Well, generally these 3 verbs sum my professional life up apart from the Mechanical Engineering that I study, which is Musician, Writer and Marketeer. But fortunately so, I’ve been given the opportunity to do a lot more than just them. I’ve been teaching college goers about how to handle entrepreneurship and how to go about your idea to make it a potential business, writing business plans, etc. I’m a very passionate writer as well. I’m the person who likes to do many things at one time, just to see how good I am with all of them. I’ve been involved with various kinds of project right from fashion to technology and this entire process has taught me a lot. Learning is, by far, one of the most addictive things for me. I love to learn new things and how different things and people work. This makes me to meet more people on a daily basis and interact with them personally and sometimes in masses as well. I think this bio is short enough, 😉
In your own words, what is Chai Shop?
I would call Chai Shop, a talent paradise wherein you would find people from a different fields doing what they do best. It’s a virtual address book for talent and interesting people with their stories.
How did you come up with the idea of Chai Shop?
Chai Shop, quite literally started off in a small tea shop close to my house, where every evening me and my friend would go grab a cup of lime tea just to push through the rough days. We would talk about a lot of things and also a lot of people. I used that ”talking to a lot of people” quite literally into a way to market the people we spoke about on a daily basis into The Chai Shop.
Could you walk us through the process of starting up Chai Shop?
Starting Chai Shop was pretty simple. I asked my friend Nitin R Gupta to design a logo for me. I wrote my first set of articles about the talent friends I had. Over 5 articles I discovered that I needed a website and I approached another friend who said he would get it done for me for a very low price and once the website was up and 20 people were written about, people from across the country started writing down to be featured and it’s been of that sorts since a year now.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties during startup and how did you guys overcome it?
Chai Shop is all about interesting people and their stories. Over a period of time, talking to people does get boring and monotonous, yes. So there have been many breaks wherein we’ve just stopped writing about people for a couple of months and then have begun again. It’s never been easy but hey if it’s easy it wouldn’t be awesome, so I overcome things with that spirit.
How have you been developing Chai Shop since startup ?
We have just focused on getting the best of the talent and content out there in terms of direction. We’ve let the people decide what Chai Shop is for each of them. It still doesn’t have a solid definition because it means different things to different people. We try to give them an experience and sometimes experiences can only be felt.
What kind of feedback did you get for Chai Shop so far?
There has been tremendous feedback for Chai Shop till date. We’ve got some people from very top positions from across the globe appreciate the work we are doing. Chai Shop has rapidly moved into different cities with people working for Chai Shop across 5 cities and scouting for talent and people across all these cities.
What is your strategy against your competition?
We didn’t have any competition in this field. This field was and relatively still in an empty field because finding talent is a laborious task in itself and luckily for us, till now nobody has offered to take up this field in India at least.
What can you tell us about the industry? Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?
The industry as such is changing everyday. It’s a fast moving industry which has a new definition to it. Technology and people are changing so rapidly that if one wouldn’t cope up, it would be hard to come back and strike unless with extra ordinary effort it is made. There is one insight I would like to share and that would be that, it’s really good to have a very good knowledge about your field of work but if one wouldn’t have knowledge about what’s happening elsewhere, survival in this industry, especially for bootstrappers would be extremely difficult.
How do you plan to stay relevant in this industry?
Innovation and creativity till date have always been my strong point till date. Teaming that up with a sense a business and numbers would give me the edge to stay relevant in this industry.
What is the future of the industry in your opinion?
Honestly, the future is for the people who make it work and happen. It would eventually explode into something else. The cycle always repeats and thus the future of this industry is massive and explosive.
Were there anything that disappointed you initially?
The lack of support from friends and peers was something which initially was disappointing to me, but over time you learn how to handle and manage people. I learnt the hard way, but learnt well.
What do you think about being an entrepreneur in Asia?
Being an entrepreneur in Asia is a fantastic experience in itself. It is definitely hard because you constantly have to adapt to a lot of changes happening around you on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s difficult to cope up because you are constantly lost in the world where your making your dream come true and making your start up work.
What is your opinion on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?
Personally, the exposure and opportunities western entrepreneurs get is something which most Asian entrepreneurs envy. It may be this way for various reasons. With this being said both Asian and Western entrepreneurship has it’s way of functioning which works best in that geographic location which can’t really be compared as the mind set of people vary geographically.
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success would be if I successfully create a significant impact in the world in the things that I do, such that it help the world to become a much more loving and peaceful place for everyone to live in, where encouragement for the new is looked upon as something which is vital and not harmful.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I didn’t decide to become an entrepreneur, at least not consciously. It happened to me a couple of years ago, and I haven’t looked back since they day it happened to me.
What do you think are the most important things entrepreneurs should keep in mind?
Entrepreneurs are people who have a lot on their mind so making time to segregate those thoughts and the process them effectively, is something I feel every entrepreneur should do. Keeping in mind that to do the above, they have to keep a sound physical health.
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
A Calm Mind, a healthy body,the ability to think out of the box, the ability to listen to your customers and eating with you staff are a few things in my opinion are the keys to entrepreneurial success.
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there?
“Be the change, you want to see in the world”