This story is about , Suyash Jain , a 19 year old student from Agra studying BBA-Retail Management in University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. He was an average student in academics and a passionate cricketer. Being a student other than studies, he spent most of his time in reading about new technology, innovations, use of various tools to influence customers through social media. He made his first earnings at the age of 18 by designing a blog-spot website for a clothing shop. After that he used to sell trendy mobile covers through Instagram and at that time he was having more than 150+ phone model mobile covers with 350+ designs and also 80+ personalized gift items for every age. The special thing in this is, he started this with zero investment and had earned a good profit.
Behind all this his parents always had a huge support . His father was a big inspiration for him, what he is today, it’s all because of him. He saw him struggling in business, that struggle only inspires him to do something. Apart from his studies, he is working with a startup, writes blogs and articles for various online portals, used to design websites for customers and also do social media marketing for various companies. His Motto is –
“I don’t want to stand different from the crowd, but I want to do something different for the crowd.”
1. Studying in a petroleum university and acquiring internship in the field of marketing, what were the difficulties you faced and what were the skills you learned from there?
I am a student of Bachelor of Business & Retail Management and in first year there is no compulsion of internship from college but in second year it’s compulsory to do an internship. I searched and applied for various internships in my first year because I don’t wanna sit idle for two months. I searched on my own for internship through various platforms. I applied and got selected in new generation Big Bazaar Store in Noida and since I had applied in various places, I also got selected as marketing intern in a startup from Agra. Now it was choice, most of my friends asked me to choose Big Bazaar as its related to my domain, but I preferred working with a startup. Working for a company that doesn’t have a brand name might leave you in a moment of doubt and even the non-existing pay might be a turn off, but the experience you gain is usually worth much more that’s what I believe about startups.
It’s a startup and working in a startup means working and exploring all the fields whether it’s marketing, business development or finance or any other thing. I learned many things by working with them like data extraction and managing, proper interpretation of analytics, communication with B2B client’s etc. Few skills of mine also attracted them because of which from past 10 months, I am still working with them as their team member. Internship in startups can lead you to do many new things.
2. What inspired you to build your own start-up?
As I said, I always wanted to create products for customers, not for investors. This is not my first startup it’s my third business plan and one of my business plans has been selected as the best business plans in IIT Kanpur E-Submit 2016. I believe no inspiration is required if you have passion to work to create something valuable for your customers.
I love participating in competitions and workshops, whether it’s of my direct or indirect interest, because I feel this whole world is inter connected and live experience of others with personal experience of ones’ own, is all what makes a difference. Every journey has its own obstacles, so as this one. In spite being inquisitive, I miss out competitions. Many students like me who are enthusiastic to participate in competitions/events are not able to do it because they are not aware about them. There are many competitions going in various Dehradun colleges and clubs but students are unaware about it.
In management we are taught to manage things in the most effective and efficient manner. So I came up with an idea of doing something, in which students like me do not face problems, in knowing about the competitions going around them and to encourage them to participate, organize, and explore themselves.
3. What is InstaKhoJ all about?
InstaKhoJ is an online portal where you can explore the different competitions, going within Dehradun. Know the summary of the competitions/workshops and take part in it according to your own area of interest . For people trying to enter the organizing world can even publicize their event, and even approach for consultation help, if they are new in their field, like graphic designing, good back end research on the domain or subject based competitions. A new platform for them to get online registration apart from the manual registrations. The event would be further publicized on different social media sites like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc by us. Personalized & unique mails with, registration link inside the Email would be sent to students and subscribers by us only.
4. In what way is your startup helpful for the others?
Startups are build always to help others only, take any case of startup and you will find that it is solving some kind of problem and providing benefits to its customers.
InstaKhoJ is helpful for people, especially students to get to know about all the events/competitions which are going to take place nearby and can participate in it instantly through the website only. It also provides details about various things like the best Cafe or food joint for the week, various places to travel and soon it will be offering discount vouchers and coupons of various stores in Dehradun which will be mostly beneficial for students.
5. What were the problems you faced while coming up with your own idea?
Being a management student I faced a lot of problems in executing the plan, that’s the difference between an idea and approach. Initially the major problem was of website designing and collection of database of students which was the most difficult task as no-one was able to provide data of students properly. Along with one of my friend Raghav Agarwal , Co-founder, we were finally able to start in month of October 2016 from a free word press website but things are not going soothingly as planned, views are coming on website but back-end workload is more as only two people are there and free website look is not at all attractive. Not being associated with a technical background and with lack of funds for hiring CTO (Chief Technical Officer) for the execution my idea, I was determined to do it by myself, hence I learned it to be self efficient, and do it on my own.
In the month of March 2017 we both were able to create a team of six enthusiastic people to work with us. After few years of hard work and research behind it, finally on 1st April 2017 the website is live with full functionalities in it with the name InstaKhoJ.
6. Who is your inspiration behind it? How would you like to acknowledge your pillars i.e. your team?
All this would not have been possible without the support and belief of my brother and parents Mr. Sanjay & Mrs. Sarita Surana in me. Especially my father Mr.Sanjay Surana who always has been my inspiration behind all this. I would also like to thank all my cousins especially my sisters who always used to help me whenever I needed whether it was 2 AM in the night or 2 PM in the day. It would be my bad if I not acknowledge Mr. Siddharth Vij, Mr.Chaitanya Rathi (My All Time Mentor), Mr. Rittwick Visen who always use to guide me at various important discussions irrespective of time when I needed them.
All this was not possible without the team working with me. I would like to thank Raghav Agarwal ( Co-Founder), Kritika Navetia (Content Writer & Curator), Etqad Khan (Public Relations Head), Wageesh Gahotri (VFX Editor), Ankit Aggarwal & Saurabh Raj (Graphic Designing Head) Abhinav Singh (Sponsorship & External Affairs Head) and many other people who are indirectly helping me making InstaKhoJ a better platform. They all are a valuable asset for me
7. What would be the message you would like to share with the upcoming generation?
I just want to share one thing that many students have in mindset that it’s better to work with Multi-National Companies than working with a small unknown brand startup because in MNC’s you will be working for a famous brand and getting good stipend. The obvious questions: Why work for small stipends and unknown brands? Why work at a startup? The answer is simple: What would you rather be: a clerk at work or a contributing member of a project? If your answer is the latter, then head for a startup. Startups are the company where you can completely grow a business. I am not saying MNC’s are wrong place to work, its good, but only, when you have good work experience to work there only then choose it.
– Ideas never changed the World, Action did
IntsaKhoj website link