How a non believer of Astrology ended up creating the biggest brand in the field of Astrology with AstroTalk?
Here is my story of founding AstroTalk:
I often come across this question from friends, “how come you into Astrology?” when they get to know about my current venture. And I love to tell them how it all began and how I started believing. Here is my story:
Back in 2015, I was working with an investment bank — BNP Paribas and was planning to startup. I was in touch with one of my school friends, who later went to IITD, and we were working on a Product Idea together and soon wanted to work on it full-time. Once the business plan was ready, we decided to quit our jobs and take the plunge.
I had quit by job with Nomura in 2013 to startup but struggled for an year and ended up losing all my savings and finally had to took up a job again to make ends meet. That fear was definitely running in my head and made me very anxious, when I was typing the resignation letter, yet again. I remembered the days when I was left with no money and was getting rejected from every company because of 1 year gap in my overall career of 2.5 years and how difficult it was to get through BNP.
As I was merely starring at the send button of the resignation email, my collegue came over my desk and asked, “Is everything all right? You look lost.” I showed her my resignation letter and told her what was going in my head.
“Tell me your birth details, I ll tell you what to do,” she demanded.
“Like seriously! Do you think I believe in all this? padhe likhe ho ke aap andh vishwas faila rahe ho“, I mocked her.
“Are you done? now give me your details. You can ignore the prediction but let me try to help,” she told me and I gave the details and behaved like a junior, as we all have to do!
I went over to her desk as she opened by birth chart. After analyzing for 10 minutes, she told a few things about my past like I had a bad phase in 2013–2014 etc, which were actually true but all I could think was, how she was tricking me to make me fall for Astrology. I thought of arguing by saying that it was a very generic statement and anyone could guess it but I could not dare to speak against her again, so I kept listening.
She told me that I could quit and startup as the next 2 years from then, looked very promising for business. Then she took a pause and said that my partner might leave after 2 years from then and I would face a lot of issues in sustaining the business and it might take me an year to pivot to a new venture and things will be awesome again. Then she advised me to stay in IT business only and told me to do anything I wanted but it should be powered by technology as my planets are supporting it.
“So, what are you waiting for? Send the resignation email,” she said and smiled.
“First tell me more,” I requested, although I had sent the resignation letter before coming to her desk. There is something about Astrology that it is very addictive, it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not but once someone starts telling you about your future, it is very fascinating and you want to know a lot more. She started explaining how Saturn and Rahu in my chart would support technology and a lot of other things.
After that I served my Notice and came to Noida and started an IT service company named CodeYeti in April 2015. We managed to scale up very quickly to 45 resources, serving about 15–20 clients at a time and clocking a revenue of $0.5 million in the first year. Below is the pic from the first year anniversary of CodeYeti:
Things were going well and we started working for big enterprises like Yamaha, GreenPly along with startups. However, after 1.5 years, my co-founder told me that he is not happy with the services business and want to start a product, as services seemed to be a thankless job to him. And I could totally agree with him and we started investing a lot of our time into research and launched a few new products, but nothing was worked out other than services. So, he finally decided to quit and do something else as services business was too lucrative to sideline and focus on other products.
That’s when I recalled what my collegue had told me and I remembered telling her that I might struggle again after that. So, I called her after a gap of 2 years and told her that her prediction actually came true. And there was no way it was a generic prediction as she told me that my partner would leave after 2 years, even before starting the business.
When I called her, she first congratulated me for the success of CodeYeti as she was connected through facebook. But when I told her about the departure of my co-founder, she was feeling sad but I could sense some happiness in her voice too, as her prediction came 100% true.
“Do you want me to check your chart again?,” she enquired.
I paused for a moment and proposed an idea, “How about I start a product in the field of Astrology and I become your first customer on it?”
Then she paused for a few minutes and said, “hmmm… Although, I had quit my job, 4 months back, for personal reasons and have a lot of time these days, but I won’t be able to work on it very actively, so you will have to find more astrologers. I can connect you with a few from my network”
“Yes Yes!! you can work whenever you have time and you can interview other astrologers and we will keep hiring more. You can become their mentor and take care of the department of Astrologers”, I said in excitement.
“So, when are we going live?”, she straightaway asked for a deadline, the way she did back at BNP. Some people never change
I worked on developing the product and launched an MVP (minimum viable product) of AstroTalk within a month and assigned a dedicated tech & operations team to it.
And then I called her as a customer and asked, “How would AstroTalk do?”
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Within an year, AstroTalk has more than 250,000 customers all over the globe and has more than 100 qualified Astrologers on its panel. Each Astrologer goes through multiple level of interviews and training before getting a live profile. AstroTalk is known for its customer service and the accuracy of predictions. It is the best rated Android Applications on playstore in this industry. Currently, it is providing the following services:
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