My name is Toshendra Sharma and I am an entrepreneur since last 8 Years in self-learning mode. Like hundreds of other entrepreneurs, I have also seen many difficult phases in my little entrepreneurial journey in the past.
My story starts in 2009. After completing my B.Tech in 2009 I co-founded Robosapiens Technologies with my brother in Noida, India. Robosapiens is in Embedded systems & educational robotics training space. I lead it as an R&D Head for two years before realizing that I want to study computer science more. I cracked the Gate exam with AIR 41 in Computer Science and got admission in almost all top IITs in India. Finally, I decided to enrol in IIT Bombay in M.Tech Computer Science.
It all begins at IIT Bombay
An Entrepreneurial bug had already bitten me 2 years back. Hence, I thought of launching a new company of my own. M.tech is not the degree where people generally think about startups in IITs. The “Matka” people generally join IITs with the mindset of getting a fat pay package or becoming a professor. Considering the above facts, finding a co-founder was out of the question. I chose a different path from the crowd and started my own company during the studies and launched “Wegilant” in October 2011 from my hostel room.
It got incorporated as a Private Limited company on 21 Nov 2011. I then rented out my own office outside the campus and started interviewing people for joining. With little money of my own from my previous company, I utilised it for this new venture. I was doing everything alone. Along with attending the classes in IIT, I used to go back to my office in Hiranandani Gardens and forget everything while keeping my team motivated for the results. I even lived in my cabin and used to sleep, eat & work from there only. Even after having a hostel room I stopped going there. I lived like this for 2 full years without complaining. Yes, I did generate some pretty crazy revenue (INR 10,000,000 [1 Crore Rupees]) in the first full financial year.
I started Wegilant as a training & services company but later in 2014 pivoted it into SaaS-based Mobile App Security Scanner Appvigil.
I founded & bootstrapped the company alone for two and a half years with my own money. Yes, being a single founder as well as an IIT student together sounds pretty crazy and enthusiastic. Hell yes, I was crazy and passionate enough to start my startup quest alone during stressful student life. I didn’t even know what entrepreneurship meant when I started my startup. I do know what it means now and in fact, I lived it for a short span and hoping to continue it further.
What & How I learned?
I learned everything (whatever little I know right now) by making tons of mistakes during my journey. I might have taken hundreds of wrong decisions but I feel proud that those wrong decisions were made only once and never repeated again. I ran out of cash 4-5 times and had no clue how will I handle it tomorrow morning. But the only thing I did right was that I didn’t give up. I had been knocked out by my startup problems infinite time but didn’t quite. I kept trying and maintained a positive attitude during those days thinking that “Sab theek ho jayega” (Everything will be OK). And yes, I cried multiple times alone and I have no regret about that either. I had got sick with backaches multiple times and honestly have no regret about them as well. ? Forbes put me in #30Under30 list for the year 2016 that made me little happy for a day.
What am I?
I would prefer to call myself a technologist who knows how to handle multiple things together. I am good at designing & building automated technology solutions from scratch quickly. Confident in implementing highly scalable architectures in AWS, good in basic web & mobile technologies, designing secure APIs, and partly knows anything needed to build a tech company. I am a quick learner who doesn’t give up. I am good but not perfect in the things and I believe I will never be due to never-ending behaviour of the technology.
During my journey, I was offered Investment multiple times and have taken two of them. Those will be discussed later in the separate post.
Since I did try everything in my company by myself some of them are accounting, finance, sales, marketing, technology, operations, HR, funding and more. I struggled and learned by doing it, I wanted to share my experience with you people so that you can help yourself in such times and save a lot of time by avoiding mistakes which I did.
Well, these are the only reasons I have for you guys to read what I will be writing in upcoming posts.
What I will be sharing?
Below are the topics I have decided to cover in the posts on by one. If you feel like adding anything, please let me know it in the comments:
- How I build a company single-handed while studying in IIT?
- What is SaaS? How do people see SaaS in India?
- Why are SaaS businesses so powerful? Why Investors are so crazy about it?
- How to judge a SaaS business? How were people judging my business?
- How not to fuck up in SaaS in one way?
- Does early-stage mistake an entrepreneur must avoid?
- Template of SaaS Business & Financial Model.
- Template of Simple yet effective cap table
- Template of Pitch Deck Universally Acceptable & Appreciated
- How term sheet for seed round looks like? What these terms exactly mean?
- Should I ignore liquidation preference?
- What is the emergency fund in a company and why it is important?
- The cost of being an entrepreneur in India.
- Does the award & prize really help?
- Does attending conferences really help? Should we go to International conferences?
- How not to hire a wrong guy out of desperation?
- When should we register the business exactly?
- Types of businesses in India? Which one should you incorporate?
- Do we really need Incubator or accelerator?
- How can Investors help without actually giving money?
- Should we take 2-3 lakh of seed money from individual investors?
- What Investors mostly ask in the pitch?
- What Investors mostly dig while giving money?
- How to shut up your parents while struggling in entrepreneurship? How did I try?