The other day I happened to attend The Indus Entrepreneurs(TIE) event titled ‘Entrepreneurs In Exile”. I was little surprised by the theme of the event. I must congratulate the organizers taking up this topic. In our society failure is not accepted easily. With a bit of research on this topic, I got to know that India is also changing on this mind-set, and people are talking about failures. Look at following articles.
In rest of this blog I, being an entrepreneur-in-exile myself, am trying to capture my entrepreneur attempts. My enterprising mind-set came of out the need to support myself in the hardship of our family at the age of 16, by way of preparing paper packs to be used for packing grocery items in the shops. I, not only made them, but also sold them to nearby shops. I obviously did not continue doing it, as I had to focus more on my studies, and things were looking now better. This neither did succeed nor did it fail, but I aborted it after the main goal was met.
My next venture of supporting myself was teaching BASIC language to bunch of middle aged engineering managers in nearby auto-industry. This was in 1988. The computers was a buzzword then. When I look back, I dived into unknown territory without know what does it mean to teach and teach BASIC. I did not know BASIC then(neither do I remember it now), as I had learnt only C language by then. It went on for few months, teaching sessions for few hours a week. My parents forced me to halt it after I met with an road accident cycling to and fro to the site where I was teaching.
When I was 24, had some work experience, me and bunch of my friends got an itch of doing on our own, and we started with training again, this time C and Assembly languages. I remember fighting over with my “co-founder” friends on how our training pamphlets should look like. But this attempt did not take-off as our advertising did not pay us off, as not a single student turned out. Later on we moved into IT services space. Now all of us became salesmen on the bicycles once again, we would be off for a day long visit to various factories in nearby industrial area selling our capabilities. We did manage to get one owner of cooking-gas agency for office automation project, spent time studying his manual process and submitting the proposal, but some other vendor stole the deal. And thereafter, our priorities changed slowly as “co-founder” friends started finding better prospects in their jobs and this attempt also was put on “hold”
My latest stint as entrepreneur came much later in the life, at the age of 40, after I ran out of my job when our development center was closed. The idea of starting again took seed while I was consulting. And this attempt, I would say, was very serious, compared to earlier attempts. We formed a company called QuinarySoft. My stint there lasted for 3 years, after which I exited to let my other co-founder take it further. We did variety of things in IT services, played with our own ideas, in different domains, on solving problems using technology, burnt our money. After spending 3 longs years, I decided to came out of it, due to changing landscape in the IT services and it becoming commercialized so much that it we were loosing as a differentiator in the market(and there are many other reasons, which is a topic for another blog :-))
While all this was happening, I also ventured into something called “social entrepreneurship”, by getting associated with NGO in the field of mental health, by attempting to raise findings and helping the NGO in various aspects.
Hope you liked the story so far. As they say “once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur”. Let’s see what comes by next on that journey!