Mr. Tata Curse for Start up Ecosystem
It was March 2016, when I started my own venture which I was thinking from last 1 year to kick start, our product & services were unique in market & it is even not launched anywhere in world, so I was mentally prepared that at initial stage I will face lots of challenges as far as investors are concerns and since not having proper funding in hand we have to start with MVP and need to focus more on earning margins initially, however by doing so we were not allowing our self to launch our complete product too, keeping this thing in mind I started choosing those investors who are actually revolutionary in their thought & their investment criteria are more focused on team, & Idea, Like many other start ups we as a team made a list of investors and started giving them a probability ranking so Mr. Tata was on top for us as well, We read & heard lots in those days about him, even I seen all available videos on You tube of his interviews, which were explaining his investment criteria, we jumped on to this conclusion as he was more focused on building up things from India towards innovation it was our biggest stimuli to find his email address and share our pitch deck.
all mail ids available on internet were incorrect or were deleted, so we kept hunting for next 2 months & finally in June we got the correct one, so I have sent our pitch deck with clear purpose, It was not expected to get any reply to this mail from our side in first go, so I started dropping mails on regular intervals, this story continued for next 3 months when finally he replied me back as following
“Mr. ……. Currently I am out of office till next weekend, I will meet you once i join back, meanwhile I am assigning Mr. ……….. to establish contact with you for co-ordination for meeting”
When this mail came in my mail box I read it 100rd of time to confirm what does it mean, before replying back to Mr. assigned who was assigned by Mr. Tata with my contact details and asking him to share his number so that we can have quick communication…..
But This guy did not bother to reply back that mail, I waited for next 1 week considering that he might also be out of office meanwhile, after 1 week I wrote him back again for same on which I got reply to share our pitch deck for screening purpose however it was not matching Mr. Tata words but There was no sense of denying it at all so it has been sent, It was second week of Sept. now and Mr. Tata was back to office, so we started expecting revert from Mr. assigned to get in touch with him, we were equally curious & equally scared that what is going to happen on this meet, after 1 week I wrote back to Mr. assigned but he did not bother to revert as no direct number was available we were also not having any choice rather than waiting some more few days on which either he will revert us back or we will be in position of writing him back, after few days I wrote him again but again there was no reply from Mr. assigned, next day I thought to keep Mr. Tata in loop and wrote Mr. assigned again, one which he has sent me a standard reply that opportunity is shared with team and in investment process it take time at their end I should wait for next 2 weeks, He will surely close it & revert us back, again there was no answer to our first query on which this communication was established that Mr. Tata responded for a meeting & he has been assigned for same. My team was asking this question again and again to which i was not able to answer apart from saying lets wait, Mr. Tata is most reputed person of India with lots of respect he will surely keep his words, I have waited for next 2 weeks & started expecting reply from Mr. assigned but as usual there was no revert, I wrote him again in 3rd week to revert Mr. assigned did not respond, I re-wrote him after few days but response was same (NO response to mail) all mails were read as i was sending with return receipt option but none of them was getting replied, again I started keep Mr. Tata in CC to get reply but It was just looking like they are neglecting, & then I was 24th Oct. when bigger news came on News channel that Mr. Tata has joined as interim Chairman & it made us sure that we will not get any response unless they get new chairman, So we waited for next 3 months & kept focusing in on our MVP to meet our basic expenses, while doing so we were far away from our real vision and it started creating conflicts between Core team, we were on break even point for many start up achieving that is a big deal but us it was not enough because we were not able to open our wings toward our vision & without some angel investment it was not possible at all in month of Jan again Mr. tata was in news with announcement of new chairman of Tata Group, again we had a hope in my mind that now he will respond us back if written (Mean while i was sending mails to both Mr. Tata & Mr. Assigned on his birthdays, new year, diwali & so on) again there was no response, I started thinking what wrong I am doing by expecting a reply even with time line that whether we should wait for next 2 months or should try something else now, since neither they have rejected nor accepted, we were not able to decide what do with our current model shall we make plan B for going for loans or anything, I wrote Mr. Tata too for same by questioning that are we expecting more of just a mail reply from the person who was assigned to establish communication & he do not bother to reply even after 10 mails? nothing turned up at any one signed neither Mr. assigned Replied us back nor Mr. Tata, one day i decide to share imapct we are facing now & its been a very long time to wait 8 months even to get initial reply from their side to Mr. assigned & Mr. Tata on which he again sent us a standard reply that meeting with Mr. tata is not possible in coming week he will get back to us for same & what we have mentioned in our deck is our future planning & what we are doing right is not in their interest so they would like to review it once we scale up to that. My entire team of co-founder decided to move out from venture because their moral was low despite reaching on some profitability they were not able to get desired money as profit share & there was no hope of expansion too, with this speed & our maximum investor funnel also said No to us in soft manner with in 1–2 weeks we have approached them & we were happy with their decision because they have not kept us in lurch and always allowed us to move on with close end decision, Now after 1 year I was standing on same place from where I have started with a MVP model Product, Traction with out team to work
I had to make a new start from here need find new visionary Co-founders to work need to understand things done by my Co-founders in last 1 year to make it understand to new partner if luckily i get them, last but not least out of savings now to meet my own expenses including rent & daily food one, No one ready to lend personal amount because all know it will be not be a easy return for me in next few months at all
By Vision for bringing uniqueness from India just like Facebook/Instagram/twitter is too far away now, because I have a hungry stomach because after paying rent my account balance will be a BIG ZERO & i am not sure for next month as well, as team has gone so work is hampering which is directly impacting revenue in negative
I am not saying that Mr. Tata is solely responsible but thing could had been far better if he would had never made this commitment of meeting if he capable enough to keep his promise or our pitch deck was responded even negative with in a period of 1 month which is taken by laziest investor
It is very easy to come in public & talk big for people like Mr. Tata but it is way tuff to implement same in their own nature and to do the same, I was never afraid of getting rejected but I was i have never ever expected that so called Big angel for Indian Start up Eco system Mr. Tata will can do things like this, It was very easy for him to say No, & since we can not expect more from his side so what the hell Mr. assigned has done to build up communication? never shared his contact number, never replied to first mail sent to him It was just always like that I am shouting down the building to whom I was guided to meet by his company owner & that person was not ready to share office address even his floor
Reason for writing this article is not to defame anyone but to share the reality of Big gun Mr. Tata because I am sure I am not the only one who faced it their will thousands of fellow entrepreneurs I think multiple in numbers which get funding or meeting with Mr. Tata & they are more from their own contacts
Also I have not started my venture with base of Mr. Tata, I am ready to face even more extreme conditions, so please do not judge it on that front too, nothing can close down my venture unless it get successful but yes in what so ever situation I am Mr. Tata & his Mr. Assigned are equally responsible by not responding i could had managed things far better way if they would had rejected well in time to us
Its one go article written with emotion so if you find some grammatical or spell mistake please avoid