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My Dream Store raises funding – an idea first pitched at TRHS ChaiMeet in Hyderabad!

Awarded the

“RodinStar” Post 

of the week!!

It’s exactly a year ago, that I came across this post. I had not attended any such meetups for almost a span of 2 years before that. I have built a small world around me and was not able to come out of my comfort zone.

Just to give a small backdrop, I started my stint of entrepreneurship in 2010 providing bulk merchandise to colleges and corporate events via eSparSha. You can call us as Myntra 1.0. We bootstrapped from zero revenues to generating revenues of INR 2 Cr annually. But scaling from there had become really tough. With lot of companies in the similar domain mushrooming, there was a huge competition. As many predicted, we had issues about scaling, managing operations become tough, profits became wafer thin. It became a little difficult to operate and moreover we found the job not challenging due to lack of IP. We started developing typical businessmen mentality. We stopped trying to find science behind everything. We were continuously in the race of running behind revenues/ profits but really forgot to introspect if we are really solving any problem? Does our existence even matter to someone?

That’s it. We took a break for almost a week and kept brainstorming, keeping the perspective of our existing customer problems. That’s how we came up with a simple idea of My Dream Store. We had not discussed this idea anywhere in public forum before. I had read in TRHS somewhere that if you’ve got an idea discuss with people. The worst you can hear is – it is really a bad idea and know possible reasons behind its failure (Indeed it is a good thing if you take positively). With the above statement in mind, I decided to attend TheRodinhoods ChaiMeet here in Hyderabad, exactly a year ago on 1st February 2014. I was staying in Hyderabad since 2010, but have not heard of this place Lamakaan, a place where most of the entrepreneurs hang out (you can understand how introvert I’ve become).

I was figuring out reasons in my mind – Why I should I not go to the meet? (Honestly – Yes. It happens with many). After an intense battle within I succeeded in attending the event. I was almost 15 minutes late, by the time I reached there were a group of 10-12 people already started with their introductions. Most of them were in their mid 20s. Meanwhile I started preparing how to make an attractive pitch (you find it in movies how a hero prepares before proposing his girl). After a very brief span of time I got my turn & I failed. I blabbered few things which hardly people in the room were able to understand. I tried explaining it again, but failed. I gave up & somewhere in the crowd someone said – Ohh… you manufacture T-Shirts. Hesitatingly I said YES (It was not exactly what we do). I was cursing myself and I said – I missed a wonderful opportunity & felt how bad I was at pitching (I’ve generated sales of around INR 4 Crores all alone myself in the last 3 years, I didn’t expect this from me.)


It took me almost couple of days to come in peace with the fact (Entrepreneurs take it too personal when they fail at something, however minute it is). This meet taught me a few valuable lessons which I’ve been following for the last one year.

  • Meet People. Meet Very Often.
  • Prepare before every meeting.
  • It is okay to fail at times, don’t be too harsh on yourself.

After that meet, we’ve worked on the complete concept, tried to perfect our pitch and started approaching Investors, probable mentors. Here is my experience regarding fundraise

  • Attended 37 events after the Rodinhood Chaimeet
  • Pitched to 3 groups of Investors face to face. Got through the screening exercise of all the groups.
  • Pitched on every occasion which I’ve got (I can pitch even if you wake me up in the middle of a deep sleep)
  • Was on Due Diligence Process from two top Angel groups of India

Ultimately we’ve closed our investment of 300k USD in the month of January 2015 from an investor based out of Hyderabad. I can write a complete blog article on how this investment happened. We’ve found lot of synergies in our vision & the investor’s vision and decided to move forward. (Terms initially were drafted on a Financial Express News Paper which was on the Investor Desk on the day of the meeting.)

Best thing we’ve done was having a mentor on board. We’ve got Puru Modani (Mumbai Angels) as a mentor/ advisor, who has spent more than 100+ hours with us. He has listened patiently to us, perfected the pitch, helped us in reaching right people and instilled lot of confidence in us. Have a right mentor.

I would really want to thank Alok for the notes on fundraising/ negotiations, Asha for pushing us when chips were down & Abhishek Sistla/ Manoj Surya for conducting Chai Meet @ Hyderabad.

Here is what we do:-

My Dream Store – We allow people to create and sell custom merchandise without any upfront costs & any hassles. We term each such instance as a campaign and the individual who creates the campaign as the campaigner. Campaign creators are expected to design and market the product themselves. Buyers pre-order their tees online on the campaign page. In exchange, we fulfill the orders on the campaigns that have reached their sales goal, and will ship the products to the buyers.

This can be a designer/artist, school/college groups, online communities, NGOs, music bands.

Through My Dream Store, anyone can start selling merchandise without worrying about upfront costs, production, logistics or managing inventory and get paid immediately. Our vision is to make selling easy.

@_karthikvenkat @_mydreamstore


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  1. karthik…. i can’t tell you how emotional and proud i am of you! your story makes everything we do at trhs worthwhile. my god, i’ve read your story a few times now and can’t believe how one ChaiMeet could cause such a storm!!!!

    MANY MANY CONGRATS KARTHIK!!!!!!!!!!! may you prosper and grow and may your incredible story inspire all of our 9k rodinhooders and every single person who reads it.

    karthik – you must do that post on pitching. and YOU MUST do a video blog on the art of pitching. what has worked for you. 

    i was scheduled to visit hyd on the last long weekend of republic day – but unfortunately we had to cancel our tickets. i had told my husband that i need to keep one evening free for a CoffeeMeet with my rodinhooders of hyderabad…

    we will have you pitch at the next meetup/OH/hang out! 

    thank you for sharing your story with us karthik!!

