Startup Sunday Season 2 Episode 4 (The Testament)

If you wait until you are ready, you will be waiting for the rest of your life

How many times has it occurred to you after seeing a start-up “Even I was thinking on a similar line”. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step before someone else steps on it. This Sunday we bring you an  exclusive interview of Kumar Sambhav (Co Founder, The Testament) to  share his journey and his motivation to keep on pivoting till they reach right path.testamet

E-Cell: Hi, what was the plan? How did you end up being an entrepreneur?

Kumar Sambhav: Honestly, being an entrepreneur was never a part of the plan…(chuckles). However, things fell in place such as it seemed the right way to go about it. My love for writing got me into this line. From the time, I entered my engineering college, I started exploring opportunities to write stuff.That introduced me to people who eventually became my partners. We used to share our pieces with one another, which was something that really connected us. We decided to start a university journal and published a few editions. Due to some internal problems with college authorities, we had to take it down. However, we had created a solid network of followers by then and shifted online. We garnered enormous goodwill as a student development organization which is committed to create great opportunities. After about two and a half years from the time of inception, we got our first monetarily rewarding project and the rest is history.

E-Cell: Where does engineering come into the whole picture? If not an entrepreneur where would we find you?

Kumar Sambhav: I am an engineer by education, but couple of semesters into my college I realized that I wouldn’t want to be one eventually. Though I liked the things I learnt, quite a much, but I was sure I will have to change my path. I was struggling to figure out what exactly I wanted to do, fortunately I got this opportunity to do something I liked doing and try new stuff. So, if I had not been an entrepreneur, I definitely wouldn’t have been an engineer. I think I would have studied a lot, I could have picked a subject of my interest in Humanities or Business or Science and and gone on to become an author/researcher/consultant in that field.

E-Cell: How did your family react to the idea of being full-time in a start-up? Were there any instances of you getting pressurized to take up a more stable option?

Kumar Sambhav: Well, in the initial days it was frowned upon. When I made up my mind, I had to be really convincing about why this is the right option. We were at a very early stage and didn’t have a strong portfolio to prove the mettle. So, it was a bit tricky to establish the required logic behind it. A few things that went our way were that a lot of our struggle period was when we were still in college. It would have been further difficult if we would have started-up after the graduation. But, the kind of growth we were having and the kind of recognition we got,helped me clear my stance. I was never pressurized, fortunately.

E-Cell: What is “The Testament”. Please tell us something about it

Kumar Sambhav: The Testament, (how did we get to this name is different story). It is a tech-based manpower outsourcing company. We help our clients with their sales, marketing and research efforts by recruiting and managing our forces for the job, that are present in over 40 cities. As our tag line say “We Solve Problems” as we tend to solve our client’s problems by tailoring the service for them.

E-Cell: Tell us about the initial roadblocks/hardships. Were there instances of hitting the rock bottom?

Kumar Sambhav: Of course, we have been into nothingness and came out of it on several occasions. We have introduced products and services we really believed in and worked hard to develop them. But a lot of them didn’t work. The key is to keep on pivoting till you get it right. It’d be a hard to deal with the fact that something you worked on for several months with your heart and soul, and it won’t work. But that’s how it is.

E-Cell: That brings me to, how crucial do you think is the flexibility and adaptation in modern start-up world?

Kumar Sambhav: It is important. Especially when things are moving so rapidly around you. It’s important to keep tweaking your product and infuse the necessary innovations and technology. However, it’s also important to realize your core-competence and preserve it. In a book called ‘Built to Last’, it’s adequately emphasized that you need to ‘preserve the core and stimulate the progress’ and that’s the proven way to go about it.

E-Cell: Where does ‘The Testament’ see itself in coming years?

Kumar Sambhav: Giving people work opportunities is what we love doing. And we’d like to see ourselves as one of the biggest employers of the world. That’s where I see it.

E-Cell: Okay. What do you think are the qualities that the budding entrepreneurs must have? What do you think lead to the failure of start-up?

Kumar Sambhav: Uhh, I might not be the best person to answer that as I believe I have a long way to cover to have that kind of wisdom that can be imparted. But, from the little experience that I have, I think in any such journey a lot of bad times are likely to come. I believe it’s the tough times that govern the future and not the accomplishments and the glories. It’s all about handling the tough times well. The values and beliefs you nurture, if you can apply them during the difficult times too, you can be there for the long run.

Another thing that I think leads to the failure is procrastination. Though it makes sense to be patient till you’re ready for the next step, but it’s more important to be action oriented and not delay the progress. I have seen people with great ideas not being able to make it because of delays in executing stuff. Being quick is important to evade the fatigue.

E-Cell: Thanks, lastly, what industry/technology you think is the future?

Kumar Sambhav: Again, I don’t have that solid knack for tech, but at the top of my mind I think Big Data is something that’s going to determine a lot of ways the world shall function.

E-Cell: Thank you for motivating our students by sharing your story. We sincerely hope “The Testament” to reach its goals in the coming years.

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