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Being Entrepreneur – Degree without a degree

From the gates of campuses to conference rooms of corporate houses: they belongs to some different species…

The journey started 6 years back, on the last day of their college exams. All their friends were busy in scheduling the next day party place to celebrate their journey of four years in engineering. But few brains among them had some different plan to celebrate in their own way. The very next day, when all other mates were in their beds or packing for outstation parties, this lot got together at one of the malls (in cities food courts of Malls is generally considered as best and cheapest place for board meetings of startups).

Multiple ideas, Target segment, Revenue & business model started filling pages. They planned everything in a day who will handle what right from marketing/sales (no one was aware these two are different things), R&D and Finance. But at the end of the day everyone contributes to each department knowingly or unknowingly. FYI: no one had any experience of what they were about to do. But these Ignited Minds were determined to achieve INDIA Vision 2020 [Dr. Kalam’s dream] and contribute on the technological front in India’s development. With this vision & the trust of friendship, the foundation of a new company was laid in the bedroom of one of them (yeah, we don’t have garages to start in India).

It started from the first call where two of them dressed up in formal (which they used only on formal day in college) and with few infolets of robotics workshop for schools students in their hands reached to the gates of the nearest best school of the locality. But what they could finally manage is interact with only security guard of the school and a message from him, “Madam bahot busy hai, boli 15 din ke baad aana”. But this was a motivational point for them, as she had called after 15 days. Fast forwarding the journey, they stand as one of most successful name in Robotics training with more than 35000 young minds trained till date and many first in the segment initiatives to their name. Awards, medals, Innovative projects is a common thing for their students.

But as the saying goes, every day is not beautiful and smooth. There were many points when their determination was put to test. Stress, shifting of thought processes, family pressure all seem to fell at once in front. Few left the journey but rest continued. Cash crunch started creeping in, in spite of good product (like none in the category) and satisfied users (they even managed to have Robotics as a subject in the school curriculum). Pivoting was an option ahead but the hearts refused to accept.

The factors of cash flow along with scalability of the current model, forced the team to dabble with other avenues like solar consumer products. But again it was a cost intensive model and investors refused to budge without any traction in the market (idea was dropped eventually). In the background, the robotics training continued but with a slower pace.

Along this journey, they had taken up few industrial projects and case studies serving clients like Indian Planetary Society, EMCO, Reliance Jio. Pivoting still on their minds, there comes a major project for energy management of cell tower and that too at a foreign site in Myanmar. Probably this was the trigger which convinced everyone in the team that being an innovation studio for electronics and develop solutions for companies is the way forward.

The strong research and development capability coupled with ability to solve any problem has fetched the team trustful clients spanning from Fortune 500 companies to startups and across sectors like Telecom, FMGC, Pharma and Packaging. And today they are growing at fastest speed providing IOT/ M2M solutions with a target of deploying hundred thousand devices across technologies (may it be GSM or the emerging LoRa).

This is the journey till date of a bootstrapped company saying YUPS to everything challenge and opportunity.

 

YUPS TechBeing Entrepreneur – Degree without a degree
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