Year 2003- 2004:
The small company started with excellent team and I was able to get employees as per my need. The concept of my company becoming our company day by day and one day the situation came, that I have to tell Shanku that I can’t go to Namkhana anymore, whatever income and computers are there it’s yours. He is like my elder brother and he accepted the fact that I was going through a tough time to manage the institute and production along with my study, it was not possible for me to visit Namkhana in Saturdays.
I was ill, and while recovering, I understood I need someone who can support our company and we need to connect with local eco-system. I was a student member of one global entrepreneurs’ network. I never went there as I felt it was too high for me. I had no choice but to come out from my introvert nature. So one day I visited them in Saltlake city, it was not like today. I asked for simple help, if they have someone from animation field or game development field. They had no one but he asked me to come and join for meetings.
We used to make few accounts software for local shops in Kolkata and I used to code in Visual Basic and DB was SQL. While doing service for one company I decided to visit one of their meetings, let me learn. The meeting was in Bengal Club, I was in formals, and I was carrying my usual briefcase, where I used to have documents and equipment for service. When I entered, someone laughed loud looking at my briefcase, I was surprised, why he is doing such act. Well, there was a speaker who was talking about something which I didn’t understand. It was too high for me. And someone said who all needs support for his business; I raised my hand and asked for honest help. I am looking for money and scale up my venture. Behind me there are 30 animators and coders and designers who are working and looking at me as leader, I am now supposed to fulfill their needs and dreams, so I asked for honest help! After the talk, people were exchanging cards, and look at me I never thought I’ll need visiting cards. Shame on Me! No one gave me any visiting card, I was a student member! What a pity.
After the meeting one person came to me, soft-spoken, asked me what I do and what’s my need. I was explaining me what I do and what are my thoughts, he appreciated and didn’t laugh that I came from Agarpara. Another person came and said he is from SEO background and was asking for my website URL. Ohh, so I need a website now! Got the point. So for business we need a website and visiting card, so technical knowledge is not that required.
Still, I need a partner and in that meeting I only understood, I need a website and I need visiting cards. The business model I had, I was unable to explain as I was introvert guy, small, slim and just another kid in the block.
After few days, I gave a call to the Associate Director of that global entrepreneurs’ network, he said let me give you someone’s number, he might help you. I gave a call to the mentioned person; he used to run an animation company in Esplanade (New Market Area in Calcutta). I visited him, and couldn’t found any team working but I had a meeting with the old guy along with three other people. The old gentleman said, your works are good, I am getting good number of works from China, let’s work it out together. I was super happy in Town we will work and that’s with partnership. I was a fool; I never thought that I need a proper legal work order signed from that fellow. My whole team invested 6 months for the work and when it was finished, the business person asked me to leave. I was surprised, why is he acting like this. My whole team worked I hired more student’s as co-workers. He said “the job is done, no need of you”. I asked for money, he said, what money? You and your team got experience that’s it! I said “Sir, we worked in one anime animation it’s not our first job, I was looking for guidance and work, where we only became your outsourcing worker, please pay I have run 20 people team for this work. We didn’t take any more works due to your work. The answer was “NO”.
I smiled and thanked him, I came out of the place, near new market area, first time in my life I went for beer. I was broken, I paid the salaries from pocket, what will I do, how will I pay my fees for study (For the audience, I used to pay my own fees for MCA and MS Certification exams). After two rounds of beer, I was asking for the bill, the small guy came and said “Here you are.” I saw my face on the beer bottle, so this is why people drink!
I took the local train, yah I used to travel in local train, came back to Agarpara. I was sitting near the river bank for couple of hours. Near the Shiva temple, I took oath, if I don’t change the situation; my name is not Arijit Bhattacharyya. I was walking back home, couldn’t eat, somehow I realized there are thoughts in my brain, which I can’t share with anyone.
I decided to write my destiny, I decided to continue the whole team, I decided not to share it with anyone at least not with my co-workers. Now I’ve to be extrovert, at least talk to people, make unknown people friends, I’ve to network!
After several years, when I was speaking in a business conference on how to get investment and was sharing few examples how I did those fund raising, the same old business person, from audience asked me if I can help him to raise fund. He didn’t realize I was the same Arijit, I smiled and said why don’t we take it offline (Like the way people do, ‘connect me offline’), when he came to me with his visiting card, I asked him –“Do you recognize me? I’m the same Arijit whom you didn’t pay that day, who did 6 months work for you for free for the China project of yours.” I asked him if his health is OK. He couldn’t speak, I said its OK sir, and this is how you convert a boy into a MAN. Thank you for whatever you did for me.
Coming back to 2004, I started talking to people, unknown ones, in local bus, local train, taxi drivers, tea stall owners etc. People started connecting with me; I was introduced to unknown friends who became bankers, models, teacher, govt employee, police in future, and so on. Few of them invited me to their home, mix with their family; they used to come to my office. I knew I don’t have large network, hence I’ve to make it big.
While doing that, I started going to that entrepreneurs’ network and one day I asked for an associate membership with my company details, the associate director became really happy, he said “Welcome to *** family”.
In another program of that entrepreneurs’ network, the same soft spoken person came and started talking to me. I saw people were drinking, he said – “Take the wine, its good. Drink slowly.” I took the glass and started following him, really I didn’t like the red wine, and he was explaining about mail server and what it is. The other SEO guy joined us and we were talking about our own ventures.
Partnership is not always about getting someone on board in your venture, it can be a person or group of people with whom you exchange thoughts, learn from each other. Work with each other, help each other to grow, the same is happening in one way- it’s not partnership.
Explore new world. There are things which are available in nature, you need to explore it. You need to understand it. You need to win it. Never cry that people didn’t do it for you, that’s not how the law of winning works, winner is that ordinary person, who make things possible against all odds, look at the river, you can swim with the tide, that’s easy, winners are those people who swim against the tide and achive the goal.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, narrating my personal entrepreneurial journey. While on this long journey, I have come across different people, companies and unexpected quarters; each of whom have helped shaped my life. My writing is an attempt to reflect and capture some of the moods and emotions that have occurred over the last two decades.
Kindly excuse any grammatical errors, typos or mistakes of any kind. This blog is written from the heart and is purely an expression of my experiences.
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