I am always in talks with my mind. It’s all in the mind, it’s all mind game. You know what is my best, favorite game to play “Chess”. I play chess. You know if you have the will to do it you can do it. If you’re standing against a wall with a bulldozer but if you don’t have the will to do it, you can’t do it. If you stand there with a nail and you have the will to crack the wall, you can do it. It might take time may be a week, a month but you’ll cross the wall. So may be when we don’t have investors, we just have the nail, we don’t have the bulldozer which is the grand investment. But we just have the will to do it so with that will we might break the wall and cross to the other side. And when you cross the wall everybody will be like Oh WOW this guy did it. Now we should talk to him and now we should offer him a bulldozer because he cracked the wall with a nail. What if we give him a bulldozer. What is he going to do ? He will crack shit. So its all about mind. First thing is the will to do and then hard work. That’s it.
I have been an entrepreneur since I was just 9 years old when I started a company that sold class management excel workbooks to teachers. I did my college in Economics from Loyola College, Chennai, and then worked with McKinsey and Company before founding MondoBoard with Pratik.
Pratik returned to Mumbai after completing his masters from the University of Illinois and working in the Silicon Valley. He has worked on US defense projects and also with gaming companies like Zynga and IGT.
What does Mondoboard mean?
Mondo means big. The name came when we were trying to keep a domain name which we wanted to be something big. Board came up because all our events are typically pinned on a board. Hence, Mondoboard! It’s supposed to signify big board.
What made you start with Mondoboard and what’s your vision?
I used to play a lot of tennis and basketball when I came to Mumbai a year ago. I didn’t have anyone to play with and I was looking around trying to find people and it took me 6 months to find a tennis partner. Eventually, the more I thought about it I figured out that there are a lot of people who face this challenge. Wherever you’re today and if you are moving to a new city or you are doing something new, you need to build new connections.
What is your “Why” behind your vision?
I really think that as much as social media has made communication easier, it has made people lonelier to a large extent. Because of Facebook and Whatsapp people aren’t physically meeting each other, and hence, people are getting lonelier. So, social media isn’t solving this challenge; it’s actually when you meet people that you’re solving the challenge of loneliness.
My ultimate vision is that anyone who wants to do anything she loves should be able to find a partner on Mondoboard; to leave a legacy behind where no one is left lonely and be a guy who made the world a happier place.
I believe it’s great to make technology which helps people to meet each other. Today, we are making people meet for sports like cycling, basketball, etc., but tomorrow, if someone is fond of painting or other art forms, they could meet each other regularly using Mondoboard.
An entrepreneur is someone who’s trying to find water in a desert. He’s the leader of people, who is guiding them to find water in a desert. The way I define it is like this – think you are in a desert and there are a bunch of people out of whom none of them can find water. An entrepreneur is the leader of that group who makes them go to a place where they can get water and this group of people is his consumer base.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Building a product that people really love has been a challenge in itself. It is very hard to find out what product we should build that people will love. We have already made 6 versions of our application but we still haven’t really built a product which people truly love.
There are 2 aspects to building a great product:
1) What problem do you wish to solve? This could take a lot of time. It’s hard to identify the right problem.
If Henry Ford went and asked people as to what he should make for them, people would have told him to make a faster horse as they knew that the problem was the current transport wasn’t fast enough. Hence, he built a car.
2) People should love your solution.
Has any funding been done so far?
We are currently bootstrapped. Funders are speaking to us but we aren’t going to raise money for the next 3 months until we get the right product that fits the market.
Can you share your revenue model with us?
Right now we aren’t charging people. But, the way we are going to make it is – whenever an activity is performed it is performed at a particular venue and you need to book a venue. So, we are creating business for them. So, we are going to take a slice of that.
Second way is – sports are highly competitive. Even when we were small we used to play cricket match for money or we used to bet with each other. We plan to make the entire betting process through the application itself. So, we will be taking a small portion of that.
What are yours and Pratik’s responsibilities in the start-up?
Pratik takes care of technology and coding (80% of it). I engage with the users and try to figure out what they want as I understand the user data.
What are the most important traits a person should have to launch a start-up?
1) Knowing your “Why?” – what you want to do keeps changing but ‘why’ really builds inspiration, makes you rush through hard times, makes you work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2) Flexibility and being determined – The biggest mistake one could do is over relying on one’s gut and intuition. You need to be open to what the market is saying and improve or change your product based on the feedback.
See success as FLEXIBILITY × DETERMINATION × LUCK.
Luck could range from anywhere between 0 and 10,000. But, if you are determined to hang in there for long enough luck will obviously become positive at some time or the other; it will come in your favour and you’ll make it big. There’s a famous saying- “If you hang around in a barber shop long enough, sooner or later you will get a haircut“.
3) Hustle – If you want to get through to somebody, are you willing to call her/his receptionist 50 times?, are u willing to go door to door speaking to customers, and probably, being rejected by most of them? Hustle is the will to do it when the outside world says that you shouldn’t do it.
What are the lessons you have learnt so far?
1) Patience – The ability to work hard consistently for long till you get to it.
2) You’ll never have all the skills that you require to do a start-up or get to your vision and there are two ways to accomplish this:
• You can learn those skills. (OR)
• You can create some kind of distortion field, become inspirational and you can draw people with skill sets and make them a part of your vision.
Ideally, it should be a mix of both.
