The Entrepreneurial Journey is a roller coaster, only the persons who have ability to take risk can succeed in it. Here goes an interview of such an avid entrepreneur Tarun Sharma, Batch of 2011, Head Operations @ BOX8 (Poncho Hospitality Private Limited). He has been actively involved in a food chain business, which aims to revolutionize the restaurant and food services in India.

  1. When and how did you get the motivation to become an Entrepreneur?
    Answer: Very early in my career, I had realized that I was not made for corporate jobs. The Corporate setup is designed in such a way that people like me would not be functioning at their best of potential.  Getting in touch with people who were in Start Up circuit helped me validating my thoughts and overcome my inhibitions.
  1. How did the idea of your venture strike you?
    Answer: I and my Batchmate Bhishma started an internet company in mid 2012. During this tenure, we came across Box8, a fast food chain founded by IIT grads and Ex-Deutsche Bank employees.  Box8 was in its early days at that time. After a series of discussions with them, I along with Bhishma joined Box8 as Late Co-Founders. The Idea is to build Indian Food Chain in Quick Service Restaurant space which can give Dominos, KFC etc. a run for their money.
  1. What are the challenges one must need to overcome being an Entrepreneur?
    Answer: There is not one list of challenges which is drafted. Rather, I would suggest to possess basic skills to flourish in this space. The most important among these is – “Open for Rejection”.  You will not crack the idea from the word Go. Markets will reject you / your idea at some point of time. Face it. Other skills would be to talk and learn from relevant people, be open for feedbacks, be persistent towards the cause.
  1. What are Emerging fields one can innovate being an Entrepreneur in India?
    Answer: India is 5-7 years behind Chinese entrepreneurial stage. We are following the same path with a greater speed.  Hence, in the current scenario, there are a lot of fields in which one can venture out. A lot of spaces are still unorganized and there is a lot of value to be added. Food Space, Product based tech solutions, Travel, Healthcare are some of the spaces to name.
  1. Where and how did you get the initial investment for this venture?
    Answer: Box8 was angel funded by IAN (Indian Angel Network) in its early days with a follow up round of Pre-Series A funding. In this round, Mr. Dhiraj Rajaram, CEO and Founder of MuSigma, was the lead investor. We have recently closed the third Big ticket round of funding and would be eyeing massive expansion in the coming months.
  1. What is your role in your venture? Some details about your venture?
    Answer: Box8 is an Indian Quick Service Restaurant chain with a unique product offering. We broke the status quo of Indian food which is inherently less convenient in nature and made the experience “DELIVERY FRIENDLY & EFFORTLESS”. We are currently operating in 20 outlets in Mumbai and are planning multicity operations with new 50 outlets by year end.

My Role – Right from taking orders in our call centre to delivering food at customer’s door step, I have done it all. In this journey, I have wore all hats like Operations, Technology, Customer Experience, Hiring, Marketing, Sales etc.  Currently, I am heading the Operations and Business segments for the brand by managing a team of 400 awesome people.

  1. What skills must ISMites possess when they leave ISM?
    Answer: Expose yourself to the world. This is the only thing I would suggest. If you are interested in some craft, know it in and out. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Be inquisitive and learn, because there is a lot to. For this, make a habit of talking to people of that field. Talk to a lot and lot of people.
  1. Any message for aspiring entrepreneurs and for your ISM Juniors?
    Answer: You guys have the best of potential.  Tap it and conquer your dreams.  Your destiny is not written for you, but rather written “BY” You.

Manzil to mil hi jayegi Bhatak kar hi sahi,

Gumrah toh woh hai jo ghar se nikle hi nahi!!!

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