[Awesome Startup Employee] He defied death once, now he is kicking ass: Sravanth B. of FrontalRain
On 17th April, 2014, Sravanth met with an accident on the highway 30 kms from Hyderabad which sent him into a coma. Today, the Co-founder of FrontalRain, Jayaram Srinivasan nominates him as the Awesome Startup Employee.
Sravanth joined FrontalRain in June 2012. He was the first employee in the marketing department. Reminiscing about his early days at FontalRain, he talks about the challenges he faced. “My first challenge was to get used to the SaaS sales cycle. We had many dull months initially, where I was struggling to get customers on board. Those days SaaS was not being used by many SMEs so it was tough convincing people about the benefits of the model. But my founders were patient enough to understand this and I got better as the days passed by.”
The aim of FrontalRain is to provide affordable software for food and agriculture business. Sravanth loves what he is doing. He says, A very simple indicator of what you feel for your work is the way you feel about it on a Sunday night or Monday morning!
According to Jayaram, Sravanth applied to FrontalRain when they operated out of a garage and when the product was not even ready for selling. “Sravanth was convinced more than us about the product and its market. He persisted for about 11 months before joining us in the August of 2011. During this time, Sravanth travelled several times to Bangalore to convince us that he wanted to join us. Looking back, it feels strange, as to how Sravanth convinced us to hire him,” he says.
One of the most amazing things about working at FrontalRain for Sravanth has been the open sharing of ideas across the board and the ready acceptance of these ideas irrespective of the junior or senior divide, shares Sravanth.
When Sravanth joined, the company was very small and was operating from a very small office in Basavangudi, Bangalore. “Now we are a mid-sized company in Cunningham Road with close to 50 employees and over 100 customers in 4 countries. We now have dedicated teams for every client and the work culture is awesome with defined roles and responsibilities. I am proud to have been a part of this journey,” Sravanth adds. Jayaram knows his employee well and has some great things to share about him. “A highly energetic person, Sravanth was a tennis player during his college days. He has a flair for traveling and has geo-tagged all his pictures. His love for travel works in his favour as his work profile involves a lot of travel. Sravanth has travelled the length and breadth of India, selling Rain+ software for agribusinesses wherever he went. He opened up the spice market in Cochin for us, and he traveled to Mumbai and got the first customers there. He traveled to the Middle East and opened the market for FrontalRain there.”
“I promised my founders that I would get the first international customer and I’m glad I was able to fulfill that. Today we have not one, but many international customers. Though this may not be the defining moment of my life but it definitely is my best at FrontalRain,” adds Sravanth.
He looks up to his founders and is fond of his team. “I share a great bond with the founders. They have helped me numerous times not only in an official capacity but also personally. Most importantly they have always shared their experiences and it helped me learn more,” he adds. Sravanth’s heart is connected deeply with the startup community,He says, “If someone is interested in learning and wants to move ahead, especially during the beginning of their career then startups are the place to be in. However, you have to be very careful in choosing the right startup,” he warns.
At the personal front, Sravanth is single, so he says, “There are no family demands on time and work life balance is not as issue.” He follows tennis very passionately. He used to play the sport in college and enjoys it because it demands a lot of mental strength as well as a physical strength. A few calls to family and friends and a few episodes of ‘FRIENDS’ and ‘Two and a half men’ at the end of the day help him unwind.
“I had a very bad accident and I’m still recovering from that and the support of the team and founders was phenomenal and continues to be so. Not to forget all my friends and colleagues who were always ready to help when needed,” he says. Sravanth downplays the suffering he has been through.
In April, Sravanth met with a nasty accident 30 kms away from Hyderabad, when the vehicle in which he was traveling overturned. Sravant’s friend who was driving the vehicle died the next day and Sravanth landed in the hospital with about 15 fractures in the lower part of the body. Surgery lasted 10 hours and Sravanth went into coma for the next month. He slowly came back to consciousness after a month. He was eventually shifted to his home in early July.
The intensity of the damage was so shocking to all of us that when one of the co-founders went to meet him, he fainted on seeing him,” shares Jayaram.
It was really a miracle that Sravanth is alive today after such severe injury. His will power to recover at the earliest and head to work is truly inspiring and commendable. If the term — ‘never say die’ ever applied to any one it has to be Sravanth.
He is rocking at his work from his home. Jayaram says, “Such was his commitment that he used to jump from one customer meeting to another in Mumbai just surviving on vadapav. When Sravanth met with the accident, he was working on a Nigerian account, and the deal went through. He in fact, got us the first African customer while he was in coma! Hats off to him!”
He has defied death; he may be in bed but his unrelenting spirit is a testimonial to the heroes in the world of the startup ecosystem.
We wish this Awesome Startup Employee a speedy recovery.
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