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Bootstrapped Journey of a Child Entrepreneur in India: Varun Shoor, CEO of Kayako (Part 3)

Posted on Friday, Jan 3rd 2014

Sramana: How did the business ramp in 2002?

Varun Shoor: It was quite interesting. I started receiving money at the very end of 2001, and then it kept coming in 2002. I kept telling my mom and dad that I had just earned $1,000 and they would not believe me. They made me show them where the money was and I would show them on the screen how much money I had made. They would not believe me. They told me that those were just numbers on a screen and that I had to show them the actual cash. I told them that I needed the bank wire details for the company that he had created for me but he was still hesitant to give it to me. I then asked him if I could order a laptop from that money instead and he told me that was fine.

In 2001, owning a laptop was considered really good. I went to a friend I knew and I wired him the money and he shipped me the laptop. It was supposed to arrive in a week, but then week after week passed by with no laptop. My parents started to ask me where the money was and I started to accuse my friend of stealing the money from me. He showed me the shipping details.

In the meantime, the money started accumulating again. You had to have at least $1,500 before the payment processor would wire money to you and it was wired out each Wednesday. I kept telling my parents that more money was coming in and they kept brushing me off. Somehow, I convinced my dad to give me the wire details. I made the transfer and the next day I asked my dad if the wire had come in. He called the bank and it was not there. A few days passed and it was still not there. My dad finally started to get irritated with me. He told me I had promised them a laptop but I did not have one, and now there was no bank wire. He told me that if I did not want to study then I should go to the factory and focus on what was important.

A month later, he woke me up and told me that I was not lying. The money wire had just hit the bank. Right after the money came over we received a letter from customs telling me that my laptop had arrived and that it was stuck in customs. My parents were in shock. They were also impressed that a business could start that way.

Sramana: That’s a fabulous story. How did 2001 end?

Varun Shoor: It ended pretty nice. I was making around 40,000 rupees per month. For the first two years, I focused on the product. I was supposed to head off to college but I spoke about my business opportunity with my father and told him that I did not want to go to college so that I could focus on my business. He told me that if I wanted to focus on the business and forget college then I should do that. Education is a big thing in India, so it took courage for my father to agree to that.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapped Journey of a Child Entrepreneur in India: Varun Shoor, CEO of Kayako
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