Pop Quiz, Monday with Srijan Srivastava,CEO & Founder at JigyaQ

 

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business people. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you cannot learn in a classroom. We want to thank our interviewee for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.


I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz, Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Srijan Srivastava

What is your job role?

CEO & Founder

Tell us about your company?

JigyaQ( jigyaq.com) is a platform for professionals to provide online consultancy to their clients saving them time and providing the freedom to work from anywhere. It also makes lives of their clients easier by removing the need of appointments and travel through traffic. We are building a very elaborate system that will help the professionals to organise and manage their consultations with multiple clients at the same time as well as keep track of every activity involved in the process. The website went live a month ago, and professionals can join JigyaQ through a self-signup process and start serving their clients.

The company behind JigyaQ is WriterBabu Online Services Private Limited (WBOS), and it was incorporated in 2012 when I was working on my first project writerbabu.com.

WriterBabu was started in December 2011 as a social experiment with anonymity as a lever for freedom of expression. It manifested itself as a social network of writers and readers where people of all age group expressed themselves in the form of stories, poetry, diaries and many more forms of writing. Within two years it had more than 10,000 authors and many more readers without any marketing budget. It had writers from all over the world, and the community was thriving pretty well with average time on site above 16 minutes, while some people used to be online for days.

WriterBabu was completely bootstrapped. WriterBabu started as a social experiment, and a business model was never intended for it. Though there was an attempt at monetisation in the form of providing a platform for writing and selling books by the WriterBabus. It never worked out. Eventually, I had to take up a full-time job to pay my bills.

WriterBabu is still active, but the activity had decreased a lot over the last four years when I was working with Times Internet as Product Manager. It is always a place where people keep their personal diary for last six years now.

I quit my job at Times last year to start working on a few startup ideas which I had and finally JigyaQ was the idea which I pursued. Over last one year, the team is in place now, and we are making some progress towards building JigyaQ as Amazon for professionals.

What do you love most about your job?

The very act of creating something and then observing how people, whom you have had no chance of meeting ever in real life, interact with what you have created is just amazing. It gives a profound sense of satisfaction to bring a smile on someone face or even knowing that you had been of some use to someone. That part I just love it.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I don’t think you have that much time every day to gather motivation when you are working as a startup. Your ass is on fire, and you have just to do whatever needs to be done. And once you are at work, you forget everything else. I think the work itself is motivation.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

Nobody is perfect, and when you see that people demonstrate qualities that you wish had in yourself, that becomes something inspiring to push yourself further.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We go out on trips together once in a while. I love long walks and deep conversations about just anything. It helps you bond well at a different level altogether.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Collecting data points to assume expected user behaviour is the biggest challenge. You can do surveys but when people know that their opinion has been asked and will be used to shape something important the projection of their actual behaviour gets distorted. It’s like Heisenberg uncertainty principle. You can’t detect it without changing it. User’s behaviour can be identified only through analytics, which is available only after you have implemented something by assuming specific behaviour.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

You can’t give something to users and then take it away. If you plan to provide something for free, you will never be able to put a price on it later. You have to plan it out from the starting, and that should be communicated very clearly. This was my experience with online book writing feature on WriterBabu. It started well when it was free while I was working on integrating payment gateway, and then it was not when they had to pay for publishing a book even if it was a very small amount.

What advice would you give to some one who is starting in your industry?

If you are entering the online space then it is important to understand that barrier to entry “can” be very low, due to the open source nature of the web, and hence their will be a number of competitors. But the effort it takes to deliver quality is something only a few will be able to pull off hence stay focused on your work.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Current Project: https://jigyaq.com/ ( https://www.facebook.com/jigyaq )
Company Website: http://wbos.co/
First project: https://www.writerbabu.com/ ( https://www.facebook.com/WriterBabu/ )

Pop Quiz, Monday with Parveen Ahluwalia, Director

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business people. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you cannot learn in a classroom. We want to thank our interviewee for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.


I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz, Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Parveen Ahluwalia

What is your job role?

Director

Tell us about your company?

I have been running a brand consulting practice for the past 13 yrs…work at the Board level as a senior consultant responsible for business strategy and marketing planning for SMEs.

What do you love most about your job?

Business development, client engagement and relationship management, GTM strategy and marketing communications planning and training/mentoring.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

The fact that every day is a new opportunity, of working towards new client relationships, of managing existing ones, of developing and conceptualising new business plans and strategies.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

By working as a team, by ideating and jointly working out an appropriate brand solution, by cajoling and motivating everyone to honestly give their best.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

By gently pulling their legs, by breaking the monotony of serious work thru light banter and biting humor.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Handling crisis arising out of unhappy clients; the ever-present challenge of generating new business thru organic growth and acquisition of new clients; the constant quest to arm with the latest marketing and brand related trends and insights.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Clients can never be underestimated as they know their brand the best; there is always scope to improve the best of action plans, and competitive counter strategies have still to be addressed on priority.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?

