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The Techie Visionary

Rohit Agarwal had no two thoughts about becoming an entrepreneur since his early college days. The encouragement and support he received from his college, BITS Pilani, allowed him to take charge of his destiny. An avid programmer, Rohit started his entrepreneurial pursuits in his second year at BITS Pilani by enrolling for a course on entrepreneurship. This course stoked the fire. Rohit, along with his batchmate Vineet Markan, set up a venture in the animation and graphics space. This idea received instant validation in the form of a small grant from a BITS alumnus. It also won an award and along with it a grant of 5,00,000 at The Power of Ideas competition.

Always one to stand out in a crowd and make his own mark, Rohit and Vineet joined Krayon Pictures, an animation studio, as interns to hone their skills and do some scoping. While recognising and fixing a critical problem faced by the studio, the duo developed an interactive online tool to help cross-continental teams collaborate on videos. They soon landed their first paying client which was Krayon itself! The visionary in Rohit then took over. He and his team launched Framebench in 2012 and his conviction led him to secure funding very early on from several angel investors and Blume Ventures.

It felt like we were all a big bunch of friends rather than a company.

The first jolt was not far away though. Vineet left the team to start his own venture and Rohit was left alone to manage everything including hiring, sales, client relationships etc. Letting go of a team member, in case he or she wasn’t a good fit, was a task Rohit found particularly challenging. His leadership style of building a team that shared a very close bond made this task even more onerous. At the end of it all, it is the team and the moments he has enjoyed with them that he cherishes the most.

This journey has been extremely enriching for Rohit. He believes that he has learned more about people management, networking, technology etc. from his adventures with Framebench than he could have anywhere else. He feels that he has become more mature and can understand when people say, ‘this is a marathon, not a sprint’. After he became a part of Freshworks in 2015 (after they acquired Framebench), Rohit is enjoying focusing solely on product management. He continues to take up small tech projects inside the company to satiate the hustler in him and keep his abilities sharp.

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