A Journey of Building 100cr company in 14 months without External Funding

I feel proud to write this article especially for two reasons. 1) We built 100cr Company in terms of sales not in terms of valuation with our own money 2) we did this in less than 14 months of time.

Let me introduce Dukanline (Dukan+Online) Powered by iPay. We are fastest growing Retail Aggregator of the country. I am proud to say and confirm that passion is some thing, which will push the boundaries of imagination. Every day at iPay we all start with a target one target to achieve, ask any one at iPay what is the target for the day. Including call center executive to Field sales executive to CEO(me) everyone has target. After all with out a target no one knows where to shoot. So we are clear in our culture Targets and Metrics are important to make our dream a reality. Every time I start from scratch I enjoy day-to-day challenges and achievements that I encounter either it is small or big, This is what keeps me going. Fourth time I am building a company from scratch previous three times I built companies from scratch starting at age of 22 years. But the difference this time is I am building some thing entirely different. All three companies were successful and I made money in each exit while employees of those companies have sustainable employment and enjoyed the growth that came from Acquisition. In Year 2002 first company I started an Ecommerce website that recharges mobile phones for users similar to some of the recharge websites are doing now in India. Next 4 years I enjoyed building this company bit by bit with 5 employees back in India office. This website use to generate sales in millions of dollars per year at its peak. I was happy and use to treat this company as my night job I use to earn extra money every month along with my salary from my day job. One bad day I was lost in competition I was worried about the money I have invested to develop software and licenses I bought. I was thinking I am going to loose every thing that’s when our vendor offered to buy the assets of the company. I did not blink for some time with out thinking about valuation or money what I will get I said I am ready. They offered me what they will pay I said ok. That Day I was not aware that I am exiting the business nor I knew the business term called Exit.At that time I only knew one thing that I am getting back my money that I invested in software development , Licence fee I paid and value for the time that I have spent at nights. Now I have money in hand and on the personal side just got married and one kid. My wife said lets buy a house with this money. I did not feel comfortable with that word. I requested her one more time. That’s when the Infovision is born all the money that I got from first company exit proceedings invested back in Infovision at the end of first year into my second business (infovision) my bank balance was less than $1000. Next 5 years I did not look back with out raising external funding I have made profitable businesses with successful exits through parallel companies Infovision and Infovista both are IT Infrastructure Management Services while Infovision served its clients like Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Capital One, Microsoft and many more fortune 500 clients through Onsite Database Administration consulting services. Infovista offered Remote Database Administration services for clients who cannot afford onsite consulting such as revenues under 100 million dollars . In the past to make infovision as 100 crore company it took me 4 years. But this time we made 100 crore company in 14 months.

As I said to my wife earlier when I started second company . I had to say that word  “one more time” I said the same thing once again after exiting my second and third businesses what ever the money I got from sale proceedings of my previous companies infovision and Infovista I have started investing in my fourth company iPay (Dukanline). But this time the money is very big that is more than 5 times the investment which I have invested in my second company.  What I enjoy is not that money I am enjoying building it from scratch connecting Anecdotes and creating value for our Partnering shops. I enjoy listening to the stories our partner retailers tell me how they are changing the way consumer buy products and services at their small shops and that increasing their income. I am proud to share this story because I feel we are doing some thing great at iPay building it from scratch .This 100 crore milestone proves and confirms that the way we built this company in 14 months that too with our own money.This is some thing that does not occur often at least in my knowledge. I respect those people who are bootstrapping. I respect those people who respects capital. I respect those people who are hungry to grow with limited resource. I respect those people who persist and continue to focus on targets .I respect those people who think companies can be bootstrapped Initially to establish unit economics and create replicable model and opt for external funding to grow later.

Now coming to the point how did we achieve 100cr in sales in less than 14 months since launch date. What is that we are doing at iPay. We are creating Largest Neighbourhood Retail Company with out owning any shop and inventory.  In India there are 14 million un organised small retailers with combined sales of more than 500 billion dollars per year. We created technology solution for them, which they can understand easily and adopt it slowly. Empowering them to sell more thus creating Retail Aggregation. There are 0.5 million customers walk in daily across our 5500+ partnered shops in which 10% of them are buying some thing on our platform today. That puts us every minute we are selling some thing to 60+ customers. As Retail Company we take WalMart as our aspiration at WalMart 280 people buy some thing every second our short term target is to reach 280 people buy some thing at our partner shops every minute if not every second. Our partnership is helping small retailers to sell products and services, which they don’t stock thus, increasing their sales and income.Here is a video of business proposition to retailers and consumers  .


While reading  this article you may feel as colorful story but trust me there are many days and nights we did not sleep to face daily challenges. Important is that solving those challenges and moving forward is our motto. I always say to our teams there is no company in this world with out challenges and competition but as leadership we all have to think and keep our company at the edge so that we can face those challenges. This will help us persist. In todays world capital has become very important for demonstrating continued growth. Growth is the only way one can occupy market share. But in my view growth should come in a way, which can produce long-term profitability and sustainability for the company. While I may agree one can not build large organisation with own money except with rare exceptions. That was the mistake I did in the past not raising external capital to keep the company growing exited before it really became very big. But this time I am not ready to do that. We have achieved 100 crore rupees in sales in 14 months. We often question ourselves why can’t we create 100 crore (1 Billion) sales in dollars, what is needed ,how long and how much money is needed to achieve this. To grow as fast as possible and keep competition at bay, Capital plays vital role. For the first time in my life I may raise external capital at appropriate time to bring Un organised retail in India to capital markets through our retail aggregation model with out owning any shop and inventory. I am confident that one day I will write another article A journey of Building A Billion Dollar company with strong unit economics  until then wish us good luck to reach our dream 🙂

Author: Krishna Lakamsani