Posted on Monday, Mar 28th 2022
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Founder CEO Vamsi Kora has bootstrapped Gathi Analytics to over $26 million in revenue in four years and exited at a fabulous multiple. Much to learn from his journey.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background? Vamsi Kora: I’m from south India, from a village in Rajamundry, which is very close to the Bay of Bengal. I did Mechanical Engineering. Right after it, I went to have one of the very few well-paid careers at that time. I couldn’t afford to come to the US. So I went into merchant shipping and roamed around the world for about three years. I made two and half rounds around the equator. Sramana Mitra: My father is a shipping entrepreneur. You were a mechanical engineer? Vamsi Kora: Yes, and then went to a one-year training program at Hindustan Shipyard. I took a train to Mumbai. I slept in their Seamen’s Club for a number of days. Then I shifted to a company based in Bahamas for the next two years. It was a tough life, but I was 22 and weighed 70 kilos at that time. I didn’t want to go back home without really making it big.
My first visit to the US was to Houston port. We picked up some industrial merchandise to islands on top of Australia. They have the world’s largest gold mines. That big island on top of Australia belongs to both Indonesia and Australia. The second half is where they found the recent Garden of Eden. We took some of the mining equipment there.
As part of this visit, I met with a couple of friends who went to college with me. I realized that I’m losing out on this big opportunity to get into IT. It seemed like a very low barrier entry at that point.
Sramana Mitra: What year was this? Vamsi Kora: 1995. Sramana Mitra: Internet has started. Vamsi Kora: Just barely. Then I went to Singapore and signed off from the ship. I went to Hyderabad. Y2K was happening. I got a job in Hyderabad and got into the US through that. Getting into IT didn’t feel like a lot of work to me compared to working on the ship. Fortunately, I found my true interest in enterprise data of IT. By 2000, I always worked on making enterprise data available and valuable to internal customers. Sramana Mitra: Where were you based at this point? Vamsi Kora: We’re now in Dublin, Ohio. For the first four years, we were in a place south of Green Bay, Wisconsin. I worked for a subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance. It was called Wasa Insurance. Nationwide sold half to Liberty Mutual. As part of that, we were looking at moving out of the town and getting to a little more cosmopolitan town. Minneapolis is the closest town. My wife was in California at that time.
Fortunately, Nationwide offered me to relocate to Columbus, which is their corporate headquarters. We just had our first child and wanted to move to a bigger place.
Our conversation continues
here. This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping . Bootstrapping to an Exit . Why is Bootstrapping Important? . How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently? . Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings . Excess is NOT Required for Success . Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later . Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies . The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit . Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping . Bootstrapping to Unicorns More »» . Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million . Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue . Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million . Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy . How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million . Bootstrapping with a Paycheck . How Algo.ai CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan . Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses . How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million . Bootstrapping with Services . How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million . How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana . How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million . Death by Overfunding . How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+ . How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck . TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage . The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance . BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering . Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania . Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million . SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida . Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million . Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK . Ownership Matters . Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland . Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado . 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