“You are leaving your job! what will you do now?” My colleagues at the bank I used to work for, asked me when I informed them about my decision to quit the bank after three long years of service. “Why, start a business of my own” said I, unmoved. While some of my subservient colleagues were skeptical and a few in awe, most remained curious on what I had in mind. It’s always worth the pause when you watch people react to an unorthodox reply to a disdain on future risk. Watching expressions when I went through the different floors of the corporate office explaining the purpose of my exit was fruit enough to confirm the rumour.
I quit my job to start a digital marketing company called “Digicat“. What catches curiosity about a startup, is not the fact that you have guts or skill to set up something that others would buy, “Nay” we aren’t there yet, people think rationally and believe that if you are quitting a job to startup you need access to money! “Show me where the money is?”; that is the real question that most people want to ask you. However, the reactions are quite predictable, compliment the starter and criticise the idea once he is out of sight. The reaction of family members is precisely the opposite, they criticise your idea and promote it as skillful once you are out of sight!! Knowing who belongs to which category is probably the entrepreneurs first skill of comprehending people.
There are several options for financing a company these days, from bootstrapping hand loans and bank loans…we even have the popular Venture route of financing. When you start a fresh company on your own you exert on your promoters maximum risk and zero return. Venture companies fund you because they are willing to take this risk to see maximum returns in future. So consider the interest you pay under this route as the highest! When I started Digicat, I realised that the Registrar of Companies was going to rename the firm as “Digicat Digital Marketing Private Limited” eeeesssh! but what the government wants, the government does. This is a hard learnt lesson for a business, you pay taxes and if you don’t pay tax, you end up paying interest or both and in some trying the easy route bribes that tend to have a larger interest than the tax. Hence study the law before you study what your accountant is doing. Cross check everything, because the most trusted resources are the ones that will put you in a used spot!
Now that the money is in, where is the skill? This is the second largest populated country in the world and you cannot find a skilled worker!! Well! face it, faces are plenty and skill is scarce. If you find a good one, hold on and give them so much work that they don’t have the time to run to another company. 🙂 Just kidding, get people who want to work and are not searching for work. If there is anything you will learn about this country, everything is available if you look hard enough. If that does not work for you then you can just add to the circular economic flow by importing skill.
Enough said, lets begin business, you say, where is the customer? Once we have a customer we get another customer and so one. The first few buyers are your God and support your limited resources with good faith. I kept telling myself that if others have done it so can I. Digicat was started with personal capital and not a cent taken from any bank or relative. We refused to pay high interest or be a burden on anyone who might have us feeling obligated. So it was an uphill ride and I decided that we will climb through the avalanche, the next few steps are hard and I have put my heart and soul to put our best foot forward. I believe that all those who join me on this journey will hold my stride.
This is my first step on Digicat Blog on how it all started. Do send me your feedback on how we may keep improving our stride.