From dropping magazines door to door across the Ludhiana Logistics belt and offices in Mumbai and Bangalore when Brokers Bazaar & Taqniq were looking for associations, to sitting on 2500 feet prime office space with amazing co-founders, Vikesh Kumar Kataria’s startup life has been full of ups and downs.
A seasoned entrepreneur who never backs down, he met multiple failures with grace before finally hitting all the right buttons, first with Taqniq, and now Brokers Bazaar. In an exclusive interview with DKODING Media, Vikesh Kumar Kataria, entrepreneur and industry thought leader, talks about his journey and learnings gathered along the way.
Please tell us in brief about your entrepreneurial journey. What keeps you going?
After a decade of professional success, albeit in desk jobs, as a risk manager, I ventured into uncharted territories with a Logistics Magazine with stock market data to explain the sector. Gradually I raised my voice in the industry, demanding a change – a move towards an established regularity environment for logistics and the transport sector – to address real problems, fraud, and irregularity in this industry. Unfortunately, the usual co-founder issues arose. From east to west and north to south, I tried everything to make the venture successful but couldn’t survive due to funding problems and admittedly a lack of experience in the domain.
With my next two ventures, i.e. Brokers Bazaar and Taqniq, I faced many hardships — from a lack of funds and the inability to find a co-founder with tech expertise — until I met my two co-founders who are reliable, well-versed in BTL, POSM and merchandising advertising industry.
In essence, my startup life has taken a new turn. Currently, Brokers Bazaar is still digging its way, much behind Taqniq. However, I am now teamed with the right co-founders, who are fulfilling market demand and supporting the venture as they would their own child.
As a seasoned entrepreneur, what learnings have you picked up on the way?
I like innovations that create problem-solving products, which is the ethos behind the Brokers Bazaar Portal, which is accessed by investors across globe and Taqniq, a building platform which focuses on bringing innovative products to the market at a lesser price than usually available.
For any entrepreneur beginning the startup journey, it is vital to spend less and be more productive. I lost almost all my life’s savings and investments while working as an entrepreneur, learning it the hard way. The next crucial aspect is to hire people who come across as trustworthy. As Warren Buffet said, “Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.” So, be prepared to be ditched by employees, and near ones. Tackle with your innovative thoughts and always be positive.
For any entrepreneur starting the startup journey, it is vital to spend less and be more productive.Vikesh Kumar Kataria, Founder and CEO, Taqniq and BrokersBazaar
Regular updates to your customer is the mantra of achieving your goal. Your follow-ups get you sales. Always keep in touch with your customer. Make them feel that you listen. Once they believe in you, capturing the market becomes much easier. Finally, when troubles come, be patient and don’t lose hope. That’s the only way to sustain in the market.
What kind of challenges did you face due to the pandemic? What was to approach to overcome them?
Taqniq brought forth a lot of solutions in the essentials category to the market during the lockdown — from face shields and masks to many other protection related products. We ensured our customers could access innovative solutions sitting in their homes during the lockdown.
On the other hand, Brokers Bazaar saw an uptick in the number of people investing from home via the portal. In the near future, Brokers Bazaar has an immense opportunity to capture the market. The Indian Stock Market saw more than 2 million new active clients within 2 months of the pandemic. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The market is in the red right now but that’s where the real opportunity lies. It’s like a dam holding gallons of water and about to break. So, what remains is placing ourselves in the right place to catch the maximum profit.
In the current crisis, what is your advice to entrepreneurs struggling to keep their ventures alive?
My first advice to entrepreneurs is to turn the crisis into opportunity. Stay healthy and keep serving the Indian startup ecosystem. India has the potential to consume more and be a much bigger market than we think.
For the foreseeable future, don’t overspend and don’t overstress. If you have less, deal with it.
Make use of your time to brush up your knowledge base. Read, learn and then earn. All big players have the reading habit.
Dream big, think bigger. Ideas are no one’s monopoly.
Last but not the least, many companies are venturing into India. Start giving solutions to the ones who need.