I am writing this article with a sense of gratitude to Team Excelsoft. Working from Home over the last 6 months due to COVID has given me time to reflect on our journey, and my own. I thought it best to write about it, as such strange times are always melancholic.
More than 20 years ago, I became self-employed, after trying out working for a couple of companies. I guess I was not cut out to being a working professional in a large organisation. It is the persona.
I got an opportunity to work as a Consultant, Architecting and designing software solutions for large Water Management Projects, that included precision irrigation for crops, to engineering of a network of water conveyance systems, and the design engineering of large Dams that had to be constructed.
I am fortunate to have been mentored by several great Engineers of that time.
Spending several years at camps in remote areas. I did this for several years and subsequently as a Consultant to World Bank, supervising Networking, Software development and using Satellite Imagery and Geographic Information systems. My job involved a lot of travel and being away from home for long durations, just when I had a young daughter. I quit this assignment and returned home. Confronted with not knowing what to do. I assembled a small team and we started to build websites for customers.
My father Prof. Dhananjaya, and eminent Educationist gave me the courage and the mentorship.
That was the time I happened to meet my very good friend David Gardner @davidgardner. It was an accidental meeting, but he inspired me into believing in use of technology in education.
This was the beginning of my journey as an EduTech Entrepreneur, out of a place called Mysore in South India. It is about 3 hours drive from Bangalore, a hotspot of technology companies in India. Then was the period when I met with prospective customers, where I had to first explain where we were located, even before convincing them to do business with us. I was a techie by background, but had to learn to do sales, as an Entrepreneur. I should say I enjoyed it.
I have always been fortunate to have a core team who are passionate and creative. Traveling with me, through this journey of the ups and downs, wins and losses. Their sense of belonging, to the organisation has been truly amazing.
Subsequently, we have grown because of the encouragement, and being inspired by friends and customers who have worked with. We have always learned from every customer, and every interaction with customers. We continue to do so.
Many times, I get invited to speak at conferences and events, and mostly asked about my own experience of doing business. The questions that I am typically asked about are:
Did you aspire to become an Entrepreneur during your student days? How did you plan to do a “Startup”? How did you strategise to grow your business and Succeed?
Firstly, I don’t know the definition of success. I don’t regret being an Entrepreneur, and if that defines success, so be it.
I always make it a point to tell that I am an Entrepreneur by accident, If I said I designed a strategy and everything worked as per strategy, I would be telling a lie. I could spin a strategy story on hindsight, but I believe it is all about hard work and a little bit of luck.