Which is your favourite quote/inspirational statement?
This comes from the movie “Rocky Balboa” when Rocky is speaking to his son, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place. And, I don’t care how tough you are; it will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it. You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.” That’s how I want to do things.
One more thing that I wish to share about how I feel about myself and what I want to do is – I don’t want to be an icon. I want to be an idea. I want to represent possibility. I want to represent hope. I want to represent magic. People think 2+2 is 4. I want to make sure that 2+2 is what I want it to be and I want to make it whatever I want it to be.
What message would you like to impart to our readers?
If you have a vision and a dream and you don’t know how to get it, don’t worry! As long as you know why you want it and you are willing to be there long enough to get there you’ll achieve it for sure. Start working towards it and the answers will come to you.
Sahil Dharia says, “Leader provides a vision and the ability to galvanize those people and provide them with a path to walk on” that’s leadership.
The necessary component of my definition is to have a vision, vision that unites several people.
Difference between a leader and a manager is – A manager is giving a specific task tumko ye karna hai. Wo karney mein wo management hogaya.
How to do it ? Kaise mein karna hai ? Kitne mein karna hai ? Performance criteria, success criteria kya hai ? That is management, that’s not leadership.
Leadership is to tell him you have to do that. That isn’t dictating, that is creating a requirement or following a vision. I want to go there. Who creates that vision ? That’s leadership. And I think anybody can do that irrespective of position and age as long as you have the ability to look at things as they could be rather than the way they are. Sometimes even a founder can be a lousy leader. A leader can be at any level. According to me leadership is simply the ability to see things the way they could be.
Of course it also has to follow through with the ability to get things done. Baari basri batey karo and na karo. Its the next component of leadership. But yes many people can do the second part i.e getting the things done. The first part is critical. You should be able to see something.
Have you seen that movie “Wake Up Sid”, when Kokona Sen finds that house which is a dump and it’s visible from an apartment, horrible apartment ganda hai that character Ranbir Kapoor says kitna gandha hai cheeh. But she says, “usko dekho na clean kar ke kitna acha hoga” So she’s able to see things, not the way it is now but the way it could be if she puts a little effort to clean it. And it looks so brilliant after that whole cleaning session. That’s leadership. She did which no one else did, others thought its a gandha apartment.
We’re only worried about our face when we don’t have anyother bigger, eternal beauty unleashed. As soon as we unleash our inner wisdom we stop worrying about face and clothes – Sahiba Sethi
You can connect to me at –
Twiter – @SahibaSethi3
Your work should make everyone feel WOW.
Do you always remember the people who serve you at a coffee shop ?
We remember only the ones who make us feel WOW/Who work as an artist.
Recently I met a simple coffee brista who made me feel wow, he truly cares for the customers. I was at Maxims, Kailash Colony market, Delhi with one of my college buddies and we ordered a cold coffee and one had to see the way the barista was decorating the coffee with patience. He took so much time and effort making some beautiful art on the top of the coffee. I could see him completely engrossed. And then after serving the coffee he asked us “Ma’am do you want me to make any change or are you happy”. And I felt so nice as It wasn’t some very hi-fi shop but a simple but yes famous pastry shop and now I know why ? Because it makes people feel WOW.
you can connect to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Isn’t gratitude the best way of living? Not only as a prayer, a way to be happy, see and feel positive in every situation but also to naturally cultivate the art of detachment because as you start counting your blessings and taking everything happening or not happening as a good thing done by the universe you somehow don’t feel anything when you don’t get something or something that you have is taken away…. everything is great and a blessing for you as you believe in the universe.
If you’re not high on life you’re not existing and it’s better to die..Life is all about highness,laughter and appreciating your existence and doing justice to the universe. Behave like a living being.
The best way of living is gratitude…….it’s magical
Never ever cling to a person. Just enjoy the moment and give love if the love is meant to be forever it will be or else enjoy the gift in the moment and be grateful. Clinging to a purpose is good and not at all harmful for the mind. It’s a superb blessing and a gift for the mind. Yes but never ever cling to the path chosen for the purpose of life just cling to the cause.
People change as we are dealing with the human minds, paths change as they are run by the changing minds but yes purpose remains the same though the calling is also found by a changing mind but still that’s the beauty of the true calling. Paths change but purpose never changes and it makes your life beautiful. People with a calling are the happiest people I have ever seen.
And yes our purpose journey also changes us so why be sad or have regrets when others change.
All are awesome in my eyes eunuchs, gays and lesbians. Great that’s what I also believe in..what’s wrong in being a gay or a lesbian..it’s all cool, good and your choice. everyone’s equal and they should also have freedom to do everything they love and never ever considered low. ALL HAVE THE POWER TO SHINE INFACT I THINK THEY HAVE MORE THAN US. THE DIFFERENCE IS NOT CREATED IN THEIR MIND BUT ITS CREATED IN OUR MIND (MIND OF THE SO CALLED NORMAL PEOPLE) . PLEASE STOP PASSING YOUR FEARS AND LIMITATIONS TO OTHERS…LET THEM LIVE AND RISE MORE THAN YOU.
BE PRO LOVE + FREEDOM. THAT’S MAKES IT TRUE AND EVER LASTING LOVE BECAUSE THEN THE TWO PEOPLE ARE BREATHING AND THEY BELIEVE IN EACHOTHERS BELIEF.
LIVE WITH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE.