Xploryo - A Journey of learning and Dreams

Graduated in 2018, and took exit from all the previous start-ups in December 2017. I took a 6 months break in my last semester to find out my road.

As beautiful the poem sounds of Robert Frost, this journey is that much full of struggles and emotions.

” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

  • Robert Frost”

College gave me a cushion to experiment and learn about myself, what I like to do, what is my passion, what is the one thing which drives me, not matter what the situation is. And I did a lot of experimentation.

After graduating, I gave many off campus interviews and got my first offer letter from Neenopal, Bangalore as Data scientist. That was July 28, the day when I turned 22. Exactly, one year later, this time also I took a major decision to quit Xploryo.

We, [Sajal][sajal], [Mukul][mukul] and I, met to discuss the business strategy of xploryo. At that time, I was working in Air Vistara, a premium brand of airline. The project being shut down, I was looking out for new opportunities in data science or business vertical. Basically I hunt for challenges to solve and I was looking for major challenges which can keep my finances sorted and mind at peace. I feel peace in struggles, actually I enjoy them a lot, like a challenge. Going fast and knocking them out.

But this time, something was different, I was high on motivation, but low on confidence. Getting out of two different team, in just two months, put me down. I was seeking validation from outside of world, instead of driving my self-confidence.

I took this as an opportunity and started working with Mukul and Sajal. I was leading the Business Development, Investor relationships and Data science team.

  • We got our first boost, when the team got shortlisted in IIM-Udaipur start-up competition, we were among Top 20.
  • Second boost came when I got a deal to teach online with an ed-tech venture based out of Bengaluru. It was more of a financial boost. Since, I came to start-up with almost no savings.
  • There only, we pitched at IIM-B NSRCEL, and got into pre-incubation for three months.
  • Next boost was in March, when we got a client service order for about 3 months, to pilot the concept.

With all these boosts, coming at regular interval is great, but in between had lot to struggle and to learn from.

One of my wierd dream to get bankrupt, got completed in December itself. Living 8 months after that, without salary was a tough time. I have got good friends with me always, they were ready to fuse money in my life.

I lived in bangalore for 6 months hopping from one friend’s place to another while working at incubation center and client location. Well this was not part of dream, but I had to :P

The learnings, I got from this 10 month’s journey is a lot.

  • First, Team should have diverse skills. It’s a must must thing. One can’t and should not compromise on team.
  • Start-up should run like a start-up. It never work as a company. Start-ups doesn’t have a month to launch.
  • Start-ups don’t have soft deadline or hard deadline. Deadline means deadline, if not achieved, startup is dead. It’s that simple.
  • Every week, the team should meet customers while working on the MVP as well.
  • Get the MVP, as fast to market as you can.
  • Keep your finance sorted. This is a major reason why start-ups fail. Be vocal about finance structure from initial days when you start earning. Put your voice out.
  • Be vocal about roles and decisions. We
  • Do not work on more than one idea. Rather, Learn how to kill ideas.
    • We were working on two simutaneous idea in our initial days, which I believe was a major issue at root level. The team was never in sync, but always looked otherwise. It meant, as a team, we ignored this. I regret, i should have been vocal about this in initial stage.
  • Don’t keep a let go attitude.
    • I as a founder, had a let go attitude, just to avoid hard discussions with my co-founders, because I had few assumptions in my mind. Don’t do that ever.
  • Iterate Not pivot.

In this journey, we earned around half a million INR, We had paying customer who wanted to extend the project, we were in frequent touch with investors, but we could’t materialize it because we didn’t tried enough.

To Reiterate:

  • Get a good team
  • Get a good problem to solve
  • Find customers who are ready to pay for the problem.
  • Create a MVP for the problem asap and try to sell it.
  • Take Feedback.
  • Iterate and sell again.

The most important thing, I learnt is, Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Check out the Xploryo for those who haven’t witnessed the evolution of Xploryo.

Keep connected !

Rajiv Jha

Rajiv Jha

My name is Rajiv Jha. I am Senior Engineering student at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.