Leadership and entrepreneurial skills have always been accustomed to Gokulraj ever since he graduated from SRM University. After completing his graduation he went on to complete his master from university of Texas, Arlington. Being brought up in a family of entrepreneurs, his life goal was to become a successful entrepreneur like his dad. This is why he came back to India after completing his masters and started his first venture called ZAPstore.
Later on, he went on to start his second company called MyCopie. It is a part of My Advertising Solutions and retails products targeted at the age group of 18 – 24. The product are of top-notch quality, stunning design and amazing value with a goal to be a brand synonymous with the mind set of students. Gokulraj takes care of Product & Market Strategy, Development and Finance. Within a span of few months, they have been able to build a creative design team and partnerships for sustenance and development towards the goal of the firm.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
We @ MyCopie design and retail notebooks targeting students. We focus on Design, Quality, Value and Technology. With MyCopie we are building the next generation stationery company. We were the first notebook company to enable Augmented Reality in the notebook wherein students can play a unique game on every notebook using their mobile phone.
We have distributors across 4 Southern States. We retail in more than 1000+ stores.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
The fact that stationery as an industry hasn’t changed or evolved as other products that a student uses motivated and inspired me to build up MyCopie.
What is your life mantra?
“99% of the people that you will meet in your lifetime are A-Holes. Unless and until you choose to be part of the remaining 1% in choosing your partners and colleagues you will become part of the 99%”.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Determining the right partners to grow the business has been the most challenging part. Since, we have to deal with different type of people from varied background across different states we had to be really careful in choosing the partners.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We slowed our growth and put up criteria’s for distributors to partner with us. Since we are a startup and new to this domain we were cheated in our early stages. But, we learnt fast and made sure that our new partners agreed to our terms and had the same passion as us about MyCopie and its products.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
I pumped in my own funds from my previous exit. I have raised loan from Friends and Family. I am on the works with banks and other investment companies to raise some capital to expand.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
I personally listen to Motivational Videos that give me the necessary juice to stay focused. As an entrepreneur there will always be naysayers around. For me to be focused and to be motivated I listen and read motivational stuff.
Even though we are a startup, I have made it a point to have a leave policy so that my colleagues can be at ease. We also do a team outing once every month. Our office isn’t like a school or a corporate.
We have a free culture. I really don’t care about what my colleagues do unless and until the work gets done on time.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Life Goal
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- Evernote – Helps in note taking
- Asana – Task Management
- Quick Books – Accounting
- Any.do – Todo List
- Elevate – To improve cognitive skills
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
As soon as I wake up I list down the things that I need to do today in a paper. As I strike down each one of them one by one, it motivates me to get the next one done.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I need to exercise every day to get some fresh air and rejuvenate my brain and body.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Be focused. Build a Solid Team. Work Hard.
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
• One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Financial Management is among the most important aspects for a startup to survive. People matter.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We @ MyCopie will be expanding across India to all the Metro’s and Tier 2 Cities through our distributorship model. We will also be launching new products focusing on students. By 2018 we will have atleast 25 MyCopie Cafe’s inside college campuses. MyCopie Cafe would be the culmination point amount students in a college to buy, enjoy and have fun.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would make sure that I have my finances in order from day one.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“99% of the people that you will meet in your lifetime are A-Holes. Unless and until you choose to be part of the remaining 1% in choosing your partners and colleagues you will become part of the 99%” :~ John Priest, Professor @ University of Texas at Arlington