep cropping up. Kept studying areas where value creation was more effective and margins were better.
The journey so far
We have done lots of experiments between 2010 and 12. And the years 2014-15 were tough as we lost some key accounts. Retaining talent became critical. Lot of soul searching and revisiting the drawing board followed. Today, we are well placed with a stable team and a client base that acknowledges our work. Patience and tenacity are the key to enduring many a storm on the open seas.
Keeping me awake
Scaling up sustainably is top of my mind. Business development through strategic alliances is the route to reach out to multiple customers and expand the footprint of our operations.
Runtime means running against time for us which defines our ethos and lies at our very core and DNA. Running marathons has given me more insight into the way we work and made me a keen observer of business cycles. Every opportunity is like a marathon for us. Ride the ups and weather the downs. Humor is another key and my sense of humor comes of big help at times when logic and reason have long since left the building.
Celebrating Team and Individual milestones.
Mantras for young entrepreneurs
Have a partner. Being solo is tough and it builds pressure on yourself. You can’t be a James Bond who can do everything. And choose partners with similar mindsets.
Need to have a lot of patience. You can’t change the world overnight and the world moves at a different pace than it feels inside your own head.
Working in corporate jobs for some years helps. It builds perspective and you are better prepared.
If the toss up is between technique or temperament, go with the latter. You need to be rock solid temperamentally.
Having a good mentor helps. Always have one. And be open to learning.