I have known Kaustubh Katdare for 11 years now. I continued to know him since I met him because I liked him playing guitar and singing Kishore Kumar for us, we liked walking, eating bhel and mocking at people and because some where our thoughts were alike. In fact I was probably the first person to laugh at him when he joined a GRE class in Pune. Little did I know that I’d be interviewing him in the form of a budding entrepreneur. The_Big_K is the apt way to start the interview series. I hope you enjoy it.
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i. Your superblog has been a popular stupidity buster. How stupid do you think people thought it was? What kind of reactions you faced?
K: I started blogging because corporate world forced me to. I sincerely believed that my managers were insane. In corporate world any simple decision would mean : Decision to call for a meeting – Time wastage in getting the right conference room – Time wastage in asking the co-workers to vacate it so that we could get in no later than 10 minutes after our scheduled time – dialing remote team’s conference phones – waiting for them – reading out agenda – resolving disputes on agenda items – tackling everyone’s intelligence – finally arriving at a consensus defined by the manager – assigning ‘task’ items and documenting them all in the name of ‘process’. I needed a place to vent out my frustration and blog was my secret place to do it. I observed that the shabby looking, never smiling and always ‘busy looking’ coworkers were rated higher in appraisals and got better paychecks. Slowly, I started realizing that people exhibit stupidity almost everywhere in various forms and levels. Continue reading
Indeed I’m an entrepreneur now. Just waiting and toiling to add the word ‘successful’ as a prefix. 🙂
Anyway, that doesn’t stop me from going to job interviews. That has become my hobby now. I went to one such interview for the Head of Presales (lead generation) capacity in a good but a new company. I had already cleared the initial rounds. This one was with the MD of the company, who is also the founding member. We sat for 90 minutes and it turned out to be one hell of a gruelling battle. I couldn’t resist but suggest strategies to him, and he judicially defended his moves while offending me several times.
Finally I asked him the rationale behind the name of his company and he was stumped. He tried to offer an absurd explanation and realised that it was indeed absurd. He couldn’t then help but smile 🙂
He was a good guy. But only an entrepreneur can beat another entrepreneur.
Exactly about an year back, I made a strong attempt to become an entrepreneur. I had a kick ass idea, I some how succeeded in implementing, ran it successfully but gave up in the midway due to differences with the partners. Exactly after an year, I found out that my process and the idea were still alive… very much! 🙂
It was mid/late june when a kick ass new business idea came to my mind. I had a plan that could help small to medium sized software product and services companies to elevate their sales to soaring heights. Whenever I could get some time, I worked on it. It took me almost more than a month to come up with a fool proof business plan. In the process I spoke to various people including peers, friends, superiors, relatives and VCs. I also roped a friend who could help me out and partner me. However another month went in looking for a financial aid. I couldn’t afford to take money from my parents. It started my quest to find a suitable partner who could help me start the business. During that process, the friend who promised to help also backed out due to personal reasons. Time was running short, I had to act fast. Finally on 29th September 2007, I contacted my previous employer (a small company with good strength in marketing) and decided to lease their facilities, resources and their name. In return I had to part with major chunk of the earnings. Official agreements took some more time. Another month went in convincing my first customer. With lot of deliberations, I finally managed to sign an agreement with the customer in January that will see me through till end of June. We ran successfully for first 4 months. The complexity of the agreement however did me in and I had to opt out of it in mid June. It left with irreconceilable differences with my partner/previous employer. But the idea is still hot (coule see it today) and I’m determined to fight back. I will surely succeed this time
PS: Paragraph is deliberately avoided.