Vaikunth Dempo is building a community that hopes to play in the technology space
By ANKITHA JOSEPH
Heir to a business family, Vaikunth Dempo has grown seeing the perks and hindrance involved in business. Following his fathers’s path, he too set foot into the demanding field of marketing. His fascination with technology led him to complete his bachelor’s in computer application from Pune and he further went on to do his masters in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship from UK.
The startup bug had caught him right after his bachelors. His first step in entrepreneurship was taken in 2012 with ‘Tech Avanzar’. But following his parents advice, Vaikunth kept his startup on hold until he completed his masters.
“When I started with Tech Avanzar I realized it was difficult to startup something and get going with it. It takes lot more than theoretical knowledge to run a business and it’s quite a task to convince people with your ideas,” states Vaikunth.
Vaikunth learned of the new technology called the ‘Internet of Things’ that functions with a mobile application at its front end and a variety of censors at the back end. What today we call as Smart Living are all parts of the ‘Internet of Things’. Currently, ‘Tech Avanzar’ is the parent company that holds Colabr as one of its products and in the near future is planning to launch more products under the brand name ‘Smartklik’ which will be into future connected technology.
Presently, Vaikunth is researching more on the IoT and is hoping to launch a set of products in the coming months.
Vaikunth’s business vision is to find an idea that can solve the problems of masses with the help of technology. Vaikunth, along with his venture, is looking forward to collaborate with a Hong Kong based company called NEXI that specializes in creative product development with innovative ideas.
Another initiative by Vaikunth that is presently functioning in Goa, at the Dempo Trade Centre, Patto is ‘Colabr’ which is a co-working space that focuses on building a community of hard working individuals. Colabr offers an office atmosphere for many freelancers irrespective of the field that you belong to. A content writer, social media analyst or even an IT professional, Colabr welcomes all without any glitches. Though it’s all about a space for business, Colabr tries to maintain a homely atmosphere with the Goan theme that the space is styled in.
Keeping it economical, Colabr charges a total of `300 per person on a daily basis. The space can accommodate a total of 15 people and is open from 9 in the morning till 7 in the evening. Vaikunth plans to make it a 24×7 co-working space depending on the response he receives. With the space also comes facilities such as free internet, tea/coffee and few snacks for the users.
“It’s not an incubator because incubators would give you a mentor and connections which I’m not providing. I am just giving spaces for rent. If there is a startup or freelancer, whether a content writer, journalist or whoever it may be who work from home and are in need of a space, they can use Colabr. This feels like an office but at the same time it is flexible. I’m looking forward to building a community,” says Vaikunth.
Vaikunth, along with his venture, is looking forward to collaborate with a Hong Kong based company called NEXI that specializes in creative product development with innovative ideas.
As an evolved youngster, Vaikunth realizes the importance of social media in marketing. From Facebook to Instagram, Vaikunth strategizes to take over social media in the coming time. Colabr recently collaborated with another company called Wafer.ee run by Nagarjuna and Samay that has come up with smart street lights with fully automated panels. The collaboration also took place as a networking event that played as a marketing tool showcasing the products by Wafer.ee and at the same time, Colabr and its specifications were also made known to people. The event saw startups, tech communities, freelancers and tech enthusiasts from all over Goa. Social media is a powerful tool indeed, but Vaikunth considers the mainstream option of word-of-mouth equally effective.
Before Colabr, Vaikunth had taken up projects for several companies which included a UK based firm, as well; but that wasn’t enough to get him a job. Finally he worked under one of his mentors for about a period of two years keeping on halt his entrepreneurial venture of Tech Avanzar. “It was a great working experience. I learnt a lot about business, meeting people and how it actually works. Right now, I work for myself, I don’t boss around others and no one bosses around me, so I can either be a winner or loser. But there I had somebody to guide me and tell me what exactly has to be done. So those two years offered me great learning ground.”
Vaikunth works with project based freelancers and looks forward to build a small team that would help him in achieving his goals. He feels that in today’s time, one can easily startup if he has access to a computer. Making use of your own resources to the maximum extent is most important and one should outsource the work only if there is no other way out. “I have not really joined any association, so far. One thing I have tried is to keep myself on a low profile because when you go to such places you meet a lot of people and I would want to do that after my company reaches the desired heights. Once I have a base and there is constant business happening then I will join for scaling up and networking,” says Vaikunth.
Small successes are stepping stone to achieve the ultimate goal. He mentions that following decisions and plans is not wrong as long as those decisions are made with clarity of thought.