Is your Network, really your Net Worth?

Men are born to succeednot to fail. – Henry David Thoreau

So far, the best definition of Success, I have come across is: Success is the completion of anything intended. In other words, success is finishing what you planned to do. It does not really matter what route is taken, as far as it is legitimate and does not hurt anyone.

On the 5th of November, 2015, in the early days of our entrepreneurial journey, my son & I attended a startup event organised by NSR Centre at IIMB. Sitting next to us were 2 gentlemen who were speaking in Konkani, which is also my mother tongue. A compulsive networker that I am, I struck up a conversation and learned that they too were in the process of setting up their venture.
Soon, Arvind Kamath and Chandranath Gadiyar went on to set up Vydik, an online platform for Hindu Rituals. Being passionate about spirituality, Arvind’s aspiration was to get the younger generation in touch with their heritage and culture. Also to educate them on the importance of rituals. To meet this objective he also started another platform (which is defunct now).

Birth of an Idea:

Interestingly the idea of Vydik was conceived during one of Arvind’s official travels abroad. During his travel, his chance meeting with 3 people firmed up his resolve to create awareness in the community about rituals:

  • A young taxi driver, who is a trained Hindu priest, who gave up his practice as he could not earn enough
  • A young Pakistani, who wished we lived in a visa-free world so that he could participate in the discourses of Sri Sri Ravishankar and understand Hindu culture more closely
  • A Bangalore based IT professional, who was more interested in talking about American soaps, movies and their way of life sounding more American than an American.

He narrates what he calls his life-changing experience in his blog.

When one door closes…

Things were going well, until one day due to ideological differences with the majority shareholders, Arvind decided to step down from his position at Vydik. It must have been a tough decision.

Henry Ford said, ‘whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right’, the opportunity came knocking on Arvind’s door for the second time.

I will put it in his own words – ‘You know that I am superb at networking. You too must have been receiving my mailers. I used to send regular updates to people who were in my network. Among them was also Mr. Arjun M Ranga, MD of Cycle Pure Agarbathies. I had met him during another event.’

To the uninitiated, Cycle Pure Agarbathies is a Mysore based company that was Established in 1948 that boasts of more than 500 fragrances that are created in-house and also of numerous awards including a slew of quality awards.

Once the mailers stopped, Mr. Arjun who was following Vydik’s progress was intrigued and reached out to

Arvind through his PA. What followed is nothing short of dream come true. Cycle brand in its diversification drive had plans of setting up an initiative in the spiritual space. Arvind’s meeting with Mr. Arjun helped him realise that what Cycle brand planned to do was a concept very close to his heart. Finding the offer hard to resist Arvind agreed to work with the Cycle brand leading the initiative from the front.

Lessons learned:

  1. When you are passionate about something and pursue it with all your heart, the universe conspires to make it happen.
  2. Your network is really your net worth!