The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.
Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!
Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.
Can you tell everyone your name, please?
Where did you go to school?
The University of British Columbia (Engineering School), University of Michigan Ross School of Business, London Business School
Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?
I have been fortunate to live in many countries on different continents. Getting exposed to different cultures and having repeated “culture shocks” have helped me always to question my assumptions in interpersonal interactions. Something that might be the obvious and common sense for me might not be so for the other party.
We all have entrepreneurs who we look up to in our industry. These business leaders help influence, shape, and drive our ambition to succeed. These entrepreneurs could be someone that we have worked with on a project or could be someone that we look up too from a distance. For example, Bill Gates is a big inspiration to me not only because of his work in Microsoft but his outstanding contributions to society.
Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?
Jeff Bezos. I find him a great visionary and tireless innovator.
Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.
What is the name of your company?
Where is your company located?
London and Bangalore
What services or products does your organization provide?
Obsessory, we simplify e-commerce by giving online shoppers seamless browsing, tracking, and buying experience; while bringing together merchants and influencers through a new content monetization ecosystem.
Our suite of products comprises a shopping and discovery platform (https://www.obsessory.com), a universal product tracking tool (PriceGrab — https://www.pricegrab.io) which was just launched, a micro-influencer platform which enables merchants around the world to increase their reach and sales while providing tools for small influencers to monetize their written, visual, and social content (Insposhop — www.inspo.shop). Insposhop is right now in private alpha and will be launched later this year.
What problem is your business trying to solve?
At Obsessory we want to simplify online shopping by creating an infrastructure that organizes the world’s e-commerce information, and on top of this infrastructure, build products and services finding, tracking, and buying things, while rewarding quality content generation and help merchants reach and convert more customers. Our ultimate vision is to make online shopping so connected that you can have one wishlist, one cart, and one checkout to buy anything on the internet
How is your business unique against your competitors?
We address the infrastructure problem in e-Commerce which is information. Most of our competitors focus on the symptoms. By addressing the underlying issue, we have created products and services that have great synergies, and therefore our collective margins are much bigger.
How did the idea for your business come to fruition?
We spent a lot of time honing the idea, speaking to potential users and finding pain points. The next step was trying out different technologies to create a scalable product.
Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?
Final question. We would like to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.
What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?
- Don’t be afraid of failure. Failures map out the later successes. As cliché as it sounds, what matters is how many times you get up and try again, not how many times you fail.
- Don’t chase existing business models and already successful products by adding marginal features. Try to think radically and create a new market.
- Have a clear reason “why” you are starting a business. Start something you are passionate about. This will help you navigate the times where things aren’t going exactly the way you thought they would be.