I am writing this blog immediately after shipping the first order for the team Peer Hack! The sense of excitement and thrill is inexplicable.
I was perplexed and tensed about howto initiate the ‘thing’ I was planning from past 2 years. Over this period, I met hundreds of people & did numerous cold calls; pounded every street of the city in search of ‘right people’; struggled hard to get a designer. I tried posting on every-other group on Facebook, wrote tons of emails to folks.
But NOTHING serious happened. I used to go back everynight & my mind was trappped in the cobweb of – ‘Am I doing the right thing? Is this madness? Shall I quit and prepare for my MBA?’. I felt desolated. I felt as if my girlfriend married someone else.
I needed a short break to overcome my fear and therefore planned to have some drinks during the last few weeks of the year.
Meanwhile, a catastrophic incident of rape took place on December 16 that left everyone traumatized. Sensing the exasperation of people in the city I made an event on facebook, Action Against Rape that went exorbitantly viral. Within 2 days it had more than 10k people who confirmed their RSVP and the numbers were multiplying exponentially. I called up Amit Mishra, director Digital O2 seeking his advice on selling ‘Anti-Rape’ tees at India Gate. He advised to rather give it for free; unfortunately I did not have funds for CSR.
Rest is history.
Friday, January 25, 2013.
The day it all began…
Venue- Deepak Sharma‘s office, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi
Usually when I am idle, I end up scanning facebook profile of people. Accidentally, I landed up on the profile of Deepak Sharma, co-founder StoreMonk. I have a vivid memory of meeting him at Delhi-Rodinhood Mixer that took place at Russian Center, New Delhi.
I rang him to fix up a meeting and the very next day I showed up in his office. I told him about my approaches, plans and pains. He seemed to be interested and offered me his help with open arms. He was conducting PeerHack– a prototyping/hacking culture. One thing led to another, he asked me to design the tees for their event. The sense of excitement cemented me. I felt the warmth and started gaining confidence.
The very next day I again joined few groups on facebook and posted for the recruitment of the designers. I got the friend requests from 5 people and received couple of emails.
Finally, I hired one.
[ February arrived and I was busy attending 4 big-fat family marwari weddings and getting my cheeks pulled by my ‘taais‘, ‘maasis‘ and ‘naanis‘ followed by exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day that accidentaly got into the hands of my dad! ]
Friday, March 1, 2013.
The pain doesn’t ends here. I got the designs ready and approved within a week. Now, it was about sourcing the best quality tee and negotiating with the supplier. My mid-sem exams were approaching and maintaining a balance between the two was a MUST (because I did not want my dad even to get an air of what I am doing). Unfortunately, my percentage of attendance did not allow me to appear for the mid-sems. I got 5 days holiday. Yeah, you read that right; 5 days holiday!
Making the most of time, I googled about the suppliers based out in Delhi.
Believe it or not, those 5 days I went to almost all the shops in Connaught Place, Karol Bagh & Gandhinagar. Leaving early in the morning and returning late night. I shook hands with shopkeepers from all age groups- ranging from mid-20s to late-60s. As I poured in some shops, some grey beard loons greeted me with expressions ‘Ye kya dhandaa karega?’ and ignored. But the undettered passion and the words of Deepak Sharma– ‘Duniya ka kaam hai kehna, vo kahenge aur unhe kenhe do!” added fuel to the fire.
Fortunately, after scanning all the shops I found someone whom I could match my mental wavelength with. I found my first supplier.
He agreed to deliver me the entire lot within 3 working days. I immediately placed an order for 120 tees and paid half of the money in advance hoping to get my order on time.
But if being an entrepreneur was that easy, everyone would have been one. After finishing my college at 2pm, I went straight to the supplier ensuring my order. The printing part was incomplete. This was getting on my nerves and I was losing my temper as I had only 4 hours left to deliver my shipment to PeerHack!
But thanks to my dad for teaching me patience by sending me to deposit cash at government banks.
If you wanna learn patience and control your anger, open a savings bank account at SBI. No one teaches patience better than them. Period.
After waiting for 4 painful hours, I finally got the tees. It was the Aha! moment.
I delivered the tees to the team PeerHack! today at 7pm. Let the hacking begin this March 15th ;).
Taking a long story short, this is how I summarize the scenario.
- Starting up is not so SEXY as it seems;
- Get your hands dirty;
- Get equipped with the fact that you have to die everyday;
- Learn to face rejections;
- Learn to lick your wounds;
- Learn to sit in a coffee shop where no one gives a damn to you;
- Learn to be uncomfortable!
- Finally- Screw it, Lets do it!
Special thanks to Deepak Sharma, Sushant Taneja, Praveen Prakash, Deepak Yadav, Sristhi Sahu.
Please feel free to share your views.
Congrats !!! Keep the flame burning .. Hoping to hear from you when your deliver your 100, 1000 and some number with a lot more zeros in it.
All the best.
Gr8 going dude, its just the start…the finer details are interesting and use of SBI is cherry on the cake. Sometimes i wonder, SBI has such a strong influence that in spite of no direct link with the article, SBI finds a place in every discussion. People find pride to take SBI’s name whether be it appreciation or constructive criticism;-)
All the very best and share your contact details , if something pops up in my startup will let you know
Phone: +91 8447343678