FACE OFF with Tarusha Mittal, COO @Koonk Technologies Private Limited
She could easily pass off as a college student and the girl next door. Appearances can be tricky and fool millions. She’s young, energetic and forms part of India’s youngest brigade successfully foraying into entrepreneurship. Being COO of Koonk Technologies at such a young age is no child’s play.
Pet lover, Martinian, reader, creator, practical dream and Cloud Computing, that’s how Tarusha Mittal describes herself. The entrepreneur at Koonk Tech is a great fan of literature and Technology and doesn’t flinch in calling herself a Generalist. A huge fan of IOT (Internet of Things), she wears many caps, writer and Data Center Builder who prefers casual over corporate suit. In a face off, Tarusha-who is partnering with me for a project- speaks on her passion for tech, start-ups and cloud computing yet professing her love for everything writing as well as books. What it takes to be a successful entrepreneurs in today’s ever changing models and the buzz behind start ups? Read on….
Do check Tarusha Mittal’s article on entrepreneurship here.
You are heading Koonk Technologies Private Limited as COO at a very young age. Did you always want to head your own company and how it all happened?
Yes. I was fairly clear about being an entrepreneur since a very early age. If I can work for my own ideas, there is no reason as to why I should not, right? I have been level headed since my childhood and pretty independent- the idea of slogging for someone else made no sense to me.
It sounded audacious then and now but courage takes you places.
How did you kick your business venture and what’s your observation of the market when it comes to angel investors for start-ups?
I started a magazine in Lucknow called Mishmash and managed to rope some advertisers. Post that, I founded Koonk which is a data center services firm. Since 2011, I have worked on several failed models to moderately successful startups- from raajneeti.org, hostwiser.com, cloudbells.com, fanshala.com with co-founder, Mohit. We have been working in the data center space for 3 years now and have recently launched our cloud platform- Cloudrino.
Angel investors should be chosen wisely- one should always try to raise funds when one needs it because it is the only time when you would be able to call the shots. It is a small community in India and if you make the right connections, have a scalable model and have the right metrics, one should be able to raise funds- Luck and fads do play a role, here as well.
With many innovative youngsters, how do you see the future for start-ups in India and on the global scale?
I need to reiterate this- do it for the right reasons, do not get bedazzled by all the glory, keep in mind that there is pain involved too. Persevere, ask help from the right people- do not be ashamed and have sufficient self-belief to keep negativity at bay.
Koonk Technologies has carved a niche for itself in cloud services. How has cloud evolved over the years and the revolutionary role it will play in the future to shape business?
Yes, we have. Cloud is still in its infancy, in India. People are intimidated by the word cloud- we are trying to dispel those fears by making cloud solutions simple. The market is huge. Cloud has the potential to revolutionize the way education is imparted, work is done with a dash of transparency and with the coming in of cutting edge technology. The time to go for Cloud is now.
Tell us about other services offered by Koonk and the role it intends to play on the market?
Koonk is a data center services company and we are trying to ease the discomfiture people tend to associate with cloud solutions. We intend to make enterprise cloud deployment flexible and provide cloud infrastructure solution at one click.
You have also been part of the forum YEP Entreprennovator and what role can such forums play in encouraging budding talents in different sphere. Being part of the forum, share with us the objectives and goals of the forum?
There are a lot of forums that have emerged now and ready to help out budding entrepreneurs. It is a boon and people should take advantage of them. The idea behind such forums is to promote a certain kind of mind-set, provide the necessary know how, support and perhaps, make a few introductions so that a startup founder is on the right path.
You are also a successful blogger and hold an LLB degree. How did you decide to shift to the world of technology and to what extent can start ups shape India’s destiny in 2016 and beyond?
That is so kind of you to say. The LLB degree is on hold, for now. I co-founded Koonk in 2011 – we started a business which happened to be online and found myself in the tech biz, sans a clue. I managed, though- you learn the ropes if you want to, while on the job.
Start-ups is a buzz word, it is a fad- everyone is doing it and very few are doing it for the right reasons. I think that nothing beats good economics and people are fooling themselves and investors when their entire revenue model is built on ads or further investment. Start-ups will alter the way business is done in India if given the right impetus, which seems a tad difficult due to bureaucracy. This sounds way too negative but I guess what I am trying to say is that start-ups can and will change India’s destiny by creating jobs and solving problems but they should be done in the right manner and intentions along with the correct amount of support from society and government.
Tell us a bit about your blogging journey and your love for literature?
I have been reading and collecting books since the age of 3, that is all I wanted during my birthday celebration- till date. My romance with books and writing-reading has been a long forever blossoming one. I was on the editorial board and then post that the editor of my school magazine- The Blue and Gold. Post school, because I was so intoxicated by the love of the verse and publication that I started my own magazine. I am quite irregular at blogging, at times, getting self- conscious. I am currently working on a book, as well.
What advice would you give to aspiring youngsters: experience with job on the market or start their own ventures?
You first have to assess yourself before making that decision and not everyone is in a position to or has the characteristics to build a start-up. Once you decide to go the start-up way, then there is one advice that I live by and give to almost everyone, persevere and keep learning. Start-ups can be messy and an onerous task at hand, you need to be tough as nails to fight it all and build your dream.
Being a blogger, how do you assess its impact and the way in which it has revolutionized writing? What do you think it takes for bloggers to monetize their space and the discipline needed to earn by writing online?
Blogging is absolutely amazing. It gives you the incredible power to publish and subsequently be lapped by thousands online. It has altered the way people approach publishing, now.
For bloggers to monetize, it does take a lot of discipline because one can make money via ads or being an affiliate- both require a raving fan base. To create a fan base- this goes for other sectors, as well- you need great content. Everybody seems to think that they can write and that is great as a way to express but not everyone can create great, original content- so, do that and you have already won half the battle. Post that, join networking-be active on social media and shamelessly promote self but do not spam. If it is good- people will lap it up. There is a dearth of good content.
To keep yourself motivated, have lists and reward self; if that does not work for you then have a pact with a friend or join any of the various online portals wherein they financially bump you in case you do not meet deadlines and goals.