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Roasted Namkeen King Raj Bagri & JWB’s Lady Boss Tell You ‘How To Start A Startup’ Like A Boss

  • JWB Post
  •  August 29, 2016


JWB’s Lady Boss, Ana was invited to give a talk about “How To Start A Startup”. Hmm, we learn the basics of startups every day, thank you, Lady Boss! The event was organized by Founder Institute in partnership with NEOS and Headstart.

Paresh Gupta, the Country Lead for Headstart (a company promoting startups), introduced the two speakers of the event to a houseful audience at The attendees were a charged up bunch, wanting to make a difference, and deliver an idea that would get them a good investor.

Paresh introduced the bunch to Ana, the Lady Boss, as Anastassiya Savchenko. Ooh, I knew Ana was somewhere happy that he pronounced her name correctly. Ana took the stage and explained what brought her to Jaipur.

I’m in Jaipur because I fell in love! When I came here, I would cover my head and wear bangles and bindi trying to keep my husband’s family happy. But, it never made me happy. It boiled my inner world out to the extent that I was about to launch anti-chapati campaign. Slowly, I realized how I should’ve concentrated on being myself. I loved every Jaipur woman, and I was a Jaipur woman, too. And we all were dreaming big.

And that’s how Jaipur Women Blog happened. We tell the stories of Jaipur women, and they are read worldwide. We enjoy a readership of over 100,000 monthly, and our women have long crossed the boundaries of Jaipur.”

“When you have an idea, it’s very personal to you, you share a kind of relationship with it, and really that relationship is beautiful.”

A piece of paper each was distributed to the participants. “Now, I want you all to make this blank paper emotional.”

The room was confused, how would someone make a blank paper emotional? They had two minutes. While some made origami boats and airplanes, others, got innovative.

A young man crumpled his piece of paper and said, “This is what my life is like. All of my emotions are the creases of this paper. They are what mold me.”

“That’s a beautiful answer!” Ana added.

Another girl had made an envelope out of the piece of paper and said that she’d like to send out her emotions, enclosed inside the envelope. Ana then later went on to explain that the word emotional has “motion” hidden in it.

Once you have an emotion connected with your idea, only then it is possible to take the idea forward. And that’s how a startup begins, and so, there are a few steps to making a startup successful.”

“So all if you tell me, which one is your favorite smiley from WhatsApp?”

A few hands shot in the air, and while someone liked the poop smiley, another liked the monkey with his eyes closed.

My favorite is the cat with two hearts as eyes! Let me tell you about the first emotional stage of a startup. It is called ‘Deeply in Love’”

“You start feeling that it’s the best idea in the world, and no one else could’ve ever come up with such an incredible idea! You will concentrate on your idea more than on your girlfriend, and yes, on some level, she will be jealous.

Now is your time to think. Though you’re in love with your idea, is your customer going to be in love with, too?”

“Don’t forget that if you can write your idea in one line, it will work. Your mind shouldn’t be cluttered; you should be clear about what exactly you want.”

“Let’s get to Emotional Stage 2. You’re still in love with your idea, but in this stage, you look like you’re a cat in love. You are touchy and moody. You don’t like it when someone speaks negatively for your startup. Each letter of this CAT purrs for something! 

C for Control

At this stage, you need to learn how to control your cash. Use some reins to figure out where your money is going, control the outflow of money. Control your philosophy! Control your quality! And most importantly, control your emotions.

A for Audience is your Authority

If your customer says your idea is crap, pay attention to it. They mean something. Always concentrate on giving more to your customer than promised. They will come back to you, every single time.  

T for Team

You are not enough. Never forget that! If you keep working alone, you will die one day. You can’t do everything yourself!

Let’s get to Emotional Stage 3, which is bruised!

You’ve been making mistakes, and it’s okay! Mistakes are important. Don’t be afraid to make these mistakes. There are some mistakes in your life that you should MAKE.

