I always suggest my start-up entrepreneur friends to adopt the smart and free method of marketing. I used my social network at much as possible. I started using Facebook and LinkedIn during the first semester of engineering. I love to interact with people on personal and professional level on online social platforms. I had about five thousand contacts in online network by the last semester of college and able to regularly be in touch with more than 40% of the contacts on the social network. In total, by the last semester I had a global network in more than seventy countries. When I launched my first venture, Raiden Design Xpress, I requested all my social network friends to promote it on their wall. Because of their professional references only I succeeded in getting the first four clients within a month for Sainfoinc.
In the early stage of Sainfoinc, i.e. within 7 days, I got an Indian client’s query for a major project. The client found me through LinkedIn. She had two more persons in her team. One was working in an eminent law firm and other two guys were working in a reputed US based IT company. I agree that I wrongly stipulated the timeline and costing of the project. I quoted her Rupees Twenty Five Thousand and committed to complete the project in thirty days only. The deal was finalized on the total sum of money and not on hourly basis.
After the failure of Raiden Life Style, my father became more concerned about my future. I promised him to bring back the money I took as a loan and pay him within a very short time and succeeded in recovering thirty percent of money just by selling back the raw material. I am happy that I have recovered seventy percent of the money I lost till now and shall clear it within a short time.
Raiden Design Xpress was started as two parallel companies – one for providing design services and another as a Lifestyle Product line. Fortunately, Raiden Design Xpress’s design wing was doing good. Considering this, my father advised me and my brother to close the product line completely and focus on design wing only which required very small investment. When Raiden Design Xpress started growing and good business kept coming up to keep my brother busy, I chose to walk my own way with the wealth of experience I had earned in last one year.
After completing engineering in the year 2010, I dreamt of getting admission in one of the world’s most renowned universities such as London School of Economics, Harvard University etc. in a post-graduate course in Business Management. I wanted to learn skills and knowledge necessary for surviving as an entrepreneur. I realized that work experience would be an essential ingredient in my CV and my application to be able to get admission in any of these universities. This becomes more important when my bachelor education was purely technical. This motivated me to earn experience at ground level and understand the core of business. I did unsuccessfully applied for a reputed internship program in business and marketing which made me more adamant to first try my hands on real business.
I am happy that I am keen to learn and continue to do so. I make mistakes but I vow to never repeat them and learn from them. So, I don’t think I can share any lessons learned. Entrepreneur must identify and acknowledge his mistakes daily and then must analyse them to learn from them. Then they become experiences to be shared with and remembered as important lessons. Now, I am not afraid of failing because failure is the stepping stone to success. I believe that it is very better to make mistakes and fail in the early stages of entrepreneurship instead of failing in the middle of the career.