  2. ps: i will make my 7 year old daughter read this story so she understands how important it is for rodinhooders to meet. she loves meeting all the rodinhooders who come to goa and catch up with me over coffee 🙂

  3. Asha – Thanks for your kind words. Would surely attend the meet and share the lessons we’ve learnt during this journey. When the confidence is low, I always tune into posts on Rodinhoods and read stories of other entrepreneurs. They give a sense of pride/ satisfaction & confidence to do what we love to do.

  4. @karthik, made our day. Hope you go places.

  5. Standing Ovation Karthik and a very loud applause.

    Your story clearly radiates your excitement and pride and I am very happy that your hard-work paid off.
    As Asha Ji said, I am looking forward to see your post on pitching. I’ll be the first in line to read that 🙂

    It really feel great to see a fellow Rodinhooder sharing his/her success story and it really gives a lot of inspiration for people like me.

    Big Thanks once again and all the best, may be I’ll see if I could sell any of my products via your website 🙂

  6. And btw, are you planning to implement ideas other than T’s? I know someone who is making custom shoes (like I’ve never seen before) and your website seems to be a cool place to start selling such items as well.

  7. atamjeet – pls ask your friend to showcase his shoes here on trhs!!

  8. Hats off sir!! Many many congratulations!  




  10. karthik,

    i messed up the top of your post!

  11. Karthik hats off to you! So happy to hear of your success! Rodinhoods is helping people go places and that’s so fantastic! Many more achievements to you… keep inspiring us!

  12. @asha, you messed it up right and well 🙂

  13. Thanks Alok! 🙂

  14. Thanks Rajat!

  15. Thanks Kaanchan! Indeed it is helping many people.

  16. Many Congrats !! Wish you good luck and keep us posted !!

  17. Congratulations!!!

    Glad you could do so much more, learning from and starting first with the Chai Meetup. 

    Looking for some Nice T Shirts coming from your end 😉

    For the missing link of the Panoramic picture taken by Raghavendra Srinivasa Kopalle from 36ty, have informed him to update the same on the site, which he has confirmed as well so check that out again when its working and select a Good Screenshot for yoursElf 🙂

    Time plays a Role in almost every Decision.
    And some Decisions define your Attitude about Time! John Cale~

    May your Actions Speak, louder than your Words.
    May your Life Preach, louder than your Lips.
    May your Success, be your Noise in the End.

    Things Work Out Best For Those, Who Make The Best Of How Things Work Out!!! – John Wooden~

    Cheers!!! Good Luck to You and the Entire My Dream Store Team.

    Think – Do – Be

  18. Karthik, I have heard about Lamaakan so many times from my family in Hyderabad. My sister Laj who is a film maker (makes films in USA but now her theme is sparrows in Hyderabad) spends a lot of time there.
    She says you egt the best samosas in Hyderabad.
    And so many things. 
    Your write up is very interesting too. 

    I am not an entrepreneur but enjoy the posts here thanks to @Asha and Alok is a inspirational friend.
    Even I would like to hear the parts you are going to blog about.
    Congrats again.

  19. hi meena,

    so glad to know the newsletter helps! i’ve also heard about the famous samosas of lamaakan! your friend’s passion sounds very intriguing… it would be lovely if she featured herself here!

    if she has any queries she can write to me at 

    keep rodinhooding 🙂

  20. Karthik…  Good to see things going on well.. I wish you all the best, and i do hope that hyderabad will be next bangalore soon.. More Entrepreneurs, More Startups.

    Sai Pothuri.

  21. Many Congratulations Karthik…Excellent Post. Truly inspiring…

    .So happy for your success..Sky is your Limit..Keep rocking!!


    Do we have TRHS CoffeeMeet/Chaimeet in Bangalore?. If so please share the details.



  22. kanna,

    we have full-fledged OPEN HOUSES and structured meetups in b’lore. not very often though. pls check –

    we announce such events on the site and in the newsletter of course 🙂

    we haven’t planned any of our events for this year yet!!

  23. Thanks for the heads up Darshan sir, fixed the link & its working fine now!

    And wow! Exactly one year since the meet and this is big news, great way to celebrate 1st anniversary of the meetup 😀 Kudos to you Karthik! Wishing you more success!

  24. Thanks Asha…

    I have attended the open house in Bangalore :). I was wondering if i had missed any 🙂 :).. BTW please do plan more @ Bangalore..I would be more than happy to help you as much as i can to organize such events….

    BTW i never miss to read your newsletter every friday…A special thanks for making it very crisp & interesting :):)

  25. Thank You, for the prompt response and action Raghavendra 🙂 Appreciate it!

    Karthik Caught a Snap Shot Hot off the Panorama!!!

  26. thank you for thanking me kanna!!! glad you like the newsletter! pls keep giving us feedback on what we do – it always helps!!

    happy sunday!

  27. Atamjeet, can you connect me with your friend who is into custom show making? Would be really grateful!


  28. Very Very Inspirational !!! Thanks for sharing Karthik!!

  29. Congratulations Karthik…

  30. Hi ,

    I want to connect to Kartik. My friends startup. needs some T-shirt. We are also based out of hyd and request you to contact me on 9885688852.

    P.S if anyone has kartik’s no. Please let me asap

    Madhuresh shah

  31. i’ve pinged him for u madhuresh!

    you can try twitter as well 🙂

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