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Share your Bloody Good Luck Story with Ashwin Sanghi! [Contest]

Hey Rodinhooders,

By now most of you have realised that LUCK plays a huge role in an entrepreneur’s life! Well…. life just got lucky for all of us!

Heard of Ashwin Sanghi? If you haven’t – you’re already DISQUALIFIED!!! (just kidding). Well he is an acclaimed author; and his publisher Westland want to give Rodinhooders his recent book ‘13 STEPS TO BLOODY GOOD LUCK’ !!! The book has remained on AC Nielsen’s Non-Fiction Top 10 since its launch in November 2014. So if you haven’t read the book or don’t own a copy, this is the best way to get it now!!

First listen to Ashwin on the story behind the story 🙂

Up for grabs! What’s the catch?

So, here’s where things get real exciting! Ashwin’s publisher Westland are keen on GIVING COPIES OF THE BOOK TO 500 RODINHOODERS WHO SHARE THEIR BLOODY GOOD LUCK STORIES ON THERODINHOODS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



That’s right. All you have to do is post your BLOODY GOOD LUCK story here on trhs and you will win Ashwin’s book ‘13 STEPS TO BLOODY GOOD LUCK’!!!  This good luck story could do with anything in your life (not necessarily related to business or starting up.) An opportunity that came your way with no explanation; and how you made the most of it, how it changed your life, etc etc!

THAT’S THE ONLY CRITERIA! One good luck story! The first 500 entries WIN!

 In case you didn’t hear, one of Alok’s stories has also been mentioned in the book 🙂




Contest Ends: Feb 16, 2015 (11:59 pm)

What do you need to do? (‘HOW TO POST’ for the newbies!)


Save under ‘GOOD LUCK’ (we’ve created a new category & tab only for this awesome Contest!) 

Pls avoid generic headings like My Bloody Good Luck Story. We’re expecting 500 stories so pls try and be unique!

In the headline (at the end) pls use hashtag #GoodLuck

There is no wordcount.

But be sure to ADD one relevant IMAGE at least.

Add your twitter handle at the fag end of the story pls! It will help us promote your story over twitter!

And one story per Rodinhooder please! We’re 9000 members. Everyone deserves to win Ashwin’s book!


Muchas Gracias!

Heartfelt thanks to Westland and Ashwin for reaching out to TheRodinhoods with this exclusive, generous offer!

Major thanks to Prathamesh for editing Ashwin’s video and adding his special touch to it!

Looking forward to 500 stories!


UPDATE: FEB 17, 2015

Owing to popular demand and many requests from rodinhooders, the deadline for this awesome contest has been extended to March 2!

Also, the rodinhooders who posted the first 25 #goodluck stories will receive an autographed special edition book from Ashwin!


1. Prabhav Garudadhwajan

2. Amit Kumar Sharma

3. Sweta Samota

4. Vikas Chandra Shah

5. Rahul Shelke

6. Manish Sisodia

7. Megha Garg

8. Ashwin Dange M

9. Abhi5hek Gite

10. Asha chaudhry

11. Sridhar Rajendran

12. Subrata Bera

13. Rahul Krishan Ahuja

14. Chetan Kaushal

15. Sunaina Shenoy

16. Ajay Shah

17. Shalini

18. Shilpi Choudhury

19. Abhik Prasad

20. Kunal Soni

21. Mohul Ghosh

22. Tejas Vishnu Nimbargi

23. Rahul Ramchandani

24. Anamika Joshi

25. Imran Patel

(many thanks to darshan for compiling the list!)



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  1. We (family of 3 – husband, wife(myself) and kid) were travelling from Mount Abu to Ahmedabad. As per our plan, we had decided to visit the temple of Ambaji that comes on the way. We had onward journey by train from Ahmedabad starting at 2pm. So, we had to reach well in time.

    We started by 6 am from Mount Abu hotel. When we reached Ambaji temple which is down in the town, it was around 7.45 am . We hardly had time to go to the mountain since he had no idea how much time it will take to reach up, how long will be the queue. When we parked the car in parking, me and my husband were thinking whats to be done. We didnt have time to stand in queue too. We had no idea how crowded it will be and we had no idea what it will be like inside with a 3 yr old kid.

    When we got down from the car, a man came to us asking if we wanted to buy any flowers, Ambaji coins to be offered in the temple. We actually wanted to and hence decided to go with him. We generally dont trust strangers. But that day, dont know why, but followed him to his shop to buy the things. We bought stuff worth Rs.500. Dont know why but we were too much occupied by the timings we had to meet. 

    After buying the stuff, when looked behind, saw a long queue for darshan. And we looked at each other. Then the stranger said – he could take us directly to the idol to take darshan without taking a penny.

