It all began when I was sitting in a closed cabin, for my summer internship at Deloitte & Touche Consulting. The biggest names in consulting could be found sitting around me, generating millions and billions of currency for some unknown faces named Deloitte or maybe Touche sitting somewhere on the globe, but where? Why would they bother?
“I’ve always had this urge of experimenting with my life; to find something that challenges me, and then put in my best to derive satisfaction and happiness out of it. I thought that I had the best team and a good business plan with me, which seldom come together in life, and we chose to start it right away.”These are the words of Prasoon Gupta, the rookie from Roorkee who turned his back on job offers that could have corrupted saints to start his own IT Products and Services venture. In 2008, Prasoon founded Techbuddy Consulting Pvt. Ltd, quite literally with his buddies from IIT-Roorkee.
In keeping with the pioneering spirit of its founder, Techbuddy Consulting chose to foray into the untapped sector of SMEs and educational institutions to provide them with “highly cost effective holistic packages of comprehensive custom business and technical solutions that help them achieve the next level of performance, increase revenue and maximize the returns from their IT investments.” Prasoon was aware that this segment was unable to realize its potential and achieve the growth it deserved, hampered by lack of resources, ignorance of the benefits of IT services and neglect at the hands of existing IT consulting companies. In typical IIT style, he realized that the solution lay in marrying one untapped sector with another! “We achieve our output primarily by harnessing the unbiased approach, superior analytical abilities and exceptional talents of young students from various elite business and technical institutes of the country. These students work as part time associates for the company and collaborate with us in our different projects. It delimits our service side from any number crunches and bench liabilities, and maximizes the return on our investment.”
The strategy of providing ‘holistic’ solutions and employing promising young students has been the differentiator of his business, Prasoon reveals. But for a freshly graduated student looking to start a business with more students, the world of entrepreneurship can be a veritable landmine. “The biggest challenge that any start up faces is in the initial period when everything is highly shady. The business plan transforms very frequently to adapt to changing requirements, sowing the seed of distrust among the team. Everything is dismantled so frequently, and everyone’s so highly strung that sometimes it becomes difficult even to motivate yourself. The team has to face resistance from anybody ranging from friends, family, and other so-called ‘experienced’ people.” He already has a few regrets notched up over the past year. “One grave error I committed was to trust some wrong people for the team who no more form a part of it, and relying too much on individuals for some very important work that in the end got all messed up.”
But Prasoon persevered, and the results are there for all to see. Recognized as the first ever Private Limited company to start out of the IIT-Roorkee campus and armed with a seed capital of a mere 5 lakhs, Techbuddy has created more than 1 gigabyte of Intellectual Property, entered into a number of strategic partnerships with other organizations, and reached the semi finals of ‘The Power of Ideas’ conducted by the Economic Times. For Prasoon, of course, Techbuddy’s most significant achievement is “the confidence in our clients and the energy in our team that we have been able to infuse.”
Techbuddy has already acquired considerable expertise through its first venture into the education sector, and Prasoon plans to upscale the company “by adding a volume of clients and diversifying into various verticals of industry as early as possible. Also we aim to remain a highly cash flow positive company before seeking investments.” As more and more students from premier institutes turn their backs on campus placements in favour of Techbuddy, Prasoon lets us in on his state of mind. “Entrepreneurship is a state where a person may experience the best and the worst things happening to him, simultaneously. The essence lies in patience at all times. It’s quite similar to falling in love with someone; and after all, we even don’t stop worshipping love even if we fail at times!”
According to Prasoon, “A promising new company, like a black hole, absorbs and transforms anything that comes its way, leaving behind all those without any tangible value.” Yourstory wishes this romantic and adventurous youngster smashing success in his mission to transform India.