How Life Took a U-Turn for Varun Singh and Took Him on a Path of Entrepreneurship in Himachal Pradesh

Varun Rattan Singh was what one would call a black sheep in the family. Son of an IITian with a luminary career, Varun was expected to achieve the same academic heights his cousins would touch but as fate would have it, Varun wasn’t cut out for it. This doesn’t mean that he wasn’t particularly bright or some story bordering on the line of the movie 3Idiots, some journeys just carve their own route. He ended up in a private college in Maharashtra and right from his second year in engineering, he came to know that this wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do.

Till this point in his life, he was just enjoying life and taking it as it comes- ‘spoilt brat’ if one may. But then something happened that changed Varun intrinsically. Varun lost his father in an accident and he was left with this void which became increasingly difficult to fill. Hailing from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, Varun had stayed in different states and also being in a school which had lot of defence kids, had mingled with students from different cultures. He had something at the back of the mind. “Be it Marathis or Gujaratis or any other community, they have a strong sense of unity. This doesn’t exist here in the mountains. I’m not promoting regionalism but this sense is very important for a cohesive growth of a region. People always believe a living cannot be made in the mountains,” explains Varun.

This realization and longing for his roots made him think more and he decided to turn back home and do something over there. But this was at a later stage, some 10 years after engineering. Before this, Varun completed his engineering, went on to do a job, gained some experience but he was introspecting all this while. This feeling is also what led him to take up MBA at IRMA Anand, Gujarat. Travelling and meeting new people helped him build connections and back in the mountains, he was already popular with his citizen journalism website called HimVani.com. This experience in the corporate world had given him a hold over IT and also his better half! He met his to-be wife Shilpa in Delhi and who was willing enough to move with him and be a part of the mission to create a local base in Himachal Pradesh.

Now, he had support, IT and a strong will. Thus came into existence Srijan Dhauladhar Technologies LLP; an IT services company currently working with a 20 member team, Srijan is not completely Varun’s branchild. He had support from his partner Rahul Dewan and soon from Krishnan N. Varun had met Rahul in Delhi almost 5 years ago and they wanted to promote IT and Open Source movement in tier 3 towns of India. Rahul had setup an IT company more than a decade ago running in Gurgaon and they tried to give it a shot in Dharamshala. Now up and kicking for more than 18 months, Srijan Dhauladhar Technologies is catering to global companies.

“There are challenges but if you have the heart, you can overcome it,” believes Varun. The main motive with Srijan is to build a base in Dharamshala and give exposure to the local talent and bring them up to global levels. “It’s hard- hiring people, bringing upto a mindset unheard of and developing them into great professionals but I’m willing to give it time and effort,” says Varun and he’s slowly moving ahead. Srijan organizes hackathons, meetups, etc and tries to build an attitude where ‘Geek Becomes Cool’ and people start adopting technology. “We also have a facility where people can stay and people from other states are also joining us too,” informs Varun.

They have a good training program and deal with technologies like Drupal and intend to stay with services for the foreseeable future. The long term aim is to build an ecosystem in Dharamshala and subsequently Himachal Pradesh. “I’d consider myself successful if I’m able to attract 20 more startups in the next 10 years and create about 500 jobs,” says Varun and this would be a great realistic beginning. Metataste, whom we recently covered, is one such company and more will hopefully join the force! We wish Varun and Srijan all the very best in their endeavours!

Website: Srijan Dhauladhar Technologies

Jubin Mehta

Jubin Mehta

Jubin is an old timer at YourStory. Deeply entrenched in the Indian startup ecosystem, he has written about more than 1000 startups. With an engineering background and a keen interest in data analysis, his passion for writing and entrepreneurship makes him a perfect match for Yourstory. He operates from the mountains in Dharamshala where he also runs a hackbase. He can be reached on Twitter @jub_in and on mail at jubin@yourstory.com