Generally, people do not have the nerve to handle failure in a business or any other aspect of their career, let alone failing for three-four consecutive professions. But one man by the name Bharat Bylappa did not give up despite repeated failure in various endeavors and is now running his business successfully.
Born and schooled in Bangalore, Bharat joined Al-Ameen Management college, Bangalore, for his graduation but couldn’t complete it. He was denied hall ticket to appear for his final year exams because of short attendance. He had missed few classes because of his business commitments.
Since childhood, Bharat always had passion towards doing something on his own. When he was in school he used to earn pocket money by out sousing chocolate wrapping work to housewives in the neighborhood. In school summer holidays, he used to work in nearby manufacturing companies doing low-level jobs, from where he gained knowledge about manufacturing sector and also observed how people managed business at different levels.
Later in the college, he worked part time after his classes. More than earning money it was his passion and interest which pulled him towards such activities from a very young age. When he was in final year of graduation, Bharat, along with few friends, received a proposal to buy a company which was into sanitary wares business. The three friends pooled in some money and paid an advance to the seller, rest of the money was supposed to be given after the production, training, and knowledge transfer.
“One fine day, our venture of manufacturing sanitary wares started under the name Vinayaka Enterprises. We were thrilled and motivated for our new venture. Problems started as the days passed. My other two friends, who were also the partners for the venture, did not participate actively in the day-to-day activities as distributed. Gradually, they completely stopped coming to the factory, but the tag of partnership continued. Finally procurement, production, sales, and responsibility of payment collection came on my head. Those days, I did not mind doing everything, but later I realized that it is not the right way of doing business. Sanitary wares business is a credit market business and due to my poor financial background I was not able to sustain the credit period hence I decided to close it.”
After the sanitary business failure Bharat was left with two choices – either to quit business entirely or to start a new venture. He chose the latter and formed Qualiband Solutions Pvt Ltd, a computer education company. Along with few friends, he took a franchise from Tata Infotech Education. He was a minor partner since he had invested very less money compared to other partners but Bharat was chosen to operate the business and rest all were sleeping partners as they had their own businesses. It became one of the most preferred companies in computer education domain in a very short period.
As the revenue generation started, the partners’ mindset started changing and they started questioning on his investment and authority in the business. In board, it was decided that he had to give on his bank-signing authority to the other director whose investment was more than his. He did not resist and accepted the deal thereby continuing his focus on the business. Since the business was well-established, a few of the partners wanted to hire a manager and run the business and asked Bharat to resign so that his control on the business automatically becomes nil.
This came to him as a big blow because he had put his heart and soul into this business and for him this was the only earning to support his family as his dad had retired from his service and his elder brother had lost his job. When he got to know that it was a well-planned plot against him from the partners, he called it quits and didn’t even take his investment back.
Later, he started a new company in education and placement consultancy. But that did not last for long due to market crash because of Y2K problem.
“The above incident had a huge impact on my life and I was clueless about my next step. My loans started growing big and people at home started worrying about my future. I had great difficulties in managing the family expenses. At the same time, I didn’t want to add to my parent’s worries since my elder brother had already had lost his job due to government’s policy. A friend suggested me to join some organisation and get real-time experience on operating business with a process. Though I did not want to give up on my entrepreneur journey, but because of back to back failures in business ventures and financial pressure on personal front, I agreed to my friend’s suggestion and took up a job in a Delhi-based recruitment company. Rather than quitting, I decided to explore a new learning path and revisit my dream with the fresh prospective,” Bharat told KenFolios.
His first job gave him financial stability, mental peace, lots of learning, and a beautiful life partner. “Even though I had taken up employment, the spirit of an entrepreneur was always alive within me and I proudly say that I never gave up my entrepreneur qualities even as a employee because of which I was very successful and quickly moved up the ladder and became head of the organisation.”
One fine day, he expressed the business interest to his wife, where she not only agreed to it but also gave him an assurance to support family from her earnings.
In the year 2007, Bharat decided to restart his entrepreneurship journey. He started Bharat Head Hunters (Formerly Setuve Staffing Solutions) from home by taking a computer on rent. This endeavor was a hit and it soon started generating revenue on its own.
“My wife funded me Rs 10,000 for initial setup where we bought couple of mobile phones, internet connection, stationery etc. Since, we did not had enough money to buy computer, we decided to rent one. Very first month of our operation we received our first pay cheque of Rs 2,91,564 from one of our client which became our further investment, where we hired another employee and also bought our own computers. Very important point to be noted here is we made sure our overheads are always at the bottom and our revenues are invested back to the business. Otherwise, I have seen many companies diverting revenues for other activities (including personal) and then fail.”
This is not where his journey of entrepreneurship stopped. “My wife Kalavathy quit her corporate job and joined the business where we started a software services company called Tranway Technologies Pvt Ltd.”
His journey continued and now he has completed 10 successful years with many awards and rewards. His is now a 100 plus employee organization and revenue around Rs 60 million.
“My past experience has taught me how important reserve funds are for an organisation. If someone is not blessed with investment then he should create it by keeping the overheads low and investing back to the business. A penny saved is penny earned.”
“I believe, the employer should work as employee and the employees should be given ownership to drive the tasks.” Running a business takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. But at the end of the day, you should be building something you will be proud of. For me, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”
If it is a business where more than one partner/director involved make sure all the commitments from the partners are written and well-documented.
- Love what you do
- Follow your passion
- Stay focused
- Never listen to naysayers
- Invest back the revenue