Abhishek Rungta is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of Indus Net, a digital design services firm based in Kolkata that employs more than 500 people. This story is an example of emerging entrepreneurship from Kolkata, India. Abhishek recieved his bachelors in commerce in accountancy, graduating with honors from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He has also earned an MS in multimedia technology from the University of Bath, UK. Abhishek is also a private investor and a proponent of bootstrapped entrepreneurship.
Sramana: Abhishek, let’s go to the beginning of your personal story. What is your background as it pertains to the context of your entrepreneurial journey?
Abhishek Rungta: When I went to school, I got a bachelors degree in commerce. At that time after your morning classes were finished, you had the rest of the day to do something else. I took up a job and started working, which introduced me to the professional world. I worked as a salesman at Citibank. That gave me a good understanding of what was needed to be a salesman.
While I was at college, I had a small bike accident and I was confined to my room for three months. I had a broken leg, so I was stuck in my room with my computer. I had started learning about computers but I was not passionate about them. This was in 1996, and I did not have access to the Internet yet. I got access to the Internet in 1997.
I kept learning things about the computer, and it generated a lot of interest on my part. I started making animations at my home. I started taking on some small free projects. Once I was able to make some of those, I figured I should get a job in IT instead of sales at Citibank. I went to a company and I had a hard disk in my pocket with my animations. They needed a person who needed HTML and did not care about animation. I then went to the bookstore and bought a book on HTML.
Sramana: At what kind of company did you go looking for a job?
Abhishek Rungta: It was a company that is on the same floor as my office right now, here in Kolkata. They are a small software company I knew about. I saw their ad in the newspaper. and I went there for a job. After I bought the book on HTML I started learning it on my computer. That really opened up the road for me to work in HTML.
One fine morning I saw an IT exhibition going on in Kolkata. I had explained all of the neat things I was able to do with HTML to my mother. She told me that I needed to stop talking about it and go do something with it, and that I should go to the exhibition and try to find some work with my HTML skills. That woke me up from my dream world, so I went to the exhibition.