The Inspiring Story of Abhay Deshpande: How a CEO Made a Successful Exit Inspite of Every VC Turning Him Down!
As part of the continuing series of ‘StartUp Summits’ that I’m privileged to host across multiple cities in association with IAMAI & Google, I came across one speaker that caught my attention. At the Hyderabad edition, Abhay Deshpande, the founder CEO of MartJack, spoke about his entrepreneurial journey.
Quite honestly, until then I hadn’t heard either of the company or its founder. Few things that immediately caught my attention even before Abhay stepped on the stage. He had successfully sold his company and in his own words for “a significantly sizeable amount”. Now, that’s an important credential. An entrepreneur who has made good money. People were now ready to hear his story.
Abhay spoke less about his successful exit but more about his struggles as an entpreneur and his leader. He has this amazing down-to-the-ground attitude that makes him very endearing to the audience. The one story that still stays fresh in my mind is that huge dissappointment he faced when a large Ecommerce company (am guessing Amazon) pulled out of a US$50 Million buyout at the last minute. He was saying that many of the staff were eagerly awaiting the bounty and even started to scout for fancy apartments and cars to buy. But went the deal failed, there was huge dissappointment and the morale was low. He spoke about how as a leader one should shirk aside the loss and put on a brave face because everybody else looks upto the leader.
Abhay was also very candid in telling how he miserably failed raisng money from the VCs but raised US$7 Million seed capital from over 85 small investors. He proudly said that every single one of them made good money in the end.
Over lunch, I asked him about his future plans. His reply was to soak in the victory. The last 12 years was only about struggle and hardwork and he said he was particularly guilty of not taking his family out on a vacation. That’s on top of his priority.
Thank you, Abhay, for inspiring a whole new generation of entrepreneurs.
Sue Knight is an International NLP Trainer, Business Consultant, speaker and a author. Her best-selling book ‘NLP at Work’ sold over 100,00 copies worldwide. She runs open programmes leading to certification in NLP in the UK, France, India and Australia. In this podcast, I ask her questions on why and how NLP is relevant to us.
Sign at the Kolkata Airport.
On the SpiceJet flight SG622 from Kolkatta to Chennai on the evening of August 24th, I witnessed something remarkable.
I was absorbed in reading a magazine when suddenly, I saw an air-hostess run across the aisle. Then very quickly, I saw all the 6 air-hostesses rush to a passenger about 10 rows in front of me. The gentleman had severe shivering and could not even speak. So bad was the shivering that it looked like he was having a uncontrollable fit.
The air-hostesses quickly swung into action. While one of the air-hostesses closed the air vents, the other quickly collected their own uniform jackets and covered the shivering passenger. One went on to phone the pilots in the cockpit and update them on the emergency situation. One other air-hostess, made a public announcement asking if any of the passengers were a doctor. There was a doctor on board and he quickly swung into action. Two other air-hostesses got him a bottle of water to drink and did cold towel treatment to this forehead.
The crew raised the in-cabin temperature to a level that there was practically no chillness. It started to get a little uncomfortable but not a single passenger complained.
The crew messaged the on-ground staff and arranged for medical staff to be ready. They picked up the contact number of his brother in Chennai and phoned him in advance to tell him of his condition.
I will never forger how alert and sincere all the 6 air-hostesses were. After the plane landed, many of the passengers as they were disembarking showed their appreciation to the crew.