True life adventures of entrepreneurs inspired by InMobi
“I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, but I only got the guts and confidence to pursue my dream once I joined InMobi.” - Gunaseelan
The Houzify team
An entrepreneur by nature, Gunaseelan always knew he had to start something new, it was just a question of “when?” Having worked at MNCs for 12 years, Guna remembers that InMobi was ‘the’ platform to encourage his entrepreneurial dreams. “The first time I heard about InMobi, a company that was started in India and was disrupting the global mobile advertising space, I was hooked!”
Feeling fortunate to be a part of the InMobi early growth story (since 2012), Guna saw the InMobi business grow first hand, from the ground up. “It was an amazing learning experience working with the leadership team at InMobi. That actually gave me the motivation to be more confident as an individual and to pursue bigger challenges in life.”
“It’s always people first at InMobi; they always focus on talent and enable their people to succeed and raise the bar.” Being rooted in this strong foundation, he was naturally led to start something on his own. Coming from a traditional family who deeply values smart property investments, real estate is very close to his heart. “Real estate has always been a sector which I have been passionate about, I’m a strong believer that from a long term perspective, real estate is one of the best investments that gives the best returns.”
Gunaseelan from InMobi
Guna proudly attributes his personal growth and the crazy business ideas to his interaction with his smart colleagues at InMobi. “The great thing about working at InMobi is that you have some of the best talent in the mobile advertising space working with you. InMobi today has rockstars in the field of advertising, and rockstars in the field of entrepreneurship, it’s hard not to learn from them, and I did, just by association.”
It was a discussion with a close friend, struggling to set up and design his new apartment, that led Guna to introspect. “I saw him go through the pain of finding a designer, getting calls throughout the day, and shouting on the phone, completely stressed out. Nothing seemed to be happening the way he had planned, and deadlines were not being met. In addition to this, he had to invest time and effort to find the right materials and know the right place to buy designs. It was total chaos! There were no credible online solutions in the building and remodeling space to help him out.”
“I knew time was very precious and wanted to solve this problem with technology. I wanted to put the power in the hands of the user instead of only the supplier; by creating a positive change in the structure of the ecosystem.” Having gotten comfortable in his role at InMobi, the decision didn’t come easy to Guna, “this made the transition even harder” he fondly recalls. But after a few sleepless nights he knew that it was now or never. “I had a chat with the leadership team at InMobi who were very supportive and encouraged me to follow my aspirations, even though I was hesitant to take the risk myself. “
Having been in several challenging roles at InMobi, Guna defines his personality as that of a true InMobian; a well-rounded individual. “Many companies don’t offer you the space to acquire individual experiences like InMobi does. Often your role is narrowed down to a single function, however at InMobi you’re always involved in multiple projects. Everyone has the freedom to pursue different challenges, and it is very enriching to solve these problems together and help each other succeed.” I am hoping that I can encourage this same culture in my new business as well.”
With the motto of “making the world a more beautiful, one home at a time”, Guna seeks to help home owners make informed decisions about designing their homes. “As a company we aspire to be a gateway on anything to do with interiors in India.” The Houzify app is a design inspiration platform were users can discover ideas based on pictures of designed homes. It also helps you connect with the designers who worked on these projects so you can hire the right person. The app makes the designer marketplace easily accessible online to anyone who wants to use it in executing their home projects.
Today feeling filled with new zeal and purpose, Guna reflects on how hesitant he was to get started, “There is no good time to start up your own venture, the sooner you go out and take action on your idea the better it is. Fear is all in the mind, and you need to make that call and get things started because the sooner you do, the sooner you will see the results you’ve been waiting for.”
Guna's Advice To New Entrepreneurs
1. Take The Leap And Persevere: Ideas are not that critical, the decision you make, to go out and do it is what matters! Whether you succeed or fail in your venture is not so significant, it’s more important to become a successful individual. Perseverance in the long-term is the key to fulfilling what you’re passionate about.
2. Do Your Research: Have clarity on what you want to pursue and why you want to be an entrepreneur. It’s important to take the time to be sure.
3. Understand The Market You’re Pursuing: Your opportunities for growth should be high, this will ensure your success in your industry no matter what you do. Chase large opportunities.
4. Have A Good Quality Founding Team: Especially in the early stages of your business, investors don’t invest in ideas, but they invest in people. Your teams’ perspective is what will increase your value and uniqueness as a company.
5. Network: Look outside your friends circle and find those that could be an asset to your success. Getting an outside perspective to your business is a very valuable thing to have
In conversation with Sunshine Bhandary