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BITS 360


 Start-up Interview


We talk to Abhinav Asthana, co-founder of BITS-360 and alumni of BITS - Pilani


Q1. What is your Company all about? What does it do? How many people are involved in it? Who are the founding members?
Ans. Our company creates panoramic virtual tours for location centric businesses.. Using our own patented technology we are able to create beautiful panoramic virtual tours that are able to communicate the actual look and feel of the location to the customers in the most elegant manner. We are currently a 5 people strong company. I and Vineet Devaiah are the founding partners You can find out more about our company through our website www.bits360.com

Q2. What made you start this company? What first gave this idea?
Ans. We enjoyed making panoramas for fun. BITS360 was a gift to my college because I felt that no one really appreciated the beautiful campus next to the beaches of Goa. Then we saw market potential as we grew with time and now it’s there for everyone to see, BITS 360.

Q3. How difficult was it to start-up? Did you receive a lot of set-backs? How did you deal with them?
Ans. We had some starting difficulty as Vineet was based in the US and I was in the final year of my engineering, so coordination was an issue. I always wanted to start a company that was technology focused so it was always on my mind. After we got our couple of first clients and I met Vineet personally for the first time after working together for 18 months, when he came down to India for vacation. It was very clear at that time; this was the best thing that we could do. Vineet quit his job in the US; we recruited our first employee and started our development office a week after I graduated from BITS-Goa. We were making profits from day one and are still cash positive so it was less of a financial burden on us.  Some of our major setbacks were to bring a certain amount of work culture in our company, we had never had experience in client facing products nor had any contacts in the business we were selling into. We started off with tapping both the BITS and NITK alumni for for first 2-3 clients and then it was pretty easy.

Q4. How did people close to you react when you told them you were going to start a company of your own? How did you feel?
Ans.  My parents were very supportive and though it was a huge step for me I felt very confident in what I was doing. My friends were excited for me because we had always discussed how I wanted to get into entrepreneurship. Vineet had already started and sold a company so his parents were much more calm about the situation, though he complains they keep asking if we are “ok”. I think overall it was a good feeling all around, I think the complaints and issues will start being raised after a year or two if things start going downhill.

Q5. What were the sources of finance you could leverage?
Ans. Vineet and I put in the initial money which we haven’t touched so far because the money from our deals are supporting us financially right now.

 Q8. How would you describe the experience so far…. Has it been fun or only work?
Ans. Vineet is intense and he maintains a high level of work ethic in the company. It helps a lot because as we are just fresh graduates and we need to get better. We have fun sometimes but most of the time its work. On an average we work close to 16 hours a day. We never feel like this is a lot of work because we are passionate about what we are building. I am sure once our company is more successful we will have time to have fun.

Q9. Where do you see yourself after 5 years? What are your plans for the future?
Ans. I think we see ourselves as a successful technology company doing meaningful work in our domain..

Q10. How do you now see entrepreneurship? Some tips for upcoming entrepreneurs.
Ans. The only tip I could possibly give is to stop dreaming and start doing. Entrepreneurship is not a game, it’s not something fancy and unlike your competitive examinations you have no ranks – you either pass or fail. I personally find it fun because of the work am doing and I can imagine how difficult it would be if I was not passionate about the work am doing.

Q11. What do you look for in your employees and interns that you take? Is it knowledge or creativity or sincerity etc.?
Ans. We value sincerity a lot. A person who’s sincere can learn more things while working. He/She should be excited about the work and have enthu. We also look for people who are smarter than us, no use taking someone who is dumber than you.
Q12.  How was your college life? What are your favorite memories? What lesson do you think people should take from college?
Ans. It was interesting to say the least and also very different from expectations. What I learnt most and what I’d like to share with all the readers is that you should never stop working even if you are tired and never stick to just the curriculum. Always pick up something or the other, randomly, and learn about it. Don’t close your minds.

 

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