    We still wonder why we believed that guy. And why we agreed to go with him. We removed our shoes at his shop and walked behind him. Dont know from where that trust came  – that he will really take us to the idol and he will not charge anything. We walked past the queue, looking at the people standing behind the steel bars waiting for their turn to take blessings from Ambaji.

    We were stunned to actually enter the main area of the temple without any interruption. He showed us the way to enter inside and take blessings. We took darshan and returned to his shop. It hardly took us 30 minutes to take darshan.

    While wearing our shoes back, the shopkeeper asked if we were going to the mountain. We told him that we didnt have time since we had a train at 2pm from Ahmedabad. He calmly replied that these days, very less people go to the mountain and there is not much waiting time in the cable car to the top. We listened to him and went outside the temple.

    Then we had breakfast outside – hot poha and chai. While having poha, we were discussing if we can go to the Ambaji temple on the mountain top. The travel to the base of mountain and back was around an hour. It was 8.45am. And it was around 3.30 hrs journey to Ahmedabad from there. So we had and hour or so in hand. 

    After all the time calculations, we decided to take a chance and started on our way to the cable car point. We reached the point and we were not surprised to see very few people.

    We had a waiting time of just 3 minutes to board the cable car!

    While in the cable car, we saw many people climbing the mountain by foot. So we were still in doubt of the queue on the top of mountain inside the temple. Worst case could have been that we returned back after taking darshan from outside the temple.

    We reached the top – literally ran towards the temple after getting down. Not many people in the queue, took darshan quickly and had few minutes to click photos and soak in the silence. And then back to the cable car point to descend back to the car park area. We were again surprised that we could complete it in dot 1 hour.

    We took a 20 minute halt on the way to Ahmedabad for lunch and entire journey talked about our “Bloody Good Luck” 🙂

    Even today we are thrilled by its remembrance … 

  2. Saved by the Government #GoodLuck

    I shifted from a Hindi medium government school to an English Medium community school (Delhi Tamil Education Association) in the middle of 8th class. For a Hindi speaking boy of a Hindi speaking family, from an Hindi-only medium school, living in a Hindi-medium (mostly Haryanvi-Panju) neighbourhood in West Delhi, English was a nightmare. With that shift of medium, an above average boy became an under-average outcast. Teachers would mostly speak in English or Tamil and at times in broken Hindi so that I should at least get a glimpse of what was going on. But I seldom did. 

    The most common advice for this crisis was, “Converse as much in English as you can and you will slowly get it.” I tried but how could I – I didn’t know any of it and nobody spoke English in my family (may be some). I would literally cry after almost everyday at school in those initial months. Some of the teachers there were probably the best teachers I’ve ever seen in my life and they contributed a lot to my growth but I would realise that only after leaving the school. 

    Home work was a big issue as we couldn’t even afford dedicated tuitions for me and both my elder siblings were also from Hindi medium. Luckily for me, there came a respite from an unexpected corner. The NCERT books in those times were an exact replica of each other for Hindi and English mediums. I could read the Hindi medium version to make sense of what was written in the English medium book. This immensely helped me to get new words but not that much to write proper answers. Nevertheless, if had it not been about NCERT books, I would have miserably failed in my exams and might have dropped out of the English medium school altogether. Though this method required me to study almost twice as much as other kids in my class, it worked for me. Those books held my hand and slowly showed me the way. 

    And yes it changed my life in a big way. 

  3. MBA Placement Year 2002 ( Twelve Years Ago)

    The story is of year 2002 , when I was graduating from my B-School in Delhi.It was recession that time.We had a batch of 120 people to be placed.There were lesser companies coming on campus than the previous year.By the end of placement only 50-60  % percent candidates were placed.As days passed on , candidates were loosing hope on companies coming to campus.Then there was a announcement made by college administration and hostel warden that March end would be the closing day of the college.Only one month was left for the candidates.Earlier there were very good companies picked up guys but now there were companies with lesser known brand and lesser package coming to the campus sporadically .Guys now started accepting jobs offering salary 15,000 /- pm as against their peers who were placed in blue chips with hefty packages.I was also unlucky fellow who was yet to be placed.There was gloominess and tense environment all around.Than to scratch my luck I started a practice.Daily I started visiting placement office and started picking addresses of HR corporates and with a covering letter ,I started posting CV’s via mail to 10 companies a day.I took a challenge ,I thought I will not go for 12,000/- or 15,000/- job because once I accept it I will not be allowed to sit for next company as a policy rule of the college.Finally we had to vacate the college .Many students who came to study in this college from far off place like Kolkatta and Chennai went back home empty handed without job .But I chose to live outside the campus waiting for companies which were coming once a week or once a fortnight.Than came my present employer and it hired me with a heftier package to my surprise.Interesting part of the story is that when i was on my first posting at Kolkatta , I received a correspondence from HR department of Escorts Mutual Fund stating that I am selected for joining their company.Escorts Mutual Fund was a company where which I posted my CV in a cold call fashion.Here my luck worked two pronged:- had I not stayed back I wouldn’t have got my present employer , secondly if I wouldnt have been chosen by present employer , my luck brought me closer to plan B. I attribute luck to Hang On. And when I refused petty jobs it was ” refuse to accept the best and you will very often get it.”

