Chetan Indap, Founder of Oncontract.com
What is Oncontract.com all about?
We provide an Online Internet based marketplace for hiring people on Contract basis (for short periods). The platform is meant to be used by Companies of all sizes, especially SMEs in India. Our marketplace provides skills across industries, functions, levels and locations.
You are an entrepreneur because…. ?
I was always the round peg in a square hole. I always grew wanting to think differently and do things differently. I was a born dreamer and later become an Ideator. While I have worked in a Corporate environment for many years, I always achieved success because of my ability to have a different perspective than the norm.
Your most critical moment while starting out?
My first venture was when I had just graduated out of my Engineering college (1992). A bunch of friends got together and started a company, with small personal funds. We successfully sold that venture after 18 months. We did not continue because for one, my partners wanted to pursue studies abroad and two, we did not know how to raise capital for expansion.
So my critical moment when I started oncontract was to ensure that I won’t have any partners to start with (hence no dependence) and that I will start the process of fund raising much earlier in the life-cycle.
Did you really cut it fine at some point?
While I started the fund raising process quite early, by the time we closed our first round of funding took 8 months. Till this time, I was bootstrapping all the way and paying for a 8 people team. I had cashed all my stock investments and almost nearing finishing my other savings. So by the time the funds came, I had only about 2 months cash reserve to play with. If for some reason we had not received our funding in time, we would be sitting on a fine edge…
Did you Goof up?
Inspite of very rich experience of over 18 years working in India, US and UK, I have to admit that I had to unlearn all of it and start afresh.
On fund raising roadshows, one meets several investors, who have either run companies or have good experience. The biggest goofup, I did was to listen to all of them and try to implement a piece of their advise.
If people don’t laugh at your dream, then maybe it is not big enough!
What did I learn?
a. Don’t get scared of trying. Most of the time trying results in mistakes. But 80% of success formula is hidden in those mistakes.
b. Hang-in there. Don’t let go. It’s always the darkest before the dawn
Comments on your journey…
When I was working, I would wait for the day to end so I could get back home; since I have become an entrepreneur, I wait for another day to begin so I can get back to work!
Chetan Indap: has over 20 yrs exp within the IT Services industry. He has a strong track record of starting multiple businesses from grounds up of which he sold one in 1993. In 2007 he helped his wife get into early childhood education to teach English Reading to 4-6 year olds using Phonics technique. Today Phonickids, is a profitable business with current student strength exceeding 1000 and 2 additional Franchisee Centers in Mumbai.