“In a year, our trucks traverse a distance, which is equivalent to the distance of travelling to moon and back five times,” was how founder and CEO of Pepperfry.com Ambareesh Murthy chose to describe the scale of business done by his company.
Speaking at the two-day TiEcon Kerala, which got under way here on Friday, Mr. Murthy sought to share his successful entrepreneurial journey by drawing an analogy with mountaineering, his other passion, to enlighten entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs on what to expect when they take the plunge.
“Like in mountaineering, sometimes we will have to come down to regroup and then go back up. For instance, we gave up on fashion products at a time when they constituted 25% of our business. But we gave it up realising that it didn’t match our skill set,” said Mr. Murthy whose company, which is now valued at around Rs. 2,000 crore, has customers in 500 cities and sellers in 65 cities.
He urged entrepreneurs to be very careful while raising money, as there was a possibility of profligacy and complacency creeping in. “That is when you have to be very cautious and ask whether you are running the business the right way,” he said.
Mr. Murthy advised entrepreneurs to be intellectually honest and never to gloss over mistakes. “Mistakes are bound to happen, but what is important is how fast you fix them. When you gloss over those mistakes, they will come back to bite you,” he warned. “Everybody starts small, so don’t worry about the size of the company and its earnings. What matters is the bigness of your ambition and speed of execution. That’s why Pepperfry grew from a 30-member company to one employing over 2,000 people in a matter of five years, registering a 12-fold growth,” Mr. Murthy said.