Karthik Juvvala received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from Andhra University. He worked with companies like Capgemini, Future Group People Office, and Bentley Systems. Soon after that, he went to pursue MBA from IIM Ranchi.
An entrepreneur at heart, Karthik co-founded Gen-next Movies in 2006. Later, he founded OMYGO, which is an innovative tool to surprise someone anonymously on any occasion in an easy manner.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
The idea is to build a platform that would help users to CREATE as well as EXPERIENCE ‘Surprise’ on any occasion in an easy manner. CREATE SURPRISE: Through OMYGO, users (C2C) can purchase a gift and anonymously inform (Surprise) their loved ones that they will be receiving something. Note: Surprises needn’t always have to be a product. It could be a Plan (Ex: Surprise trip to Thailand), an Achievement (Ex: I got promoted), an Event (Ex: I’m getting married), an Activity (Ex: Husband cooks dinner to surprise his wife) etc. which could be conveyed as a surprise to someone instead of merely informing through call/chat. EXPERIENCE SURPRISE: B2C: Through OMYGO, Businesses/Brands could incentivize users to purchase their products by giving a surprise (pre/post purchase) in the form of customized Discounts/Cashbacks/Surprise Gifts etc. which would help create new customers and in turn, customer loyalty. Overall, OMYGO is an innovative tool to surprise someone anonymously on any occasion in an easy manner.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Planning a surprise for someone is a very tedious process. For Ex: It takes hours of preparation and a lot of coordination to plan a small surprise (arranging for a cake and decorating the room) for someone on their birthday without their knowledge. People always find it difficult and have often failed to surprise someone. I myself have failed many a times and always wanted to surprise my friends Anonymously. This was the trigger.
What is your life mantra?
Life is nothing but a series of good/bad situations. All you can do is make the right choices. If you can see every situation as an opportunity to learn, you’ll get extraordinary rewards.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Finding the right talent and building the team was one of the biggest challenges we faced. Thanks for our uncompromising attitude, today we have one of the finest people working with us as our core team. If someone asks me what are the top 3 criteria for building a succesful company, I would say 1) Team 2) Team 3) Team
How did you overcome those challenges?
Networking is the key. Steve jobs once said, you approach someone, no matter how big the person is w.r.to status, net worth, he would surely help you. I never believed that until I developed a habit of meeting like minded people and approaching them in the case of help. And this has worked. It helped me find the right talent for my startup. Even, today I meet founders of various startups on a regular basis. It helps you in many ways and also opens new avenues.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have been growing organically so far. Majority of the fund that has been raised so far is from the Founder’s pocket(myself) including few contributions from friends and family and we have majorly used it for the product development, marketing as well as operations during the pilot launch… One of the main reasons to have not approached an investor till now was 1) not to compromise on the product features 2) develop proof of concept, test the core features and take feedback from the TG.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Somehow we have been lucky in attracting the right team at an early stage. And they help us in hiring similar kind of people through referrals.
In the current scenario its easy to find someone who is a) passionate or b) talented. But we believe in hiring “Crazy” individuals. Crazy people never complain about the long hours, challenging tasks etc. They somehow focus on the end result and try to give their best ever single time. Every individual working for us knows what/how exactly he is contributing to the vision of the company. That’s what my job was besides giving them incentives, rewards whenever required. And we are open to people who find a better opportunity/environment outside our company to move on. But we’re happy they didn’t find one till now.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1) Discipline: Time is less. Utilize it properly in a disciplined manner
2) Genuineness: Be Genuine to yourself every time.
3) Shamelessness: Put your ego in a time capsule and say goodbye before starting your company. If it requires you to go out on field and distribute pamphlets just outside your ex-company, don’t hesitate. If it requires you to call your enemy for help, don’t hesitate.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- Google Analytics, Gmail
- Some automation tools based on requirement No recommendations.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Listen to your customers. Be in constant touch with them. It helps in multiple ways.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
You don’t often get to see me on social media platforms.
Making it a habit to spend time on social media platforms regularly helps you understand customer trends and also know the current marketing strategies of other companies.
Answer in less than 50 words
If you can believe in yourself and persevere beyond endurance, you’ll succeed.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Stop satisfying yourself, a mistake is a mistake. Learn and move forward.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Failing is learning. Learn to fail but don’t fail to learn.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We have set a detailed Quarterly plan with milestones for sales, product and customer acquisition. Our TARGET is to reach 100k customers by the end of Year 1 and a million by end of year 3.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would start networking with people early in life and experiment more.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
1) Vizag beach (home)
2) NY Timesquare
3) My room with my guitar and my laptop
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Where there is DISCIPLINE in the person, there is SINCERITY in the heart,
Where there is SINCERITY in the heart, there is GENUINENESS in the thought,
Where there is GENUINENESS in the thought, there is PERSEVERANCE in the Act,
Where there is PERSEVERANCE in the Act, there is BEAUTY in the Work.
Lets make something beautiful. – Karthik Juvvala