An interview with Neeraj Gutgutia ( IIM-I Alumnus), the founder and CEO of "Right2Vote Infotech Pvt. Ltd
Here is what he has shared with us :
Interviewer: How was your stay at IIM Indore as a student?
Neeraj: It was a great learning experience. Apart from studies, you get to do many things and manage them well.
Interviewer: So were you involved in any club or committees?
Neeraj: Yes, I was a part of the media committee in the first year. Then in the second year being a part of media committee, we came up with the college magazine I-Mag (known as Management Canvas presently). We also initiated entrepreneurship and consulting society in the college with the name of E&C.
Interviewer: You have worked with Reliance and then with Hiranandani group. How was the experience?
Neeraj: After working with Reliance for 4 years, I got a chance to work with Hiranandani group. They needed a guy with Gas Project and Finance experience. As I worked in Gas sector with reliance and I was a CA and MBA, so they asked me if I would like to join and lead it.
Interviewer: Then how did you move towards entrepreneurship?
Neeraj: I always wanted to start up on my own, even before MBA but didn’t actually know how to go about it. Then at Hiranandani, I got to lead the project. It gave me exposure, confidence, everything you could ask for. I also starting saving money as I had a mental mapping that I need to start soon.
Interviewer: What was the thought while leaving such an interesting job at Hiranandani?
Neeraj: Actually, while leaving, I wasn't too sure of what I wanted but had a rough idea on what to do. I had this "Right2Vote" in my mind. I wasn't sure whether I could do the Technology part of it.
Interviewer: You also started "Guts Unlimited", so what was the idea behind that company?
Neeraj: Just after leaving my job, I was very interested in start-ups , so wanted to start investing in them. "Guts Unlimited" basically was into advising and investing in the start-ups, helping them set up the whole system. As a backup to make revenue and financial support, "Guts" is still running but my major focus is "Right2Vote".
Interviewer: When did the idea of "Right2Vote" come first into your mind and what was the reason behind it?
Neeraj: During 2014 election, I was working with Prashant Kishore, helping in the election management. I was also pitching people to come out and vote. But it was difficult for some due to various reasons like they were travelling, meetings at office etc. So I thought if there was an App where you could vote from anywhere, then people will vote for sure. And that was where it all started. I researched a lot and it was such an obvious thing, that everything is going online then why not voting.
Interviewer: What is the vision and mission of the company?
Neeraj: "When the 2019 election happen, that should happen on our platform", this is the target we are aiming at. Our mission is to at least target 10 corporates to use the app for shareholders' voting, etc so that our revenues start rolling in and also sign up big corporates which will also enhance or credibility.
Interviewer: What would you say about the present start up Ecosystem in India?
Neeraj: In last 2 to 4 years, the trend is really picking up. There is a lot of scope. In India, still the ticket size is very small. The risk people are taking are not big enough. The Tech start-ups are the high risk and high gain, they are the ones which are in maximum number today. We have to boost the ticket size here in India. Also as a start-up, hiring people is very tough. Giving a good salary along with good office and confidence in the company is becoming a heavy task.
Interviewer: What has been the learning till now in this journey of entrepreneur which you would like to share with students?
Neeraj: There has been many highs and lows till now. During the job, I got a fixed salary but now it is a challenging task. Sometimes my family and others judge me and have a lot of doubt on my success. There is a lot of opportunity cost involved here but we have to keep moving on and believe in our idea.
Interviewer: So what would you like to tell to the budding entrepreneurs here at IIM Indore?
Neeraj: You should be well prepared before entering into the start-up idea. You should be financially stable, have the support from the family. Also, the main focus should be on executing the idea. That is the most important part. Plan for at least 2 to 3 years ahead.
Hope you gained an insight on how the journey unfolds from being a student to an entrepreneur.