Building a startup from scratch, reaching out to readers to understand their requirement, working on UI design, building roadmap, Priyanka surely has a lot on her plate. However, it has not troubled her a bit as she takes on each task with ease. She has always been intrigued by data analytics and knowledge acquisition, which is evident from her career spanning across several years.
After completing her B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, she worked across several companies as a data analysts. She slowly crawled her way to the top, after which she decided to give her own pet project a go. This is when she launched her first startup called IndiaBookstore.net. After three successful years, she came up with an innovative idea of creating a community of book lovers who can discover great content around books. This lead to her second startup called Vivilio. In the last six months of its existence, it has generated huge buzz among bibliophiles, and strives to impinge interest of readers through interaction with like-minded users.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Vivilio is an app for book readers to create and share their reading profile.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I have been running IndiaBookStore (a book price comparison platform) for over 3 years. Through my interaction with IndiaBookStore users, I realized that people are looking for something more beyond the usual price comparison like creating virtual book shelf, connecting with like-minded readers, and knowing what others are reading. That’s how Vivilio happened.
What is your life mantra?
My friends call me ‘fighter’, not because I fight with others, but for my attitude towards life. If I believe in something, I fight till the end. I like to be on a path of constant trying and learning.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
I am an engineer but never had much experience in programming. It was difficult for me to hire product development services or a software engineer for my product development.
How did you overcome those challenges?
For some time, I asked my techie friends to help me with product development related discussions. I also started learning programming and started working on small projects for my product. Now, I have developed decent understanding for front-end and backend development.
I believe that one should accept challenges and try to figure out solutions for them, rather than taking them as bottleneck.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We did not take any external funding for IndiaBookStore, it’s a small profitable business with a team of 6. Though for Vivilio, we are starting to look for funds.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
I make sure that people in my company are aware of the progress that we make and the challenges that we are facing. Keeping conversation transparent, helps building trust and long term relationships. I am humble enough to share my problems and hear out their issues. This is how I have build trust in the company. We are a small company and have not seen attrition yet. ☺
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Determination, Honesty, Patience
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- AWS – Small Server requirements
- Git and Bitbucket – hosting code base on cloud
- UXpin – creating mockups
- Asana – Project Management
- Buffer – Social Media updates
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Exercise. When I work out, I feel more energetic and productive. Also, listening to music helps unclutter my thoughts.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am a transparent person but too much transparency comes with its downsides as well.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Accept feedback, question yourself and be reactive.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
One should make mistakes to learn, nothing teaches better than a failure.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
That its important for to be true to ourselves and chart out our own path.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
At the moment, we are trying to shape Vivilio in a way our users find it useful. That’s the plan for next 6months. We are constantly evolving and I want to see Vivilio as a global brand related to books.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Oh wow, this is a question I answer to myself everyday. Given a chance to restart my career, I would work in a startup and would NOT waste time in IT companies. As Indian IT companies are majorly solutions provider, there is huge gap in terms of association with the product or the company for an employee. I feel much more at home building products and communicating with end users directly in a startup.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
LA, Greece, Goa. First two when I have enough money and time. Goa, I would love to go anyday. ☺
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Be strong, be confident and be determined.”