Who am I and why you must read my blog?
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 every IIT in India. Finally, I decided to enroll in IIT Bombay in M.Tech Computer Science.
It all begin 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 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 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 back aches 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.
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 behavior 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 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?
Early stage mistakes 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 means?
Should I ignore liquidation preference?
What is emergency fund in a company and why it is important?
The cost of being an entrepreneur in India.
Does 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?
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