From interning at a startup to launching his own – A student turned entrepreneur’s journey!
"What is the difference between college and school?” a 12th class student, inquisitive to see that kind of lifestyle, asked me. I just said one word – ‘exposure’!
I had been searching for internships from the first year of college itself as I knew I couldn’t sit idle in two months of vacations. I created an account on an online internship platform and started applying to different internships. I faced rejections in the beginning as I didn’t have many skills on my resume and had never worked before. Finally, one day I got shortlisted for an internship at a startup, Bizcrum Infotech Pvt. Ltd. They were hiring for their new product, ShoeKonnect, a B2B mobile app, and a telephonic interview was scheduled. The HR asked a few basic questions related to my academics, hobbies, and my thoughts on marketing their product. I answered all the questions confidently and he was impressed. In the end, he said that they never looked at one’s resume before hiring – what they hunted for were enthusiastic and confident candidates! I was hired and thus started my journey!
Those two months completely changed my life. Working in a startup meant exploring various fields like marketing, business development, finance, etc. I loved blogging and was a social media enthusiast. So I started managing their blog and employed various tricks and hacks, that I had learned along the way, for marketing their product. The blog had all the footwear-related content and news and within two months, the average daily traffic increased from 4-5 visits to 130-150 visits! I also designed various posters for the promotion on social media. Moreover, I learned how to track and study analytics, data extraction, and maintaining databases. Thus, in those few months, I learned a diverse range of skills – from marketing and customer-relationship management to graphic design and a bit of coding! Today, I’ve been working with them for more than a year! And with the help of all these learnings, I’ve been able to launch my own small startup – InstaKhoJ.
I’ve always believed that no two students can be same; every child has to discover his/her own calling through exploring different options. Modern schools have also realized this fact and encourage students to take part in different extra-curricular activities, but the horizons of it are very much defined. I’m an average student of management stream, belonging from a business background. I love participating in competitions and workshops irrespective of whether it’s of my direct or indirect interest because I feel that at the end of the day, it’s the experience that matters. However, despite being inquisitive, I used to miss many competitions. Sometimes I got to know about them post the deadline, sometimes the dates clashed with my other plans, and sometimes the event was not publicized in my college at all! I realized that many students faced this problem and decided to do something. And that’s how I came up with the idea of my startup!
My friend, Raghav Agarwal, and I cofounded InstaKhoJ with an aim to promote various competitions and events going on in the city of Dehradun. We started in October 2016 through a free WordPress website. Initially, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned; we were getting good traffic on the website, but the back-end workload was too much to handle for just the two of us. The look of the free website was also not attractive. As we were neither from a technical background nor had any funds for hiring a CTO, we got stuck with many technical glitches. I was determined to launch it and decided to learn to code myself – that’s when the basic coding that I had learnt during the internship helped me and gave me the luxury of being self-reliant. In few months, we were able to create a team of six enthusiastic people who worked with us on an unpaid basis as for few months we were also not generating any revenue. After a few months of research and hard work, our new website with full functionalities finally went live on 1st April 2017! Apart from being a one-stop resource for getting updated on all the competitions and events, it’s also a tool for promoting one’s events among college students. Organisers also have an option to directly facilitate online registration through the portal! The events can further be promoted on our different social media channels.
Author of the article: Suyash Jain