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Aman Goel is a 2017 batch IITB Alumni with a B.Tech. degree in Computer Science. He is the co-founder and CEO of AllInCall Research & Solutions.
- Motivation for entrepreneurship
Coming from a Marwadi family, entrepreneurship was a natural choice. My father also runs a small business. I always wanted to do something big and therefore, I got into entrepreneurship. A big motivation for entrepreneurship also came when I visited Silicon Valley (Palo Alto) for my summer internship. There were so many startups working on cutting-edge technologies that fascinated me.
- Career options available to you while choosing to start your own startup
I had a few job offers – Rubrik US and India, Tower Research Capital (Gurugram), APT Portfolio (Gurugram) and Directi (Bangalore/Mumbai).
- The skills, knowledge, and experiences from IIT Bombay that helped you
A major in Computer Science obviously helped a lot. What helped more were the non-technical skills that I learned – networking, marketing, etc. In the final year, I had enrolled in the Entrepreneurship courses offered by DSCE (Desai Sethi Center for Entrepreneurship). That was one of the best learning experiences for me.
Unlike typical courses in insti which are focused on exams, grades, assignments, etc., the courses in DSCE were focused on product, customers, revenues, business, etc. As such they hardly had any pen-paper based exams. That helped a lot because it forced us to go out of our comfort zone and talk to customers and understand their problems.
- Do you have a vision in your mind for the future like Elon Musk has Mars colonization? If not why
Building solutions for large enterprises that help them in getting the best of their user engagement.
- What are certain pre notion/ myths of the startup world that you previously thought? And What are the facts and truth behind them?
We often hear – 999 out of 1000 startups fail and so, you should not get into a startup. I think this is the biggest myth. It is as good as saying ‘only 10,000 out of 15 lakhs make it to IITs’. Well, just like cracking JEE isn’t statistical, it is rather a methodological approach, I believe that success in a startup is also systematic.
- Different phases of peaks and lows of your startup journey?
The first peak was back in July 2017 when we got a contract from our first customer – the giant State Bank of India. It helped us in getting that initial launchpad which was very much necessary.
The first low was in March 2018 when we were struggling to convert our solution into a product. A subsequent low happened in August 2018 when my co-founder (also from IITB) left the company. It was an extremely difficult situation and we came on the verge of shutting down. However, I desperately wanted to continue running the company. In October, the company (me and 3 others) did not have money to pay the salary to the developers and so, I had to lend my personal money to the company. This was by far the worst situation we faced.
Our tipping point was in October 2018 when we hired a few more people and started converting our service-oriented model into a product. My development team – Shreyas, Nisarg, and Harshita played a key role. Harshita and I divided the task – she handled tech and I handled sales. That changed the fate of the company. This year we are on track to do 4.5 – 5x of the revenue we did last year.
- How do you keep your confidence and spirit sustained to tackle the challenges?
The support from our mentors/advisors, customers, and obviously the team helps us keep going. I have been lucky that the right people have supported us at the time whenever we needed them. In our whole journey, ICICI Bank has been not only a key customer but also our key supported in making sure that we are given sufficient business to keep the company going.
- What were your experiences being with the team, like making consensus, examining ideas and driving them for a goal, etc.?
We all hear about the term ‘vision for the company’. When I started, I did not really understand the meaning and importance of it. That created problems. Now, we have a relatively clearer vision for the company – building solutions for large enterprises that help them in getting the best of their user engagement. Whenever we need to take any decision, we keep this vision as our North-star.
I am lucky to have got a great team who understands this vision really well and helps us in getting closer. Decision making, consensus, etc come as a by-product of the clarity of this vision.
- Please share some interesting experiences of your journey that can inspire students ?
Okay so this is going to be slightly longer than the other answers, but I assure you that it’d be an interesting read.
While I come from a business family, I never really got myself involved in my father’s business. Also, since I am the youngest of 3 siblings, I always used to be considered as that ‘stupid person who can’t take care of himself’. Due to this, my parents were not much in favor of me working on my own startup, ditching away the high paying jobs of Tower Research or Rubrik.
It was the start of 2017 and my 8th semester was going on. I desperately wanted to work on my own startup and at the same time, didn’t want to fight with my parents for a job. To solve this problem, this is what I did (its a bit complicated):
- Sent an email to Rubrik US (the company where I had one of the job offers) that I would rather want to stay in India than go to the US.
- Got an offer from Tower Research Capital in Gurugram (Feb 2017)
- By March 2017, I got an email from Rubrik US that they are opening an office in Bangalore and that they’d love to extend me an offer for the same.
- Finally, I decided that as a back-up/fall-back, I will keep Rubrik India rather than Tower Research. So, I mailed Tower Research and I would not be able to join them.
- I knew that if I want to get into my startup, I somehow have to convince my parents of a back-up job offer that I can always join even if my startup fails.
- I was the first hire at Rubrik India. I thought that if I help them build their Indian team, they may cooperate with me when I inform them about my startup.
- Therefore, I helped them interview (and eventually hire) some of the best students from IIT Bombay, Kanpur and Delhi from my network.
- When on 14th June 2019, I informed Rubrik India head about my startup, this is what they sent me
- When I shared this email with my parents, they were quite relaxed.
So, this is how I managed to convince my parents to start my own company.