Thinkers. Doers. The Rodinhooders.
Did I misspell Robinhood? Nah! Rodinhood, the name, is inspired from Auguste Rodin, the man behind the famous sculpture of “The Thinker” and Robin Hood– the famous heroic English outlaw, the man who got things “Done”. So a Thinker + Doer is what being a Rodinhooder is all about.
TheRodinhoods is a community of Entrepreneurs and Wanna-be-preneurs with an enterprising mind, sharing knowledge, experiences and advising each fellow members as actively as one can imagine. The community is spearheaded by none other than dynamic and ever so energetic Alok Kejriwal and is managed by an equally enthusiastic team, spread across different cities in India. Alok’s previous startup, Mobile2Win, was acquired by The Walt Disney Company (China Company) and by Norwest Venture Partners (India Company). TheRodinhoods, which started as a small after-office-hour discussion on Fridays few years back with 5-9 people around, has now grown into a vibrant community of 6000+ enterprising souls, spread across the nation.
As part of their main objective of helping the enterprising minds to come together to share and learn, TheRodinhoods keeps on organizing meet-ups in different cities which is organized and managed by the city specific Rodinhooders. On 9th November 2013, LifeBeyondNumbers was fortunate enough to be a part of the TheRodinhoods Open House in IIT-Delhi.
We reached IIT-Delhi Seminar Hall with a preconceived notion of just-going-to-attend another start-up event. However, the Rodinhooders were adamant enough to change our mindset. The warmth of the 200+ spirited Rodinhooders inside the Seminar Hall was much more than you would ever want to shield against the dipping Delhi temperature outside.
TheRodinhoods Open House event started with the National anthem, unlike other business events we have attended so far. It was a feel-good factor worth respecting. The same was followed by welcome speeches by Mr. Pravin K Purang, President of IIT Delhi Alumni Association and Mr. Chandra K Jain of IIT Delhi Alumni Association. Both were very enthusiastic to see and meet such a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, which they thought, existed only within the IIT campus.
And all of a sudden, there was an aura of positive energy inside the hall as soon as Alok Kejriwal took over the stage to welcome the Rodinhooders. The main agenda for the event was “There But Not There” – to discuss the pain areas and new opportunities of existing start-ups. Alok was at his wittiest best to answer and resolve some of the common yet difficult issues faced by the start-ups.
Some of the highlights of the 3 hour long event:
#1 – Animesh Jain, VP – Marketing of HealthKart.com and Founder & Advisor of IndiaBookStore.net, busted some of the commonly discussed about myths of starting up and making it happen. Myths busted out of his experience were well accepted by the audience and was a good take-away for some of the young enterprising minds present there.
#2 – Can there be a better place and opportunity to launch a product among a group of peers with great intellect and scrutinizing minds to offer some great feedback than this? Mayank Batra grabed the opportunity to launch Campuspedia which aims to offer a platform to students to buy/sell/rent among themselves within college campuses and also facilitate external business entities to offer business services to students in a more organized manner.
#3 – Have you ever attended a startup event that recognizes a common Auto-rickshaw driver for his entrepreneurial skills and great customer service? Well, here they did. Harsha, a Rodinhooder, once took a ride in an auto and during the drive to his destination, he sparked a conversation with the auto driver which revealed more than he could have imagined. The Rodinhooders honored Rajesh, the Autowala, with a stamp in the shape of an auto as a memento. Rajesh offers an awesome customer service experience to his clients, at times with a premium price which his clients pay him happily. He remembers the count of clients he has served with drilled-down details of gender, geo-location, repeat customers etc. In the times of costly CRM applications, Rajesh truly is a priceless Human Mobile CRM. The shy Rajesh, who was standing in-front of such an audience, may be for the first and hopefully not for the last time, was overwhelmed and sure returned home with a content heart and great respect.
#4 – Rohit Kabra and Rajat Girdhar shared the stories so far behind their startups FBPay and ArrangedLUV respectively, and the challenges that they are facing in taking their startups to the next level. Alok was all ears to their pain areas and extended his assistance in all the ways possible. Also, the audience was very interactive and eager to offer their valuable feedback and suggestions from their first-hand experiences.
#5 – Neharika Jain, representing her company SafeCity, shared the invaluable service they are trying to offer to the general public and the challenges the company is facing. Insightful minds present in the hall were enthusiastic enough to offer their support and suggestions. The SafeCity sounds like a promising step towards creating more awareness about the social evils mushrooming around every nook and corner of the nation.
#6 – Hemant Kohli, CEO & Co-founder of Bookadda.com shared his experiences and the challenges he faced while scaling up his venture and how he over came the hurdles. He also discussed with the power-packed house some of the challenges in the current run his venture is facing and how it should be tackled.
The Final Punch
Where there is a will, there is a way. And where there is Alok Kejriwal, there is always something to take away. Yes! Alok comes with a vast pool of never-heard-of experiences and enchanting stories to enlighten your thought process. And the bonus is that he believes in sharing and growing. He shared some invaluable learning, which was perfectly bundled as “14 years. 14 Lessons“. The three key take-away points from his 14 lessons:
#1 – Find a mentor: It is important to have a mentor who understands your vision and who can guide you through the journey. But be careful to find the right mentor.
#2 – Never stop looking: Opportunities do not come by calendar dates. They exist around you and they hit you more often than you can recognize them as an Opportunity. Be on the hunt, grab the one that fits your bill and enjoy the journey.
#3 – Be humble: It needs no explanation. Have you ever liked an individual who carries his success on his head? Be grounded. Be lovable. Be approachable.
Alok pulled down the event curtains by distributing 100 copies of the famous book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda free to the Rodinhooders. Wanna know why he does that every time someone visits his office or in events like this? Click here to know Alok’s intent behind it.
Thinking if you have missed out on all the action? You are wrong. If you are based out of Bangalore or happen to be in and around Bangalore, you can attend the power packed TheRodinhoods Bangalore Open House on 16-Nov-2013. And it’s free to be a part of the event. For details, click here.
Still wondering why TheRodinhoods Open House is not just another startup event? Be a part of it once to experience the magic and you will have the answer with you.
Want to attend the next Delhi Open House? Click here for details.