Year 2007, I understood that I need to update/ upgrade and hence I decided to attend every business meet-up happens in the Industry. Hence I started attending "paid meet-ups". While attending these, I met different people with different business and started understanding their pains and depths.
In several meet-ups I saw people who come to eat only, when I used to share what I do, people used to laugh at me, it was not new, hence I enjoyed. In such a meet-up I met a young business person from my nearby area, he runs a design company in Dumdum, and slowly we became friends. He invited me in a website development company’s meet-up, I really enjoyed meeting various other people. We continued to meet and share thoughts. I was not a person who is from town; no one ever came to my small set-up. Once he visited my Agarpara center and I was glad that someone came and saw what all I am doing.
In a business meet-up in Saltlake area in Calcutta, someone from UK, was sharing something about Investment and how to multiply money, it was really OK for me, as I could connect those dots, I was thinking, leaving engineering study and joining economics was not a bad idea. It’s all about flow and how you manage money. In a coffee break, I met another Bengali business person who said he came back from Uk and doing something on ERP software development. He was curious what I am doing in animation and game development, he said he used to draw hence we started sharing thoughts on drawing. He wanted to see my drawing hence one day came to my home and started reading my written comics, and he was asking why I don’t publish them! I said it’s not the right time. With him I met another woman, his partner. We started exchanging thoughts and sometimes we used to meet for good food. A local food joint in Park-street became our place for talks. In due course of time, another guy joined us, he left corporate high level job and started his own venture in City of Joy. The corporate guy is a person whom you can mix with, calm and cool type of person. With him I met several other nice business persons and professionals. I started exploring business and started exploring people. A slow realization was happening, I need to know more and fast. For the next few months I started digging more and more business and how they are growing. Be that large or small, be that manufacturing or technology or IT. Calcutta on that time got a new buzz word called VC fund. People started talking if you have idea the fund will invest money in your business, it happens in silicon valleys.
I was not looking for fund; somehow I didn’t feel that I need money rather I need to gain knowledge. I need to understand more on these people. Saltlake was becoming a hub for IT companies, I saw many companies who were doing amazing works from that area.
When you do good work, usually real Industry people try to get in touch with you, and that happened, one of the highly politically connected business person connected me. He wanted to invest on ME! WOW, that’s something, I never thought someone will invest on me or take serious note on my venture. Once he invited me in Bengal club, one of the finest clubs in Bengal, we had a chat along with my very good friend. He is an old guy, and we were like kids in front of him, he loves to eat and so do we. We enjoyed the meal and he was sharing his thoughts to make things happen together, making things big in technology, my business model is simple, which I thought in my college life, I was doing exactly same, training student’s from scratch and take few of them as own employee. I wanted to do animation movie, game and comics; he was exploring the opportunity to make things happen.
While this was happening, I got mail from the guy I met a year back who used to run a BPO in India, stays in USA, he was asking if I can make few animated short clips for one of the largest telecom network which started in UK, and can we make small games for that company then he will outsource few works. I was feeling, the small set-up in Sodepur will not help me to grow, everyone is in Saltlake and I am about to get excellent order from UK. The order came in different way, we are supposed to make content and the telecom company will add them in their own way and share a small amount of money with us, but it was OK for us, I wanted to build large company like Kolkata based people did and wanted to recruit more people for greater cause, I used to get a feeling, which I can’t explain, when I used to pay people, the smiling face of all those guys used to take me into heaven. I started thinking, this is what satisfaction is, this is what I wanted to do, and honestly I was not sure what I was aiming for. Am I trying to make money? Introvert person is becoming someone who is cracking deals and becoming an entrepreneur? Well yah it was a buzz those days, I got to know I am not business person I am an Entrepreneur!
The business person who wanted to invest, suddenly his family came in picture, asked me several questions, they thought I wanted to take easy money from them, come-on, I was making decent money, I am not at all looking for their money, it’s a offer from the sweet guy, I didn’t cease him. The person had several health problems, one day he asked me to come to his place, he was not able to walk and is in wheel chair, he shared why he wanted to invest on me, not on my business, he was not happy with his family, and he felt that we should take money from him so that he can rest in peace. I felt sorry for him. After few days, I don’t remember how many days, he again called me to meet him, and my good friend was there with me. He was smiling at me, both took me to a high level shopping center, he wanted to gift me a suit, I was asking why! He said you need it, you will look good. I said I can buy my own.
EGO!!! Yes maybe it was coming, while making money I was not thinking straight, I was not getting the love from an old person! I told him, I have a suit; he said that’s not branded, trust me you need this, let me gift you. Somehow I felt it’s not business he wanted to do; a person in wheel chair came just to gift something to me. I took it, he gifted me a black suit, white shirt and a violate tie and asked me to dress-up and he wanted to see, how do I look. When I came out from the dressing room, he hugged me; I saw tears in his eyes. He said - at least for any good business deal use this tie and suit I’ll feel good.
Today I understand why he cried, I’ll miss you my angel, sorry that I refused your offer, sorry not to take your money/ investment, I was becoming a person who started saying NO! A small town guy got EGO! I was ditched by two other people in business earlier, for readers - one of the incidents you know, I’ll share the other one soon, and hence I was becoming someone different.
In the winters, the global entrepreneur’s community said there will be an event in New Delhi, and asked me to attend the same! The president of the community from Calcutta chapter will be there, I wanted to explore the same, the earlier Calcutta chapter associate director left the job, hence someone new came, and we had a small conversation over the phone that I am going to attend the same. Never thought it would open something new. I’ll have friends and enemy both from the same place.
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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