It was his dream to run his own enterprise. Fascinated by the world of computer science and the internet, this young lad from Thrissur decided to stray away from medical science in search of his future business partners.
His desire and passion led him to the doorways of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Engineering College, Kasargod. While in his fifth semester, he had sketched the blue print of his company and was compelled to choose between academics and entrepreneurship. Needless to say, he chose the later and today has been fortunate to have been supported by the several major players in the business world. These players include the Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone.
Deepak Ravindran co-founder of Innoz and is the founder and CEO of Lookup. He had founded Innoz in the year 2008. This firm had soon become one of the world's largest offline search engines that would provide information via SMS. Innoz had over 130 million users worldwide. As time went by, the team had realised the need to be part of the smartphone app development industry.
Lookup, a free messaging app, enables consumers to chat with those running local businesses. Deepak is now the CEO of the firm. Deepak also mentioned that Lookup is working towards entering all domains so as to ensure effective local commerce. In short, Lookup is likely to be the 'Google' of local businesses.
Apart from acquiring over 200,000 downloads, Lookup has also managed to involve major investors to raise funds for the company. At present the firm is working towards raising funds worth 3 million dollars. Recently, Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, had agreed to invest in the firm and also mentor the team at Lookup.
“The whole incident was rather interesting. I met Biz Stone, about three years ago, at Silicon Valley. Biz is also the founder of an app called Super. So, when I visited the place three weeks ago, I had informed him that I was in town. We agreed to meet up for coffee. We were discussing about business opportunities that existed outside the USA, including India. I requested Biz to mentor us. But the request had led to the most unexpected surprise of all. Twitter's co - founder Biz Stone, thus, said they would invest in our firm,” Deepak explained.
Deepak has also been closely associated with the world of startups since 2008. “I would visit the Silicon Valley often so as to learn more and gathering a better understanding of entrepreneurship. It is a good platform to gather a number of ideas,” he said. He has been part of the Startup Village since its inception and has been on the board that is instrumental incubating over a 500 startups.
“Platforms that help facilitate startups teach you a lot. You learn many aspects of a business the hard way,” he said. When asked about whether he had regretted his decision to discontinue to his education, Deepak stated, “No. I had to follow my dream. College to me was not about learning, or about how to be an engineer but to find the right business partners. My parents had, in fact, told me that I would have a better marital life had I become a doctor. But I chose to do otherwise.”
He also explained that one shouldn't become an entrepreneur for the sake of being a entrepreneur. A company is your life, not a part-time job. I do not hail from a business background. In such cases, the journey is harder. It is a lot of hardwork and it involves a lot of sacrifices that ought to be made on the personal front. To be a good entrepreneur you need to have a great idea, a great time and most importantly a great mentor. These are the aspects that can help you scale up the ladder, he elaborated.