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My first date with a VC

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 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 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



Tennishub gets acquired by Mahesh Bhupathi’s Sports365! Congrats Afroze! 



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  1. Hi Afroze

    Inspiring story somewhat similar to mine except I am not All the best for your venture.



    Manish Golchha

  2. Thanks Manish 🙂 will try

  3. hey afroze,

    totally wowed by your post!! very very inspiring!

    pls be in touch with rahul varshneya –

    he’s a startup coach and plays tennis as well!!! –

    i shall ping him and share your link 🙂

  4. Many thanks Asha ! I have pinged Rahul. 

  5. Actually you know Vishnu verdan so you can rope in new players for celebrity portfolio management

  6. Keep Inspiring….

  7. Hi Afroze..

    it’s very niche..i mean i would really love if you can share datas like market size n all if u hav any as i think it’s not a market (size wise)any VC will be interested in…i may sound like an asshole but thts what i think atleast..

  8. Hey Gaurav,

    Rightful thoughts. I understand that we are in super niche segment. But what we are looking at is not just tennis. We are trying to build a model that can be replicated into other sports. And you know sports is a huge market…

    By the way, we’ve come a long way since I’ve shared this experience 🙂


  9. hey afroze,

    long time no word! would love to know what’s happening at tennishub! pls update us on your journey!!

  10. Hey Asha,

    Things are good. We are the top tennis retailer in the country, launching a running portal shortly.

    Discussions on with a big ecomm player for a possible merger/acquisition of our company. Will keep you posted once the deal is through 🙂



  11. WOW!! this is superb news afroze!! shall really look fwd to hearing the big news! pls stay in touch!!


    just read about the acquisition and acqui-hire!!! so so happy for you! simply WOW.

    now you really need to post an update on trh!!

  13. Thanks Asha ! Will surely do 🙂

  14. WOW! I loved the snap. That was the best part

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