Posted on 18 Nov, 2019 10:54 am by Strutima Kalita
The Success Story of Chetan, who went from a Student to Founder in 11 months.
HOW DID I GO FROM STUDENT TO FOUNDER!
Chetan GSS – Class of 2019
Founder - Furrpy
The Birth Of The Idea!
The first step. Generating an Idea for my start up. Easier said than done. Amongst the many methods that we were taught at MIDAS, the one where I got my Idea from was the “OUTBOUND ACTIVITY” where we were taken to a variety of live markets across different industries to experience the problems & come up with solutions. At one such OBA at an Ice Cream joint, I saw that the store owner would give away complimentary popsicles to pets that accompanied the customers. And I observed that the pet was more delighted than the customer, which in turn really made the customer happy! Voila!
My idea was born! I decided to create a line of “PET DESSERTS” or “PET TREATS”. Basically, soul food for pets. Being a die-hard animal lover myself I decided to research further on this to see where it takes me. My dog BOZO would love being treated to this!
Idea’s great.. But am I the right one for this Idea?
Love at first sight is overrated! A lesson I had learnt the hard way from my previous brush with romance. So, I didn’t wanna make the same mistake with my start up! Fortunately, a philosophy that MIDAS follows diligently. Through the exercise of a doing a 360 degree assessment of my skills, interests & passion, and then mapping it to the skills required for various industries, they actually come up with a score called “ENTREPRENEUR INDUSTRY COMPATIBILITY QUOTIENT” (EICQ)!! This gives a student a fair idea which business they are most suited for! Fortunately, my EICQ for this business was the highest! Sigh.. I so wish there was such a compatibility test we could use before getting into a relationship as well. Would have saved me some serious heartburn.
And so I was set.. To deep dive to into this idea!
It’s a great Idea.. But is it a great Business?
Well..MIDAS leaves no stone unturned before it allows you to actually take up the business idea! Not every Idea is destined to be a business. All my coaches emphasized on this fact. So, in this IDEA VALIDATION phase I was made to do a thorough study of the pet food market. So first I indulged in some serious secondary research about the pet food market & pet treats as a segment in particular. I was made to look at various companies in this arena, nationally & globally to understand the nitty gritties of this business. Combine that with some rigorous primary research where I spoke to close to a 1000 prospective customers to understand their needs & preferences. Basically, I did everything possible to validate my business Idea through this Business Idea Validation Project.
Post the project & when I analyzed all the feedback, I was thrilled to see the response! It was like my customers were waiting for the products to be launched! I was excited. Thereafter, I made a presentation to all the coaches at MIDAS along with my mum & dad. Did I mention that my dad incidentally is my greatest critic? But after seeing the presentation, for the first time in my life, he hugged me, shook my hand & said the words I was longing to hear all my life… “Good Job!” Not only did I get validation from my prospective customers, but more importantly from the people who matter the most to me in my life.
And I was ready to now take the journey of translating my idea into a business!
Sculpting the Idea into a Business
So, the honeymoon was over! Time to do some real hard work. Thank God for the support provided by MIDAS to have empanelled vendors & business partners to ensure everything that was required to translate my idea into a business was made available. Right from legal experts to help me form my company, to getting an expert food consultant, to getting an amazing branding agency & also identifying the right digital marketing agency and also packaging vendors. The biggest support was having an assigned guiding mentor in the incubation phase who would create weekly goal sheets & push me to ensure I did not go off track. I worked with the food consultant, an expert in the pet food industry, to curate my product basket with unique products. He also helped get the products manufactured, packed & delivered to my doorstep. There were times when I felt things were not moving at the pace I wanted. I understood that the journey of an entrepreneur can be very lonely. But I had some tremendous support from the coaches, my friends & my guiding mentor who were there at every step of the way to enable me to have my product, my brand, my website & social media platforms all ready to take to market!
My First Sale!
It was time. My products were ready. My brand was ready. My website was ready & so was my social media. And to back all of this I had a complete blue print of one hell of a Go to Market Strategy, carefully crafted by the coaches at MIDAS.
MIDAS provides a wonderful platform called the “MIDAS BAZAAR” for all their students to launch their start ups & showcase their offerings to the world. And the day arrived. The campus was lit up. My stall was ready with my branding. And as time passed & I got nearer to the launch, I had so many feelings running through my mind.
MIDAS BAZAAR happened.. I made more than 30 pitches to groups of visitors. The response was simply out of the world. But one thing that I shall never forget was, my first sale. A young girl having a pet dog, on hearing my pitch & seeing the product instantly said those 3 magic word … “I’ll take this..” What I felt on hearing this I shall never be able to explain. As I packed the Chicken flavoured Cheweys for her and she handed over two hundred and twenty five rupees to me, I felt like my entrepreneurial journey had come a full circle. I was, well and truly, on top of the world!
And then came the time to launch my website & officially hand over my start up to the world. MIDAS had organized the launch with some great fanfare. A beautifully decorated stage with a large LED screen that had my company’s name on it.. Along with mine.. As FOUNDER.
FOUNDER – CHETAN GSS
My name was called out. I along with my parents walked upto the stage to launch my website. As I walked upto that stage, I had a strange feeling. I actually felt like the father of a bride.. Walking her down the aisle.. For the most important day in her life.. It was surreal.
The button was clicked.. The start up launched..
And I drowned in the applause. The journey from “Student To Founder” was complete. And how. 11 months. One start up that has given birth to a million more dreams. If I can do it, so can you.
Take that step.. Your dreams are calling ..
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