The idea of starting a venture of our own goes a long way back. It was in the second half of 2006 that we — Abhilash, Krishnan, Seena, Praveen, Aravind, Guru & Me — started discussing about doing some kind of fun stuff outside our day to day jobs. We didn’t know what it was. There were vague ideas. One of the brilliant ideas that Seena floated, was putting up kiosks at various places in Bengaluru, with typical Kerala food. A kiosk of Porridge (Kanji) and green gram (Cherupayar) right in the centre of Brigade road sounded like a ‘wow’ idea, but the logistics and risks were too much to bear. Kiosks of Kerala foods later turned into an outlet that will just sell good Malabar Biriyani. We even had a good name for it— ‘Firiyani’. Then Abhi had an idea of sending cricket scores to subscribers, which would be mostly IT professionals working in companies where sites like Cricinfo were blocked. Those were the days before Mobile Apps & Ammi’s Biriyani.
And thus we went on from one idea to another and but also moved on with our lives. We all got married, had kids, and some of us moved to distant parts of the world. The discussions too slowed down a bit. Any frustrations at work took us to our Facebook group, where we kept reminding each other about the fun outside the job. And then one day in September 2013, when all of us were here in India, we got together at Krishnan’s place to discuss what we wanted to do.
Or rather ‘Why we wanted to do’?
I do not completely recollect what others said, but I do remember what I replied to the above question which Krishnan put up.
I wanted to build a great product which I can show it to someone and tell them — “ Hey, I built that stuff ”.
That was my only reason. Till then I had been working on projects which are visible only to the customers. Nothing was out there in public domain. True, there was an espnfc.com in my previous organization, but the amount of work I did on it was minimal when compared to the entire site.
But even after that meeting nothing much happened. Ideas like growing Ayurvedic medicines, cinema review apps, market place for chefs all popped up and went away. And then one day Krishnan told us an idea about having a pool of top notch developers, who are available for top notch companies to recruit. I liked it instantly, but I definitely had my concerns and questions. Zuckerberg’s dormitory room project bore all the brunt of our discussions, and it handled it all well 😉 . Debates, discussions, arguments and counter arguments; after all those a decision was made and it was to move ahead with this idea.
At the start of this year Krishnan took the plunge. He quit ThoughtWorks. He was now talking to different people whom he considered as mentors. We understood how the recruitment space worked. He talked to potential customers and found out what they wanted. We saw traction in the idea, but still it was difficult for me to make up my mind.
So this June, I made up my mind to try it out, and put in my resignation at Beyond Bytes. There is an excitement out there waiting for me. And it will test me. All I know is I am going to give my level best. It may or may not succeed, but without trying I cannot say anything about it. Like the late Atul Chitnis’s most famous quote — “You aren’t remembered for doing what is expected of you” — I want to be remembered as someone who built a great product like GeekTrust.