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Startups Don’t Always Begin in a Garage

When I was transitioning from a job in a large multinational company to my startup, I needed to make a few key decisions. Ones of them was should I work from home or from a garage to mirror the stories of the great garage to multiple billion dollar startups I had read.

I decided that I will work out of a centrally located business centre – Avanta. A year ago it was a decision taken on gut feeling and one year into my entrepreneurial journey and on hindsight, it was a smart decision I took. It aided and helped accelerate my enterprise, the benefits of working out of a serviced office were flexibility, agility, peace of mind and the ability to focus on core business.

I worked out a short term contract with the business centre as was unsure how things will fare in the short term and didn’t want to be saddled with a long term financial commitment that I may not to be able to shoulder. Started off alone with three additional seating for possible hires and best wishes from friends, family and Nakul Mathur’s Avanta team. Taking advantage of the plug and play support I moved in with my laptop and had all the other infrastructure of a fully functional large office from Avanta. Every thing required was available printer, internet, a coffee vending machine, telephone connection, reception, call answering, house keeping and secretarial services. With all these available facilities I only needed to concentrate on my business.

The idea took shape and morphed and team grew and so did the office. We started off with a representation business. We in a couple of months were on our next venture EisenVault. Which was a business to help organisations “Simply Document Management”, we started building an electronic cloud document management system (DMS). EisenVault would help customer store and easily retrieve documents. The system would OCR pdf, jpeg etc. and would support India languages like Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Kanada and others.

In three months we were in a larger office and in six we were in an even larger office, seating eight people. Close to the finish of a year we are already thinking of our how large an office should we contract with the business centre to accommodate the growth we expect in the next six months. All this happened as we had the luxury of focussing on the business and could seamlessly move offices within the business centre as we grew.

The central location and proximity to public transport like Delhi Metro, local train and ease of commute, encouraged partners and customers to make trips for meetings. The ease of using meeting rooms at the business centre made holding professional meetings a breeze. It helped attract prospective employees. The best of all, it helped me find my co-founder Vipul Swarup and encouraged our friend and mentor, founder of Integral Media Solutions, Saurjyesh Nath Bhaduri to move into the office with us. This created a perfect startup ecosystem with ideas being discussed and fine tuned. A few other friends have joined us and a couple of new businesses will germinate from our office.

Hopefully we will continue to grow and keep getting accommodated in appropriate offices in the business centre or we will outgrow the business centre to a size that will warrant us to move into our office. Whatever be the decision, as far as office premises is concerned in the coming years, the ease of starting off and quickly ramping up and the contribution that Avanta has made to RitiVise Ventures our representation business, EisenVault – the digital vault, electronic document management business and Integral Media Solutions – digital content business, will be appreciated and acknowledged always.