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Startup > My Story > Harneet Singh
Harneet Singh

Harneet Singh

Co-founder

Company Profile

Carkhana is India's leading e-commerce portal for the automotive industry. We believe in enabling Indian customers to buy automotive aftermarket products like car accessories, biker gear and accessories, maintenance products, branded merchandise and affiliated products online. At the core of our business is the desire to undo the inefficiencies of traditional Sales and distirbution setup of India's automotive industry wherein customers face limited variety and limited access to latest products, especially amongst tier - 2 and 3 cities. We offer genuine products from leading Indian and international brands at competitive prices backed by Free Delivery and reliable customer service. The company was incorporated in July 2011 while the e-commerce operations began on 1st January 2012.

Leadership Qualities

One of the most important insights that I have learned from mentors is the need to keep going/ showing perseverance despite countless challenges that accompany entrepreneurship. If one know's the destination/ goal ahead and keeps hitting on the target (read strategy) every day, success is bound to be achieved. I count this along with the golden mantra of "execution is the key" as two insights that are cornerstone of my journey.

Reaching out Investors
Our experience has been one of great learning and insightful discussions. We have met a large number of angel investors and VCs over the last 6 months or so and each in its own capacity has added some bit of strategic as well as cultural dimension to our business. We learnt the importance of knowing one's domain in and out, developing a mass scalable model and getting the "enablers'" right as key to a successful investor discussion and advance talks. The entrepreneurial ecosystem in India today is certainly bright and encouraging given both institutional as well as individual centers of support. While the process of preparing for investor discussions, countless excel sheets, positive/negative outcomes can be surely unnerving for young entrepreneurs, its definitely a add-on given such discussions help you look at your own business model in new ways.
Work Culture
At the core of Carkhana's culture is the dedication to customer service by means of right products, honest communication and focus on execution.Our operations, marketing efforts and even recruitment processes are aligned with our core values of honest communication (including expectation management), platform for individual growth in-sync with organizational growth and channelizing youthful energies! As the company has grown, we have had the opportunities for new recruits to contribute to strategy making, take personal responsibility and believe in the Carkhana philosophy. One of the greatest learning is that if you hire people who are passionate about the things you do, despite many having different skill sets/ backgrounds, you can get a winning team out there!
Company I admire
Personally, I admire Zappos Inc from US. The company which started out practically from scratch, built such a huge market for their products despite competition from biggies and has been able to retain their core culture of being a people-friendly organization delivering exemplary service to its customers. This is a model which I aspire to replicate for Carkhana (with our own flavors, of course) each day!
Advice to young entrepreneurs
Well, I am a young first-gen entrepreneur myself so can't offer much advice. However, would just like to say that if you aspire to make it big, you need to follow your dreams (even though others might feel they are unrealistic), get your hands dirty (execute, execute and execute) and stay inspired!

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