INSIGHTS OF A CONTRACTOR – DILEMMAS OF A ENTREPRENEUR

Posted by Pranav Gupta
November 17, 2017

Self-Published

Hi Guys , this is Pranav Gupta and today I am going to share some of my experiences of entrepreneurial journey right from  the days of Engineering uptill now.

I am BE (Elect) and during my college days , I always wanted to do something of my own. I was pretty sure that I have to do business no matter what. I think now a days most of the engineering students want to setup something of their own. The questions are same for all the aspiring entrepreneurs ie. What to do !! And if we find answer of What to do , then multiple shots of question arises viz. How to do it , Where to do it, When to do it, Source of Funding and so on. I will try to answer all these questions by sharing my example of entrepreneurial journey.

  1. WHERE TO DO: I passed out of Engineering in the year 2006 . Right from the year 2002 to 2004 I could not find the answer of What to do. I started doing Network Marketing( Like Amway) in 2004 with one of my closest School time friend named Vikrant who happens to be my Classmate in Engineering also. Together we did some good business and I earned handsome amount out of that. But on fine morning Vikrant met with an accident in Bikram Chowk area in Jammu and he got expired with in 2 days after being hospitalised. After the death of Vikrant , our network marketing comes to an end. In the final semester I was interviewed by two IT companies but was not selected. Parallely I was preparing for CAT 2006 as I thought that for doing business , I should attain some Business Administration skills. I got respectable score in CAT and eventually after getting calls from 7 prestigious institutes of India and after being dejected in interviews , finally I landed at IMT Nagpur for an MBA Program of 2 years. ” ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING JUST TO FIND ANSWER TO ONE SINGLE QUESTION ie. WHAT TO DO ” . Anyways MBA was excessively awsome experience which I will be covering in next article. There too I along with my group made innumerous plans of What can be done. To name a few friends who later started their own business are Sangeet Jain, Ashish Mishra , Brajesh Sahoo, Atul Jain. Two years passed by and without making any concrete plan everybody got a campus placement and fell prey to the rat race of corporate world. I landed up in Chennai as I got selected with The New Indian Express Newspaper as Strategist Corporate Marketing. I was very excited with the name of my profile as it seems so very important and only suits to Intelligentsia but this is what happens in corporate “Haathi ke Daant Dikhane ke kuch aur Khane ke kuch aur”. I worked in Chennai for 9 months and my frustration was increasing day by day. I called my MBA friend and we planned to go to Goa for a break . After the Goa trip I gained some energy and confidence and instantaneously   quitted my job. Still I did not find the answer of my question of What to Do . But I found the answer of another questions ie. WHERE TO DO IT. And the answer was JAMMU.
  2. WHAT TO DO: After landing in Jammu I faced some criticism for quitting my Job but it dint affect me because my family supported me especially my Brother who is more than a Father to me. I made up my mind that I would do something in Power Sector ( Being Electrical Engg and MBA). After extensive study the scenario of power sector of J&K which was in shambles , I decided to open a company which will be dealing with turnkey projects in power sector viz. Transmission Lines, Substations, Low tension, High Tension, Internal Electrification etc. Ah ! All this was happening in the year 2010 with so much of enthusiasm and energy in me. Now here comes the sad part of the story , we have no business , no orders , no clients. I realised that 90% of the business comes from the Govt sector and there is hardly any business in Pvt Sector. I struggled a lot but to no avail. We dint find even a single Govt Order till 2013. In between I started doing some civil works like Transmission tower foundations in Akhnoor area thats too from a Pvt MNC named KEC International Ltd. in 2011. That time I was literally low in my life as sometimes I have to work like as if I am a labouer. I was named as “ CONTRACTOR which was a kind of shock for me as in the process of opening a fine Electrical Project Management Company , I landed of being a Contractor and in Jammu this term is not taken in nice connotation” . I also took a small BSNL Project from where I again got the job opportunity of working as a project Manager of a Hyderabad based company which was launching wimax broadband services in Jammu. I heaped a sigh of relief after getting the job and things started settling down. But I did not losse hope and continuously struggled for creating a market space for my self. I again quitted my job in 2014 or you can say my project was over . But this time I was in more vigour as we got some good Railway and CPWD Projects . Now its 2017 and we never looked back and keep growing as a Professional Company with average turnover of 3 crs.
  3. SOURCE OF FUNDING: Initially I took Rs 2 Lacs from my mother and 50 k from my sisters. They financially supported me but this was not enough. My brother was always very positive about my venture and he supported me both emotionally and financially in a way. But the ultimate rescue comes with Bank (J&K) which supports us endlessly. We took OD Limits and PG Limits from Bank at Nominal rate of interest. Ours is a Capital Intensive business and I tried talking to Venture Capitalist, Angel Investors etc. But these people are much more interested in Start up having a practical and feasible idea. So our major source of funding was J&K Bank.
  4. WHEN TO DO: In our case , there was no right time for start. But it does not mean that you should not consider it as important factor. It depends on type of start up and the market it wants to operate and macro industrial parameters in general.

Any type of emotional support is very important for any start up. I know that startup journey is not easy at all . I would say it is the most difficult as sometimes we are doing business in Grey area and the times ahead , we have no knowledge about. But it doesn’t mean that we should get disheartened. It is your attitude that what matters. You should always say once in a day that ” YES I CAN DO IT”.

Best of Luck Folks

Pranav Gupta

Founder – M/s SNS Technologies – Project Management Consultants and Contractors

Founder – Cahoots66 – Ist Coworking Space in Jammu

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