Young, dynamic and hardworking are the words that define Anand, the director, and CEO of Flockstation. Clad in a crisp white shirt and humor on point, he greets me with a famous Gujarati “kem cho?” Inspiring quotes from Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln adorn the beautifully painted walls of his sprawling cabin. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”, he quips pointing out a Bill Gates poster on his nail board.
All of 29, Anand who holds a MCA degree, quit his corporate, well-paying job and embarked on this journey of a startup. He aims at building world’s largest community exchange social networking service. Flockstation, his brainchild, his baby as he likes to call it, helps people disconnect from a digital platform and connect in the real world.
Anand is a huge fan of public speaking and motivational speakers. He couldn’t help but get bonkers over all things involved with public speaking. He struggled to find a workshop for learning, speaking skills, diction and voice moderation. A public speaking course for INR 1 lakh for a duration of 6 months, had him pay through his nose. Also, he found it difficult to find a community of like interests where he would go and interact. That’s when Flockstation took shape. He designed a unique platform where people can find fellow individuals, learn from a variety of workshops and also create or organize a workshop of their own.
He worked at Cerner Healthcare for 3 years but was restless during that time. Entrepreneurship was calling. He quit his job but his parents were skeptical about it, as Anand was already married by then. He had a family to support and quitting a job didn’t feel feasible. However, his wife supported him big time. He was equipped with resources yet lacked motivation and encouragement.
Ask him about struggles and he promptly responds, “What is a success without a little bit of struggle? If you didn’t struggle, what stories are you going to put forward for generations to come?”
He knew that starting a new venture comes with a lot of ups and downs and he was prepared for all of these. Anand left his five figure job at Cerner Healthcare and his social circle behind in Bangalore. It was a huge cultural shift. He quips,”the journey from Dosa to Dhokla has been interesting“. He shifted base to Ahmedabad and started off on this entrepreneurial journey. They say behind every successful man, there is a woman, and Radhika, his wife, has been a classic example. He reminisces,
“Radhika and I started off as a two people team. It was difficult finding a space for setting up our office. We had too many irons in the fire and multitasked as web developers, content writers, office staff, designers and sometimes cleaners as well”
In 2016, Flockstation started taking shape. They simultaneously hired web developers, designers, and SEOs. 2016 was spent in building the website and making it user-friendly. By January 2017 they had already shifted from a small 400 sq.ft. space to a huge 3000 sq.ft. office space. The staff grew from 4 to 14. Initially, they had struggles building a web page, now they have fully functional iOS and Android apps in the market.
Only recently a team of cyber hackers deleted the entire database of Flockstation and demanded a huge amount in bitcoin for data recovery. It was a vital blow to Anand. However, that didn’t deter him and he bounced back. He shares, “my team has been very supportive during hard times. We fell together and rose again”. He says, “When people throw stones at you, convert them into milestones”
What Entrepreneurship Taught Him
Anand, on the other hand, has learned a lot about life and entrepreneurship. He says, ‘it has taught me to stay focused and positive. There were times when I thought what if this didn’t work. It helped me realize the importance of hard work, dedication, and patience’. He treats his employees as his family. He adds, ‘Flockstation now, is not only my dream but also the hard work of all the people working towards making it big’. On being asked what is the most difficult and challenging thing about being an entrepreneur, he wittily replies, “I am my own boss. It sometimes drives me crazy that my mistakes will be mine, and I will not be answerable to anyone but myself”
He lives by the famous quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it”.
Working Towards A Good Cause
Anand believes in giving back a share of whatever he has earned to the society. For this reason, Flockstation has designed a separate section dedicated entirely to NGOs. He believes a good cause much not wait and so flockstation is helping Non-Government Organizations find sponsors, supporters, and donors. “We have always felt empathy towards the less privileged. It’s time we form a community and work towards the betterment of the poor and needy”. Flockstation boasts of having 25 NGOs registered with them and the numbers are only expected to grow.
The main motto of Flockstation is to disconnect to connect. It has been encouraging people to disconnect from the virtual world and come out and interact in the real. With Flockstation you can find happenings, events, activities, workshops, exhibitions, classes, products, and services on the go. It gives you an optimized version of maps to help you find venues easily. With all these interesting features, you sure are not going to miss out on anything around!
“We aim at offering the technology in various domains and are working on its applications and advertising for now”, shares Anand.
Visit their website here.