Tell us something about yourself and your background?
I am one of the Co-Founders of the Startup that is bringing the next 500 million to 1 billion Indians over the Internet affordable. HyperXchange – recognized by the premier Indian government incubation hub ‘IIM – Calcutta (Innovation Park)’ through its department of Science & Technology and raised investment technology Investment from ‘Microsoft’.
The pre-owned smartphone market has been estimated to be around $14 billion globally and around $1.4 billion in India. HyperXchange built a platform to certify and facilitate the sales of pre-owned phones that faced three major issues of trust, inconvenience and price with first-time buyers.
He earlier worked with organisations such as:
Founder and CEO of Appolysus, a bootstrapped tech consultancy start-up providing customer solution for website, app, software and game development across pan India level with cloud hosting solutions.
Tech Adviser at Maptags Inc. in its R&D Team and had been Tech Advisor and Lead Developer at Voyageur Magazine.
My social interest led me leading as the Vice President of Rotaract Club of Calcutta Metro City.
Pursuing my hobby, I have authored the best-seller, worldwide published a poetry book, ‘The Classic Retreat of Anarchy’ and currently working on my next novel.
What was your childhood like? What dreams and goals did you have for your life after you completed your studies?
My childhood was filled with loud joint family and magical group friends whom I hated at times but loved much more often. Late nights tuitions, sticky fingers covered with every colour of the rainbow after a golden afternoon spent finger-painting, of the playing of many games of “pretend”.
Of building worlds in my head, worlds full of dreams galloping wild and free, worlds where I wanted to be like my comic superheroes and nothing else, worlds of superhero dolls able to fly and shoot fire out of their hands, worlds where anything was possible if we said it was. Where we shaped the earth with our minds, where there were no limits other than our imaginations.
Childhood to me was breaking window panes, hitting sixes, the terror of being alone in a dark and stuffy barn full of cobwebs with my only company the wailing of the wind, of the tiffin time in school on bright summer days where clouds were a rare sight and where our only worries were our shirt has turned from white to black, and we would be punished again.
It was hiking with my father over a mile to enjoy a candy in return for studying late, it was marvelling at how if we walked lightly enough, we wouldn’t splash through the puddles that covered the monsoon roads in Howrah. Altogether, my childhood was good. I am lucky that I was allowed to run free, allowed to dream. Although I may face all levels of anxiety and all the dark shades of sadness, I will always be thankful for my early days spent.
No matter what changes, those days will always hold a special place in my heart, even while I am building my dream, my startup, HyperXchange.
What are you currently doing? What motivated you to do this and how do you feel about it?
For me, entrepreneurship isn’t just about risk and reward, opportunity windows, or sexy new brands. It’s about change. Sometimes that change is dramatic, sometimes it’s subtle. Entrepreneurs can change entire markets, industries, and institutions. By definition, to be an entrepreneur is to create something new instead of perpetuating the old. It means to push against the status quo.
My strongest source of motivation is my vision for the future. For myself, my family, and my community. The change I will make in the world is what gets me out of bed.
I can’t ignore the enduring problems our society faces despite economic growth, like poverty and environmental degradation. When I realized I could use entrepreneurship to achieve the change I wanted to see in the world that was all the purpose I needed. Entrepreneurship is my gig!
Being one of the Co-Founders of HyperXchange, I and my Co-Founders are building a collective of investors and entrepreneurs that will help to create a sustainable and inclusive economy building a standardized and first pre-owned brand.
Having a clear purpose is vital in getting me through the long hours, intimidating investors, challenging clients, setbacks, and disappointments. I also receive energy from the people I work with. There’s nothing like being surrounded by people who believe in your vision to help get you through the scary, frustrating, tiresome stages of launching a new venture.
What struggles did you face? Did you get any support from your family & friends?
As a young entrepreneur, I had started a venture knowing it can set me on course for a lifetime of fulfilment. Unfortunately being just 19 while starting up my first venture and 22 at present, I realized age can trigger societal stereotypes that try to make youth a liability rather than an asset. While dealing with conflicting social attitudes and other age-related resistance, you also have to face all the other pressures faced by anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur.
