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Awesome-foursome: How they helped build a great start-up

Last updated on: September 7, 2012 15:00 IST

Awesome-foursome: How they helped build a great start-up

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Yourstory.in

It was four employees who believed in their young founder, and did everything they could to make the tech startup FusionCharts what it is today. This is their story.

FusionCharts is one of those rare success stories wherein a 16-year old Pallav Nadhani, bored of Microsoft Excel, thought of creating a better charting solution and came up with FusionCharts in the year 2002.

Now a multi-million dollar company, FusionCharts has some of the biggest names as its clients, including the likes of Google and Apple.

And Pallav did all this from within India -- Kolkata, to be exact. He couldn't have done it without a supportive team and there's no better term to describe them.

We got in touch with them, the first four employees of FusionCharts, and got them talking about their journey. They all had one thing in common: They all believed in Pallav and shared the same dream.

This says a lot about the leader at the helm and the ideals of the company.

Read on to find out from these ordinary men how they paved the way to extraordinary success.

Courtesy: Yourstory.in

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Photographs: Courtesy Yourstory.in

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'If you have the courage, attitude and will, join a start-up'

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Nilanjan Roy Chowdhury, Senior ActionScript Developer

Nilanjan, the first employee of FusionCharts is a completely self-educated programmer.

Having no formal education in engineering, he rented a computer to explore what lies under its hood and from that, he assembled his own machine.

Learning stuff on it, he started out with a job where he was trudging along, but his true calling came when he read a mail from FusionCharts inviting him for an interview.

"I thought it's an overseas company. The website had an international look and I was thrilled to get a call. I was even more surprised when I found out that the company was Indian! And that too, from Kolkata!" exclaims Nilanjan.

Pouncing on the opportunity, he worked on the first thing FusionCharts had to offer: 3D pie charts.

"Awesome projects and working with Pallav have been the biggest motivations for me," he says.

With FusionCharts for more than half a decade now, Nilanjan has been by Pallav's side throughout and has been witness to the whole rollercoaster journey.

Advising people to join a start-up, Nilanjan says, "It's tough ,but a start-up job will open up immense opportunities. If you have the courage, attitude and will, join a start-up and you'll reap very sweet fruits."

Illustration: Dominic Xavier


Image: Nilanjan Chowdhury (inset) was the first employee at FusionCharts
Photographs: Courtesy YourStory.in

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'Think of the start-up as your own company'

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Shamasis Bhattacharya, JavaScript Architect

Post his graduation, Shamasis had a corporate offer which he was pondering over.

He also did freelancing jobs, but at the right time he landed up with an offer from FusionCharts. The year was 2008 and FusionCharts was just a four-member team.

"One thing clicked," says Shamasis. "Pallav had this fanatic attention to detail which I shared with him." This is what made him confident of the company and it has been the best decision he ever made, he believes.

"I've been so involved with my work here that it has become difficult to separate work from life and I'm not saying it in a bad way. At FusionCharts, you're yourself and it's like your home," he shoots straight from the heart.

Shamasis was responsible for bringing in JavaScript charting to FusionCharts, it was all in Flash previously. A feat which may seem meagre to the layman's eye, it was a Herculean task which he managed on his own.

Talking about working in a start-up, Shamasis says, "You can't work in a start-up if you think of it as a company. It is your company!"

Illustration: Dominic Xavier


Image: Shamasis' (inset) attention to detail was an attribute that clicked with the founder
Photographs: Courtesy YourStory.in

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'You'll keep on learning and that is the best thing that can happen to a human being'

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Sudipto Choudhury, Head of Implementation

An MA in literature, Sudipto is a glib computer geek.

Fond of computers since school, he started playing around with codes in class seven and the magazine PC Quest was his companion.

As happens in many cases, he was studying one thing and his interest lay elsewhere.

"FusionCharts gave me the freedom to pursue my dream," says Sudipto. He joined as a junior technical writer, but having immense technical ability, FusionCharts found its perfect match.

He developed the Google Gadget for FusionCharts and is currently the head of implementation. Sudipto indulges in a lot of research, exploring new horizons, manages content and does release management as well.

"I've been with the company for more than five years now and haven't even thought of shifting or jumping jobs. I've found everything I could have dreamed of here," he believes.

Sudipto is also involved deeply in the hiring process at FusionCharts and the most important thing he looks for is passion.

Advising people to join start-ups, Sudipto says, "Working for a start-up will keep the flame burning in you. You'll keep on learning and that is the best thing that can happen to a human being."

Illustration: Dominic Xavier


Image: Sudipto (inset) is currently the head of implementation
Photographs: Courtesy YourStory.in

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'We have worked till 3 or 4 in the morning, but it's always been fun'

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Sumantra Sengupta, Creative Head

Sumantra has been the one-man creative army for FusionCharts ever since he joined the company in 2006.

He had a lot of experience on the 'services' side, but this was the first time he delved into products.

"FusionCharts has been a very interesting journey for me. Every new release has been a milestone," he says.

From a very small company with a functional site to an organisation that has scaled globally with a great reputation, Sumantra has thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

"There have been pressures. We have worked till 3 or 4 in the morning to get the release out, but it's always been fun," he says.

"Pallav has always been a friend and the work culture we have at FusionCharts is very open and transparent," adds Sumantra.

There is one specific moment he distinctly remembers. FusionCharts had to demo in Germany and unfortunately, Sumantra couldn't make it there. But he designed all the creatives from Kolkata without having a look at the venue. And in the end, it all worked out!

This, and many more incidents, are what keep Sumantra going and he is a huge believer in the sense of unity that the FusionChart team has. He suggests that every workplace should strive to develop the same culture.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


Image: Sumantra (inset) has been managing the creative department since 2006
Photographs: Courtesy YourStory.in

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