Sure fire Success
By Liffy Thomas
“Never start straight out of college. First, work for some five to six years; get a hang of things in the world of business.” This is one golden rule most successful entrepreneurs often advocate. However, there are people who have proved them wrong. And 23-year-old Waqar Azmi, founder and CEO of Sutra HR and SutraJobs.com, is one among the latter.
In a country where established companies are finding it difficult to attract and retain talent, it is no surprise if start-ups find the quest even tougher. Sutra HR was born to help start-up firms find the right talent as well as to provide aspiring entrepreneurs find the right start-up to bootstrap with.
How it all began
Waqar completed his Engineering in 2006 from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology in Mumbai, but did not apply for placements or even appear for an interview. “I was clear I wanted to do something different,” he explains.
“After college, I was involved with a couple of start-ups, either directly or indirectly, and one thing I noticed was that funds, ideas and infrastructure were not a problem for start-ups. Rather, it was finding the right people that came as a huge challenge.”
In December 2007, Sutra HR took form from his home, with just an email pitch, logo and business cards, which some friends contributed. “I bootstrapped the company with no money,” says Waqar, who has always been keen on starting something independently since his school days. In college he ran an e-commerce business, which fetched him Rs. 10,000 a month.
But, is starting a business as simple as Waqar makes it sound? Well, his travails started with hiring people for his own firm. “I took help of a social networking site and a couple of references to start my hiring process, which went on for a month.”
30 and more
Fortunately, Lady Luck was with this young entrepreneur right from the company’s inception. Once he had Rs. 1 lakh in the bank account, which he got from clients, Sutra was ready for operation with a start-up office and two employees.
“We have been making profits since inception, in fact even before we went into operation,” says the computer graduate. Sutra HR charges between 8 and 16 per cent of —- from firms for the services they undertake “Today, we have over 30 start-ups registered with us, and we will be clocking revenue of Rs. 30 to Rs. 40 lakh for the current financial year.”
Sutra’s biggest competitor is job boards on blogs and other HR companies who have clients in the new-age media. The people solution company also boasts of two offices in Mumbai and is looking at expanding its horizons. “We are next gearing up to tap the international market – start-ups based abroad,” Waqar says.
(If you are an entrepreneur with a successful business model or know one, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org)