Have you ever heard about a business that did not have the liberty to choose its own name? We think not. But it happened with a teenager in Northern India who was literally begging to strangers online to give him a free domain name because he did not have any money to purchase one. Today, the name has become a multi-million dollar global brand which has NASA and MTV as its client.
This is one-of-a-kind story of Varun Shoor who was geeky ever since a child. He liked to rip apart every electronic item he could get his hands on. His father gave him a spare computer in 1996 when he was a teenager. To learn more Varun used to visit Jalandhar’s only cyber cafe to look up the latest apps and download them. As he spent more time learning about technology his grades at school dropped and he scored an abysmal 39 percent in STD 9.
Varun’s interest for technology kept growing and he began engaging on a few e-forums that talked about web hosting. One day, he came across a man who had developed a software product and sold it for $2000. “When I looked at the product I thought I could create it in my sleep,” says Varun. So he created a similar product and wanted to buy a domain name for it. He approached his father to ask for his credit card but heard a strict no.
Without any money there was no chance he could sell his product. With little hope he went back to the e-forum and started begging random strangers to give him a domain name so that he can plug his product. His creepy behavior got him banned from the forum but he continued to approach people through proxy servers. After many attempts a person responded to him and offered to give him a domain name which was expiring in in few moths. It was kayako.com that a random stranger gave Varun.
His efforts paid off and he got $2000 in his account. He wired that money to his friend’s account and asked his friend to send him a laptop. He proudly told his parents that he had started earning and he has ordered a laptop with his earnings. A week passed by but his laptop did not arrive, the second week went by so did the third. His parents were convinced that their son had not made any money and was simply bluffing them.
After a month Varun’s mother woke him up from sleep and said, “The money and the laptop has arrived. Tu jhooth nahi bol raha tha.” (You were not lying) He was elated and said, “I told you I was telling the truth but you never believed me.”
This is how an IT company started by a 17-year-old boy from one of the most unexpected places in India – Jalandhar – known mainly for sports and handloom industry. With no money and a random name which he got after begging a stranger. By this time he had reached STD 12, he told his father he did not want to study further. It was a very unconventional thing to do back then but his father had heard about Sabeer Bhatia and decided to let his son follow his passion.
A boy who never went to college and faired poorly in school now heads Kayako, a company that sells SaaS (software as a solution) product. Over the years it has become a multinational corporation which has more than 30,000 customers including the likes of NASA and MTV.
The company started without any funding and did not raise funding until this month. “I started a company from my bedroom and now the organization is spread in 6 countries and boasts a strength of 150 employees.”
It helps businesses interact with their customers no matter where they come from – social media, website or telecalling. It also has several prestigious foreign universities as its clients who use Kayako’s tools to communicate with their students. This is an extraordinary achievement for a company that is completely bootstrapped.
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