Why I call it a date is because of the coincidences between my first real date and my first ever meeting with a VC. The VC was introduced to us just to evaluate our business and to help us with his inputs. Though it wasn’t an official meeting to pitch for a funding, I still had a glimmer of hope that I might hit a six with the first ball.
My first date ever was on 26th Sept 2003 with the girl whom I ended up marrying in 2010. My first ever meeting with a VC was on 26th Sept 2013.
The VC was my co-founders friend’s friend. My wife was my friend’s girlfriend’s friend.
I was as nervous as my first date. I had lot to say about our ideas and why we believe we will be successful, but couldn’t present the way I wanted to.
I remember my wife asking me several questions on my first date about my family and so did the VC about my new found family which is my startup. He started off with questions like what does your startup do, how are you different from others, how do you plan to acquire customers, what if there is someone who does what you are doing but with huge money, why don’t you think he can wipe you out etc etc
The meeting ended up with him being appreciative of the numbers we are doing. There were certain terms and phrases that he mentioned which just bounced over my head. The only thing we have been doing in our company is making every effort to make sure that all our customers happy with their experience with tennishub.in. Word of mouth has been the only marketing tool that we have relied upon and it has helped us achieve steady growth. We have not spent a single penny on advertising and marketing apart from just SEO. The simple funda we follow in our customer service is the famous zappos quote “Customers may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel”.
About my startup: I am working on a 6 months old ecommerce startup called tennishub.in. At the moment we are an exclusive tennis store looking to introduce other sports and eventually become India’s top sports e-retailer. We have seen some good traction and the numbers we are currently doing are very encouraging. My co-founder Vishnu Vardhan is an Olympian (he has played 2012 london olympics partnering Leander Paes) and is one of India’s top tennis players.
About me: I am among those crazy guys who quit a well paid job to take the entrepreneurial journey. I was ready to live few years of my life like most people won’t so that I can spend rest of the life like most people can’t. I am a tennis player and a sports enthusiast. During early days of my startup I remember sending my wife to her home to stay with her parents (as my kid doesn’t let me work) so that I could work 14 hours each day and none of the day was tiring to me because I was passionate and enjoyed every bit of what I was doing. My happiest moment in life was when I was studying in London I was selected to work for the Wimbledon as security, escorting players and standing guard at the tennis courts. I lived my dream those 14 days of the Wimbledon tournament watching players and escorting them to and from courts to their changing rooms. I met Federer, Agassi, Nadal, Roddick, McEnroe etc, all of whom I used to idolize watching on TV.
The VC suggested us to look for a mentor. Would appreciate if anyone can give us an idea on how and where to find a mentor. We might also consider getting a 3rd co-founder on board as Vishnu Vardhan is mostly travelling outside India playing tournaments.
Afroze (at) tennishub (dot) in
UPDATE ADDED BY EDITOR ON NOV 28, 2015
Tennishub gets acquired by Mahesh Bhupathi’s Sports365! Congrats Afroze!