By Anurag Sinha, Founder at Delimedy.
(Delimedy is a healthtech startup working on creating a seamless ecosystem around healthcare in India.)
Times have changed so much, everyone’s starting up!
I come from a family that has always been about getting a good job, be an IAS officer or a Lawyer. When I was in my primary school, I told my parents I wanted to start a business when I grow older, and they didn’t take me seriously. They thought I’d gradually get back onto the footsteps of the family elders and get a 9-5 job when I grew up.
Apparently, that did not happen. When I was in the first year of my college I knew it was time to take a plunge, and my startup journey began. But was it easy? No.
I’m here to tell you a different story. I won’t ask you to take the plunge without knowing what you will have to go through while you are in the air. Or without knowing, if you actually wanted to take that plunge or not. Unlike a lot of other entrepreneurs around me, I had plans of starting up from my childhood days. I did not start up because I hated my boss or because I wanted to earn more than my salary. I did it because I loved it. Yet, now almost five years into this ecosystem, the struggle continues. Working hard to build a successful company.
I come from a middle-class family and my business capital has always been less than or equal to my pocket money. When it comes to business today, the kind of competition that we are all bound to face makes it extremely necessary to have the right amount of capital in hand.
We all see ET and YourStory flooded with funding news but what we do not realise is that it takes a lot of hard work and pain to get there unless you’ve got a very strong network. Do not think that I am trying to demotivate you here, I’m just trying to give you all a reality check, unlike many other articles on the internet. You must know what you’re getting into before you get into it. When you startup, you might not be able to take home any money for months (or years), you won’t be able to give your friends/family/yourself any time. To be actually able to come out of that phase alive, you must have undying passion for your work. I love the whole setup and that’s exactly why I am here. Before you jump in, make sure you do too.
It’s going to be tough.
My startup Traves (TravelTech.in), raised a round of angel funding at the ideation stage but later had issues with the investor, after having spent 40% of the money. Who could see that coming? We couldn’t comprehend what was happening. It was very tough. But did we give up? No. Why? We loved what we were doing and you don’t give up on your love easily, do you?
Investment is the first major step that a startup takes. The real story follows after that. A suggestion, for entrepreneurs is to build a product/startup that can feed itself at least, if not you. Obviously initial capital will be required but don’t keep losing money all the time. Once you get investment flowing in, you can decide to burn cash for growth or adopt whatever strategy you deem fit. As I said, that might happen in days or may take years. The key is perseverance, once you’re sure about WHAT you’re doing and WHY you’re doing it.
Once you’ve decided and made up your mind that starting up is what you want, make sure you give it everything you’ve got. When you start running on the roads while going to the office, for no reason- just to save time, that’s when you’ll make it happen. You’ve got to go crazy. Forget everything and give it your best shot.
Yes, there are some people who become successful without having to take all that pain up. But as hard as it might be to accept, it could be luck. The question really is, are you just trying your luck here or are you here with a fortified determination that nothing is going to stop you?
Don’t take your chances, make those chances yours.