How would you describe your journey as an entrepreneur?
I’ve been asked this question hundreds of times but I never really got a chance to actually talk about the challenges I had to face as an entrepreneur who had nothing but a bullish intention to create a multi-million-dollar company and 0 funds in his pocket.
So, I finally made a few adjustments to my schedule, canceled a few meetings, opened my diary, and just began writing (yeah, I’m an old-school type of a person).
Some of you who really know me well must also know how much I love writing but owing to my busy schedule, I haven’t been able to devote time to writing lately.
So, here I am, sharing the snippets of my entrepreneurial journey, not because, I want to flaunt all the hard work I’ve done in the last 7 years but because I want everyone, especially aspiring entrepreneurs to know how challenging this journey can be.
After all, reading about someone’s experiences is the best way to get inspired for your upcoming ones (that’s how I’ve grown into a committed entrepreneur).
How Did It All Start?
I launched my first ever venture, ZeroKaata in 2014.
What looked like an all-of-sudden launch to my friends and family actually had a lot going at the backend (just like any other business). It took me almost 2 years to convert my vision into a plan.
After a lot of leg work that involved market study, supply chain assessment, studying investment requirements, and attending almost every startup convocation and seminar, I was finally able to start my own startup in 2014.
PS: I was working as the North India sales head at Vogue India; therefore, I used to do all the leg-work on the weekends. For 2 years, I didn’t meet my friends, didn’t go out for outings or parties, didn’t even watch a movie, to be honest. So, for good 2 years, it was nothing but work but this wasn’t the hard part.
The Real Struggle
Creating a business is not difficult, but turning it into a brand is.
We sure have reached a stage where ZeroKaata has become one of the most-loved Made-in-India DTC brands across the nation and we sure have a great team to look after different departments now but the situation was not ideal when I first started it.
I remember when I first launched ZeroKaata, I didn’t have an office. I used to work from my home, in cafes, and sometimes in my car as well.
After a few months when I officially onboarded the first 2 team members, I got a small office for our operations. It was a very small room that didn’t even have a washroom.
From working in a one-room office to packing orders myself, saving pennies by choosing a local bus ticket over a cup of tea, walking miles just to save the auto fare, cutting down my personal expenses as much as I could, and whatnot, my journey has been a roller-coaster.
I’ve put my heart and soul into making ZeroKaata not only a DTC brand but a digital organization that has entrenched in multiple digital domains, one such example is our digital magazine, ZeroKaata Studio.
Yes, it was definitely very hard but I would do all of this again in the blink of an eye.
Because this is who I am.
And entrepreneurs don’t quit no matter how hard the circumstances get. They think of a solution to turn things around and this is what I’ve done in my entrepreneurial journey.
So, answering the question mentioned at the beginning of this article,
It has been a nerve-wracking yet great journey so far and I’m sure that it’ll only get better (by better I mean exciting) in the times to come.