Trouble within Karan Singh's mind lasts only till he is at the door of his shared office space, the moment he steps inside it, he is in
"the zone". Long before, he had read about Napoleon, one his the most favourite character from ancient history. There was a lot which he could relate to him, Napoleon's memoir gave him hope.
He read once, how Napoleon told that his secret of success was to compartmentalise his personal and professional parts of life. Napoleon used to say that his mind has a set of drawers, the moment he wants to focus on any particular one, he opens that and all of the rest remains closed.
Karan tried this habit of his hero for a while, and soon it just soaked in to his skin. It was like someone has built an automatic switch in to his body, which he could flip whenever he is entering his work-place.
The struggle for him was only up to the door of his office, the enemy was only till the gates. Inside the gate, he was the same invincible king, which his hero was for almost, all his life.
The virtue of punctuality has been drilled in his men too, today a couple of them are waiting for him already for few minutes, at the door.
Crisp handshakes and he is at his command station.
Time to direct the troops. what has transpired in his minds in last couple of hours cannot be even imagined by his men, the way he acts, he looks invincible, the Waterloo was threatening, only till the gate.
And there is not a bit of pretense in his voice, as he marshals his troops, as if the soul of Napoleon is speaking and not Karan. His seven men, listen with rapt attention. His voice is calm and soft, without a hint of authority.
It was just like, a very confident "lets do it".
E-Commerce had become the most sought after "to-do" in the startup world, bringing a plethora of competition. Three years back, when he started, there was only one kart. Today, it seemed like India is suffering from a new disease called "Kartocarcoma". It was spreading fast and deep.
Often he wondered, whether the others were doing the same kind of mistake, in believing that, if they would have a kart, people would just throng to purchase?
But he knew, even if other people were doing the same mistake, most of them had many more times money to splurge than him, and they would easily out-spend and outlast him.
But it was his own survival that mattered to him, and not what others were doing.
Today, Karan decided that he would do a stress test of his two hour delivery promise. It was not as if orders were raining, but with only seven men, even a single order meant, that it took a lot of effort, to deliver the product, specially when operating on a market-place model.
Karan Singh did not stock a single unit of inventory, he had tie up with traditional mom-and-pop stores, all across the city. The moment he would receive the order, his delivery person, would go, buy the ordered item from the nearest store to the customer, with which he had tie-up, pay the retailer cash, and then deliver the product to the customer.
When he envisioned this model, he did not even knew what this model is called. He just opted for it, because, that is what the logical way to do business was,when you did not have money.
Inventory at local stores was a very big problem, that he understood. With his model, the shopkeepers get to sell their surplus inventory,and he need not keep any stock also.
So, today, he was sending all his men, to go and sell his model to shopkeepers across the city and sign them up as partners. This meant that his two salesman, his two data entry men and his three delivery person, would be all out in the market.
Lack of money has also a lot of virtues, not only in personal life but in the professional world too.
Each of the three sets of men, in Karan's troops could do, each others job. He trained every one to work on PhPMyAdmin and Google Docs, how to sell the company's service to retailers and of course delivery to customer.
It took a lot of effort and pain to do that, but that also meant a lot of satisfaction, when he saw a standard eight educated delivery person, working on PhPMyAdmin.
With no one in the office, but him alone, he would have to do all the customer service, and coordinate with his men and customer for the order .
It was the test for the company, as well as him. What if the order comes from a place, where none of his men are there, after all how much of this big city, can seven men cover?
Would that mean, he would have to go and deliver the order himself, doing everything all alone?
His men have been now quite versed with his unusual way of doing things, right since the moment of their interview. At their interview, they were served a pack of fruit juice and when the interview was over, they were given a "Thank You" card and Rs.40 jotter pen as a token of gratitude, for coming to his office for the interview.
Perhaps, that pack of fruit juice and the jotter pen was the clincher in joining a nondescript company and an ecentric kind of boss. Probably they knew, what they are signing for, but still this comes as a complete surprise.
They have target of signing up ten merchants each today. The data entry team and delivery team have a puzzled look on their face, probably a fear has started to run down the spine. The fear is not of being unable to complete the task, but the fear of probably disappointing their captain's expectations. He devoted a lot of energy for training them for this day, and he trained them because he believed, they could do this.
Today is their D Day...
Image: Pexels - Creative Commons
To Be Continued...
All rights reserved with the author - abhishek rai