They didn’t have much experience, but what Aditya Gupta and Karan S Kumar did have was confidence and creativity. And that is what helped them establish a successful business, iGenero.
Most people would set about conducting extensive research and plan meticulously before setting up a business. But does it always have to be the case? Sometimes the confidence to do something with a good network to get clients on board can go a long way in the success of a business. And that is exactly what happened with iGenero, a web and digital media solutions company. Its founders Aditya Gupta and Karan S Kumar neither had experience nor huge investments for a smooth sailing. But what they did have was imagination and creativity in designing and developing websites along with other digital media services like social media campaigns. It was this that helped their business grow by more than 100 per cent in revenues since its inception in 2009.
What also worked for the duo was the great rapport and understanding they shared. Their friendship dates back to when they were studying their intermediate at Little Flower Junior College. “After that I did my Mechanical Engineering from Malla Reddy College, while Karan went on to do his BCom from Badruka. We both worked with start-ups for a couple of months, but then moved on to look for other jobs. It was around that time that we decided to start our own business. We were confident that we could offer better work than our previous companies and had decent knowledge about the subject,” says Aditya.
Surprisingly, the business started with almost zero investments and only grew with the revenues it generated over time. “The revenue that the business is generating is what we are investing in it. We started the business unofficially in January 2009 and used to work from home. Our first client came on board and paid us a minimal amount as advance. We assured him that he could pay the remaining amount after we completed the project. We used this money to register the business as a partnership firm in May 2009. Subsequent revenues helped us to make office space in August 2009,” explains Karan.
“Fortunately, we started early and there was nothing to lose even if the business failed and there was no money or work for the initial months. We had no responsibilities and liabilities and we had constant support from our families. Survival was never an issue with their support,” adds Karan.
“If you have sufficient funds then getting effective public relations, marketing and networking are easy. However, if one doesn’t have money, networking plays a crucial role initially. Later on quality work drives the business forward. In our case, we constantly strove to deliver more than what we’d promised our clients. Often our clients would be happy with our work, but we’d go ahead and improvise till we delivered something even better. Word of mouth publicity by these clients helped us get further leads for the business,” says Aditya. “Getting quality human resource is another challenge. Achieving targets and compromising on the quality could damage the creativity of the employees in the industry,” he adds.
The business achieved `10 lakh revenues in the first year of their operations. It is growing at around 100-150 per cent year on year in terms of revenues and clients. Patience and tolerance helped them to create a successful business. “Often our friends would say, ‘Why all this hard work and effort? Wouldn’t it be better to work with an MNC and get a decent salary by working for only eight hours every day?’ But even if times were tough, we never lost hope. There were times when we didn’t have funds and others when there were no clients. There were even times when despite having the funds and the clients we didn’t have people do quality work. If we’d lost patience then, the business would have had to be shut down long ago,” he says.
The business also doesn’t run on strict disciplines or on corporate ethos. “More often than not our work place is in stark contrast with corporate offices. Anybody can walk into the office at any time and leave any time as well. While hiring employees we simply check what the applicants know and what they can do for us. Most of our employees have dropped out of their courses at some point of time. We never asked them for certificates before taking them on board,” says Karan.
While the company is open to investments they are not proactively looking for it. “We knew that we need investors to take that leap in the business. However, having the right investors on board is very important. More than investments, it is important to look for the mentorship and value addition that they can bring to the business. Parents and banks are always there to support us if we are looking for just money,” he says.
When asked about their objective, Karan says, “We want to be at the forefront in the integration of technology in developing quality websites or running social media campaigns. Many times, clients don’t want to experiment and want to be just like others. There is a lot of scope for better work and we need clients to exploit the creativity.”
Rs.10lakh is how much the business achieved in the first year of operations.
100-150% is the growth rate of iGenero in terms of revenues and clients.