We present for the first time, the man behind the scenes making the portal tick, Ankur Khator. Ankur is an IIT Bombay alumnus (Computer Science, Class of 2005) and has 6 years of Internet domain technology experience with major software firms. In this article, he shares his lessons of starting up.
Reading learning from other startups few months ago, here I am writing my first post on the journey so far. Working on your own idea, by your own terms is no way comparable to working in a cozy corner of a big company. Having worked in some big software companies before this, I find it hard to express how different my experience has been so far.
There have been days of restlessness, nights of work, moments of joy and occasions of sadness but all put together it has been a great ride so far. Every day there is something new to learn, some new challenge to face. Frowns change into smiles with effort on duty and determination in mind. The list of things I have learned in last ten months is a long one and I don’t see it getting exhaustive in years to come. My key learning from the journey so far is:
1. Quality of Service matters
I find myself cribbing a lot when my cab does not report on time, when my carpenter doesn’t do a good job. But behind all these instances my feeling gets stronger that anyone providing a good quality service cannot fail. If your customer is happy, he is going to come back or send some other customer. This has been a principle that we swear by at Internshala to make each and every user interacting with us happy. This has started getting reflected in the student as well as employer testimonials that we are receiving.
2. Manage your time/Prioritize
When you are on your own, you will have many things to take care of. Everything will seem more important than other and you will try hard to complete all of them at the same time. Very soon, 24 hours in a day start looking very less. From experience, I learned that the solution to this is prioritization. Always keep a running list of pending things with priority-number on each of them. You will see how priorities change and in this process, you’ll learn how to handle tasks in a right manner.
3. Students are smart
I have got chance to interact with so many students in last few months. I am amazed by their confidence and skills. Whole team of interns that we have is doing an awesome job. Interaction with IIT-M students makes me wonder if I am half as smart as these students are. These interactions have strengthened our belief that internships are of great benefit to both, the employers and the interns.
Apart from above, I can’t stress enough the importance of a great team. Good employee is like an asset whereas bad employee becomes a liability. There was a time when I interviewed over 15 students and didn’t hire any. We are proud of our team and have fostered great relations within the team. This healthy environment gets reflected in the great discussions that happen, the solid inflow of new and exciting ideas, & of course near-perfect execution.
That’s all for now. Will keep updating this space as and when I feel a splurge of enthusiasm to share from within.