Indian Entrepreneur 101 – How not to suck at being one!

A Young Entrepreneur on a Hot Day at Portland State

Right now as I sit in front of my laptop to blog, almost after 2 months, I can hardly construct meaningful sentences of the thoughts that are swirling a million to the buck in my head. And no I don’t god forbid, have Alzheimer’s. It’s just the after effects of my day-night efforts to become an entrepreneur in this country where all engineer’s ultimately become one, due to lack of jobs 🙂

Let me expound.

As I’ve mentioned before my path from engineering to event management, it wasn’t always hard to hate engineering. Least of all the luring image of me sweating and grunting against some groaning machine all covered in grease and lube, made sure I shuddered even during my quarter life crisis, that I never take up an engineering job. However I was to learn the grass is not always greener on the other side as some myopic old man quipped in the past. Judging on the basis of my creative juices that always had wanted a vent to escape and bring forth ideas and execute them since childhood, I went with my gut instinct of setting up my own event management company. And hence in the past  few months, I resigned from my earlier employer’s company and went about  starting up my dream. But now having become one, let me tell you my readers, the deathtrap’s and the ways how not to suck when you want to become a self-accomplished entrepreneur.

Company Name

Firstly, the name of your company. This is a never-ending loop of writing down and crossing out all those witty, fantastic names you think of. Mostly because, the one you like, your partner won’t like. The one he likes, you won’t. And if by any random occurrence of a meteorite landing in your backyard, both of you like it, its guffawed and spat on by that third person you went to opinion for. And hence, this takes an eternity while you satisfy your family and friends, your partners family and friends and finally, if at all that name hasn’t been taken up by some other guy yet, you finalize it.

Stylizing your Company 

Secondly, you set about the rules, styling and vibe of your organization. This again is a rabbit hole in Alice’s wonderland, since you can’t allegedly  be ‘inspired’ from anywhere lest you wanna stand yourself in a court for plagiarizing from similar companies. So you start giving your dream a unique face, feel and vibe. But hey, your partner gets a sudden idea and wants it incorporated too. Then your dad has one. Then your dad’s uncle thrice removed on his mom’s side has a spark. If you so much as dare to oppose them saying it’s your company and your partner, be ready for explicit Malayalam wrath and curse to be showered, sentencing your entire generation to be blind, crippled and suffering from smallpox . In short, it would have been better, you didn’t start the company in the first place, with all the expletives and curses hanging in the air, wafting about reminding of the impending doom for the company. But if at all you satisfy all these people, and decide on the corporate styling you adopt, congratulations. You just finished a quarter of the work required.

Creating your company stationery 

Next we need to design the company logo, website and related brochures, fliers etc. Welcome to the inferno. You just realized you are exhausted from the previous steps and just want to curl up and go to sleep. But it’s not to be so. So you sit down with your designer and give him a brief of what you want. He patiently jots down all of them and says he will have a couple of site samples done within 2 weeks. Since you are in India, you would have three national holidays, couple of hartals and bandhs, Saturdays and Sundays  and finally if the odds come in your favor, in the second month you see those samples. Luckily, it has not even a remote semblance of what you actually asked for. Again you go on a roller coaster idea of having the website have everything you want to be in the right place  and gel with the earlier vibe and style you have adopted for the company. While this is happening, parallelly you have your company logo to be designed. Again you have the entire process repeated as you see logos after logos but nothing special. And one fine day, you suddenly see the logo that you realize would sync with the company outlook. (It’s only sad later when you realize that you have become so tired and bleary with all the logo samples you saw, that you just confirmed the one logo that you had rejected in one of the early samples given to you, albeit in a different color -_-). Finally, when you have all in hand ready, you just finished half of what you set out for.

Official Registration and Office set-up

If you are still up and running by this time, congratulations. You have true skills to be an entrepreneur in this great country and you can take a lot of bullshit. Searching for a cost-effective office space in an accessible place locally, and in a building which doesn’t shout the 19th century, is mission impossible. However, since you have to, at least, do justice to all those time, energy and months that you escaped those living ancestors curse, didn’t get bankrupt yet and those beautiful website and logos that are waiting to be criticized by the world are still there, you have to go on. Day after day you run after brokers who claim to be descendants of Parashuram himself that there is yet a place in Kerala, he hasn’t sold. Multiply this guy with two more others and you have the whole dynasty and clan of parashuram running around and calling you relentlessly on your phone, claiming to have found ‘the one’ place. Finally, hopefully, you do.

The Launch

And finally, you are set to roll. Don’t worry. There are yet no clients and if lucky you have nothing to show your efforts as an actually relevant event management company.(However personally I was lucky on this single aspect as we had events up our sleeves given by our awesome understanding clients and hence could display some photos worthy of our salt). But don’t give up now. You have your entire rep staked on this and now if you back off, you better suicide than listen to those so-called family and friends, which starts with ‘I told you so !’. Just hold on to your beliefs and your pants ( since you must have reduced at least 2 sizes from the sleepless nights) and keep your head high of what you have already accomplished. Trust me when I say this. Only a few people face these insurmountable adversities and become businessmen. I know I’m one now. Hopefully my post helps you become one too.

