Little over a year ago, I decided I didn’t want to work for anyone. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to ‘create’. I wanted to follow my dream (not entirely sure yet what that is, but I am sure that it involves lot of money). So I quit a nice, exciting job at AOL and picked up a nice, interesting assignment with Mint. Along the way, though, a dream was still alive. It refused to sit back and die down now… I simply had to give her life.
So after five months in Bangalore, working from home and barely making ends meet (tip: don’t buy a car when you’re going to quit your job), I packed up and moved to Pune. Another two months would go before the baby came to life. Almost seven months of talking, planning, and dreaming gave birth to Media Sphere Communications. And today, she turns one.
I could argue that I now know what parents feel like when their offspring turns one, but some would argue that this is a company. A place of business… but I have given her everything and then some more in the last 12 months. And Tosha would agree. Working through nights, weekends, vacations, festivals, birthdays hasn’t been easy, but the payoff is stupendous. The satisfaction of doing what I love to is immense.
Of course, it hasn’t been smooth sailing all the way. The first four months of the company’s existence, there was no money in the bank. I can’t even remember how I got through that. I didn’t pay myself almost until December 2007. But a huge ‘thank you’ is due to all those who supported us in the early days (and most of them continue to believe in us) including the IAMAI, Epson, The Times Group, Ad Club Bombay, AOL, Yahoo! India, Saama Technologies, Amit Enterprises, (and all our clients) and some individuals without whom this would just not have been possible (sounds like an acceptance speech, eh? Believe me, I don’t mean it to).
One of the greatest learnings of this period has been that people are more important than anything else. We’ve had our fair share of people come and go. Some don’t like the start-up nature of business (it’s largely unorganized and chaotic) while others can’t cope with the pressure (one person equals three in a start-up). But today, I think we have a team that loves both… and these are my biggest acquisitions. As we go along, they will be the most important pillars on which we base our growth.
It would be entirely unfair for me to write about Media Sphere and not mention four people who have stood by me and guided me, prodded me, supported me and taught me: Shailesh, Jaisurya, ‘he who shall not (yet) be named’ and Tosha along with the rest of the family. Each in their own ways has given me tremendous support, strength and faith in myself that I still believe in.
It has been a year I have been at this now. This is when I normally started to look for a change of job (for four years in a row). But no plans of that now. Not ever, if I can help it.
What have we achieved in this time? 17 clients. 3 Public-facing custom sites. 7 Owned sites (five live, two in the works). Enormous amount of interest and enthusiasm.
To everyone who has in any way helped: THANK YOU.