[TechSparks 2020] Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal launches book for entrepreneurs by startup founders

The fifth and final day of TechSparks2020 was marked with the launch of the book titled ‘Let’s build a company: A start-up story minus the bullshit’ by Harpreet Grover and Vibhore Goyal. During a fireside chat with Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal, the authors gave their audience all the details…
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The fifth and final day of TechSparks 2020 was marked by a virtual fireside chat between Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola, and Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory Media. As their conversation came to a close, it was time for the next exciting item on the agenda, the launch of a book titled “Let’s build a company: A start-up story minus the bullshit” by Harpreet Grover and Vibhore Goyal.

Harpreet Grover and Vibhore Goyal met in college and then spent the next decade of their lives building a company. But, like everything in life, it wasn't that simple. There were moments of blood, sweat, and tears, there was loss of capital, loss of friendship, and even loss of faith along the way.

Vibhore and Harpreet met as roommates in IIT Bombay and much later, after graduating, both of them quit their jobs and launched CoCubes. The book is about how from having no money in their bank accounts for eight years after graduation, they became extremely successful two years later.

This is a tale of persistence and grit by two founders and about a company built in India by two Indian founders. It is written in the hope that entrepreneurs can avoid the mistakes they made and learn from what they did right.

Bhavish added his own anecdotes about the authors during the launch of the book.

“When I graduated from IIT Bombay, Harpreet and Vibhor had already set up their own company,” Bhavish said. “They inspired me to become an entrepreneur. I remember going to their office and seeing the camaraderie and culture there and being inspired to launch my own startup too. I still look up to both of them in so many ways as I have seen their journey up close and personal and in so much detail."

The beauty of the book also lies in the quality of the writing. “It is a world-class book with world-class writing,” said Shradha, adding, “The book is a manual of honesty and someday it will help us deal with our own problems.”

On being asked to share his thoughts about the book, Harpreet said, “For Vibhore and I, it has been a long journey. When we started, there were about four or five VCs in India. There was no Internet and we had to go to colleges to sell because students did not have a mobile, and there were no distribution networks available. It is so different from the present when raising early capital is easier and distribution is easier too. However, building a company is still hard. It involves all the same things. You need to work along with your co-founder, you need to hire people, all this remains the same.”

Harpreet added that one of the problems that arise in the Indian startup world is when one of the co-founders gets more facetime and seems more glamorous than the other one. “This can lead to disagreements between co-founders,” he said. “But in our case, Vibhore and I realised that we wanted to prioritise our relationship over the company.”

According to Vibhore, being a co-founder has been a very bumpy ride.

“You go through a lot of ups and downs and you really need someone who can be a friend, not just a business partner. Whenever I see two friends starting up, I think their business journey will be easier as they are friends. You need to startup with the right founder and that is the whole point of the book. We didn’t think about who would read it or who would benefit from it. It was more about what we could we share about the journey we had.”

Every attendee in TechSparks will receive a copy of the book. This story of two founders who launched a successful business will help others navigate the journey of building a startup and help them conquer many challenges and obstacles that they may encounter along the way.

Edited by Megha Reddy