Balancing college and a growing business was a challenge. During the week days, I would start answering my emails at 8 AM to service the Australian customers and would work until mental exhaustion in the evenings to catch up, after being away at college during the day. This rigorous routine was sustainable for a month or so, but after a full semester it started to take a toll. The worst part is you have to wake up till 3 PM because of the USA clients. So it was a tough scenario between USA and Australia where clients from China and UK were quite manageable.
I didn’t have time to be social. I barely talk with anyone except my girlfriend. And I always had to tell my college friends I was either too busy or too tired to go out. I see my room-mate once a month. I knew I needed to make a decision. If I wanted to live a healthy and happy lifestyle, it boiled down to this: college or startup. There just weren’t enough hours in the day for both.
Then, it’s India. Dad had never an objection with anything cause I am a born millionaire, He wanted me to learn business in home. He was 100% supportive of what I am doing. When I didn’t went to IIT, whole world crushed upon me but dad was the only person who respected my choice. Mom wanted me to do a job for 500$ per month and she will be happy with that. But I can earn that in 36 hours. All it takes is to copy an e-commerce theme and upload some products.
I decided to leave my college in second year when I got a job offer of 40000$ per annum in a company of UK, I was about to leave if I didn’t visit India Surf Festival. It opened up new vistas to me, My tshirt startup Dirtyminds was hot that time and I had to close it down as I was unable to pay attention to it due to college overloads. Then I met people there – I met millionaires there, they were living their dreams and setting their own ways, then I thought being an employee is not what I want in soul, So I refused that offer and started Aeron7.
Even though I still tell most people I will finish up college (because I think that’s what they want to hear and it avoids a long conversation…), my true hope is that I will have enough success that I will be able to continue supporting my passion for adventure, creating, and entrepreneurship. My third semester of my senior year, I think I set a college record for missed class periods. Curious thing was if any sir used to utter that he will not take attendance, I used to rush off the classroom to my laptops. I remember for an entire semester, I had attended one class for a course which was quite an epic. Later also, I managed to set record of missing all the classes proudly. You can say I just skipped the course when I saw it’s Brindaban Sahoo sir’s name. But, I was not wasting time when I was skipping class – I was working. I started my second company: pressure washing the moss off of people’s driveways.
Then came a period of disaster, all the local clients here started trying to keep me rounds and rounds while come to the payment, the local market still owe me like $1500, I know the amount is nothing to what I earn right now but 100$ for a month was something huge in my initial days. I went up frustrated, my ex-girlfriend catalysed it by series of breakup patch ups each days, I joined dance school and a month went on.
All of a sudden my website niser11.in (right now niser11.com) was suited ‘Google Site of the Year’ and I made that site to copy assignments. I improved that site each day tiny tiny bit, I didn’t realize that it became a full-powered awesome LMS (Learning Management System, I didn’t know this term back then). I got 1800$ from a IT company in Gurgaon, and all I had to do is duplicate the site.
I made a newer version and sold the design to ‘Good Layers’, they cleaned up and made this with their framework and started selling here http://themeforest.net/item/grand-college-wordpress-theme-for-education/1865598 .If you see the amount, it alone make quite a revenue that is equal to the annual pay of my whole department’s professors in all total.
I started on freelancer.com and made an amazing guy named Saulius, started three projects – Indiablink, Estrategy and Aeron7. He showed me how to do business, talk with clients, he talked with me days after days, hours after hours, enriching my experiences, supporting me in everything literally.
The most common question I am asked by other entrepreneurs is “How do you find developers?” The truthful answer: It is incredibility difficult. Most entrepreneurs are more business oriented and do not have the technical coding skills, so we rely on “coders” to fulfill our vision. The difficultly keeps many great entrepreneurs stuck in the idea stage. Here comes my skills, I am a coder and designer myself, I create and design brands, so why not I make my own products.
If the universities could find a way to produce more engineers, the students that are now moving back in with their parents could instead be enabling entrepreneurs to innovate right after graduating college.
I started to do import export business with my celebrity brother Ayan Ghosh, he stays in Puri and it became a good run and most of all I got the person I want to become grow old with, a cute little girl who became a web-developer reducing half my work-loads. She acted the main piece to keep my whole self intact from many ups and downs. I am not writing more on that as she will yell in morning for it :D
However, I am happy now, my new year resolution is to post updates on whatever I do in each day, in terms of work and personal stuffs. I must do one creative work a day :)