How did it all start?
It all started off in late 2012, when ecommerce boom had just begun, and everyone wanted a piece of the pie; I was working with Oracle back then in Hyderabad.
While I was there, I came across many mailing lists, which portrayed a lot of interest around building ecommerce companies; everyone wanted to have their own ecommerce site, but there were many challenges exclusive to the Indian ecosystem that these guys were facing including the turn-around time for a typical ecommerce site to go up; and people were not really professional in this domain. Although a couple of players in the international market were there, but none of them were catering specifically to small Indian businesses, which had many other challenges like Indian payment gate was not integrated with international providers and so on and so forth. So I saw an opportunity there. To ease out the worry points, GetMeAShop.com was born in an attempt to help small business ventures to carve their own online presence.
While working with Oracle I moonlighted and started building GetMeAShop.com; I hired interns from my college, flew them down to Hyderabad, and we started building it in my room. In 2013, I finally quit Oracle, raised some capital from TLabs accelerator and since then we have been bootstrapped, making money and scaling up.
Last year we also got investment offers but we chose to go the acquisition route; we got multiple acquisition offers on the table, but we finally chose to go with The Times Group.
Define a usual day in your life…
Typically, when I wake up, I check emails (I can’t stay away from doing that); I address issues that needs my immediate attention, otherwise I plan my schedule for the rest of the day. I check my meetings and appointments and plan things in accordingly, keeping in mind, I have to spend time with my team and management too. I reach office by 9:30 am and there’s no fix time of returning home. I usually get back home by 9 pm, but the work doesn’t stop there…
Is this lifestyle better than what it was at Oracle?
That’s a good question. In Oracle the work was not challenging enough; in today’s scenario, I wake up every day to solve a brand new challenge. That keeps me going. We know for sure we are making impact on many lives.
If not this, what would you have been doing?
I am coder by heart; though I have picked up all the other necessary skills like sales, marketing, etc. in the course of my journey over the past few years. But, if not this, I would probably be at some beach, maybe in Kerala, coding to my heart’s content, freelancing and building products for someone else.
Is there any particular person or role model who has been consequential in your growth?
I really look up to Elon Musk; he is the epitome of technology. That guy knows in-and-out of technology, he has built many businesses—be it Tesla or SpaceX. For a single person to dominate lofty ambitions like these, is a huge deal, and that inspires me.
Tell us about your future plans…
Right now the single-point agenda for me and my team is to scale up GetMeAShop within the Times’ ecosystem, leveraging Times as a brand and as a networking avenue, which has opened many doors for us. So we want to take this to a whole new level altogether.
Define yourself as an entrepreneur…
I am a risk-taker and I am very ambitious. I don’t just push myself beyond predictable limits, but I do the same for my team too. I just can’t see people performing below their best capabilities; I ensure my team is exceeding their potential and realizing their limits; I believe in enabling people. I am not a micro-manager.
How do you spend your free hours (that is, if you get any at all)?
I do play the key-board; I love traveling. Weekend outings to the hills are always on my mind. I have been frequenting Nainital since I was a kid; there is some charm about this place that never ceases to draw me back. I am also very good at making Ratatouille; I learnt cooking it during my internship days in Germany.