    Another Good Story :-I am trying to scratch my lady luck since last 12 years to jump into entrepreneurship bandwagon and I know , sooner or later I will get it.

  4. nice! sweta pls copy & paste this as a NEW DISCUSSION and save under YOUR STORY. once it gets approved you can claim your book! congrats!!!

  5. very very nice amit! 

    pls copy & paste this as a NEW DISCUSSION and save under YOUR STORY. once it gets approved you can claim your book! congrats!!!

  6. 🙂  indeed chandra!!

    pls copy & paste this as a NEW DISCUSSION and save under YOUR STORY. once it gets approved you can claim your book! congrats!!!

    WOW. 3 winners already – 497 to go!!!!!!

  7. Thanks Asha. 🙂

  8. Where is the link to NEW DISCSUSSION

  9. vikas –

    simply click on ADD.

  10. The TOUGHEST decision of my life was by far the LUCKIEST!!

    By 2005, a company I had co-founded called Mobile2win (originally started in China in 2001 and then brought into India in 2003) was sailing…

    We were first movers in the India Mobile VAS (value added services) space and things were looking up – thanks to all our learnings in China. The first Indian Idol voting platform had been successfully handled by us (and ever since) and Sony India had made us a long-term partner. We were partnering with lots of media companies, selling our mobile games on Vodafone and creating creative marketing platforms. Rajiv Hiranandani – head of the business was doing a great job.

    The success was also creating a sweet problem:

    The business needed a series B investment to scale and my existing investors – Siemens Mobile Acceleration from Munich and Softbank Ventures from China were not at the best of terms with the management of mobile2win.

    Just a month earlier I had come back from Shanghai and attended the most bizzare board meeting ever in my memory.

    The meeting started at 9 am and by 9:30 am, there was war in the boardroom. 2 Germans (Helmut Struss and Oliver Kolbe from Siemens), 1 Indian (Gopala Krishnan (GK) – the CEO) and 2 Chinese (Peter Hua and an Observer from Softbank) were all screaming at each other simultaneously in German, Chinese and in Hindi (me telling GK to control himself).

    The issue was typical start-up stuff – scaling up, finances, hiring, firing etc, etc, and while I let them go at each other (Softbank shouted at GK for pointing fingers with this hand – a very ‘disrespectful’ act in China), clearly this was a board that was not going to co-operate with me for raising money in India.

    Back home, when I started showing mobile2win around, there was massive interest. Sandeep Singhal of Sequoia India was kind enough to stay up late night in his room at the Taj, Mumbai and hammer out a term sheet for me the next morning.

    All these and more got no responses from Softbank and Siemens. So I asked them what they really wanted?

    Softbank was not going to put money in and Siemens wanted out. They were non-Indian VC’s and only Indian VC’s would understand Indian Mobile VAS space and hence invest.

    This was going to be a tough deal to close out.

    One afternoon, I met Pramod Haque and Vab Goel of Norwest Venture Partners. ( I later learnt that Anupam Mittal of fame had turned down a term sheet of Norwest for funding

    Norwest stepped on the gas and took an active interest in talking to Siemens and Softbank and understanding their motivations. They engaged with mobile2win management and also spoke to other investors.

    A few days later, late afternoon I received a phone call that precipitated into the ‘toughest decision of my life’ :

    Vab indicated that he had settled all issues of valuation, exit and new investment between Siemens and Softbank and the management of Mobile2win (GK and Rajiv), and that Norwest and another VC was ready to go ahead in massively funding mobile2win at great valuation terms.

    Except, there was one condition:

    Alok (me) had to exit the company!!!

    At first I thought he meant Alok had to be distanced from management and I told him that I was barely involved. “Exactly” he told me – “You have no role to play, do not have the capacity to invest more money and your chunk of equity will free up lots more space for new investments”.

    Essentially Norwest wanted to buy out the promoter, make the company totally VC owned and then drive the management themselves.

    Over weeks, I understood that this was a non-negotiable stance by Norwest. Also, the other 2 investors – Siemens and Softbank were sold on this solution and began to pressurize me to exit (For the innocent – if most VCs want an exit to happen, they can force the promoter to do the same using the ‘drag out’ clause).

    So, here I was – someone who had founded a good company, sitting on the brink of VAS value explosion in India, and now being offered millions of dollars to walk out. It became a very puzzling and difficult situation to handle..

