Bipin Preet Singh's entrepreneurial journey with MobiKwik has many takeaways for budding startups.
The co-founder and CEO of MobiKwik bootstrapped his company for nearly four years, worked out of home for a year and moved into a smaller house to save money.
Six years later, Singh, who started MobiKwik with Upasana Taku, still vouches for an 'economical' approach in running startups. In an interaction with delegates at MobiKwik's peppy Gurgaon office, Singh exhorted startups to refrain from excessively spending money on things like finding the perfect logo or advertising partner.
This approach has played out well for One MobiKwik Systems Pvt Ltd, which runs online recharge platform and mobile wallet venture MobiKwik.com. The company is gunning for a nearly four-fold jump in gross transaction value to $700 million (Rs 4,270 crore) this year and aims to generate profits next year
The session started with a short round of introduction. Singh was clear that he did not want to overwhelm entrepreneurs with advice. However, he did give feedback to entrepreneurs on different questions related to their startups.
The focus should be on building a world-class product and delivering quality service to customers. Singh claims that MobikKwik received its first million customers without any advertising spend. In his opinion, a well-funded startup does not necessarily translate into a successful startup.
Though MobiKwik made its first hire in the second year of operations, Singh laid a lot of emphasis on finding the right staffers. Every new hire should believe in the startup's product and works towards bettering it.
Startups should invest in office space and scale up their hiring whenever possible. A formal workplace lends discipline to the startup and helps in its growth.
In conclusion, Singh told the delegates that being small is their biggest asset. Unlike the larger companies, they have the freedom to try new things, make mistakes and get away with it.
Founded in 2009, MobiKwik enables prepaid mobile, DTH and data card recharges, post-paid mobile bills payment and utility bill payment for electricity, gas and landline connections. It also offers these services via SMS, phone and apps that are available for Android, iOS and Windows platforms. The firm recently revamped its website and logo.