Quest of survival

On 21st March at 2pm Nupur mam called all 6 of us in startup garage (our conference room) and said few words after which all stared at each other thinking if they we should laugh or get worried about it. “You have to earn as much money as possible in 24 hours without investing more than 500 Rs of your personal finance. Create a product, sell a service, invest, do anything” she said. Right next second she got bombarded by machine gun of questions from all of us. “How is that even possible in 24 hours?”, “what can we make in 24 hours?” “why only 500 Rs ?”. “That’s on your creativity” she said and grouped us in 2 teams and she left.

I was with Bharat Parmar – having 20 years of experience in handling big projects, who came to Lemon 20 days ago from Kuwait just to explore his deeper purpose, and with Rupesh Chawala – 27 year old bright and down to the earth entrepreneur, who just 4 months ago founded MomCare a service startup taking care of all the pregnant moms in India. I was worried if Bharat ji would be ready to do all the running, wandering, knocking the doors in the harsh Vidharbha sun. But his first sentence was “let’s rock the show!”. So much to learn from that man. In front of us were Akshay Gaud – my co-founder, Runal Pal – a brilliant dropout and Abhilash bhaiya – co-founder of Tigloo, a learning space for the youth.

We went home and decided to bring 5-10 ideas each for the next day. Next day we arrived with few ideas and at 12 in the noon the clock started ticking backwards to 24 hours. We rushed and captured the playfield with a giant white board in it.

First step – list down all the ideas without judging anything. We drew about 19-20  ideas.

Second step – write down the money we can earn in 24 hours with that respective idea. like if we sold this to 50 customers in 50 rupees we can bring 2500 cash easily.

Third step – start cutting down ideas which are impossible in 24 hours plus ideas with lowest profits. Around 4-5 ideas were alive after all this bloody kaatapitti.

Fourth step – get to final best idea which all think can earn us good bucks and keep all other in backup. we created a system where we would report back if the idea is not working in 2 hours to shift to those backup ideas.

So we started with my idea of Barter trading. where we went to each shopkeeper and exchanged goods with him. Like we started with my used 10 rupee ball pen and went to a salon and asked if he could give us any things from your shop which is not being able to sell, but it should be few bucks higher than this pen. So that pen was exchanged for a book. in next shop that book got exchanged for a 200 rupee chocolate, chocolate with 300 rupee art craft. Thus with technique we collect more than 1500 Rupees of goods.

Next we took readymade kurti from one friend here which were not being able to sell. 33 pieces worth 20 rupees, and went to a bootique and sold all of them in 40 Rupees. it was 10 pm in the night till then. We went home. At night i hired Akshay in 50 Rupees to create beautiful art pieces which we sold off in the morning next day. In this way we made about 3300 Rupees in 24 hours.

In Lemon most of the learning part is not in the activity, but in the reflection session we have with Deepak sir after that activity. So from 12 pm to 5 pm we reflected back what we learnt, what we could have done differently, what we learnt from others. One of my strongest learning I developed was the removal of the fear of ever remaining broke and hungry in my life.

We invested all those money we earned in stocks and now it is making more bucks for us. Now we are eagerly waiting for out next activity from Deepak sir.

LSE 2018

Mr. Chinmaya Dhiman