Don’t run after getting funded from Day 1 or becoming successful immediately. Success will definitely come if you are solving a problem and do it properly.
Rohit Shroff is a co-founder of Holidify, a holiday discovery portal from India. He is an IIT Bombay Graduate and have worked with Indus Insights, a management consultancy startup in the past. He was born and brought up in Sitamarhi, one of the most under-developed districts of India, however getting into IIT gave a big boost to his career. He loves travel, which fuelled his founding of Holidify, and loves going off on trips when he’s not dabbling with new ideas with his team of budding talent.
Where did the idea for Holidify come from?
Kovid and I were based in Delhi-NCR and had always been fond of traveling. Being regular travellers ourselves, we used to face difficulties in choosing places to visit for our forthcoming trips. We used to find a lot of information over the internet, but it was never good enough to help us explore anything more than the mainstream places. After researching, we realised that even though there are so many good places around us, we didn’t know about them and there exists no platform that helps in discovering these options. That’s when we decided it’s time we took it up in our own hands. Three months later, the first prototype was launched and Holidify hasn’t looked back since. We launched Holidify app last month and it is currently the highest rated travel app globally with around 5,000 downloads.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As soon as I wake up, I check my emails and the dashboard for few important metrics I keep tracking. Once I reach the office, I spend my first 15-20 minutes analyzing what are the most urgent things that need my attention. There are a few internal team meetings everyday where we discuss important metrics, users feedback, growth opportunities, etc.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe that it takes a lot of effort to convert even a simple idea to reality. After a new idea comes up, I make sure I do my groundwork on it before I discuss with anyone. Once I am even marginally sure that it is an interesting idea, I discuss it with my co-founder and if we agree, we take it to the concerned people and discuss with them and let them decide next steps on it. After the idea phase, the execution part is done completely with each member‘s efforts.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The entrepreneurial eco-system is so much better now with so many startups coming up and also getting funded these days. Students should use these opportunities to work on their own ideas during college itself as their living costs are quite low and they can build teams relatively easily.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think being a good observer is a single habit takes someone a long way. A good observer is typically a person who notices the problems that people face in their day to day life and can generate ideas to solve them. Being a good observer also helps in analyzing people which is extremely important while building a good team. It also helps in running the company on a day-to-day basis to have a holistic view of things as an entrepreneur needs to juggle between various roles and set a vision for the company.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
In my opinion, there is no such thing as a worst job. Every job teaches us something and we should grab that opportunity to learn more.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
With the experience that I have gained from Holidify, a lot of things should be relatively easier and faster in case I decide to start again, so that will be different.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Having patience is one thing I will recommend everyone to do. Don’t run after getting funded from Day 1 or becoming successful immediately. Success will definitely come if you are solving a problem and do it properly.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
We always focused on user experience and improving it from Day One. An entrepreneur should always talk to the users they are catering to and understand the issues faced by them. Just keep on improving their experience and your product will improve and evolve on a daily basis.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
For an entrepreneur, it is very important to have a keen eye to read people effectively. There had been a few mistakes on that front when I first started out. But I learnt from my mistakes and there haven’t been any problems since.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The way recruitment works currently is not that efficient. Lateral hires typically have relevant experience and come at a higher price. Companies typically end up hiring a lot of graduates without any relevant experience. A lot of people still don’t get hired because there aren’t enough opportunities out there.
I suggest someone should do a startup targeting college students or unemployed people and training them for free. This startup can get assignments/work from various other companies and get them done by these students. (Startup can charge companies). The students will keep on getting exposure and also relevant experience that will help them get hired by other companies. The startup can also make commissions out of the initial salary once the students get hired.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I met my parents after a really long time, a few weeks back. We went out to dinner at On the Waterfront on Lodhi Garden Road. The feeling, coupled with the experience and the superb ambience made it the best money spent in a long time!
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I love Dropbox, Google products (Mail, Analytics, Adwords, etc.), Digital Ocean for servers. One thing about all of them is that they are extremely convenient to use.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Animal Farm by George Orwell – The way this book describes human behaviour is just too amazing.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Steve Jobs –His focus, determination and vision is something everyone should learn from.
App Download link: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.holidify.andorid.app.holidify&hl=en
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.