Our generation is of "over motivated underachievers"; act on your goal, achieve more, be driven! - Eeshan Srivastava


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1. Tell us more about your company and your journey.

Darwaaza is a youth based artist community cum talent management startup which focuses on bringing out the best of the talents across India and across all forms of art.  When I was in my first year, a lot of my friends motivated me in a lot of ways they don’t know and that motivation resulted in my work towards Darwaaza. I started Darwaaza with only one purpose, to fill in a need - passion as not just a hobby. I attended a lot of cultural fests live and believe me, I had not felt that vibe anywhere. So, I surveyed around 100 people, spoke to them about why they felt they could not follow their passion and the obvious answer was - career. This is totally understandable because today, I am working on Darwaaza, I have my personal music channel (www.instagram.com/eeshanwithukelele) AND……. I am also studying my MBA.

We are in India, and our career for our parents is very important and there should be no discussion over it. They are right 99.9% of the time. But what I also felt was that the content had a scope. Digital media is (was) the new thing, we see thousands of artists rising and shining.That is when it struck me.

 Make a personal online exhibition for youth artists, or as I call it, an e-exhibition.

2. How did you come up with this idea and go about executing it?

The above stated reasons and also the fact that I am an amazing singer who still hasn’t performed at any festival with footfall over 50,000 people (ha ha) is how I came up with the idea.

Execution was pretty hard. I won’t say I slept less or I grinned like there is no morning and night for me (don’t fall for this ideology, you need sleep and you need to socialize too) but yup, it was kind of hard because there are a lot of factors that make a business idea become a product/service.

Planning is really important. I also am a freelance marketing consultant and a lot of the startups I am working with have this one problem: they do not have a well documented plan. It is as important as the idea.

For me the method was to keep breaking down my long term objective into smaller short-term objectives. Reverse engineering the long term goal, I feel, is the key of execution of any plan of action.

3. What has been your biggest challenge that you faced and how did you overcome that?

Finance and a team. These are two hurdles for solo “wantrepreneurs”. For the longest time, I felt I could work on Darwaaza alone but little did I know that it was just delaying my work.

Finding finance (initial funds) is still easier, I was partially funded by my family, friends and partially I had used my savings from the past smaller businesses (mostly e-commerce types) I had.

Finding a team is probably the hardest thing. 2-3 people having the same vision and the same excitement about an idea is rare. How did I overcome this? Networking. Talking to people is really important. The more you speak to people from similar and different domains, the more you get to know about humans, the more you get to know about what you’re looking for in your team.

4. What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur?

Consistency even when your own self has doubts about the future of the firm. If I tell you how many times I have thought of giving up, you would be surprised.
You’ll get 100s of random people laughing and mocking and 10-15 friends doing the same. Just laugh it off.

BUT, this doesn’t mean that if the business really seems like a failure (after having spent considerable time on it), you must still not give up. You have to give up when you feel there is no sense to what you’re working towards.

This brings me to the second important quality. Ability to understand what customers really want. Add value, all the time. It is only about adding value to who consumes your product/service.

5. What are some of the most important factors for running a successful business?

Value addition: Are you adding value to your target market? Do they feel its need?

End to end customer experience: Customers are god. How much do you know about your customers? Why are they buying your product? What problems are they facing at every touch point?

Strategy and Marketing: Competition is all time high. What makes your idea different? What is your competitive advantage? How are you putting your product in front of your target market?

Planning: Without a plan, even if you have all the above ready, there is no point. Not that you’d not go forward, but you’ll waste a lot of time and time is money.

6. What are your tips for first time and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Fail: This is as true as it is cliched. I had my first venture when I was 16. Started a lot of businesses. Failed in most. Failing gives a very important answer to “What should I not do?”

Network: Humans are your best resource. Go to startup events. Fests. Talk to like minded people.

Customer survey: Your idea needs validation and surveys are the first step to it. Through surveys, you can find problems and then, solutions to those problems.

Keep a notepad or a personal Whats App chat where you write all your awesome ideas. If you think the idea you just thought of right now will be in your mind after 4 hrs, you are mistaken. So, note then down the moment you have it.

Eeshan Srivastava
Founder - Darwaaza.com
Freelance Digital Marketer


Our generation is of "over motivated underachievers"; act on your goal, achieve more, be driven! - Eeshan Srivastava Our generation is of "over motivated underachievers"; act on your goal, achieve more, be driven! - Eeshan Srivastava Reviewed by EMN on April 03, 2020 Rating: 5

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