Failure teaches more than success. And so it did for the young entrepreneur Chirag Dodiya. With an inquisitive mind and an intellectual approach towards life, Chirag has always been scrounging for ingenious business ideas and opportunities. He had to shut down his startup after investing one year into it. He shares his story with confidence and is proud of the lessons learned.
Chirag’s yearn for progress in the startup ecosystem was revived when in 2014, he met a group of people and an entrepreneur from Mumbai with a vision to build a company aiming at bringing positive impact on the Indian startup ecosystem. The ideologies resonated. Something clicked. And Chirag was hooked.
Within the three months that followed, they had already assimilated a team of 15 young professionals and rented an office in Mumbai. In this riled up Indian market, when you start this young and unaided, you’re bound to witness the waves of impediments. But the team was still motivated and marching forward with strength. They formulated their marketing strategies and gained exposure by organizing events on some of the most burning topics of entrepreneurship in Mumbai. These events brought little change falling prey to lack of efficient monetization model.
As Chirag walks down the memory lane, he picks up an array of lifelong lessons that the mistakes of this company made them learn.
One Step at a time
You’re young and intelligent. You’re brimming with inventive ideas. But what you need to learn is to practice restraint. The company was attempting to handle over four projects in the first four months and ended up completing none. You have to resist that inner voice that screams at you to become a greedy and impatient tycoon.
You see a big project, and you immediately recruit a bunch of suitable employees. Farsightedness is imperative for any business to thrive. See it through. Let your project make some bucks, earn some reputation and then comes the right time to invest in the workforce for the project.
Work Culture and Organizational Values
The company witnessed disagreements amongst the co-founders, and the company policy did not dictate any stringent way to resolve the differences. You cannot afford to fall victim to tactless management and lose the trust of your employees. Efficient work culture is just as significant as the project idea itself.
Marketing and Customer Relationship
For a company so young, the primary focus should be on building clientele. Efficient marketing is what strengthens the roots of your enterprise and saves it from withering away. You cannot be afraid of always being in the field. Remember, that’s where your customers are.
Practice Comes Before Theory
You formulate your concept, generate a theory and start working on it. But what happens when your assumptions are nowhere even close to matching the reality? You break down. The market is volatile; nothing is permanent. You got to turn the cycle around. Analyze the market first, make trial runs and then conceptualize.
Pretending that everything will go as planned is naïve at best and stupid at worst. A startup needs to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. At least a six-month financial contingency plan is crucial to prevent abrupt monetary collapse.
The company also witnessed some legitimacy issues amongst the co-founders which ultimately led to the dissolution. Legality is another thing you cannot neglect.
The Bottom Line
Thomas Edison’s words came true for Chirag and his company. They believe that they did not fail. They just discovered yet another ways that won’t work. There is not a shred of regret in dedicating the time and efforts in a startup that failed because the lessons that this journey taught will be cherished forever. Chirag says that if the traction of the startup would have seemed right and if he believed in the team, he would have pushed it as hard as he could. But dissolution was the right choice at the time. The motivation and diligence have not flinched. The experience rather inspired the team to sally forth with even more zeal and fervor. Success is waiting right around the corner.