Anurag Kumar, Writer at StudentStory.in shares his story of how he started ePiller with his friend, how they shut shop and why he will continue to try.In a recent statistic offered by NASPA, an interesting combination was given out of an average college student’s life in the entire week. It said: the average college student studies an average of 8.4 hours a week. If the average student is in class for 15 hours a week and also studies 8.4 hours as well, that means that out of a possible 168 hours, they are spending about 24 of those studying or in class. If we break it down even further and say that the average student sleeps a modest 7 hours a day, they still have 95 hours during the week for other activities.”
Lots of interesting numbers were mentioned but it was the last data that interested me the most - 95 hours for other activities! I took this extra time and created a venture with one of my friends “ePilier” – an internet design and marketing company, at the start of this year. I was responsible for the marketing, delivering the stats and writing the content for the website, my friend was given the role of coding and designing. He had to design and code the website of our clients. We presented our idea to the members of NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network), and received media coverage as well. A decent start everyone would claim. Then we fastened our belts and moved out for client hunting. We were prepared for the hardship ahead; we were very inexperienced and still students. We knew not many would take our pitch seriously.
We started out within our friend and family circles. We got our first client, a person who was looking to promote his tour & travel agency online. He was impressed with our offer. Everything was set and we were ready to work on our first project. But then a few days down the line, his business got shut down and everything went back to the point where we had started. We moved on with our search and in the mean time continued adding more services to our catalogue.
‘Online security’ was our next offering. Since we were offering services to our targeted clients, we needed to have atleast one recurring source of income. With online security, we concluded the money can flow all through the year. Money is an important part of any venture for you need to keep the fire burning. And we had already invested around 15,000 in cash into our venture, some through our own pockets but the majority was taken from private vendors.
Time didn’t slow down for us. In no time it was April and we were feeling the heat. Our studies got affected. Teachers humiliated us for low attendance and equally poor performance in class tests. Our friends started calling us names for we were hardly found in chill out sessions or in canteens. Our hard labor was not showing any fruitful results. Some clients agreed to our offer but then the very next day they would not pick up our calls. For some, the offer was too low while some claimed we were not capable. Altogether we were screwed. We were burning out the cash as well.
Our yearly exams were scheduled in few days so we decided to concentrate on our studies for some time now. All the papers went well; as far I remember. After exams I returned to the field with more determination and energy but I guess my partner had some other intentions. He decided to call it off “Dude we cannot do it, we are just too small”. That brought me down; these words will hurt any co-founder. I was ready to tackle the taunt of every person out there but for this, I was not prepared.
The company could not function with just me on the board; I gave up the thought of internet marketing. It took me few months to recover and then I realized this is my dream and no one can stop me from achieving it. I started all over again, this time without any co-founder. I had my talent of writing and my new found interest advertising and publishing industry. But this time I would be taking my time and perform all the relative homework before I go on for the kill. Next year January is my date again. I hope this time I will be rectifying the mistakes committed earlier.
Read about some of the success stories of entrepreneurs who kept at it like Anurag.
Author credit: Anurag Kumar