Mr. Niraj Takshande, Co-founder, Entropy Innovations, in an interactive session with the students talked about his journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur. The session started with him telling about the different phases in the life of an entrepreneur which start with the status quo & then moves ahead to the Eureka moment, boot funding and subsequent funding. Then, an entrepreneur moves ahead to the stage of planning followed by the growth phase.
He then shared his story about how he started his career with mechanical engineering. His purpose of choosing mechanical engineering was because he wanted to work on a good final year project. After graduating, he started working with a company but one and a half years later, he wanted to venture into something creative so he decided to join a product based learning startup. After working there for a while, he did his MBA and during the two-year curriculum came up with this innovative idea and opened this startup. His goal for MBA was not to get a good placement but to utilize his prior startup experience along with the knowledge of business to create something creative of his own.
He told that he drives a lot and saw that people spend a lot of time washing motorcycles. There are a lot of gaps in the services being provided by the present service centres. This was a Eureka moment for him and this is how a business model evolved from a small observation. He formed a team with his two friends and started working on the idea. His summer internship was in his own company. They prepared the first machine in a parking spot. On completion, the project was launched in Goa which eventually got an overwhelming response. Soon, the news was all over the press. Big companies like TVS and Honda approached them to join hands so that they can provide their customers with a convenient bike washing service.
The first wash centre was named Express bike works. Soon, they started receiving funding from Tata Motors and Mark Mobius and gradually grew from one store to twenty stores at present. He further told that they are planning to open five more stores in six months. He emphasized on how a team has helped him to get a holistic ecosystem which would not have been possible had he worked on it alone.
“When you see the life of an entrepreneur you only see the good part but not the hardships that led him there“, he said. In a startup, strategy changes with every second and the only way to compete and survive in a startup ecosystem is to continuously innovate. He also shared how the company has approached public sector organizations like Railway and HAL.
As the session approached the end, he concluded by saying that there were instances when they experienced failures and many ideas didn’t work out the way they were supposed. In spite of that, he advised the students to keep persevering for their initial ideas and holding on to them.