My first venture
My article might sound similar to the one of the motivational speeches from the TVF series Pitchers, but this is a true story.
This was back in initial 1990’s as most of the kids I was also interested towards raising household pets as we dint have the busy time taken by the technology back in those days and if you have to get busy you need to create some hobby. I started raising pets and raised quite a few like, cats, dogs, rabbits, turtle, ducks, hens, parrots, pigeons, etc. Not pig as shown in pic though and no offense!
I think I was around 9 or 10 years old, I got attracted to fish tanks or aquariums, there were colourful fishes with fancy accessories like a seamen pumping oxygen for fishes in the tank, coloured stones at the bottom and beautiful green underwater plants for aquariums.
I obviously bought an aquarium and being an enthusiast about those fish breeds I used to visit the nearby aquarium store (not really a pet shop at that time) almost every alternate day. Those who know about this terminology, I was looking at different breeds like golden fishes, redcups, blackgold, silver moles, red moles, black moles, fighters and the list goes on. I have all the colour fishes and noticed some fishes in aquarium shop are lean and some are fat with protruded belly, so asked the person at store and he said that fat fishes will deliver fingerling in few days, there are also some fishes which will lay eggs but this is an easy process and that’s the first revenue model came to my mind.
If I buy one today and can sell some hundreds of fingerlings because fish can produce hundreds of fingerling at a time.
One fine day bought a black mole fish which is ready to deliver, told my parents the same thing and mom cursed me as usual as she knows me better, dad saw me arranging a light on the transparent glass jar and did help me with that. FYI this Jar is that Horlicks 1 kg bottles if you could connect, and I arranged a 0 volts bulb on it with dad’s help.
The first step as an entrepreneur all my hard work was to wake up every 30 minutes in the night and check if fish has delivered. As you know to simplify I managed to have the light on the Jar.
I did try to wake up but failed to monitor but next day morning around 6am I could only see some 40 fingerlings in the jar but that was really very exciting to a young boy.
Here comes the marketing model, there is no easy communication model in those days so I visited to one of my friend’s places nearby to let them know what I have and told them I’ll sell the fingerlings for Rs.1 or Rs.2.
Later the word of mouth spread and I’ve seen good number of friends coming and buying with a minimal marketing and advertising strategy.
I bought the fish for Rs.5 and sold close to 20 fingerlings at cost of Rs.1 to Rs.3 each, as the demand increased so the price.
The learning is that my friends who bought the fingerlings started going to aquarium shop and bought small fish jars or tanks initially which costed around Rs.50 to raise fingerlings, later they got addicted to same hobby and started buying aquariums along with all fish breads and other accessories costing to thousand rupees back in 90’s.
That was a future market analysis which I missed to interpret the customer need, I knew the fingerling would be sold out but if I could analyse the future market and get some more investment from my dad who was my first investor at that time. It wouldn’t leakage the revenue, but as a kid at that age it was a great learning.
I don't feel disappointed with this incidence because, I’ve experimented my first start up at the age of 10 which is quite a success and I feel, I created the market for which there was never a demand at that time. I’m sure it would have been continued to create more revenue for the established aquarium stores.
Size, age, gender, status, profession, nothing matters to become a start-up, it’s the passion what matters!!
Don’t give up!