The Worst part of EntrepreneurshipPradeep Agarwal
It all started when I got admitted to Engineering. Like everyone I wanted to get a good job after engineering and settle down but not very sure about the career.
I didn’t get the placement through on campus so unlike all other engineers I headed towards Bangalore. After 3 months of struggle I got into a very big MNC with decent package. I was very happy and parents were too.
After working for 5-6 months I have realized that this is not something which I wanted to do because that job was paying me good money and my parents, family and Girlfriend were happy that i was in a good company but I wasn’t happy.
I always wanted to solve real time problems but fear of losing was there. I got settled in my job and started a routine wherein wake up, go office, come back and sleep. I was losing myself.
Finally I have started preparing for MBA Entrance and cleared one good B-School paper. I called my parents and told them that I want to quit the job and going for MBA. They were scared and asked what will you do there, this is good company, be here and earn.
It took some time to convince them because they don’t want me to struggle afterwards because you never know once you leave a job then it is very difficult to get a new job that too in a good company.
It was my last working day in MNC and I was called by VP-Engineering and he offered me good hike and onsite opportunity. I thought a while and then decided that this is not what I wanted to do so deny the offer.
Now 2nd phase of study-MBA. I got into B-School, first day itself I got scared because being an engineering student Account, Finance and Economics were very difficult. I decided to drop MBA and go back to same MNC but somehow I stayed for 1week and got settled.
The B-School was in outskirts and there was no proper transportation. It used to take more than an hour to reach city.
One day my mobile phone got off and it was not working. I tried removing battery and charging too but it didn’t work out. The only solution I have to get this phone repaired is to take City but there was no time as we used to have hectic schedule.
I somehow managed my friend’s phone for 2-3 days but in order to repair the phone I had visited City. I have spent around 4-5 hours but the issue didn’t resolve. The repair store asked me to come after a day as they have to change some IC which was not available at that point in time. I was like please try to do it now because I have to travel a long again to take this phone but they said NO. I got my phone repaired after 2 days but that went dead again.
This triggers me a real time problem of my B-School because we have a batch of 1000 where in everyday some 20-30 phones will have some other problem. So I have decided to solve this problem and came up with an idea “Fix-O-Phone”. Online mobile repair portal for the students of college.
Me with my friend (Co-founder) made some local repair shops in contact to repair all the phones. So we have introduced an online portal where in you can come up with your phone details and we will pick from your place and get it repaired from City.
Initially when we presented this idea, it was criticized by many people. They were like it is a bogus idea and it won’t work. We were upset with their opinion too but thought of giving it a trial.
Finally Fix-O-Phone got launched and it was a hit on day1 as we got 25 entries.
We used to travel twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) to City in order to repair the phones. It was going good and we have somehow convinced our vendors to pick the device from college and deliver too.
We thought of taking this startup out of college. Now this was the turning point for us.
When I called my parents that I want to do Online Mobile repair business, they were like after Engineering and MBA- you should not do this. Take a job in MNC and settle. But for me this was a dream job.
When I went to pitch in my idea, I came across a similar business which was running in Bangalore and Hyderabad. I requested there founder to meet and he agreed to meet.
We have presented our idea and it seems like we were on same line. They asked us the future plans and we have explained them. After few days we got a call from that startup offering jobs. They have offered 2 new cities wherein we have to start their business from scratch.
It was dream come true because as an Entrepreneur we will also start from scratch with fewer resources. So we have accepted the offer and started our respective cities.
The moment I have accepted the offer, my parents, family, relatives and girlfriend were against me. They were like I am killing my career and time. I continued to work with the same and realized that we are making it big but the loved ones were going far.
There was a time when my girlfriend got married and my partner with whom I have started “Fix-O-Phone” left. I am still with my dream and trying hard to make it worth.
The problem with Entrepreneur is not lack of money or idea or team, it is the support which he needs from their own people because it gives him more strength.
The greatest success comes from having the freedom to fail. Ideas don’t come out fully formed, they only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started!!
City Head, Bangalore-Justlikenew Technologies Pvt. Ltd.