MBA Guy's Idea Turned Down 73 Times – Yet Earned Rs 463 Cr with Rs 15,000 Cr in FY23
Asish Mohapatra faced 73 rejections before leading OfBusiness to a $5B valuation, showcasing unmatched perseverance and business acumen
In the world of startups, perseverance often makes the difference between success and failure. Asish Mohapatra's journey with OfBusiness stands testament to this. Starting his entrepreneurial chapter in 2015, the IIT Kharagpur graduate faced rejection a staggering 73 times before finally getting his venture off the ground. But like the proverbial phoenix, he soared even higher post those setbacks.
By 2021, Mohapatra's brainchild, OfBusiness, had not only achieved unicorn status (a valuation over $1 billion) but, in a few short months, had surged past a valuation of $5 billion. For those unfamiliar with the startup, OfBusiness serves the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors by providing a holistic platform that amalgamates raw material procurement, supplier financing, and project financing needs. The firm's exceptional growth can be charted by its financial milestones. From revenues of Rs 1757 Cr in 2020-21, it shot up to an impressive Rs 7269 Cr in 2021-22. The company’s diversification into sectors like industrial goods, chemicals, and agricultural produce evidently played a pivotal role in this meteoric rise.
While these numbers are impressive, Mohapatra's vision stretches further. He envisions OfBusiness as the first startup with a 100 million dollar PAT (profit after tax) firm. In FY23, with a revenue crossing the Rs 15,000 crore mark, the company posted a profit of INR 463 Cr. With such momentum, his aspirations for an increased PAT don't seem far-fetched.
His journey, laden with challenges, wasn't walked alone. Standing shoulder to shoulder with him is his wife, a co-founder of the company. The duo's unwavering faith in profitability, despite facing opposition, has been instrumental. When Mohapatra expressed his goal of profitability per transaction, he was met with skepticism and was advised to "burn and grow." Yet, he remained steadfast, rooted in the principles of profitability he learned from his mother, a physics professor.
For Mohapatra and his team, the road to success wasn't a straight path. From facing numerous rejections to navigating through the cynical advice of potential investors, his story is a reminder that with determination, a clear vision, and an undying spirit, success isn't just possible; it's inevitable.