In this age and time, we are more into survival of the fittest than ever before. The constant mergers and acquisitions, the ever present cutthroat competition in the Silicon Valley of India, forces one to think about one’s priorities.
Doing the grind to fill someone else’s coffers or work hard to gain your own ground and make yourself a fortune.
I faced the same question a few years ago, when I was your usual office worker, climbing my way up the corporate ladder. It was long hours and little fulfilment, for I felt something was amiss from my work. It was in this state of mind that I met Aneesh Reddy, on a marathon that we ran together. He sensed my need for something more than what I had and offered me a job at Capillary Technologies. Aneesh is a friend, philosopher, guide and most importantly an angel investor with us. We are blessed to have a mentor and senior like him.
Starting Up: Not As Easy As It Looks
Working in Capillary was a great experience. I worked there for six months. In those months, the idea of Guarented formulated in my mind. At the same time, I was fortunate to have Abhimanyu and Prateek. Both of them were un-entangling themselves from their respective engagements and obligations. I couldn’t have asked for a better time.
We began in the home appliances market. With Abhimanyu looking after tech and Prateek taking up operations, the treasury came to me. The journey of raising funds was long and tough, with lots of troughs and a few crests.
We started off on footpaths with very young and highly unskilled labour. I personally did a lot of deliveries at ungodly hours. The good thing was, we were getting more orders than we could fulfil. The concept was really hitting off with people, but the investors were a totally different ball game.
I met almost a hundred investors, but the output wasn’t as high as wished. It came to a point where we were running the ship solely on our savings which were fast drying up. That was when Kstart happened.
Funding: The Main Problem
We got a seed funding of $500,000. In one clean sweep, our biggest problem was brushed away. The amazing people at Kalaari mentor us today, especially Vani Kola, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital. She was impressed by our sustained focus on the appliance market and the fact that we have been bootstrapped for almost a year. She was and remains a major influence on the team and Guarented.
The commitment that the Kstart team has shown for the success of their portfolio companies is unparalleled. Even before investing in us they started working hands-on with us, helping us solve even the most basic of problems.
They are more entrepreneurs than investors, which is what differentiates them from the others. Last but not the least, the Kstart Catalysts provide incredible guidance, which is more than any entrepreneur could ask for!
We got our funding on July 2, 2016 and we haven’t looked back since. This company is my child, I feel like a protective yet ambitious mother and that is how I try to run things. The runner in me moulds my leadership for the long haul and it won’t let me stop till I make it the best in its business and then together we will dream again. Just like your usual entrepreneur.
About The Author
[The author of this post is Harshwardhan Raikwar – co-founder and CEO of Guaranted.com.]