The Startup Story
The Startup Story
Amrish travelled the 8:40 local train to Parel. His heart drummed against his chest and the loud hymns of the ‘dibbewala’ resonated with his pounding. Every jerk made his head throb. He sweated not because of the heat, for the place he came from was hotter than Mumbai, but because of the apprehension of what new lesson the Doctor would device. There was no denying Amrish had learnt more in the past month than his entire life, but the pressure was unsurmountable. His mentor, Dr. Shastri was a strange man. He had been a CEO and after a legal case, became a consultant. Spiteful and morose.
Amrish wanted to form a new business, a startup as the jargon goes, and was delighted when the doctor agreed to mentor him. He had an idea where he would help people switch their everyday energy usage to solar based energy. It was a pretty idea if you considered the environmentalist but the government policies and regulations for the trade of electricity was a massive snag. Amrish wanted to highlight the green energy benefit to the public such that everyone supported the idea “...and that’s when I launch my startup” he had said to Ananya while the couple discussed their future over dinner at the Olympia cafe. Amrish had invested all his savings to form a new company in Bangalore with a Canadian partner the Doctor had introduced. He now meticulously ran a campaign to aware people of solar energy.
“I don’t get it. Why don’t you need just leave the Doctor if he humiliates you so?” Ananya had said with a scratch of metal over ceramic as she scraped a piece of chicken into her mouth.
“I can’t. He has the experience of running a business enterprise.”
“You have started your ‘business’, haven’t you?”
“Yeah but he got me the investment. And it will look bad if I leave him after I’ve used him”
She had suddenly put her fork and spoon down in the plate and looked at Amrish with those beautiful eyes.
“Amrish, let’s get married!”
“I...I... are you serious? I’m going to quit my job in a month. This Banglore company has used up all my savings and...”. She had cut across with a grin “It doesn’t matter. I’ve faith in you. Let’s get married!” Her smile was worth more than a thousand splendid roses.
Amrish had gulped and nodded. He had inched his hands over the table and Ananya had sized it close to her heart.
A big fat Indian wedding had ensued and the unceasing dance, the never ending food, the extensive rituals were observed.
After eleven days, Amrish had returned to work.
The drizzle matured into a heavy rain and splashed over the glass windows. The wind howled and the rain rattled the glass panes of the twentieth story office of Ree entertainment limited company. Armish looked over his desk longingly at the wet rain. He loved the rains. He thought them to be God’s own rock and roll band. The instant his face stretched into a smile, his stomach gave a mighty jerk right behind the navel and his face fell. The doctor was on his way.
Dr. Shashtri did not tolerate mistakes. Not one bit. He might seem friendly and charming for the newly inducted, but give him a week and he’ll breath down your necks to get his work done the way he wanted, professional and perfect. He criticised Amrish in manners that were considered bullying by most. He would throw away his reports, rip his presentations into pieces, scorn over him in front of everyone and write offensive e-mails about him to his seniors.
It was eleven ‘o’ clock when his phone rang.
“Hello! Yes dad... mom collapsed? Where? Cancer? Stage four? Ok... ok... radiation and chemotherapy! Ok.”
Amrish put the mobile phone in his pocket and walked out of the office to the smoking zone. He pulled out a Wills Navy Cut cigarette and lit it with a pocket lighter. His hands were shaking. He took a deep puff of the cigarette and chokes on the excess smoke. Eyes watering, he pulled out his mobile phone And called Ananya.
Ananya took the news rather well. She calmly called him back home to their one bedroom apartment.
As soon as Amrish put the phone down, it rang again. He had been transferred to Bihar with a promotion. His boss was ecstatic and wanted him to leave immediately. Amrish slowly walked back to his desk. The doctor was waiting in ambush. As soon as he stepped back in, the Doctor pounced on him like a predator. “Why haven’t you fixed my meeting with your boss yet? You do not understand the subtle politics and planning do you? Everything is either black or white for you! You think there are no baby steps involved?”
“I would need my money back from the Bangalore venture, Doctor. The investor you introduced me to is not paying up even for the office rent. My deposits in the bank are at stake” Amrish said dryly.
“That’s not my lookout. You should have assessed him before partnering”
This last bullet cracked his armour.
He shoved his laptop computer down on the office floor and hurried out of the office leaving behind a fuming Doctor and a startled office staff.
That very day he resigned. He moved back to his city in a week and started Shaktisteller Energy Solutions. It has been three years since and his company is one of the prestigious startups of the city.