The 300 Words that changed my life

We write everyday. Sometimes at the back of our hands, sometimes on a sheet of paper, on our laptops and so on. Some words just end up being words, passing thoughts that you don’t ever think about again. But some, can change the direction of your life altogether.

It was November 26, 2011, I had just come back to my abode after another day in the sun. There had not been anything special about the day. I had, like any other day, been asking retailers(in rural Karnataka) why they don’t push V company’s SIM cards instead of A company’s. The answers varied but my counters generally didn’t. The next day was not going to be any different either.

I had stopped at a local restaurant on the way and had treated myself to some Pao-Bhaji, which had become a daily affair of sorts. Because of the business I was giving them, the young couple running the restaurant had become friends of sorts & would often seek my opinion on what changes they could make to the menu or the ambiance. The eternal optimist in me was already thinking of a fruitful career as a restaurant consultant. Though I didn’t know the difference between “fry” & “stir-fry”!

As usual, one of the first things I did after returning home was open IIMJOBS & look for jobs that “excited” me. In the past few days, I had ended up applying to consulting, PR, publishing & what not in the search for that excitement. That day was a bit different. I saw an opening that read “Entrepreneur in Residence-Restaurants” & I opened it & I read something that did sound different from everything else. I felt my restaurant consulting dreams were getting wings — I guess that thought must have occurred.

And I ended up writing those 300 words I am talking about.

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Hi Jaydeep

My name is Adarsh Sharma and I am 2011 passout from IIM Indore. I have been working with Vodafone for the past 6 months. So, although I have only six months of work experience against one year which seems to be the minimum requirement from your post, I think I have everything else that you seem to be looking for.

I have never have had anything to do with restaurants but I love my Paranthas & Lassi. Having always been an extrovert who loves being involved in extra curricular activities-be it sports or be it college festivals, I have preferred the outdoors rather than being caged in the interiors.

In the last six months, I have realised that the big corporate world doesn’t seem to be the place where I want to be. I would prefer being a big fish in a small pond rather than the opposite. Despite that, I believe in doing the best in whatever I am involved and my performance in Vodafone speaks for it. I have already been recognized by the Karnataka Circle CEO for exceptional performance in distribution parameters.

From the time I appeared for my MBA interviews, I have been telling myself and the world that I want to be an entrepreneur. But I was always confused about where to venture. Off late, I have narrowed down Retail & Hospitality as the fields I would want to be in. Since what you are offering is in line with my long term career ambition, I think I will thrive in the set up and be able to outdo myself.

Hoping to be a small part in the FAASOS growth story.

With Warm Regards

Adarsh Sharma

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After a telephonic round of interview, I landed up at Faasos’ 5th floor office at Marol Naka, Mumbai for a face to face round towards the end of December. And I was the only one(I was later told) out of the 30 odd called for the interview who decided to wear a Black suit to the interview & it nearly got me disqualified. Seriously, Who wears a suit to a startup interview? Thank God they didn’t judge me.

Come February 1, 2012 I was sitting in the same office, now as an FER.

I still remember one of the first things Jaydeep said to me(& the others), “If you leave Faasos to start something of your own, I will be the happiest person in the world! If you go back to a corporate job, not so much!”

It’s close to 5 years since I first wrote that email. I have since moved on from Faasos, worked at a couple of other startups before starting up on my own. Faasos, too, has changed a lot — having pivoted from being a restaurant chain to a one of India’s biggest food tech brands.

2011 was still not the time when start ups were cool. I remember having to explain to my mom that I had not decided to be a cook! But looking at how things have shaped up, I don’t think I will change a thing!

But I often wonder — What if I had not written that mail, or had not written it well? Would I still be selling SIM cards? or maybe working as a consultant somewhere? Or would I eventually have landed up in the startup-osphere?

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