Patience, articulation, and clarity in communication and honesty in handling clients are the most important attributes for success; learning is a never-ending process, and one should always embrace this truth, and teamwork will always ensure success that individual brilliance can never ever achieve.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.marketpulseindia.com;
www. onthepage.in
www.thefirm.in

Interview with Ashutosh Roy, Director & Founder of TechOrion

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?

Thank you so much for arranging this fantastic interview session. My name is Ashutosh Roy.

Photo credit: Ashutosh Roy

Where did you go to school?

I did my senior secondary education from Holy mission school patna after that I did my B. Tech in Computer Science from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana.

What was the early investment and what was your journey to being recognized as a young entrepreneur by the Indian Society of Technical Education?

The main thing I have learned so far is you don’t need a considerable amount of money to start a business, sometimes you need to take a risk and keep faith in yourself and of course the almighty. That’s precisely what I did, starting early was never an easy job, I started my business from the very first year of my B. Tech, at that time I used to do freelancing, my only early investment for the TechOrion is my laptop gifted by my father, and the whole journey started from there. Also, later on, the Indian society of technical education recognized me in 2016 and awarded me as a young entrepreneur.

We all have entrepreneurs whom 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?

The credit solely goes to my father. He is a contractor and supplier in North Eastern Railways. So, From a very early age, I used to help him in his some of the official documentation works like drafting a quotation. Etc. So, the interest you can say brewed from that time only. Till now he is the best advisor to me regarding all my business issues.

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?

The name of my company is TechOrion, and the other new ventures that I am working on are Pramaan Network Pvt Ltd, which is an investment and consulting firm. Also I am working on Orion Research and Training centre which is a data science & blockchain research and training centre we are starting in Chandigarh next month.

Where is your company located?

Right now TechOrion is operational in Ottawa in Canada as well as Hyderabad and Ludhiana in India, moreover we are planning to expand it to various cities worldwide like Sydney, British Colombia, Johannesburg, Chandigarh and Mumbai by the end of this year.

What services or products does your organization provide?

We’re respected to be perceived for our accomplishment in web & app development, web designing, digital marketing, big data solutions. With a new philosophy of “Dream & Invent,” we help our clients to shape their business future to reach the pinnacle of success. We also have our ERP software operational in various industries, some of them are school, hospital, hotel, pharmaceutical, textile industries, etc.

What problem is your business trying to solve?

We are trying to provide our clients with a better IT Infrastructure with a great team and new technologies implementations. We are also into developing new and unique products in the market which can ease our day to day difficulties. One of our Product is Quaar, this is a very advanced QR & NFC based system connected with a dashboard loaded with many amazing features, and one of its by-products is Quaar digital menu which is an NFC & QR Based advanced menu for restaurants. Just by just touching that digital menu with your mobile phones one can surf menu, order food, make payments, share feedback and many amazing things are there to entertain you while your food is preparing. One can visit www.quaar.com to know more about this fantastic product.

How is your business unique against your competitors?

The company is backed up by an experienced and qualified team of designers, developers, marketing experts and support professionals who are always ready to combine their skills to deliver matchless solutions to attain maximum client satisfaction. The company believes in rethinking every process from start to delivery to create better business outcomes. So, working with such a beautiful team always keeps the TechOrion ahead.

How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

I started all this as a dream, but the credit for boosting this startup goes to few people, really close to my heart, Mr. Ramneek Paul Singh who is currently looking after the TechOrion operations in Canada. Mr. Harman Bhutani, who is our Tech Advisor, and Mr. Ashish Diwan who is managing TechOrion Ludhiana Centre. Techorion is not just a company; It’s our emotion, a dream which we are trying to live in.

Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business

People can search TechOrion on google or visit our web page www.techorion.co.in

Final question. We want 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?

The three things that I would like to share from my own experiences are:

  1. Listen to your heart. If your inner voice supports you, then go for it.
  2. Don’t panic. It is indeed not an easy journey but 100% work satisfaction can be obtained in entrepreneurship.
  3. Don’t wait for the right time. Today is the right time only, go for it, let the sky be your limit.

Interview with Sajeesh Soman, Founder of Fitsaurus

 

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?

Hello! I am Sajeesh Soman.

Where did you go to school?

St Francis D’Assisi, Borivali, Mumbai.

Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?

I wasn’t doing great academically when I began my Engineering, especially in Maths. I cleared my Maths paper after seven attempts. Many people advised me to drop out of Engineering, but I was persistent to complete it. I gave my best on every effort, sometimes losing out by just two marks but I was determined to clear it, and I did finish my course with a much better grade than everyone expected. I acquired an Engineering degree but what I indeed learned was a lesson for a lifetime. To sum it up in one word: PERSISTENCE. Since then, I firmly believe that anything in life is possible if you’re determined to achieve it.

