Director & Founder, Buzzworks Business Services
Early life: I was born in Kashmir, the son of an army man. Travelling through the country taught me to
be flexible and appreciate the fact that we are all human beings, irrespective of our religion, caste,
creed and sexual orientation. These liberal and cosmopolitan values stay with me till date.
Schooling and early education: I was schooled at the lowest common denominator for most of my life. The only two years of education I received that were quality were my high school years in PSBB - one of the most elite schools in Chennai. The friends I made there and the lessons I learned further shaped my personality but not ambition.
Higher education (or the lack of it): At 18 years old, I was clear about what I didn’t want. The converse wasn’t true however. After dropping out of 05 colleges in quick succession, family and me came to the quick conclusion that higher education wasn’t for me. This was a tough call to take in the early ‘90s when career options were limited at best.
Early career: My first job was a floor salesman in a low end garment showroom. The salary was INR 500/month with free lunch and a train pass. Stuck around for 06 months but realized that this wasn’t my calling.
Since I had a decent command over the English language, found a job as a copywriter in an ad agency. Moved on to being a radio jockey on FM and a DJ in a night club. Worked 03 jobs simultaneously for 04 years, clocking on average 16 hours of work a day. Without a break. Or holidays. Learning that started then, hasn’t stopped yet.
Early entrepreneurship: Left my full-time job after over achieving targets by 10x and realizing that all the money was going to the founder. Started and event management business and quickly developed 04 more business lines from 2000-2008. None of these businesses were aligned or scalable and we ran the organization like a family owned, mom and pop shop.
Middle entrepreneurship: The 2008 crisis dropped our revenues by 75% and turned the balance sheet negative. Sold off two businesses, re-capitalized the balance sheet and started building back almost from scratch. Recruited professional management. Learned how to run and scale a business from mentors who gave of their time and thought without motive. Got accepted into Harvard’s OPM program but dropped out due to lack of funds.
Late Entrepreneurship: Scaled the business to triple digit crores. Invested more in people. Started acquiring other businesses. We got accepted into Stanford’s program for SME’s, one among 40 companies in India to do so. Trying to go beyond the tactical and operational so that we can become a company in quadruple digit crores. Still learning, still dreaming, still doing.
Creating, building and investing in the a future dominated by technology driven business is my current passion. I cannot pay back all the people that have helped me thus far, so trying to pay it forward by working with entrepreneurs and organizations that help build businesses and start-ups.