An Entrepreneurial Journey: Never be Afraid of Failure

The word startup is pretty trending right now but still faces many repercussions and problems. Be it a lack of family support, lack of funds, social security, savings, and responsibilities, there are many hurdles in this marathon. But just think about the same thing a decade back when even the idea of a startup was indigenous to the masses. That was when 91springboards started its journey and all the milestones that it has achieved to date. 

91springboards is a vibrant coworking community created for startups, freelancers and business owners with a startup mindset. They are dedicated to making your work-life easy and fun while playing an integral role in helping your organization grow.

Well, every startup needs to have a driving force, which is very essential to keep the core intact and that's one person who gets this itch of doing something new. Well, the guy with this Startup bug was Varun Chawla. He is the one who is credited with bringing everyone together. He is an extremely smart person who knows how to engage people in an idea and make them live the experience to its fullest so much that they get hooked to the idea before they can even realize.

Varun is from an entrepreneurial family. He completed his college and was working at Goldman Sachs which, his first and only job after which he decided to do something of his own. Upon discussing this idea with his family, his father showed full support to this. So he launched his first venture called Springboard Investments in 2007 but couldn't be launched at a full-frontal assault. He later launched Ordemus Capital in 2008, an algorithm hedge fund that was considered way too advanced for its time. Similarly, there were other initiatives as well that somehow didn't work that well, but all these failures never really stopped him from pursuing his dream but rather became learning experiences.

Then he built up in 2011, which was subsequently purchased by MakeMyTrip and pivoted into a back-end computer network that supported MakeMyTrip with a real-time inventory. By this time, he realized that something different needs to be done and he saw the opportunity in the robust ecosystem of India. This became the genesis for 91springboard.

Hence the venture started taking shape with other founding members who contributed immensely in the startup with their blood and sweat. He was then joined by Pranay Gupta and Anand Vemuri as co-founders at 91springboard. Pranay Gupta, an IIM-A alumnus, helped other entrepreneurs with their funding problems, realize their dreams, and understanding the other technicalities of startups, he too got the startup itch. As fate would have been he bumped into Varun and the rest is history since he is one of the four current founders of the company.

As for Anand, a Stanford graduate, he was pursuing a lucrative life in the US but came back to India. While connecting with his old friends, he met Varun too and realized that the distance between his office & Anand’s place was quite less. He thus started working a couple of times in a week. Sooner these couple of weeks turned into a full-time thing. Soon both of them were the founding members along with Varun. The original plan was to create a fund that would invest in successful startups as well as other companies along with a limited incubator space.

Soon they started working on funding as it is an important aspect because having money in hand is essential for a startup in the initial stages. But later, the realization that getting funds for a small, independent startup is a heck of a task along with renting spaces and furnishing problems. They were, however, able to bag $1 Million as investment from a European investor, but the idea of an incubator fund in a developing economy made them withdraw the investment overnight.

Even with all these problems arising the startup still blossomed as it can be. However, another share of problems was when things were actually done. The idea of 91springboards was liked by many however getting startups and those too the right kind of people to ensure that the benefits are reaped properly was a necessity and yet difficult since the term coworking was still new. Moreover, dealing with the day to day operations was another important and challenging aspect in which every minute detail right from sanitation and cleanliness of washrooms to the ventilation, everything had to be taken care of. 

One of the most amazing things has been experimenting for varied results and then observing the relevant strategy, function, design, and operations to be taken. Ensuring proper power supply with backup and maintaining good internet connectivity were major stakeholders in determining the quality of the venture as these are basic necessities for operations in a startup and were constantly worked on and finally, an uninterrupted power supply and amazing connectivity are ensured in all their buildings across India.

The core team didn't take any salaries for the first few months and the ad spend was minimal to cut costs. Things started getting better as they had faith in their vision and actually believed it. Eventually business bloomed with different startups coming up and interacting in the environment created to coexist. Business expanded slowly and steadily at other places as well such as Okhla Industrial Area, Gurugram, South Delhi and Hyderabad. It has been a rollercoaster journey even after that included figuring out finances, competition and dealing with the members, but they never lost faith in their vision which is truly impeccable.

What mattered the most is that the person worked for his dreams and didn't give up. Having family support has also been a crucial aspect along with finding like-minded people who give in their 100% just to ensure that things work efficiently. Never cry over your failures, but take them as a learning experience for the rest of your life. It shouldn’t remain as a sad part of your life but as an experimental one that taught you a lot and it actually is responsible for the person that you are today. Believe in your vision and strive hard to achieve it is what I personally learned from this inspiring story of 91springboards.

Want to know some facts about startups? Read this article on 4 Curious Facts About Startups to know more.

Read this article to know about What Style You Should Choose For Entrepreneurship.

Curious about Some ideas that can help you earn additional income and become potential businesses in the future? Read this article on 10 Small Business Ideas to get some amazing ideas.

Read this article to read about some other inspirational Entrepreneurial Journeys as well.

Written By -  Bhanu Jain

Edited By - Kashish Chadha


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