We all have entrepreneurs whom 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?

I have always looked up to and followed Elon Musk. For me, one thing that I find influencing about him is that he strives for excellence while building companies and creating products that will be beneficial for the world. What attracts me the most is the fact that he’s a passion driven Entrepreneur. He focuses on changing the world rather than making money.

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?

Fitsaurus

Where is your company located?

Mumbai

What services or products does your organization provide?

Fitsaurus is an online platform focusing solely on Indian health & fitness. From diet and training programs to motivational fitness stories, we offer total fitness solutions with an aim to transform India into a healthy and fit nation.

What problem is your business trying to solve?

As I mentioned above, our goal is to create a fitness community that learns, adopts and propagates a healthy lifestyle. Staying fit needs discipline and that comes from motivation. For example, Obesity, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are the major lifestyle ailments in India with Diabetes alone affecting 72 million people as of 2018. These problems can be avoided if an individual leads a healthy lifestyle. We have a Social Media following of over 100,000 of which majority are youngsters. We target the age group of 18–30 because they are the future of the country and encouraging them to take fitness seriously is our primary aim.

How is your business unique against your competitors?

We are one of its kind business in the market. We do not sell anything but create a brand based on thought leadership. The users we have are those who firmly believe in what we propagate, and we encourage them to become our brand ambassadors. We have many users who came to us seeking help on their fitness and lifestyle. Today their transformational stories are motivating others.

How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

I have always wanted to create a product that added value to the society, something that would positively help an individual. I began thinking about this and saw an opportunity in the health and fitness space in India which still has enormous potential. Within three months we had nearly 50,000 followers.

Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?

www.fitsaurus.com

Final question. We want 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?

1) “Never give up on yourself” if you meet failure in the beginning or even repeatedly. It is only going to make you smarter and well equipped for the future. It could be your dream project and did not turn out as you expected but never give up on yourself. Instead, take lessons from it and come back stronger next time.

2) Always plan ahead. As an entrepreneur, you must envision your goal and prepare your way to success. When making a plan, look at it from every angle and have a backup plan to cover up something that could go wrong.

3) Start small and build upon it. The lower you start, the faster you can fix the problems because every startup encounters some trouble in the beginning phase.

4) One more I would like to add is, pick your team wisely. The company you build is only as good as your founding team. They are the backbone of your organisation, and a considerable chunk of success relies on how well your team performs.

Interview with Gayathri Shanmugam, Founder of ScienceHopper

 

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?

Gayathri Shanmugam

Where did you go to school?

DAV, Chennai

Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?

Simple. I don’t remember my father being harsh on me ever after my exam results were out. All the advice was before the exam. After the test, it has always been, “move –on,” improve yourself work harder rather than crying over spilled milk. I guess, ten years of that reinforcement has conditioned me to get up and run however great the fall.

We all have entrepreneurs whom 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?

My father. He has shaped my work ethics through his thoughts and action. He has taught me luck favors those who work hard and being smart and intelligence can only take you so far. He is a doctor, and I have seen him beautifully couple his profession with service to society. I wanted to do precisely that.

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?

ScienceHopper Education Pvt. Ltd

Where is your company located?

Bangalore

What services or products does your organization provide?

We are into the business of hands-on science in schools. We ensure students of our customer schools learn science experientially and not just using the chalk and talk method.

What problem is your business trying to solve?

  1. Higher education and careers in pure science are becoming rare.
  2. Even if children do not want to pursue pure science, they should embrace scientific temper as a way of life. Are you able to park your prejudices before you see the results? Are you unbiased? Are you willing to hold your judgment till you know what exactly is happening.? Are you rational? Are you fearless when trying out new things? Doing experiments helps you inculcate these traits and much more.

How is your business unique against your competitors?

We are not a kit provider but a solution provider. We follow what is called the “Scientific Enquiry Process.” That is, anything has to be hypothesized first, and then an experiment will have to be designed around it. Once the experiment is done, the observations are noted. From the observations, the hypothesis is either correct or wrong. This is the process that is to be followed for every experiment, and that is what do.

Also, we are not into hobby clubs and co-curricular activities. All our programs are mandatory sessions for all students and wholly integrated into the curriculum. It is fun but not frivolous.

How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

It all started at home. When I saw my son’s reaction when he did experiments at home, it was a moment of truth. I realized this is how science should be taught and we should make it happen.

Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?

www.sciencehopper.com

Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship is a matter of the heart and not of the mind and spreadsheets. The journey will make you a better, stronger person irrespective of the results.

What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?

  1. Decide whether you are looking for fame, money or value creation. Be ready to face the fact that these could be mutually exclusive for a long time depending on the business you want to build.
  2. The buck stops with you. Take ownership of operational, tactical and strategic problems. There is no easy way out
  3. Take the plunge. It is worth it!