For entrepreneurs, failing fast is often regarded as a good omen with an unknown key to success. For serial entrepreneurs, the true spirit is seen in building products that matter, providing solutions for a problem faced by many. They are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing.
Whether their first start-up is shut down due to unforeseen circumstances or if it has been acquired by a bigger start-up/corporate or just that they have let go of the day-to-day operations of their first start-up to concentrate on their second one — it’s their love for entrepreneurship that keeps bringing them back. But when they rise from the ashes, it’s only with more zeal.
Nothing Falls in a Straight Line
Founding a start-up is not an easy task. There are several challenges that an entrepreneur has to take on. While these challenges change with every situation and sector in which the entrepreneur is operating, it makes the founder believe in one thing – you cannot give up.
While many believe that Shopclues was the first start-up of entrepreneur Sandeep Aggarwal and Droom is the second one, he reiterated to say that it was actually his 151st start-up. “I had tried out 150 ideas, every two months I used to experiment with a new business idea. So for me, it wasn’t about the learning as much as it was about the evolution. But what I realized was, in entrepreneurship nothing is a straight line,” said Aggarwal.
Business of Creating Capital and Not Raising it
Having built two successful start-ups, Aggarwal suggested that he has had a lot to take away from. “If something is not working out, you have to cut it out. You also have to give importance to the chemistry and character of your team members. And it takes a minimum of six-eight years for your vision to take shape,” he said.
Once one is introduced to entrepreneurship, it’s not long before the worry of investor and funds comes in. But Aggarwal warns that it shouldn’t become a priority.
“Remember that you are in the business of creating capital and not raising it. When you have a problem, you should look at fundamentally solving it. Focus on building a world-class company that you are proud of. But at the same time, in your second innings, make sure you don’t suffer from legacy thinking – your second start-up deserves to be treated like it’s your first love,” said Aggarwal.
Agreeing to the investor pressure that comes along with the funding, Pallav Bujjuri, Founder of SaddaHaq and then Kahaniya, said investors care little about the big picture.
“Most of the ones in our ecosystems neither understand nor care. They only care about revenues and numbers. Also, the start-up bubble is shrinking and a lot of investors are becoming more skeptical. They want to focus only on B2B space. So, as a start-up, we have stopped discussing the big picture with investors. We mostly talk about the current and potential revenues and revenue lines,” said Bujjuri.
It only gets better
While there are many reasons why one gives up on one’s first start-up, the idea is the same — it only gets better from there. You bounce back with a know-how of how things function. “Having first Co-founded an e-commerce platform Chaupaati Bazaar (acquired by India’s largest retailer Future Group), my second innings as an entrepreneur with Toppr.com has been a journey of fulfillment. Zishaan and I made a comeback with another hit to innovate and disrupt the edtech segment in India. Product and technology are my core strengths, which only got better with time and experience. I realized that starting from a zero and reaching to 1 is no rocket science, whereas, the real success lies beyond that and achieving a cent percent,” said Hemanth Goteti, Co-founder, Toppr.com.
Meanwhile for Bujjuri, thinking about the future meant no longer being confused. “The biggest learning has been around first principles. Right now, everything we plan and do is preceded with we asking ourselves "where exactly does this fit into the bigger picture?”,” he said.