Prior to founding the well acclaimed website, IndiaMART; one of India’s first web based marketplace for businesses, Dinesh Agarwal was working with HCL Technologies in the US. The concept of the internet had made a huge impression on him while he was still in HCL, and after the government announced the launch of the internet to the public in 1995, he realized the potential it had and immediately flew back to India. Energized to rekindle his entrepreneurial instincts, Dinesh wasted no time in using the internet to bring small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) together by creating IndiaMART.
Failure is the stepping stone to success
Although a pioneer in India to establish an online marketplace for SMEs, the web giant did go through some hardships before being the flawless brand that it is today. As the new millennium approached, emerging online companies were heavily getting funded, clubbed with weak foresight and monetization; burst the bubble that IndiaMART was sitting on. Having to cope with the hit on their sales, Dinesh had to relearn everything and had to start from square one yet again. Back on their feet once again, the entrepreneur had bought a new office and had planned to scale their operations. The rehabilitation however, took a hit yet again after the 9/11 attacks. More that 40% of IndiaMART’s revenue came from the travel division, and because of the impacts of the world trade attack, their operations almost came to a standstill.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Hard work and perseverance is what helped Dinesh overcome these obstacles that were thrown at him. Looking and the positives and fighting through the adversity is what helped him regain control of his business. He simply says, “There’s always the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.” Although the internet was widely being used by now, resulting in
lower profit margins for IndiaMART, Dinesh coped with the competition through higher volumes of work. This fiery and aggressive entrepreneurial attitude eventually led IndiaMART to overcome the obstacles that were thrown at them and emerged profitable as well.
A fresh perspective towards life
Running a lucrative business as a successful entrepreneur has given Dinesh a new outlook towards life. IndiaMART had started from the bottom and sheer determination and belief is what made the business what it is today. The struggle one goes through to create a business helps recreate one’s character too. He says that he sees opportunity in everything that surrounds him and entrepreneurship has made him more adaptable towards change. He goes on to say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, likewise we kept laying bricks every hour and waited for the good times to come.”
Passing on wisdom
As a role model for many budding entrepreneurs, Dinesh has some vital information to pass on to the coming generations. Starting a company is not a cake walk, and one must not start-up just because it’s cool, he says. There is a lot of responsibility an entrepreneur must undertake and if the reason to start a company is not strong enough, the barriers and hardships can break an entrepreneur. Dinesh himself had to go through several failures before becoming successful, but he feels that an entrepreneur has a 100% chance of succeeding. He says, “Everyone is born with at least 20% of luck. So if you try only once, the chance of success is minimal. But if you try it five times, your chance at succeeding becomes 100%.” Since Dinesh has achieved the pinnacle of success in business by making wise, bold decisions, it would only benefit to take his advice seriously.