From Chawls Of Amdavad To New York City, This Entrepreneurs' Journey Is About Power Of Networking - Vibes Of India

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From Chawls Of Amdavad To New York City, This Entrepreneurs’ Journey Is About Power Of Networking

| Updated: November 28, 2021 13:45

While most businessmen are driven by the need to earn profits, Jatin Choudhury believed ‘bav paisa nahi kamaiye to chali jashe’ (if we don’t make more money it’s alright). His idea was to bring people together, become competent together and flourish in their careers. This idea was the genesis of eChai. The entrepreneurs’ network began in 2018 as a casual conversation over chai kitli opposite Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad. What started as a trial is now spread across 20+ global cities and more than 15 countries including the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia, UK, Estonia, UAE and others. Chowdhury might be in Ahmedabad but entrepreneurs in New York also gather under the banner of eChai. This is his success story.

He studied Information Technology from Nirma Institute of Technology, a place where he suffered from an inferiority complex. “I come from a chawl in Saraspur, Ahmedabad. No one from my family has passed even Grade 8. Entrepreneurship and risk-taking was a far fetched idea for us but nonetheless, I took the risk. I began by working in a call centre and that’s when I worked on my skills.” Before starting eChai Ventures, Jatin sold long-distance services in Canada while working in a call centre in Gandhinagar.

“The idea behind my venture is that no one should come and give gyaan. I wanted a platform where you can share your business story and help each other grow. We don’t promote that everyone should become entrepreneurs, we want to build competent people.” Jatin has conceptualized and hosted several eChai programs – an initiative to provide a platform to young entrepreneurs across India. Every month over 5000+ entrepreneurs, professionals, students and mentors come together at various eChai programs to connect, share and collaborate with each other.

For the first three years, he didn’t make a single penny. The breakthrough and the first million of his business came only after that. “My B-plan was my skill set. Even when the business wasn’t making money I trusted my skills. I knew I was competent enough to make this happen. In 2012, the entrepreneurship wave was picking up and I began monetizing my business meetups. That’s when things got streamlined. I explored the power of networking.”

Any regrets in business life? “I was very late in scaling up my business. I had self-doubts when it came to expanding my work internationally and now, I realise I should have done it long back. My mindset was the challenge.” His business runs on a decentralised model where Jatin is not necessarily the key person in every meeting, every member becomes a key person in his business chain.

Do you see a startup bubble bursting soon? “Startups are the present and the future. Startups fail but individuals don’t. A survey of the startups’ founders revealed that the individuals with failed startups do better in their corporate careers in comparison to other employees. The experience of the startup adds to their skill set.”

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