    Since the Company was structured in China, I took a legal view from a historic law firm in Hong Kong called Haldanes and I remember the very polite British accented lawyer talking to me for 1 hour non stop till I interrupted and asked him – “Do I have a case to stay in”?

    He replied “No Alok”.

    I then consulted my most supportive VC and guardian of all these years – ICICI Ventures. Bala Deshpande and Nandini Satam were so objective in their advice and mentoring – I still regard ICICI Ventures as the best thing that ever happened to me as an entrepreneur.

    Late night at 2 am, I got up and sat in my living room and brooded about the exit from mobile2win. I would be rich, the company (contests2win) would receive substantial cash to do other things etc, etc … At the same time I would also have to sign a 3 year non compete from doing anything mobile in the world (!!) and have to live without what may become a billion dollar company without me.

    Legally, I could battle it out… A ‘drag out’ would take months to execute and kill the deal and also the funding – so it would finish the company. I would have at the most won a Pyrrhic victory…

    The next morning I called Vab and said ‘ I’m selling’.

    The deal closed within 4 months. It made me a dollar millionaire and more importantly put cash into the mother company (since share were held by contests2win) that allowed us to pay a 1250% dividend to shareholders. We invested 1 million US$ into games2win that jump started the business and received funding from Clearstone and Silicon Valley Bank.

    The months that passed were dark. VAS continued to haunt me and I would wonder if I had lost the biggest opportunity of my life… Mobile2win India hired big wigs from TV and elsewhere and moved into a 10,000 sq feet office (from the 1500 sq feet office I had). They hired over 200 folks and seemed to the hottest company around…!

    So, what was the outcome you may ask?

    In 12 months post the deal, the cracks in the VAS business began to appear in the Indian Mobile space. Operators were unrelenting to share more than 20-25% revenues, payments were delayed by months and the business became strangulated with lots and lots of wannabes giving away content and revenue share for free.

    24 months later, mobile2win was flipped over by the VCs to a Chandigarh company called Altruist for a non-cash deal. The business had collapsed and this was clearly the VCs saying it was over.

    For me, this was not sweet revenge but just the toughest decision (to sell or fight) that had turned out so positively!! Added to this was the fact that the non compete got over in 2009, so I became free to do anything in VAS!

    And what happened to Mobile2win China? GK left and a smart Chinese called Nick Zhang was hired by Softbank and Siemens as the CEO. Nick turned the company around and then astoundingly sold it to Walt Disney (USA) in a multi million cash $$ transaction. Softbank China, Siemens and my group got lucky again!


  11. alok – i have read this story so many times, and yet, each time i shudder to think what you must’ve gone through then….

  12. UPDATE

    dear all,

    Owing to popular demand and many requests from rodinhooders, the deadline for this awesome contest has been extended to March 2!

    Also, the rodinhooders who posted the first 25 #goodluck stories will receive an autographed special edition book from Ashwin!


  13. I was among the first one to write post.I haven’t got the book yet.

  14. really? then why haven’t you informed me via the email thread we are on for the book delivery?! let me find out whether your name has been missed or whether the book has got misplaced.

  15. Wannapreneur to Entrepreneur!

    A wannapreneur is one who always wishes to become an entrepreneur but does not take sufficient risk to achieve its goal. I did my MBA in 2011 from NMIMS, Mumbai & joined an MNC. During my job, I was never satisfied with herd mentality, poor innovative ideas & boss pleasing attitude. Gradually, my reasons to quit job became significant & I wanted to become Entrepreneur where I was ready to accept challenges & do something better to solve a problem. Indian Education sector was one of my interest areas but I was having liabilities of paying loan which was taken for my education & house  and hence was really not able to take such a risk to come into entrepreneurship.

    I have been good at professional skills and hence I started to speak to people where I could utilize my skills & get some more money. I got some projects too but I did not find time for my own venture. My life became more hectic & I was highly stressed. The time at which I thought to enter into entrepreneurship was not accepted by my family because my marriage could be at risk but it was really my luck that I discussed that entrepreneurship is something, I am looking at before marriage. I was anxious that if my partner could not agree to my decision & my dream may die. Now, there became a complete mess up in my life because family was not able to accept but it was my good luck that my eldest brother who was also into entrepreneurship came to know my wish & asked me to support him in his business. I never realized that discussion something at home would bring me into Entrepreneurship.

    I never believe in luck but that moment was certainly lucky when my brother understood what I wanted to do in my life & gave me option to join his business. I started my online education venture along with working with my brother and since 2013, there is no looking back. I am able to manage both & soon would come full time in my venture which is wish of my family now !

    PS: I suggest everyone should try his/her best to achieve his/her dreams. You never know where your luck would be waiting for you. Just act & make efforts, Luck will follow.

    For any query, Please feel free to write me at

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