Varun graduated from Purdue University, USA, before completing his MBA from Columbia University, New York. Before launching Clicktable, he had spent 8 years in managing operations at his family business, Kent RO Systems Ltd – the market leader in household water purifiers. He continues to play a key role in the family business and overlooks functioning of IT, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service.
A great believer in ‘winning together’, Varun has established an entrepreneurship driven culture at Clicktable to reward and acknowledge the contribution of every employee to the growth of the organisation. In his leisure time, he enjoys cooking, reading and watching sci-fi/action movies. Clicktable.com intends to redefine front desk management by offering real-time solutions to restaurateurs in optimizing their business delivery with speed, efficiency, and customer connects to bridge the communication gap.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Clicktable is front desk management software for restaurants that allows them to manage their guestbook, reservations, waitlist, table inventory and promote their events and offers. Another aspect of the software is a consumer app, which allows real time table reservations for the convenience of a consumer.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
It was a real life experience. I tried getting a table at one of a leading restaurant in Delhi and in spite of multiple tries (advance booking and randomly walking in), I wasn’t able to. Having used online table reservation systems in the US, I thought the opportunity exists for a similar service in India and that’s how the idea was seeded.
What is your life mantra?
Sometimes you simply have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
It’s the difference between expectations and reality. We did a very through one to one market research before we started developing the product. Our research pointed out that restaurants would love to have a reservation management software. But after we developed the product and went to market, we faced stiff resistance from the restaurants. They were not ready for a culture shift which required them to move from managing reservations on paper to a software, most of the restaurants were technology averse, providing a dedicated manpower for the software was an issue for them, etc. Generally, as startups, we tend to overlook practical problems and just find solutions to the theoretical ones.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We are helping restaurants in terms of training and support. We provide 15 days of hand holding on the product via our field associates and provide them an unlimited number of training sessions free of cost. Such steps are helping us get them accustomed to our software and ensuring that restaurants are reaping benefits from using our software.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
I have invested my personal funds till date.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
I strongly believe in “taking people with me”. We have created a very friendly and open working environment. Though a systematic hierarchy does exists, but we never let anyone feel that in the company. We promote innovation, teamwork and agility. Lastly, people get rewarded and recognized for their efforts. All the above efforts have helped us build a cohesive team and control attrition.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Hard work
- Positive Attitude
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Asana for project planning, Slack for team communication and I done this for keeping the team on the same page.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I plan my each day in the morning. First thing what I do when I reach office is that I jot down all my pending and planned tasks in my diary. I keep monitoring them throughout the day and ensure that most of them are completed before the day ends. It also ensures that I don’t loose track of any tasks. It is a simple yet effective technique.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am a very lethargic person which also leads to procrastination. This sometimes throws off my planning and tasks.
Answer in less than 50 words
Honesty and Integrity are the pillars of success.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Always keep your feet on the ground and don’t get carried away with small success.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves thousand moments of regret.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
3 years are too much to plan in my opinion. I assign goals for smaller time frames and based on their results, plan forward. As of now, the goal is to release the consumer-facing app in this quarter and have tie-ups with 400 restaurants in Delhi/NCR in next 6 months.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
What are your top three getaway destinations?
NYC If am I bored in life, Queenstown (New Zealand) when I want to be adventurous, and Bhutan when I want some peace and time with myself.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Dreams is not what you see in sleep, it is the thing which doesn’t let you sleep” – APJ Abdul Kalam