There’s a GIGANTIC myth in the startup ecosystem. Go BIG or Go HOME! Raise GOBS of venture capital. Otherwise, you can’t build anything big. It’s GIGANTIC BS!
Watch this inspiring 2 minute 09 second video and learn how the Turakhia brothers have created over a billion dollars of personal wealth through significant exits without raising any venture capital:
Capital efficient ventures
often end up creating a lot more money for entrepreneurs.
Bhavin Turakhia, CEO of Directi and
Flock, and his brother Divyank have bootstrapped Directi, a portfolio of
Internet businesses over the last ~20 years. In 2014, they had their first $160
million exit. In 2016, they had a second $900 million exit. It’s a very
interesting story of masterful business acumen and disciplined fundamentals-driven
execution. Not a penny of external financing involved, by the way.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your
personal journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what
kind of background?
Bhavin Turakhia: I was born and raised in Mumbai. My
parents are originally from there. I went to school there. In many ways, the
seeds for my entrepreneurship career were largely sown there. I remember in
1989, I was in the sixth grade when the school installed their very first
computer room. I’m talking about a time when there was no Internet. There
was no Windows. It was just GWBasic and MS-DOS. It was love at first sight.
always been passionate about science, math, physics, and logical reasoning.
This was a very natural extension. Programming became my biggest passion. I
would spend several hours each day after school in the computer room. I would
just spend all my time there. My father, who in many ways deserves credit for
our success, instilled in us the value of reading a lot early on. We used to
devour tons of different books.
three to four years, I went through about 40 to 50 programming books. I would
teach the students in school advanced programming for several months. I became
really passionate about computer science back then. Since then, one of my
favorite genres is biographies. In many ways, the entrepreneurship bug also bit
me back then. In early school days, from the time I was 10, I was fairly
certain that I wanted to start my own company and that I wanted to do it in the
tech space. That’s a quick background.
Mitra: Where did you do all your college?
Bhavin Turakhia: All in Mumbai. I had the goal of taking
up Computer Science. Along the way, I decided that it wasn’t for me. I went
through all the engineering curriculum and most of the stuff they were teaching,
I had already done that on my own. I had already learned all of that and gone
significantly beyond that. Then I switched from science to commerce.
and I started our first business together. We were already doing consulting and
setting up people’s networks in high school. We were enterprising and doing
small amount of business. When I started my undergraduate, I started down the
path of setting up businesses.
Mitra: What time-frame are we talking? What year did you finish high school?
Bhavin Turakhia: In 1994, I finished school. From
1995 to 1996, I was in high school. Then from 1996 to 1999, I did my
undergraduate degree. My younger brother is two years younger so he was two
years behind me.
Sramana Mitra: We are talking late 90’s. The Internet has
happened but in India, it’s still very nascent and very little.
Bhavin Turakhia: Right after school when we were in high
school, that’s when Internet, for the first time, became commercially
available. Between 1994 to 1996, there was one ISP in the entire country. It
was a government-owned company. They would sell Internet connectivity. That was
just about the beginning. I used to have the 2,400 modems that would make funny
sounds and would get disconnected every five minutes.