Jammu & Kashmir- The heaven on earth! Well known as the winter place with a lot of famous temples & lakes, it is like a Kohinoor that is desired by several countries. But still the youth of this paradise state, that has recently started developing have a critical situation as they still don’t have the enough resources to fulfil their dreams and they have to leave their own land to fulfil their career endeavours.
Here is the story of a Jammu guy… Who had been born and brought up in J&K and had spent his most of the life in the streets of Jammu.
Ankush Gupta- A boy from Jammu
Ankush Gupta, Founder of ServicesMojo and Jammu Startup Community, had given an exclusive interview on his life story to Busy Sprinklers. When I asked him about Jammu & Kashmir and his childhood over there, he recollected good memory of him being a naughty guy in his childhood, who loved everything other than syllabus books.
He did his schooling from school Shiksha Niketan in Jammu and completed his engineering in Electronic & Communication from Ambala at Guru Nanak Institute of Technology. He was in 12th standard when his father passed away and all the responsibility came on his mother, still his mother was a strong lady who had a great contribution in his graduation. His mother used to run a small boutique and had few savings of Ankush’s father. The family had a bad time after the death of Ankush’s father, but still somehow things got back to normal with the time.
Ankush is a confident fellow and believes that hope need to be created by you and should be kept alive no matter what; he further adds that it takes time, but one needs to be positive. Up and downs will come & go but we need to take a stand and make the things happen.
Struggle before the Startup
When I asked him about what galvanized him into starting something of his own and taking a U-turn? Was his hard times a motivation? Or his dreams? On this he was perplexed and told that there is no such romantic story behind that and nothing happened suddenly, but he was confident enough that whatever he takes in his hand, he would do justice to that, so after his engineering he did his first job at an Consulting firm and after working over there for a 6 month span he hopped to an IT firm in December 2014 and then finally ended up in Bangalore with the Company, that was a reputed IT MNC.
So then how he ended up thinking on a startup after settling up in a good job? On this question he replied, at the back of my mind I had that, that still my old mother who also have few health issues is staying alone in J&K and he needed to look after her too, though she never had any complain of living alone in Jammu. But only getting emotional was not enough, as Jammu was not so developed economically, though it was a tourist destination but career wise, he was still in the second thought. So he started thinking of starting something and creating his own career resource rather than finding one in Jammu.
And his job experience & Bangalore life had been very helpful in understanding the market, economy, startups and all.
First Venture- ServicesMojo
In 2016, his journey towards his first venture: Services Mojo began, with his co-founder Ashish Bansal, who is his best buddy since college & supported him in his every ups & downs of his life. When I asked him, on what bases he chose his co-founder? Answering that very regardfully Ankush said that he is his alter ego and shares same interest, he is the one who always pushes him to excel, becoming his main support system.
Initially they started with a basic investment of around 10L, and Ankush believes that it takes every business to nurture by vitamin M and then it will give profits.
Right now Services mojo has more than ten thousand plus product and there are a lot of local vendors tied up with them. While answering about how will Services mojo stand in front of giant ecommerce chains like Flipkart & Amazon, with a chuckle Ankush told us that, there is no competition between them, they are the mobile market place and has different source market & target market. They want to create a platform, where people can get everything locally within 2 hours. Further he added that there is always a niche market for tier 2 & tier 3 cities and soon they were able to associate with local vendors by door to door marketing as well as some campaigning in digital marketing. Very soon Services Mojo is coming up with the professional services provider, they are working on the local professional service provider at their customers door step and many more things are on the way.
Birth of Jammu Startup Community- the first community for startups in Jammu
Meanwhile, Ankush had attended so many startups conferences, events & exhibitions that he had seen & realized that how well the metro cities’ youth are doing & their Jammu youths were still lacking that, then a motivation came to motivate & encourage entrepreneurship for the Jammu youth to start their own rather than leaving the state & going down to other states for the job.Which led him to build a community called “ JAMMU STARTUPS COMMUNITY”, which is the first community for startups in Jammu.
Ankush then recalls how initially his family was feeling that he has gone mad to leave a good packaged job & do business, but once he started doing well, started getting attention of people, featured in newspapers and was recognized from state government, his family started understanding his vision & mission.
Ankush vision is to develop the Jammu & Kashmir economically & making youths dwelling there, more powerful & self –reliant in their own country.
“When the hidden side of you gets unfolded you become capable of visiting some of the most beautiful destinations which were swinging in your dreams”
By Ankush Gupta