It is quite common to build a company with a close friend. Usually, it happens with two people meeting and striking upon an idea before they decide to take the plunge. However, the journey is not easy and as it can strengthen the bond, it can also weaken it.
On Friendship Day, My Big Plunge speaks to some entrepreneurs, who has started the journey with their friends and discusses the how the journey has been less harsh due to the presence of a constant companion beside them and how they deal with challenges of entrepreneurship together.
One of the biggest advantages of having a friend from the beginning is that one has someone who shares the same vision and is well acquainted with it. It is difficult to get a person equally passionate about the same thing. Only a friend can take that place.
Praveen Vangeepuram, the Co-founder and CTO at Byndr, says, “Satish and I have been discussing the gaps in Indian education system for a very long time, and we knew we are motivated by the right reasons. We complement each other with our skills and our mutual respect helps us significantly in dealing with conflicts.”
Apart from sharing the same dream, a friend will always help in overcoming apprehensions there is always someone whose advice we’d trust, says Simran Sial, co-founder at FindMyStay.
“The biggest advantage of us coming together at Find My Stay is that we complement each other’s strength and try to leverage the most out of it. Our Goals are clear and that’s what makes the difference,” added Sial.
Often stated as a lonely profession, entrepreneurs don’t get the privilege to work 9-5 and then give time to family or party with friends. There’s a constant worry at the back of your mind about the business. Having a friend one knows there is always someone to listen to you at any time of the day or night.
“After a long day’s hard work, it is very helpful to be able to share the joy of a small success with a best friend who will also enjoy it. We are separated by few thousand miles and almost 12 hours of time difference, but it never stopped us from calling each other to discuss an issue or brag about a success in very odd offers,” says Satish Nampally, the co-Founder of Byndr.
As friends we are always tied up with all the madness at work, says Mayank Bhangadia, co-founder of Roposo.
“Having a friend by your side gives you those 5 minutes of solace where you can just vent off everything and ease your mind – and this is quite a power booster.”
As risky as the profession is, if entrepreneurship can strengthen the bond of friendship, it can put a lot of stress on it too. Failures are a harsh part of the game and sometimes it becomes to take the hit for the other.
Failures will always be there but in the case of good friends, it is always easier to express and share apprehensions in a smoother manner, says Ishdeep Sawhney, CEO, Banihal.com.
Vangeepuram of Byndr, says, “There is definitely additional stress in dealing with failures when we have friends as co-founders. We understand how much professional and personal risk each of us have taken and what impact a failure can have on our lives. But it also helps as a motivation to recover from the failure quickly.”
A friend means being informal. While sometimes it helps a lot in taking the work forward in the most efficient way possible, taking orders from each other could be equally difficult as schism might appear in their relationship.
Arun Bhati, COO and Founder of Orahi, says that when you have a friend as a partner, every discussion and argument is for the growth of the company and there are no orders given or taken.
“It all depends on the way you look at it. If you are working towards a common goal, there is nothing like taking orders. Though it is essential to keep your egos in check, as grudges are equally unhealthy both in friendship and business,” says Samar Singla, CEO and founder of Jugnoo.
Lastly, friends are the best possible partner to start your dream with. There is nothing better like understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each other.
However, one shouldn’t jump into a startup just because one is friends with the other, says Bhangadia of Roposo.
“Having a clear work model and execution plan is tantamount to a startup's success. There should be an excellent work synergy among partners or Cofounders. In the end, you always work better with a friend because you have that bond and common understanding, which is very important to lead a team,” he adds.
And lastly, Sameer Khanna of Orahi, says that in a friendship sharing of responsibility is ingrained, where every piece of load is shared.