My journey from regional sales head to a serial entrepreneurNeha Kapoor
As a kid, I was into books and nerdy stuff that often led into friends calling me ‘boring’. But the world of books somehow fascinated me. As I grew up, I completed my professional education and then post graduation in Business Administration. Like a quintessential MBA pass out, I too landed a corporate job and not-so-meaty salary cheque. Life seemed easy from outside but only I knew how much I detested my monotonous 9-5 job.
I never wanted to get stuck in corporate jungle and always had the desire to start something of my own. And this urge was there since my engineering days. During my IMT days, I, along with my friends launched ‘Dilli Arts Junction, an offline fest that was supposed to bring artistic people together. That failed badly. But it taught me a thing or two about entrepreneurship.
The initial plunge into corporate life helped me to learn the ropes of the trade. By the end of 1 year, I was determined to have my own publishing house and that was when I resigned from my job and forayed into publishing, that was once called ‘Gray area’.That is how 'Half Baked Beans' happened.
I had always been thinking of doing this but it could happen this early, was not anticipated. I wanted to be in the corporate job for some 5 years before I quit it but then it stuck with me that the sooner we start the better it is. My parents were my staunch support during this phase and never for once did they try to coax me into a regular job. They allowed me to pursue my dreams and I shall always be grateful for that.
4 years back when Indian Publishing industry was quite rigid and controlled by few publishing giants, it was difficult for first-time authors to even approach publishers, forget getting a book published. I myself was an avid reader so I knew how depressing it was to see new writers get lost in the oblivion.
Since I was not from publishing background, a lot of things I had to learn on the go and that helped me better understand the technicalities of trade. Initial setup took a lot of time but luckily, things fell into place once we had the legal status and submissions started coming in. Next, it became imperative to focus on content generation and creating the online presence, and that is when we realized the gaps in the publishing industry.
There was no dearth of good stories, but they were not coming out. That triggered us to build a reading and writing community and provide recognition to writers and to identify those who could be good Authors.
I wanted to experiment with the idea of publishing books and come up with innovative strategies. I am glad that I took that risk and followed my passion.
Serial entrepreneurship was not a part of my plan but something that happened on the go. I founded ‘Green Rock’ Store with a friend to provide Indian masses with the option to wear and express. Green Rock specializes in customized T-shirts, Laptop Skins, Hoodies, and Mugs. I was always into Fan merch and through this store, I wanted to serve the youth with the best of merchandise.
On a similar note, once I was travelling with a friend when we discussed the idea of a co-travel startup where different people who are strangers to each other, could co-travel. That is how Big Bang Trip came into the picture. It is a travel scene where the small group of people from across India comes together to travel in a bus and experience varied offerings of life.
My aspirations are being able to do things I want to do and not being dependent on anything for that. I would consider myself lucky if I am able to do all that I aspire. Life is all about choices and one should choose wisely.