On Start-Ups, Entrepreneurship And IMT Ghaziabad – Hardeep Pathak – Founder Of Writopedia
Hardeep Pathak is a writer-entrepreneur hybrid from Ahmedabad.
He founded Writopedia in January 2014, a community that has spread its wings across 14 countries now.
Writopedia provides innovative content writing solutions to enhance lives and businesses. With operational headquarters in Ahmedabad, Writopedia also has business development offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Dubai. The community boasts of one of the biggest writing networks worldwide and its reputed clientele includes Shop Clues, ICICI Bank, Government of Gujarat, Cygnet group, Harsha Abakus Solar, Phantom Productions, Theatre Kingdom among many others.
An engineer from LD and MBA from IMT-Ghaziabad, Hardeep has varied interests in technology, neuroscience, psychology, music and movies. When he is not writing for others, he is writing for himself as an experimental blogger on thclabs.org – a community blog that he founded. When he is not writing at all, he is travelling – either physically or mentally. Having stayed in 5 different countries in the last 5 years, Hardeep travels to work and works to travel.
1. Tell me about your time at IMT Ghaziabad. What clubs and committees were you involved in? How did you manage your time?
IMT life was like living on high hopes. Like living in a resort where you stay with about a 1000 weirdly enabled young passionate individuals. And where students run everything, right from the hostel to the mess; the events to the mass campus parties.
I was a part of the social work committee at IMT for the first year. And in the second year, with some friends, I nurtured and developed a community for artists called “MindScrewers”. This community gave birth to my first start-up that failed. However, the failure helped me build endurance which reflects in Writopedia now.
2. In today’s world, the world is overwhelmed with start-up ideas. When did you get the idea of Writopedia and what made you feel that it was something worth going for and letting go of job security?
Studying marketing at IMT in 2010-2012, the years when ‘digital marketing’ actually became much more organised with the introduction of Google Panda, there was a strong urge to go digital with the next start-up. However, there was no extraordinary idea that I had. I chose to ride the traditional route of content writing, waiting for the day ‘content marketing’ separates out from and becomes the most important aspect of ‘digital marketing’. The day arrived finally, I say, with the 2016 SEO guidelines of Google. Digital content is constantly changing and impacting our lives and behaviour. We have an access to all kinds of information on our finger- tips and this too is ever complexifying. Our purchase decisions are now much more informed than just a few years back. The new information that is being produced in terms of content (written, graphical or visual) is also rising exponentially. The virtual wildneress is a world being guided by content. In such times, Writopedia aims at bringing to use our old art-form of writing to guide the virtual identities of firms, institutes, artists, websites, start-ups, government entities, industries, giant corporations, and whoever might require help with writing.
Imagining even a very small part of all this about 3 years and 2 months back, I had no fear of quitting my job and jumping into this ocean of content right away. And oh how well has it paid off! Having written for 14 countries, we have ventured beyond the boundaries of countries and pioneered the industry of “Writing Process Outsourcing”. In the future, we aim to shape up the reality of “automation in writing” while keeping the human feel of it alive.
3. Tell me something specific that you learnt at b-school that helped you a lot in setting up Writopedia and keeping it afloat?
The preparation of the professional life started right at IMT for me. Seeds of dreams and passion were sown here. Imagine a place where each day you meet someone new who inspires you and incites your dream or passion in a way hitherto unknown to you. If you already have a purpose or a vision, random people would come and contribute so much to it while adding a lot many dimensions to it. A chance to be constantly surrounded by hundreds of people who challenge, inspire and even surprise you all the time.
Plus, you build a great network here. Apart from me, the core team of Writopedia has two more people from IMT. And the network of IMT friends in top companies around the globe has worked great in terms of business acquisition for Writopedia. During testing times, you have a network of close-knit friends and you know whom to go to for what kind of an advice, collaboration or motivation.
4. Tell me an incident or milestone during your time in running this company when you felt that not taking up a corporate job was worth it.
At Writopedia, we create such incidents almost every day.
The most important aspect that binds the core team and the core writers with the community is that we work both internally and externally. Internally, focusing on our own growth, skill development, experiments, and expressions of art. And, externally providing unique writing solutions to enhance lives & businesses. While we write for others through Writopedia.org, in our free time we write for ourselves through thclabs.org. While we write scripts for people, we also write scripts that someday we shall develop ourselves. While we write digital content for clients, we also write codes and algorithms experimenting with AI and writing.
This freedom to access the constantly evolving world of technology and play with it in your own way is what gives me the satisfaction and drive of building and sustaining a big community of writers. However, ‘my own way’ is a myth in a lot of senses, you know that when you are developing a community. But at Writopedia, we promote a culture of free and wild thinking to nurture a place where everyone can write their way through any realities. We foster a culture where everyone aspires to achieve the highest expression of the art of writing. And this yearning for exploration is sustained beautifully when you have a start-up that relates to any field you name – art, science, commerce, e-commerce, so on and so forth. Everyone needs it, especially in the virtual world that is made of the atoms called ‘words’.
5. What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs?
Start-up life is attached with living the ever-complexifying structures of thoughts, emotions, feelings, states, and experiences. The novelty that is brought to you on a daily basis leaves you awestruck or overwhelmed. The game as I see is to utilise this sense of awe to focus on creating one more pillar, growing constantly with it, and thinking some more wild thoughts in order to deal with the brutal force of anxiety. While each start-up creates its own world and reality, there is no singular way to success.
Do not enter into it just for funding, or just for jazz, or just for winning the race, or just to make money, or just for an escape from the rest of the world. If you are aiming higher than all this,
you will experience the complete kaleidoscope of realities and visions. Some might overwhelm you, some might get the best out of you, some might threaten your identity, and some might just steal your minds away to create something that hasn’t been created till now. Enter it with an acceptance for all of it and the faith that you can sustain it all.
6. Do you think we are overusing the word ‘start-up’ as a society?
Yes, I feel we do overuse the word ‘start-up’. I also most of the times end up introducing Writopedia as a start-up. But that indeed hurts me as a shallow introduction. In our hearts, Writopedia is an experience, a way of life, a tree, a voyage, a dream, a realm, and a spirit that comes alive through Writopedians.