Be OVER-CONFIDENT! Employ the wrong people, experience the Baked Boss Syndrome and take risks. All of these are good mistakes. I urge you to take risks. Do risky mistakes and then analyze them.

And that brings us to stage 4 which is ANGER. This is a positive anger. It will encourage you to break through your comfort zone. At this stage, try new things, and revise your vision, strategy, and management.

Everything looks great? Good. Now plan your expansion. Look for an investor, research new markets, and try new unconventional promotions.

Please, don’t forget to balance your life with your business!

The final stage is the happy stage. Your breakthrough has just happened, but nuh-uh. Don’t get relaxed. This is just the beginning.

You have two options here. You can either be happy and forget everything, or work even harder. Pay attention to the human capital apart from the cash capital. It’s time to make your important employees permanent.

Start working on your brand, and not your sales. Most importantly, have the livelihood of a startup, maintain that. Please, don’t become a corporate!

Ana’s talk was well received, and I sat in the audience proudly slapping my two hands furiously together. Yay! I was so proud of the Lady Boss.

Next, Paresh introduced Mr. Raj Bagri and mentioned that he has an extremely interesting and inspiring story, too. Mr. Raj Bagri is the founder of Roasty Tasty, a brand that sells only roasted snacks. Yeah, 100% roasted!

Mr. Bagri took the stage and introduced himself.

“I was born and did my schooling from a village near Bikaner called Nokha. Then I went on to complete my graduation from Delhi University.

My business happened only because of some failures. It is a creation of failures and disasters. It was in 2002 when I was unemployed, sitting at home. There was a man, who used to sell roasted namkeen, and since I’d worked in the food sector previously, I asked him if it was really true. After a lot of confrontation, he finally accepted that the namkeen was, indeed, fried. And from there, an idea came to my mind.

My inspiration drove me to rent an office in Civil Lines, where I did a lot of ‘jugaad’ to create a machine that would roast grains. Honestly, the first few times, I failed.

Later, the labor that was working with me showed me a traditional design. They made a circular bhatti and filled it with saw dust. This design made sure that the roasting happened evenly.

I realized that they knew much better than I did, and really that day, I came back on the ground.

We finally started measuring the spices to add to the grains. One day, since it was a VIP area, in the house next to our rented place, there had been a robbery. Needless to say, the first doubt came on my staff.

We had to move, and hence shifted to the Malviya Nagar Industrial Area. Over there, I invested a lot on getting my factory mechanized, but came back to square one, and ultimately ended up using the same bhattis for the production of the roasted grains.

I spent a lot of money; it got very difficult! We used to distribute the snacks in Bangalore, mostly. And, from there, Britannia was recommended to us by someone. A lot of meetings happened with Britannia, and they said they wanted to see our plant.

We didn’t really have a plant; it was more of a jugaad! But, we first made sure that this jugaad looked presentable and then scheduled a meeting with Britannia.

Soon, we cracked a deal. But it didn’t stay that way for long, sadly. The ads went on air, but the product wasn’t available in the market yet.

The deal fell through, and we had about 29 tons of goods ready. We didn’t know what to do. I had two choices. Either, I’d have to bear the loss or think of a powerful strategy to overcome this situation.

After much consultation with my friends and family, we created R n’ D (a roasted, nutri-diet snack). And thus, things began to work out again. Today, our snacks are supplied everywhere in India, and in multiple flavors, not just limited to the Indian taste.

We still have a long way to go; there’s gluten-free, organic, and much more.

At the end, I just want to say: Thokar se hi Thakar bante hain.

Mr. Raj’s inspiring story got everyone thinking. It might take time, a lot of perseverance and hard work, but success does come, right?

If you have a great startup idea, you should definitely get in touch with the Founder Institute. In this part-time program, you can learn by doing and launch a company through a structured training course, practical business-building assignments, and expert feedback.

The Founder Institute has a lot of success stories to share, too!

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