See you on the other side 😀

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My unexpected tryst with Ayurveda – Part I

1I’ve been going through some personal problems and issues over the past few months and couldn’t update my blog, and i apologize to my followers for the same. Having taken some firm yet right decisions, and choosing to move ahead of all the baggage that was pulling me down , in the course of life, I’m now almost a new person. New resolutions, new fronts to explore and the most important part – a complete rejuvenating coming back to my funny self. Let me elaborate on something that I was sweetly suggested ( read forcefully and emotionally blackmailed ) by my mom.

Having come down to Kerala for events and part leisure, it was invigorating welcoming the new year with my best friends Gregary and Pradeep. After a hell of a start for new year, the “baggages” that i mentioned previously had to be dealt with finally. After that , one fine day I received a call from mom. This is how the conversation went

Mom – “Hi mone. Did you get up?”

Me – (yawwwnn)…. “hmmmmm”

Mom – “Get up you lazy-ass. How can you keep sleeping with the sun shining on your ass?”

Me – “Watch me doing it now..” And I cut the phone and went back to snoring. 😛

Tring.. Tring.. Again my mom was calling. I snatched the phone.

Mom – ” How dare you? I’ve had enough of your nature. You are going today itself to XYZ earth clinic and getting treated for your health and obesity!” shouted my mom.

Me – ” What on earth is wrong with you? Can’t you sit one single day without calling me and ruining it from the start?” I grumbled incoherently. But my sweet( read incessant and irritating) mom, heard it clearly and said

Mom – “I am ruining the day from the start of it, huh? Its bloody 1 pm in the afternoon and you claim it to be the start of your day.” That was it. I was check mated. Finally I had to agree as I really needed to complete the dream I was passionately dreaming.

After waking up, I called up the clinic, and was asked to come in person to discuss the treatment plans. Finally the day was fixed to start . I woke up early and went to the clinic, surging with optimism of sporting a 6 pack and visions of sexy chicks hanging on my toned biceps. 😛 As I reached there, I was asked to wait until the doctor could come to meet me. Meanwhile I was looking around and I saw lots of girls sporting the clinic’s t-shirts, and it was clear to me that they were the masseuses, in charge of the patients. I was already feeling goosebumps as I dreamt of one of them massaging me with warm oil and really loosening up my body. Brrr….

Finally the doctor came, and after the formalities of joining, I was asked to go inside a treatment room and wait for the massage person to come. I was walking up and down, thinking how I would introduce myself to the masseuse and flattened a spot of hair , looking at the mirror. I was looking out the window when I heard the door open with a wide smile on my face, ready to jump and shake hands with the masseuse. But my wide smile suddenly died a terrible death, as I saw myself staring at a 6 ft 4 in , black male person, who seemed like the distant cousin of Khali. He took my outstretched palm and gave something that he defined as handshake, but which for me felt like being taken in by a sugar cane crushing machine. I felt a terror as he ran his hands around my shoulders and dropped them to my hips. He squeezed them hard and I cut down the urge to run from the place clutching myself crying “Bachaooo… Bachaoo..!!”. He then suddenly commented ” There seems to be a bit accumulated flab. But nothing that I wont be able to deal with”. Finally it dawned on me , he is checking my body for its structure and felt a bit relieved. But the horror wasn’t over.

He suddenly pulled out a white , almost translucent piece of gauze like cloth with 2 long strings and asked me to strip. “What?!” I shouted. He patiently said ” You’ve to strip down for the massage, as this is to be done practically naked”. My eyes are gone wide open and I was looking at a way to escape. However the only door was blocked by his gargantuan body and all my hopes died down. I resigned to my fate and looked for the changing room. I had my next consecutive shock. THERE WAS NONE! Suddenly the “masseur” pulled off my t-shirt and pulled down my jeans in one smooth move. I was practically standing there in my boxers and was gasping for breath with the shock of all that happened. Just when I thought that it was over and that I might have to tie the gauze cloth over my undies, so as the oil to not stain it ; God…. was I wrong! He came behind me and tied the string around my waist. And then, he snatched down my only piece of honor remaining. I was in such a horrific state of shock and terror, as my mind started running parallel scenarios of me naked with this man , inside the treatment room! And then he took the long remaining piece of the cloth and pulled it in between my legs and hooked it over the string. ” There! Now you look perfect” claimed the masseur. I looked myself in the mirror and was numb seeing me buck naked except for the translucent cloth almost covering just the main parts it was assumed to do so. I was ranting away in my mind a choice of expletives against my mom, who had forced me to undergo this almost emotionally scarring experience.

But I was soon to realize this was nothing but just the start of a complete mind and body rape that I was to undergo under the hands of the cousin of Khali.

(to be continued… )