Interview with Amar Saurabh from Sugoi Labs
Reply – I completed my B.E. from BMS college of engineering in 2013. I come from a very small town in Bihar was a wannabe cricketer as a kid, played for my district cricket team as a bowling all-rounder, could not continue playing after joining college. I co-founded Sugoi Labs with my childhood friend Nayan Mittal.
I started ‘Counselling Master’ with three of my friends in 2010 – 1st year of my college, it was a portal to help and guide kids passing out school to choose an apt career path and a good college. It became popular among students in no time. But, it failed because of the team metrics and our immaturity to handle success.
Started an online blog ‘Wake India Now’ (wakeindianow.com) in 2nd year of college, with my brother, which was to create social awareness among online janta of India. Wakeindianow.com is still live.
In 3rd year of college , I with my three other friends from MIT , Started a cartoon series based on college life/humour, named ‘Apna Feelings’ on facebook (facebook.com/apnafeelings) which became quite popular among college students.
Got Sugoi Labs registered as a Pvt. Ltd company in 4th year of college, i.e. May 2013 But proper operations started from july,2013.
I have been associated with a lot of social causes and NGOs throughout my college life. Started ‘Change For One’ (changeforone.com) with Shikhar Gupta right after college – an NGO which caters to kids education in slums and orphanages throughout bangalore, and is helping 200+ kids in Bangalore currently.
Bio of other co-founder
Nayan Mittal completed his B.E. From MIT,manipal in 2013 . Being Marwari he has been keen on starting a business, which he self proclaims , right from his birth. He is a keen mobile app developer. Started developing for windows and blackberry while in college bagged a lot of prize and goodies from microsoft and blackberry. Worked on a learning management system with Byju’s classes , which inspired him to have his own tech start-up.
YEF – Why an entrepreneur, y not a high paying job?
Reply – We are born not to make a living, we are here to make a difference. And entrepreneurship has given me that opportunity to make a difference in me, in people around me and in the way things are being done.
YEF – What inspired you to start your own businesses?
Reply – Answer to this question partly lies in my previous answer.
Somehow, the idea of taking up 9 to 5 job in a MNC did not look lucrative enough. I was doing an internship with findyogi.com and my co-founder (Nayan Mittal) was developing an app for Byju’s classes as an intern. We liked the way these start-ups were built. You could feel all the the good things happening. The growth of the start-up could be felt, there was a lot of energy around, no strict rules. There was so much of learning involved. So, working in a start-up sounded cool to both of us.
YEF – What is your company into and what problem does it solve?
Reply – Sugoi Labs as was started in May 2013, was essentially a web development start-up providing supplementary services like social media marketing, SEO . Overtime, we have evolved ourseleves as a 360 degree digital media marketing company.
Apart from that we are currently working on a product for fitness industry where our target users will be gym and fitness studio owners and managers. This is a combination of cloud and tablet app. We already have a prototype ready , after we have the tablet part of application ready , we will launch it in the market. We are working with a couple of gyms in bangalore to give it a proper shape which covers their pain-point. (We have not been able to come-up with a name for this product as of yet). This product will help the users manage their fitness arenas better, but it also gives the gym-goers a complete analysis of their fitness level, improvement in their various fitness parameters in very easy to understand pictorial representations.
So, we are helping small and medium sized businesses grow their businesses without burning ahole in their pockets and trying to make fitness centres in and around us technologically equipped which in turn increases their efficiency and productivity for their members.
YEF – How did the idea for your company come about?
Reply – We came up with this idea of having a web development start-up based in Bihar, as there are not many players in the market But, after a market survey, we were disappointed to know that the internet infrastructure is not good enough for people to have an online social life. Then we randomly visited a few businesses in bangalore and found out that there is a need of some reliable solution and service for the simple requirements like websites , social media management etc. hence was incorporated Sugoi Labs.
YEF – What is the pricing strategy and marketing strategy you have been using?
Reply – Pricing depends on number of labour hours we need to devote to a project. But, most of the times we go out of our way to make our clients happy.
We have a 3 member team for marketing our services. Which works towards lead generation. Our marketing strategy as such is very simple, make your current clients happy, they will refer you to many more people.
YEF – How’s the business going on and who are your key clients?
Reply -Business is going great ! We have 40+ clients as of today.
We are targetting very small and small sized businesses to help them utilise technology effectively.
YEF – What do you think are the most important factors that will make your company a success?
Reply -Having an awesome team which shares the same vision and goals that the company has.
More importantly, the team should love their work, passion , hard-work , inspiration , motivation can all die. But, love never dies. Love for ones work will give not just perserverance but also helps handles negativity that the hardtimes in a start-up can bring.
YEF – Who are your role models?
Reply-I have a lot of role-models. I want to learn from a lot of people. P M Mishra (my dad) for his ability to do sheer hard work and his perseverance. Steve Jobs for his vision, imagination and ability to sell . Richard Branson for his attitude .towards life. Alok ‘rodinhood’ Kejriwal for the way he conducts himself.
YEF – What words of advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
Reply-Before you start, make sure, you do a lot of soul searching and have a reason other than money to be an entrepreneur. If money is the only motivation you have, better not start. Something like money can motivate for few days, beyond that, all the pain you take will look worthless. if you don’t have a motivation beyond money you will soon start missing your daily TV series and latenight movies.
More importantly, youngsters should understand, Entrepreneurship is not about how you work, its a lifestyle choice.Its a way of leading life where passion for doing good work takes precedence above everything else .
YEF – What do you think about this initiative of Young Entreprennovators Forum ?
Reply-India needs a lot of entrepreneurs. This initiative of young Entreprennovators Forum does its bit to inspire a few young souls to take the plunge into entrepreneurship and make India a better place to live.
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