1- Hello Raunak, can you please tell us a bit about you?
Having a background in Software Engineering, I have been passionate about Startup culture in general and Tech Startups in particular for quite some time. I have worked for around 3 years as a Software Engineer in an Indian MNC but the insatiable quench for learning more about Startups and the desire of sharing my learning experiences with entrepreneurs led me found Times of Startups in early 2015. It has been a great journey so far. During this short period, I got the opportunity to interact with some amazing entrepreneurs from around the globe who are working in diverse fields ranging from Internet of Things (IOT), Big Data, Deep Learning, AI etc.
2- What influences your work? What makes you want to wake up every morning?
We are living in the age of innovations. Almost on a daily basis, you read about innovations that have the potential of changing the lives of people in a big way. Interestingly, most of these innovations are not coming from companies with a huge capital base. These breakthroughs are coming from Startups which are led by young and dynamic individuals who are capable of thinking out of the box. The ongoing “Startup Revolution” led by millennials influences my work in a big way and being a part of this revolution, even in a small way, helps me keep going.
3- You are very familiar with the Startup culture; tell us about your experience?
In the last two decades, the “dot com” boom led to the creation of companies which were never thought of as being sustainable. Selling stuff online was thought of as the dumbest idea in its earlier days. Modern day Startups have transcended the traditional barriers of beliefs and perceptions. The Global Startup milieu is changing rapidly with growing focus not only on creating a cash cow but solving some of the most complex problems mankind has ever faced notably in the field of health care, education, and power. Also, my experience so far says that the dynamics of this sector are changing such that it is not certain that good ideas will inevitably succeed. There has to be the right combination of idea, hard work and the bag of grabbing opportunities.
4- How do you describe “Times of Startups”?
Times of Startups(TOS) publishes News, insights, interviews, and articles from the field of Entrepreneurship and has contributors from countries like Australia, United States, and India. Since its inception in 2015, it has come a long way in terms of its reader base and the diversity of content published on the platform.
5- Where do you think you are making an impact?
It would be hard for me to assess an ‘impact’ made by TOS but readers/entrepreneurs benefitting from what is published on the platform gives me a sense of satisfaction.
6- Where do you see “Times of Startups” in the next 5 years?
I am optimistic about Times of Startups becoming one of the most loved platforms for entrepreneurs worldwide. Since the platform is not restricted to any region/country and is a global platform for entrepreneurs, I believe, the coming period is filled with immense opportunities. Also, there is an ongoing effort to make TOS as user-friendly as possible. This will certainly help in increasing the reader base in the coming time.
7- What can you tell people who are pursuing their dreams?
All men and women are pursuing their dreams/goals, but not equally. What is equal in all these dreams/goals is that there will be challenging times. Never ever think of quitting. Success or failure will be determined by how we tackle those challenging times without quitting.
8- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Talking about the ongoing developments in the Startup sector, I am really excited about the potential of Artificial Intelligence and the way it is going to change the world in a decade or so. Already, some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our times, including Elon Musk are working in this sector and we can hope to see some major breakthroughs in two years or so. On a personal level, I am working on a project which will soon be one of India’s largest service based marketplace. This keeps me excited and yes, occupied for most of the time.