To the man whom Bill Gates paid a surprise visit

bill gates

By Sahiba Sethi and Kumar Tanmay

The world doesn’t stops to amaze us because there are beautiful human beings around us. If it was Dharamveer last time, today it is Abhishek Sinha, CoFounder, Eko who shared his precious time and invaluable experience with us. It was a long desire to meet him in person for the lives he has impacted at the bottom of the pyramid. The curiosity and desire to meet him reached its zenith when we learnt about Bill Gates surprisingly visiting Eko’s office few years ago! Today we were fortunate enough to meet the three guys we have heard about at Eko – Abhishek, Abhinav and Anupam Varghese.

Tanmay recognised Anupam Varghese, who heads Technology at Eko, almost after 6 years at the entrance. He had first heard about Eko through Anupam because of the faith he had then in bringing banking solutions to the poor. We couldn’t have been greeted better if it was not he – he dropped us to the lift leading to the office and he wasn’t heading to the office then. We were humbled because we were mere strangers.

Before we head into Eko’s beautiful office, we see the picture of the man who is on a mission to improves lives of poor across the globe with the entire Eko team – Mr Bill Gates. You cannot ignore it! Abhinav Sinha, Cofounder was courteous enough to greet us at the entrance just as any guest would visit his home.

And then entered the one whom we had been waiting to meet for years – Abhishek Sinha, who gave us an appointment to meet at short notice. The serenity on his face leaves you speechless. We had a small conversation over the phone last morning and later he showered his praise upon us. I don’t know for what, I couldn’t believe it. But when he spoke the same words looking into our eyes today, we understood we are somewhere doing something right.

Abhishek is a very humble, helpful and courteous human being. We were really amazed with the way he makes a person feel good and important. According to him the following things should be kept in the mind before starting up –

  1. There should be a free trade zone – Don’t do your first business interfering/ partnering to change government regulations.
  2. Technology – Use it to the fullest. Think of processes where fewer people and paper is used.
  3. Rapid scale – Cash burn is light and scalability should be viral, it should have a network effect.
  4. Mobile first business like Whatsapp – Don’t do business with a particular niche, do it with the masses. 
  5. Most important of all –  Daily watch Guy Kawasaki’s video on Art of Start.

He said that you should never over think about an idea, just go and talk to the paying customers and understand the problem, dig deeper into the problem. I remember Abhinav and I doing two night-outs and writing 30-35 ideas, then selected one and working on that. Success is about persistence and perseverance, for some it comes early and for some it might take time. But if you have jumped off the cliff then you’re bound to succeed today or tomorrow. Just stick to it. You learn from other peoples mistake and your own failures, try and learn more from others mistakes, don’t do what wrong I did, never ever repeat a mistake.

At the end of our conversation, we observed a common behaviour at Eko. If Anupam had dropped us to the lift directing to their office, Abhinav greeted us at the entrance. At the end of our conversation and to our utter surprise Abhishek, the CEO saw us off till the lift and we were again speechless because we have never been shown such an immense respect. I don’t have words to describe it but I came across a company made of beautiful human beings.

Last but not the least, we were gifted a book “Startup Sutra”. Our happiness has no boundaries today. It’s just the beginning, we will keep sharing the experiences of fantastic people we have met and are meeting in our journey.

P.S: Abhishek, Abhinav and Tanmay are alma maters of BIT, Mesra.

startup sutra


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