The Spirit of Entrepreneurship
There are some who become entrepreneurs by serendipity. And there are those who nurture their entrepreneurial aspirations and plan the path ahead in great detail. Senthil Kanthaswamy was passionate about entrepreneurship ever since his early college days. Upon graduating, he became a part of an idea think-tank where he exchanged ideas big enough to build the next Instagram or Top Box along with fellow tech enthusiasts. This is where he met his co-founder Shyam Anandaraman, an ex-Gold- man Sachs analyst. After months of deliberating on various ideas, they converted a friend’s apartment into their temporary headquarters and in 2013 founded Turing Research Labs Pvt Ltd. Their offering was Frilp, an application that connects users with local businesses and services through trusted recommendations of their friends and colleagues.
Being a first-time entrepreneur, it has been an arduous journey. Only when they started, Senthil realized how little he knew. He remembers the early days when he fumbled with running an organisation and made some embarrassing mistakes. He realized early on that to execute a large vision and to translate that vision into a reality, each and every employee of the company must have trust and belief in it. Senthil learnt that it is this ownership of the vision that gives everyone — engineers, salespersons, just about everyone — a purpose, and that purpose manifests as enthusiasm and commitment towards the organization
One of the most difficult moments for Senthil was when he had to let go. He, along with his team, had put their heart and soul into building Turing. When there was a flux in their landscape, there were two choices available to him: continue with slower growth because of the limited funds or accept an offer of acquisition by Freshdesk which came with a potential for accelerated growth. For a founder who puts everything into creating an enterprise, getting acquired is as close to heartbreak as it can be.
Senthil experienced this heartbreak too. Turing was acquired by Freshdesk in 2015.
However, in hindsight, Senthil accepts that the acquisition turned out to be a blessing. He recalls that experience akin to getting ‘reserve rocket fuel’ which powered them along the path of solving the problems they so wanted to solve. Accepting this acquisition was a challenge for him. It was the Turing team that gave him the strength to accept and work with this choice
Senthil had always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur. His experience, filled with spice and adventures, has made this decision worthwhile. He believes entrepreneurship is a euphemism for being plagued with doubts, for being letdown, forgetting bruised over and over again, and receiving support and warmth from close ones. Would he do it again? ‘Most certainly so’, he says!