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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

Last updated on: September 14, 2011 15:51 IST

With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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Shobha Warrier in Coimbatore

It is amazing to see a 20 year old as the chief executive officer of a profit making company.

All the more so as the company, with a present turnover of Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million), was started with Rs 1,500 only!

He was just 17, then. 

The man in question is, Animesh Sarangi, chief executive officer of the Bhubaneswar-based Amazing Youth.

Amazing Youth has been adjudged the second runner up at the recently concluded Global Student Entrepreneur Awards at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University.

Animesh had earlier beaten the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad team at Negocio, an entrepreneurial event at Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.

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Image: Biplab Kumar and Animesh Sarangi.
Photographs: Shobha Warrier
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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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An entrepreneur is born

From the time I was in my 12th standard, I had only one dream; that was to be an entrepreneur.

But my parents were against it.

So I joined college to study BBA.

I was a mediocre student and was more interested in practical knowledge than theory.

As a 17 year old, I wanted to start another Google.

But I realised there was no reason why those who use Google should come to my site.

One day, I happened to go to the nearby village where I saw a potter working.

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Image: Earthen pots.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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Why not make services like that available to a wider section, I wondered.

I knew it was possible only if I trained them.

I thought of starting a non-profit organisation.

I realised if I were to help, I would need a sustainable profit-making organisation.

So I decided to do something different.

I discussed this with my friend Biplab Kumar in the hostel room.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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As I did not have any money with me, Biplab lent me Rs 1,500 and with that money, on September 9, 2009, I registered the domain name, Amazing Youth.

I chose the name Amazing Youth as after years, I want people to remember us I want them to mention that there was a youth in Bhubaneswar who did amazing things.

Recession was at its peak when we started the business.

Therefore, in the beginning, we had no work and we did not have money to even buy snacks.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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The first break

The first break came in February 2010, five months after we started Amazing Youth.

I decided to register our venture in Justdial.com as a non-government organisation that was into training and placement.

In no time, I got a call from an agency that needed people for a call centre.

They were ready to pay Rs 1,000 per candidate.

We made a poster of our venture, made photocopies of it and plastered them on walls around the city at night.

We spent only Rs 10 for the photocopy and made Rs 25,000 by placing 25 candidates in first go.

That was the first business for Amazing Youth.

As 17 year olds, we had no idea we would need visiting cards and a company profile.

When we went to meet a client, he asked, give me your card and company profile.

We blankly stared at him.

After that, we made visiting cards, created a logo and wrote a company profile.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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Target small companies

We decided to target small companies like those run by data entry operators, call centre employers, etc.

We used to visit nearby villages and found that there were talents there but they were unexposed to new technology.

I felt if we trained and placed them in suitable companies, it would be a life-changing experience for them.

And in the process, it would earn us the reputation of trainers for rural youth.

At that time, a security agency wanted 10 security personnel and we supplied them from villages. We got Rs 750 per person.

Out of the 10, four were sent off as they slept while working.

I realised the need to train the workforce that we would send to various companies, better.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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The company at present

We have five people in our company now to fine tune the skills of rural youth as weavers, hand pump mechanics, electricians, health workers, house keeping staff, carpenters, etc. 

Pan India presence

From March 2010, our growth has been very fast.

We could place 30-40 people in various companies every three months.

As we are an young company, we do not want to invest in infrastructure.

So, we depend on online presence and on social networking sites.

When we expand, we will not invest in offices but acquire companies in other parts of India.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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Today, we have placed youths in companies in West Bengal, Orissa, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, etc. Our freelance associates are working in Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa.

Our Mobile Job Shoppe helps youth get good jobs.

Till now, we have placed around 4,500 people, all from rural India.

We have 15 people working for us full time and have 30 clients.

We are a profitable company now with 40 to 50 per cent margins.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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About starting an office in the US

In the United States, we plan to do IT contract staffing, something totally different compared to what we do in India.

Friends in need

Without Biplab, Amazing Youth would not have been born.

He has been my partner in business since inception.

Like they say, behind every man's success, there is a woman and the girl who stood by me throughout is my classmate from college. 

She is now part of Amazing Youth.

Another person I cannot forget is Tanushree Patnaik, a professor of mine.

After I wrote the business plan, I showed it first to her and went ahead only after she approved.

Today, she is the chief operating officer of our company.

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With Rs 1,500 he built a Rs 1-crore company

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Eye to the future

We want to be known as a rural training and placement company.

Our aim is to have a turnover of Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) in three years.
We will surpass Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) this year.

I want Amazing Youth to be better than the best!



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