StorySutra.in is an initiative to build a community of Entrepreneurs, Founders, Startups & Industry Stalwarts to celebrate success & to learn from shortfalls, and to Contribute, Inspire & Embellish Entrepreneurship by sharing their exciting Stories!
And as a part of our initiative, we invited yet another passionate Entrepreneur Mr. Dinesh Agarwal for an interview with us to understand more about his entrepreneurial journey. He is the Co Founder At Recurpost. Let’s learn more about his exciting journey, his background and his advice for our growing community!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey, please;
I always thought I was going to be a research scientist. Since, I was always a good student, I wanted to pursue academia. That took me to the USA for my PhD in Computer Science. I was in Atlanta at that time and the startup scene in Atlanta was picking up. Soon, I caught the entrepreneurship bug there. I started my first venture there to help students. It failed, but I loved the entire process. As soon as I graduated with my PhD. I moved back to India and started working on my own ideas.
RecurPost is once such idea that we conceived out of a need of our own. The only need that stayed constant for every startup we tried was to make sure we got the word out. Social Media was a real channel for this and we ended up with a product that helps you spread the word.
Please Provide a brief overview of your product & Services?
RecurPost is a social media scheduler with repeating schedules. One major problem that we identified with current social media scheduling tools is that you need to upload your content every time you want to schedule something.
We wanted to make it easier. Thus, we created a way for you to categorize your content into different libraries, such as My Blogs, My Videos, Other People’s Links etc. Then you create schedules for the entire library.
For instance, you can schedule a blog post to be posted on your Facebook group every day and twice a day on your Twitter.
What inspired you to build the above Product & Service?
I have worked on a lot of startups, over 30, in the last 6 years. The common need of all of those businesses was to get the word out. We found social media the best tool to do this. Hence, we built a tool to promote our products. When we saw the amount of value, we got using this too, we converted it into a startup of its own.
How did you find the industry/niche you are in?
I was on social media from early on. I was a popular person on Orkut, a social media platform that got killed by Facebook. Social media platforms were a great channel for me to stay in touch with others as I moved a lot for my education. Hence, I knew the value these tools provided.
What is Your life Mantra?
If the wind blows a grain from your neighbour’s field to yours, then you will need to pay it back in some form. Therefore, one should try to do better than less evil to make sure your balance of good karma is always positive. There is never too much good karma.
We always try to help others as much as we can. A recent example is of COVID 19 where our staff decided to donate a part of their salary to the PM Care fund.
The most challenging part of your journey to date and how did you overcome those challenges?
As far as RecurPost is concerned, our biggest challenge is that we depend on third-party APIs. This hinders the speed at which we can do things. I am blessed to have a great team of people to support me. We move very quickly to keep offering new features to our users to make their social media management job a cinch.
How are you managing your Life and work during Lockdown caused by COVID 19?
Lockdown, fortunately, did not affect us a lot. Even before the government announced the lockdown, we were working from our homes to keep ourselves safe.
Lockdown definitely means more time with family which is an amazing thing. We got on a zoom call recently and everyone was smiling and happy. I did not personally like working from home, but the lockdown has changed my perception.
I am trying to take care of my body better now too. I try to get some form of exercise before I go to bed every day.
What is your source of motivation for the day when you wake up?
Every day I want to accomplish something. This sense of accomplishing something, regardless of how big or small, keeps me motivated. Most days these are small things, for instance when I woke up today, I wanted to finish writing this for you. I will be happy if I write it, proofread it and then send it to you. These accomplishments every day give me a sense of time well spent to get me motivated for tomorrow.
Money or Emotions, what comes first for you?
When it is strictly business, it is Money. For instance, we were recently approached by AppSumo for a lifetime deal on their website. I had to turn it down after a lot of going back and forth. I felt bad as they had put in so much time into getting it to work. But we felt it was not good for business and thus we let it go.
When it is about people, it is always emotions. We are an employee-first company. Our employees come even before our customers. It does not mean we don’t mind if our employees are rude to our users, but happy employees can get you a lot more customers. Therefore, when it is about people we always care about emotions.
How do you manage your stress?
Drugs, lots of them. Just kidding. Well, I did go to a shrink once for a few months. Those medicines helped a lot. Also, my experience has taught me that if you plan things right you don’t really have to worry about them.
A lot of my friends keep an eye on their Google Analytics screen. I used to do that too. However, it does not help your business. I learnt that with time and now I know exactly when to look at numbers and when to work on things to get those numbers better.
I also do a little bit of meditation that helps me focus on important things.
What according to you are keys to success?
One should be able to figure out the steps needed to be successful and then onboard enough people to implement the strategy to get there. Once you start measuring things, it becomes really easy to make sure that you are headed in the right direction.
What Online Apps/tools do you use the most and Why?
I use slack to communicate with others. We have a slack channel for our company and I am part of a lot of other slack communities online.
I use Mailchimp for our email campaigns, but I am playing with Mautic at this stage.
I also use Crello and Animoto at times to create some animations and graphics to share on social media. This is something I do for fun as our team handles our social media channels.
There is Eye care 20 20 20 app on my phone that I created to give my eyes a break every 20 minutes.
What habit you think, makes you more productive?
Having a readily available list of to-do things make me highly productive. All I need to do is identify the most important things and finish them asap. Then move on to the next things in line to take care of them.
Your business Goals / plans for next 3 years?
Our goal for the next 3 years is to hit 5 Million USD in annual recurring revenue. We want to hit 1 Million in 2020, 2 Million in 2021 and 5 Million by 2022.
We know what features will get us there so we are working on adding those features. We have also grown our marketing team significantly at this time.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
My favourite quote is by Rabindranath Tagore. I heard it from my PhD advisor first.
“A lamp can only light another lamp when it continues to burn in its own flame.”
Your advice for the Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
If I were to start again, I would never build something that depends on third party APIs for its existence. I advise all aspiring entrepreneurs to work on things that cannot be taken down by a third party easily.
Also, just because you built a good product does not mean they will come. You will need a lot of outreach to get exposure. Start using tools like RecurPost early on to get a head start on your competition.