“We are launching our first SaaS product that tries to make accounting cool again,” announces Mohit Mamoria, Founder and CEO of Owlgrin. “We have seen that the process of book-keeping is too cumbersome and there definitely is a better way to do this. This better way is called Gaurilla. We are a bootstrapped startup, located in Gurgaon and working hard to solve this real pain…”
Here, in this email interaction with YourStory, Mohit speaks about his journey, as a 21-year-old who is already into his second company.
I was always fascinated about building things, whether a software or a company. I have been building things for 10 years and am fortunate enough to turn any idea into a working product.
I started my first company when I was 18 years old. It was a services company and was called Efox SoftBytes. I managed to provide services of building websites and web applications during nights and weekends, as college filled up most of my day.
After managing it for around 2 years, I shut it down, as demands of clients begun to increase. And I decided to never do a services company again.
I think that I am very fortunate to have got this curious mind. I couldn’t resist something without doing it. No matter that I might fail, but I do it at least. And, even if I fail, I learn some valuable lessons and do in an improved manner next time.
Following the same pattern, I started Owlgrin – a product company, by investing into it everything I have ever earned. There are pros of a product company in return of high risk as compared to a services company. Owlgrin got incorporated on April 27, 2013. I quit my job and began working full-time from July 26. Meanwhile, I built a prototype and gave it to a few private beta testers. I received feedback and bugs, which helped in understanding consumer segments in a better way.
The journey of building a company till now has been very fulfilling. Sure, I made a few mistakes at some points, like first hire, first fire, etc. But with every failure, I got more mature as an entrepreneur.
I call Owlgrin my child.
Currently, we are operating in web and mobile space. Unsurprisingly, the two industries are at an all-time high. With new platforms emerging every now and then to get your software onto, it had been never been easier to reach out to customers.
Besides the platforms to reach out to customers, there are so many pains in every industry. An entrepreneur sees these pains as opportunities. With Gaurilla, first product from Owlgrin, we try to solve problems faced by entrepreneurs and accountants. Currently, these two work in their own isolated spheres, but I feel that if these two could collaborate, the things could get very easy to manage.
We will follow subscription-based model for all our products. It has been reported that companies providing access over ownership (that is, the share economy) could generate $3.5 billion in 2013.
Unlike old times when software used to cost a hefty one-time fee, we are going with small recurring subscription fee. Also, this small fee enables us NOT to depend on ads for revenue. I am a little obscure about ads. In ads-based software, your users are not your customers. I want our users only to be our customers so that we can focus on their needs.
I tweet regularly about startups. To list some most important lessons for wannabe entrepreneurs, here they are:
- Always remember that you are building a company and not just software.
- As first-time founders, you could hire wrong employees. But don’t be afraid in letting them go. First firing could be difficult but you have to do it.
- Money can be earned back if lost, people cannot. Treat your people (customers, employees, users) in the best possible way.
- Keep finding ways to delight your customers. And product is just one part of the process. Try sending a chocolate cake on their birthday and see how many references you get in the next 6 months.
- And, lastly, don’t be afraid of failing. There won’t be a ‘perfect’ time. Whatever it is, it is now. Step out, make mistakes, learn from them, try again, and succeed.