Published: 02nd October 2019
Why you need to read Webchutney's Sidharth Rao's book on how to start-up!
Sidharth Rao, an author and entrepreneur, talks about his book and how start-ups struggle as everything is not a bed of roses for them
Many people dream of a start-up, but only a few of us work to make it happen. Author Sidharth Rao, who is the CEO and Co-founder of Dentsu WebChutney, a digital agency, was one among those who dreamt of one and now, is living the dream. He was only 19 years old when he started Dentsu WebChutney. It's been two decades and today, his start-up has many reputed clients including Bharti Airtel, Swiggy and so on. For him, the start-up was a happy accident. He says, "I always wanted to start an advertising agency back then, the internet wave was just around the corner in India and I thought it would be a niche subject to specialise in. Over the years, I realised we expected digital to become mainstream much sooner so it became a long, winding journey for us."
The first-time author, who has seen many ups and downs in his career, believes that stories coming out of start-ups are never as romantic as showcased in movies or web series. Sidharth says, "In India, there isn’t much material available in the entrepreneurship space, the media celebrates fundraising and other such milestones in a start-up’s journey, adding to the perception that start-ups have romantic stories. In reality, they are difficult journeys fraught with hardships. In the 20 years that I have spent in the start-up universe, I haven’t encountered a single start-up that hasn’t had a near-death experience, almost shut down or almost sold itself too early. Therefore, I decided to write a book called How I Almost Blew It."
Guide for entrepreneurs: This book is an open diary of the untold stories of some of the famous start-ups in India
The book highlights the journey of 16 entrepreneurs who have left a mark in various business sectors like Naukri.com, BookMyShow, FreeCharge, People Group, Rediff.com, IndiaMART, BharatMatrimony, Citrus Payment Solutions, Zomato, MakeMyTrip, Microland, IndiaWorld, Delhivery, JobsAhead.com, Freshworks and a few others. When we asked him if he met all the entrepreneurs, he says, "I knew most of the founders as friends, mentors and in some cases, a mix of both. Webchutney has been a go-to agency for most of them and still is in a few cases. So, it was easy for me to have freewheeling chats with them and that is why the material you read in the book is honest. I found their lessons of life fascinating because regardless of the scale of operations, all entrepreneurs go through similar predicaments. And I felt that coping with uncertainty is the one key characteristic that founding teams must have."