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.