How I started my entrepreneurial journey in Std. 8
People have complex in mind that Entrepreneurship in very tough and risky. However, my story is one among many examples that Entrepreneurship is just manifestation of will power to achieve your dreams. No matter how young are you or how less resources you have, you can still achieve whatever you want in life.Yash Raj Karthikey
I belong to a small town of Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand. I was in Std. 4, when my mom passed away. This made me wonder, what I can do to change the lives of women, since they are the pillars of the society.
In Std. 8, I understood that I can create a great team which thinks of unique ideas to support my vision and works on that. That team was named Silverspark. However, that team failed to work due to lack of coordination. But, that experience definitely taught me how to step up, start thinking big and get out of my comfort zone.
Soon after that in Std. 9, I went to cyber cafés to build their websites which I recently learned at school using HTML at that time. I told them, if my website doesn’t pay them back, there is no requirement of paying me anything.
They agreed and trusted the confidence in the young boy. I started working day and night on their websites – and with no money in hand. I didn’t possess any computer also since I was in std. 9 and was supposed to focus on study. I used to plan my time and strategy at home and then used to go to the cyber café to apply that strategy.
I used free tools like Webs, Weebly, Wix and my basic knowledge of HTML to build their websites. But, I was not knowing how their websites will be monetized. By the time it was already 4 months passed. People started thinking like it was not going to work for them.
Since their websites were the homepage for Cyber Café PCs, the websites attracted good traffic. While searching the web, I found the Google AdSense Program in which I can place Google Ads on my website and earn money. I immediately applied for the program. But, my application was rejected many times.
I need to work harder on the websites, improve their google indexing, SEO friendliness and much more before they were accepted into the Google AdSense program. The first website which was ever accepted from my portfolio in Google AdSense Program was ComputerGK.com and since then there was no looking back. Websites grew the ladders of success and Cyber Cafes too.
Soon I realized that I should start doing Freelancing and I started my career in Digital Marketing when I was in +2.
After I passing +2, I joined IIM Bangalore’s IIMBx MicroMasters Program in Entrepreneurship. This course taught me a lot about Entrepreneurship, all the professors taught me a lot about Entrepreneurship including Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, Prof. Ashish Mishra, and Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan. I am in the final stage of the course, but this course skyrocketed my Entrepreneurial Journey.
My Startup was accepted into the Microsoft Bizspark Startup Program and got funded with thousands of dollars of Software, Azure credits and resources which further helped me scale my startup. And, now I have my own Pvt. Ltd. The company, Silverspark, the same one incepted 6 years ago.
I established the company as a Digital Marketing company after my freelancing career. I am 20 now, and I look forward to expanding my company towards my vision.
One thing I want to highlight in my story – when I started doing all this – there were many demoralizing experiences like – people will say A teenager can’t do this, or you don’t have mom, you don’t have experience, you are alone so you can’t, friends also didn’t trust me.
But today, after running a successful company which allows me to sustain a good life in Bangalore, I will say that it's your will which makes you a successful entrepreneur. There are two types of criticism – helpful and unhelpful. Go for a helpful one and ignore the unhelpful one.
One of my biggest appreciation which I ever got was from Prof. Saras Sarasvathy when she was on a visit last year in IIM Bangalore at NSRCEL Event on Effectuation. And this was because her concept of Affordable Loss in Effectuation, proves true in my case – I am living example which used the concept of Affordable Loss without actually knowing about it.
Today, people come to me for taking advice on their startups and I really feel proud that I am able to help them.
My will to follow my dream brought me here. Dreams are like Sparks in darkness. When they become fire in your eyes, only then you can realize them and see the real beauty of sunlight out of darkness.