I learnt that your place in the startup world depends on how you navigate the obstacles in your way. Rather than letting other people discourage you from reaching your goals, learn about what you should expect and get ready to rise above the fray.
I learnt that your family members and friends might not understand why you chose to start a startup. They might not share your passion nor support your ideas. They also might question your decision not to work as a regular employee.
Life as a young entrepreneur seems exciting, but it brings challenges that you have to deal with on your pathway to success.
Do you have any role models in your life who influenced you? What lessons did that person teach you?
I am inspired by more than I can list. People who run big businesses and small. But they all have something in common: they had an original thought, a vision, or a desire to simply do things differently. They share the entrepreneurial spirit I have — and my intention is to be a role model to others, as I have been fortunate to have been led by Dipanjan Purkayastha and many such wonderfully inspiring entrepreneurs along my journey.
We observe them and learn from them. Often what they write or say answers a question that we have.
How has been the journey so far, did you ever felt like giving up? And if you could recount the instance for our readers.
As LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman says, “You jump off a cliff and you assemble an aeroplane on the way down”. This is so true because you really get focused as the ground is approaching. You are bound to make mistakes when you start and it’s absolutely fine because that’s the best way you can learn more than anything else.
It has been around 1 year since we started working on HyperXchange and the journey has been quite exciting so far. I have no hesitation in telling that entrepreneurship is best learnt with experiences.
Ideas Are Crap, Implementation Matters. When I initially started working on my first venture I used to spend a lot of time on brainstorming ideas. Sadly, they used to end up on paper or lost in the chat box conversations. Also, no point in discussing too many ideas at once. Instead, focus on one idea and work on it. Just get into the action and start building. Don’t worry, you can always learn on the go!
In your difficult phases, what keeps you motivated/what makes you hold on?
The future depends on what you do today. No matter whether you are already an entrepreneur or passionately thinking about starting a small business, the road towards success will definitely have numerous challenges. Every startup has its own ups and downs, but the success of the venture depends on how effectively one handles the challenges faced.
Entrepreneurship has the most exciting and inspiring notion to it, solely because of the thrill of building own venture empire. But sometimes, things get harder, and you’ll hit a wall, where you slip away from positivity and motivation. Though this feeling is temporary, it will compromise the liveliness, creativity, and dedication that we pour into the venture. So, whenever I hit such walls and faced by these bad phases of time, it is important for me to harvest, remember what brought me into entrepreneurship. I take a minute and remember the things that stimulated me to be an entrepreneur. While performing day-to-day responsibilities, it is quite common to overlook true motive behind starting the start-up. Recalling the objectives, goals and situations that encouraged me to start HyperXchange fills me with inspiration, helps to deal with the adverse situations.
What do you see as your place or purpose in life? How did you come to that conclusion?
“To touch a billion lives and be the reason of a billion smiles”.
Vision involves the painting of a better life for yourself and others, deciding to do all that you can to bring it to pass. Vision is your own making; your role is that of a manufacturer creating a preferable future and a better tomorrow.
As we launch this platform “AlphaIndians,” how do you think it will help people know the unsung stories of our nation?
AlphaIndians – using media and technology to help people do good and sharing positive stories. By doing so, AlphaIndians will inspire an awesome community of people who are always willing to share ideas with each other, helping with resources and collectively doing good.
How do you define yourself as an AlphaIndian? What best advice would you like to leave for our readers?
The absolute master of my craft will rely on my skill to surpass all obstacles and work relentlessly to achieve success, would define me as an AlphaIndian.
My advice, every entrepreneur has to confront obstacles and challenges in their journey. Undoubtedly, a single mistake can turn into a failure. But the true failure is the one that occurs when nothing was learned or changed after the previous misstep. Learning from your own mistakes is of the utmost importance if you intend to become successful.
Consider each new mistake as an opportunity to learn something and gain experience. Use them to find out the best possible solutions to future dilemmas, and try to avoid errors whenever possible. Once you gain enough experience, you’ll positively understand the perspective of momentary failures, and you’ll make sure that they do not occur in future. Act today to feel motivated and inspired. If one approach is not working, then shift to another. Just don’t stop right out. Keep doing things.