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A message straight from the heart ❤️
Taking a break from insights - cause we need to talk.
Last week, I turned 30. I spent the last decade going from a teenager in a middle class Maharashtrian family to finding my own place in India's startup ecosystem. I don't think it was all me - I had tremendous help ⬇️
I hail from a small town called Sangli (350 Kms from Mumbai in western Maharashtra). Could not speak/ read english until I was 10 years old. Did schooling in a Marathi school & made my first move to "Pune" in early 2010s.
I wanted to be a design engineer - loved automotive design (still do!). But, I soon realised there is little money I could make by being a mechanical design engineer. I quit my first role as R&D engineer at Mahindra on Day 1.
I essentially had no backup - except a random role at a software services MNC (accenture). I did the role to make some "survival freedom cash". My family was quite not happy with all these moves - just being honest.
Hard for an Indian family to see their kid not have a career plan. But, I could get into a digital marketing agency. In 2015, it was really a tiny market. E-commerce was a "trend" that was going to be a bubble - LOL.
From 2015 to working at Dunzo, CRED & now building GrowthX® has been pure luck. I might get a backlash for saying this was all "luck" but I genuinely believe luck plays an extremely important role as I have gone through early life.
And if I had to reflect (something that we aren't taught to do in our schools/ workplaces) on how what has increased "surface area of luck" - few things are crystal clear.
- Have parents & sister who supported no matter what
- Met an excellent English teacher when I was 13
- Shifted from a small town to Pune
- Contested/ Won elections in UG
- Started an E-cell (met friends for life)
- Quit Mahindra & Mahindra on Day 1
- Joined Merkle Sokrati (allowed me to transition)
- Played a lot of foosball with Udayan (became co-founders)
- Moved to B'luru (Leaving a 2X promotion)
- Hustled with Durgesh at Dunzo
- Joined CRED (Never imagined / strived for)
- Sunil introduced me to Vaibhav at a WeWork
- 50+ Breakfast dates with founders
- Spent most Saturdays solving growth problems
- The pandemic (GrowthX went online)
- Married the love of my life in middle of pandemic
- Quitting CRED (leaving extreme wealth upside)
- 200+ angels investing their $$$ into GrowthX®
- Went from 0 to 2,307 GrowthX members
- Impacting hundreds of lives - can't ask for more
- Truly solving for India's GDP with GrowthX
If you ask me to do everything again - I don't think I can do it. There is no way I could design these "surface areas of luck". There is no secret recipe - it's the truth. I'm just thankful for the last decade - it made me evolve so much.
It's straight from the heart. Excuse me if I have riffed on this post - but I am emotional as I write this. You might learn a thing or two from my last decade. And for those striving to build their careers & companies - Trust the process, the Indian dream is here to grow ❤️
My prime 30s are here - onto the next orbit.
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