Somewhere in 2006 when Phanindra Sama (seen here) and his friends approached The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) for support to incubate their raw business solution as a venture, it introduced them to their first mentor, Anand Rajaram, himself a successful entrepreneur and a seed investor.
The first advice he gave to Sama and his teammates made a lasting impression on the minds of these aspiring entrepreneurs and led them to build one of the most successful ecommerce ventures in the country.
Rajaram told them he often felt surprised and laughed at people who spend a lot of money on T-shirts with logos of well-known brand to earn respect from others.
Instead, they should buy clothes that give comfort. The moral of the story for the team was to be careful about their spending habits. It should be need-based, instead of massaging egos and earning respect.
Till date, not just Sama but most of the team management prefer to travel by buses when going to neighbouring cities to do jobs that can wait for the time spent on a night's travel.
Rajaram, who spent his initial years at Wipro working closely with its founder chairman Azim Premji, used to tell the redBus founding team stories on how the latter never compromises on the value system and never takes short-cuts like bribery to get work done.
"Maybe, we could have grown a little faster by getting work done by paying a bribe but that was never meant to be long-lasting," says Sama, the co-founder and chief executive of Pilani Soft Labs, which owns the redBus platform.
Text: Bibhu Ranjan Mishra, Business Standard
Images Courtesy: Phanindra Sama