When India didn’t perform as expected at the Rio Olympics, the entire nation criticized authorities’ bad decisions and the lack of good sporting infrastructure in the country for it. And if there is good infrastructure, deserving players don’t get access to it.
While we were busy complaining, without really providing any solutions, Shwetang R.D. was already doing his part of the work to make thing better through his startup GoPlayr.
GoPlayr is the first of its kind online marketplace in India that connects sports enthusiasts with authorities of sports infrastructure, so that people’s craving for sports can be fulfilled seamlessly and India can be turned into a better sporting nation.
A serial entrepreneur, Shwetang has always believed in being a part of the solution. Go through his interview to learn more about his innovative initiative and future plans he has for it.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
GoPlayr is a marketplace for sports, fitness & wellness activities enthusiasts. It’s a platform to rent sports, fitness and wellness infrastructure & services on pay per use and membership basis. We enable sports enthusiasts connect with each other based on sporting preferences and geo location. We also have a rate & review system for venue & amenities to help our customers make better decisions.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Lack of accessibility of sporting resources, and poor online visibility for the availability, prices, feedback and amenities of Sports & Fitness venues is what motivated me to take the matter seriously. After some initial research I found out that there is a gap b/w people interested in sports and authorizes providing sporting infrastructure because of a lack of common platform them. Sports in India lags other industries which have adopted intuitive discovery platform, hence we founded GoPlayr with the vision to provide one stop sporting solution to all sports enthusiasts.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Financial constraints are the most commonly-cited reason for entrepreneurs failing to realize their dream. It has been the same for us. While cash-flow is a requirement for getting a business off the ground, the less you view money as the make-or-break element of your company, the better your product or service will be. So despite all the financial issues we are pretty stable now. The insecurities that come along with the startup life are a big challenge. We have to accept that fear will always be there, embrace it, and then overcome it.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
For the first 6 months, we were bootstrapped. We raised seed funds 3 months ago. Fortunately we also have some revenue coming in from our B2B and B2C side of the business.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Success is a lot of small things done well. The top three qualities I could think of are hard work, consistency & passion. Craving to learn & grow is what keeps you going.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I spend most of my time on Trello because that is what we use for all project management work. I use Google Keep – it’s like a small personal diary – available handy all the time and of course GoPlayr to find venues & activities to participate.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I think what makes me productive is I divide my work in two part – day & night and in between work I take plenty of time to relax myself – talk to coworkers & engage in their problems to understand the ground reality to develop something to automate their process or may be cut some steps. Dividing my work, makes me feel less of a pressure to do everything at one time.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
A successful startup is that which offers something that solves some real problems. A successful startup is the result of thoughtful hard work done by passionate individuals who have expertise in technology, marketing, and sales. If anything from these go amiss, a startup is bound to fail.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Trying to raise funds from VC right from the first day of starting up. Build the product & service, get people to adopt and then approach the Investors.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Talk more about the numbers and less about the product – always.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Our future plan includes expansion to 7 major cities in India. We are working on some interesting projects like Fitness Cards for users to provide easy access of venues and tie up with government sports facilities.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
If I get a chance to start my career again, probably I’d focus more on practical projects than on theoretical subjects & exams. I’d take command of my knowledge, stream and education rather than giving it to any professors, stream or university syllabus.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
I haven’t had much getaway since we started this venture. Any decent place outside office is a getaway if I’m not thinking about work.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”