The current generation has become more diligent than the previous one. We have smart workers rather than hard workers, who can anticipate the business market lying ahead. Many startups have successfully sustained themselves in the market, with tonnes of new ones emerging each day. Not everyone has the ability to understand the booming market and fall into step with it.
However, there are a few people who, with their smartness and hard work, make their unique place. Today’s story is of Rewaj Chettri, CEO and founder of NE Taxi, who started the business when he was only in second year of college.
Born in Gangtok, Sikkim, in 1994, Rewaj is a graduate in forestry from the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, Arunachal Pradesh. His late father was a poultry farmer and mother a housewife.
“I started NE Taxi when I was in second year of college and it was more of a challenge initially. I started with mere Rs 300 to buy a domain name and got a free shared hosting to start the business. From the very first day, I knew where I wanted to see my company, and worked accordingly. I started NE Taxi in the year 2013. I finally developed and launch the application August 15, 2017.”
Rewaj’s persistence and vision was very strong. However, he had to face many challenges in his journey, which infused the thoughts of quitting in him. People in the North-East did not believe in the idea of having a car rental company. The wave of travel agents in the city made him doubt his decision of starting NE Taxi. But Rewaj did not give up.
The table turned for him last year when he hired Geet Gera (currently Head of Sales) on board. The business eventually started to pick up and Rewaj bagged The Entrepreneur 2016 by YLC, getting cash prize of Rs 5,00,000 for his business plan. He invested all the money in application development. From that time, there was no looking back.
“I grew up in Gangtok. My vision was to solve the logistics problem in Sikkim. People faced numerous problems while travelling. When I was studying in Arunachal Pradesh, the only way to travel was from buses, which came from Guwahati. One day, I got an idea of using luxury vehicles for transportation in my region and that is how our journey began. I am still standing with the same goal- improving transportation in the region.”
The business model from day one was based on commission. Rewaj started with just Rs 300 four years back. He used to put all the income back in the business and still does that. Currently, there are five members in his core team and he employs 26 people in five branches. NE Taxi has an yearly turnover of around Rs 90 lakh.
“I believe in providing quality service to all my clients and invest on my team and their work. We currently have five branches: Gangtok, Darjeeling, Tawang, Guwahati and Shillong. We are based out of Gangtok, in Sikkim.”
When Rewaj started with his project, he was optimistic about his goal and believed that he will attain success one day. However, his path was not easy. There were million reasons for him to quit but one thing that kept him going was his faith in his vision. “Stick to your vision and principle and rest will all fall into place with time,” he concludes.