Since sequels seems to be the flavour of the
time here comes my second part to the original Life at the Cross Roads, I wrote almost 8 years back.
YEARS !!! Its a long time but everything seems so fresh even today.
would highly recommend reading the first part before reading this.
the winters of 2006, me with three maverick friends of mine Anand, Saurabh and
Pulkit started our first venture in education from Patiala, a very small town
in Punjab, Northern India. My previous blog doesn`t even mention the name, its
People who read the first blog will have many questions in regards with how did
the entrepreneurial journey go, did you achieve success (whatever that
means!!), were you able to make a highway or got lost in darkness etc etc
8 years have been fantabulous and pure fun. Created a rock star company, it had
been a dream run with Lakshya, created an awesome team and culture…..met and
made great friends for life…..understood humility, compassion and 100 other
qualities….Can`t forget the experience of being a teacher myself for more than
5 years, the students will always remain special to me till life ….. In-fact
there are just so many things overflowing that now I regret not blogging over
the last 8 years. Sigh!!
the curious ones will always be after the tangible parameters with which they
judge the success of startups….so to answer them, here it goes….Lakshya has
been a phenomenal success. We four started from a small floor (as mentioned in
my previous blog of 1600 sqft) having 2 helpers and with our salary money of
INR 2-3 lakhs, started our first batch with 35 students …… we now occupy more
than 40,000 sqft of total area spanning across 5 locations employing more than
150 people teaching more than 3000 students annually generating revenues excess
of INR 12 Cr. And as a final testimony to the glam quotient, as seems to be a
fashion these days, a listed company acquired majority stake in Lakshya for a INR 30Cr valuation. So in short we
created an enterprise value of around 1000 times what we started from. Not bad
for a period of 6 years (Merger happened in 2012) ….. And yeah I forgot to add,
I do have lots of receptionists and guards who wish me good morning ;-)
Right? ……….Yeah its good, but all this doesn`t really matter. It's very
temporary, its great to think about these tangible parameters and brag about it
occasionally but it's like an orgasm …. very momentary, once you are done, you
move on You will say I am bullshitting
but that’s the truth. What really remains are the feelings and then the
learnings. Well yes the growth and success are a testimony to the fact that
whatever endeavour you have undertaken has struck a chord with the people and
you are affecting them positively (which btw is a very important thing) but
apart from that what really gets one going is the vision and a never ending
drive to change things, to challenge the status quo, to help things evolve, to
DISRUPT. This is the Ultimate Motivation. And I think in spirit that is what is
'Challenge the Status Quo' we did. Figure this, in 2006 just 2-3 students used
to get selected for top colleges like IIT`s in Patiala, last year more than 100
students went through from the city. Imagine the change in mind-set and in
their life which will have a ripple effect over the entire society. This is a
parameter of success for any entrepreneur and a point of immense satisfaction.
We changed something….forever!!
said this there are two things which clearly stand from these last 8 years. I
met my darling sweetheart with whom I am happily married and it was through
Lakshya (I will always be indebted to you for this). And the second being that
we four are still together (surprise surprise!!) mature, stronger and more
deeply in Love :-)
it all started with Life at Cross Roads but I came to realize that Life always
remains at Cross Roads, you just move from one to another. The irony being its
nothing to do with life, it has to do with you.
could have easily continued a settled lifestyle at Lakshya, after sweating it
out on a startup, reap its benefits as it matured, but then how could we, as
our wives say it …. we are Entrepreneurs after all!!
as if the risk of 0.1% was not enuff we again set out to test the laws of
probability by starting our second educational startup together as an endeavour
to once again challenge the status quo and disrupt education….. With a vision
to Democratize Knowledge.
What's the need? Is this the right time? Again all sort of questions keep
popping up……Well at least now I have a link to my first blog to refer to :D
I answer them with again the same line…."Success or Failure, it really
doesn`t matter coz for us the journey itself exemplifies Success"
me the fact that we still have the passion and the energy to pursue our dreams
is a matter of Success, the fact that even after having a stable setup we have
the guts to start afresh not being afraid to start it all over again means
being Alive, it's a testimony to the spirit of entrepreneurship and till the
time this is left in us I will be a very, very happy and a satisfied person.
here we go again, on the path less trodden….full of uncertainties and new
challenges …. keeping in mind learnings from previous journey and yet being
open to unlearn and re-learn, with a resolve to make a bigger change….. A
bigger dent in the universe
I conclude, I will again remind myself and to all others who are contemplating
on this beautiful journey of entrepreneurship, of what I wrote 8 years
Just follow your
heart, do HELL with the world. And then, well as the Nike commercial says
"Just Do It"
sure are changing ….. And I am falling in love with it, all over again :-)