Not many of us can think of taking a study leave for two years after starting a company, which is barely a year old. But, Allwin Agnel did exactly the same and yet his online portal, PaGaLGuY, has become a ready reckoner for management students and B-school aspirants in India. Allwin Agnel shares his perseverance mantra with YourStory
Why an entrepreneur? Why didn't you pursue a regular job?
I wasn't interested in regular jobs and wanted to do something on my own. I started very early as an entrepreneur - right after college.
I started two companies when I was barely 21 years old. However, I had support from my family who allowed me to do whatever made me happy and nothing has given me more happiness than good people I work with everyday.
Something on starting years
The early years were tough, exciting and full of dreams. Luckily it has continued to be so. It was challenging to deal with issues one hadn't faced before- to figure out solutions to problems and to grow, hire, set things up all at the same time. However, even very early on, I found amazing people to work with and this allowed me to dream bigger.
Turning point in your business
Our first hire at pagalguy.com was the turning point for the business. That moment we went from a hobby site to a business and we haven't looked back. There were definitely challenges we faced in terms of growth, staffing and other issues - but over a period of time we were able to grow from strength to strength. I guess the biggest turning point was to believe in the idea and making that big leap to build it into a successful business.
Did at any point you felt like giving up and getting back to taking a job?
I am sure I did - but I don't remember considering it for more than a few seconds every time the thought hit me. There were hundreds of challenges, but once I was able to successfully find solutions to certain challenges, I got the confidence to go ahead and tackle newer problems as they came up.
What drives you?
Good food, great people to work with and well, the challenge of doing awesome work.
On business - the differentiators of your business
The community is the biggest key difference between us and our competitors. We build products that are loved by our users and they in turn go and spread the good word.
Growth drivers / vision for your enterprise
My vision is to put the company growth on fast track and work on increasingly challenging projects with the phenomenally talented people we have. The idea is to grow it into India's supersite for education.
Key Requirements to grow your business
We are looking to raise capital, hire more folks and keep scaling up.
Tips for budding entrepreneur
Persevere, talk to people, be objective and once done that - go crazy. If you think you can do it, no one can stop you from doing it.