Startups - An Ever Changing Maze of Challenges & Opportunities

Rahul Agarwal, Member, Calcutta Angels
Friday, June 3, 2016
Rahul Agarwal, Member, Calcutta Angels
Calcutta Angels is a networking platform for entrepreneurs and investors to connect with each other. It provides the entrepreneurs easy access to funding and mentorship as and when required.

Before I start, let me define what I mean by a start-up - A start-up is nothing but starting a new business which has now become a fad. People have always started new businesses and people will always will. However, now the mindset has changed. Instead of growing organically, the idea is to raise money and grow inorganically. Small businesses are just not happening.

My tryst with Start-ups started way back in 2004 when i was pursuing my post graduation with SPJIMR in Marketing. I belonged to a family of share brokers and we had lost a fortune in Ketanparakh scam of 2001. Markets were yet to recover from the shock and i didn't have any intention of joining my family business. It was the time when 'Start-up' fever was just catching up. Colleges were giving lot of benefits to those students who opted out of placements and went on to start a new venture. There was a great excitement and entrepreneurship was being encouraged.

That is when the start-up bug hit me and after a lot of deliberation, I decided to get in the Insurance sector, which I realised was a huge, unorganised industry and needed some professionals. I went on to start Ideal Insurance immediately after my MBA from SPJIMR in 2005. With an investment of five lakh and no further funding, we are today valued at Rs. 100 crores!

The idea behind sharing the above is to drive an important point - you can still build an organisation without raising a lot of money and without burning a lot of cash. All you need is true entrepreneurial grit and passion and the intention to build an organisation, not to make quick money and exit.

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