Sudip Duttais the Managing Director and CEO of Aporv (www.aporv.com).
Prior to this, Sudip was Director, Sales at Persistent
Systems, leading sales initiatives and managing Fortune 100 clients in
USA, China and Taiwan. Sudip has 10+ years of combined experience in the
management of technology based efforts and sales. He has worked in
different roles including sales and optimizing the sales tracking
process in a multi-billion dollar organization.
He has exposure in International market including USA, China,
Taiwan & India for ten years at Middle and Senior Management
levels. Sudip has worked with Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, Sierra
Atlantic and Persistent Systems. He is also the Founder and President of
BITS.aid, the volunteering arm of his alma mater BITS, Pilani India.
Sudip has also presented on various topics including Social
Entrepreneurship & Sales at IIM, Lucknow and BITS, Pilani. He has an
Engineering Degree from BITS Pilani, India and certification from
INSEAD, Fontainebleau. Personal
were on the peak of your corporate career as the Sales Director. Suddenly, how
did entrepreneurship happen with ‘Aporv’?
decade of corporate job and then into entrepreneurship, but one must realize
that entrepreneurship doesn’t happen suddenly. Sometimes you think about for a
few months, sometimes a few years. You fret if the idea is feasible, discuss
with friends and think about the pit falls.
Aporv which means ‘unique’ in Sanskrit
germinated from our own need, to find authentic Indian Handicrafts. I had been
thinking about this idea for the close to a year and looking at the opportunity
and the Social Impact decided to take the plunge. To think of it, the second
largest occupation in India is handicrafts and we don’t have a decent platform
for the artisans to show their creativity. Our mantra of "Correct choices are
made” - The artisan's choice to sell the
product at a fair value and the appreciator’s choice to make an educated buy that
resulted in the birth of Aporv, bringing
12 differentiators to the market.
to take the decision to leave a day job and start Aporv and give it the shape I
had thought of. Luckily my family and friends helped in taking the right
decision. Being in the corporate world for a decade, one of the hardest parts
was leaving the ‘luxuries’ of a day job. With a start up you have to do
everything - from changing the printer cartridge to signing partnerships,
delivering your service/ product to taking the deal-making decisions. The satisfaction
is that you are creating something that has not been done and doing something
that people may try to emulate later.
according to you, is the most important business ethic? ?
Being honest helps in the long run.
the one thing that you believe every entrepreneur must have?
Belief in the idea.
BITS.aid started from a need. I was looking to volunteer for a social cause and
put my spare time to better use. I searched for projects but nothing
interesting came up. That’s when I realized that there are few BITSians who are
involved in projects and are need of volunteers. That gave me the idea to
create a platform for BITSians where projects requirements and volunteer
mapping can be done. BITS.aid went on to become the first online
college-volunteer platform. Being an online model it was easy to get BITSians to
collaborate and it became a model running into its 5th year. At one
time we had 130+ volunteers volunteering for 10+ projects.
is a difficult job, most of us don’t realize that. It doesn’t pay you anything,
there are expectations from you, and you have to give up your free time. We
wanted BITSians to realize their potential and also believe that helping a
social cause and volunteering ones time help grow your horizon. Many of the
volunteers with BITS.aid have joined some of the best global BSchools.
has been the most satisfying experience in your life?
I guess it’s too early for me to answer this. Maybe 60, would be the right time
to get to this.
keeps you engaged in your spare time?
Love to hear some good music, also like to catch up on
a few good reads when I find time.
had a time machine, what would you do? This
question took the most time to answer. Maybe go back in time and get the right
is the craziest thing that you have done? Jumping from 13,000 feet. Realized the best way to
overcome acrophobia would be this.
Blue Ocean Strategy, Good to Great, Da Vinci Code
Meat (any meat)
Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond
Amir Khan, Naseeruddin Shah
Soccer, table tennis
ANC, C’Not, Dabba (not sure if it still exists)
Forgot the name, one that used to serve Blue Moon
shakes. Still don’t know why it was called blue moon, maybe because we could
afford it once in a blue moon.
Was there a choice?
Spoken like a true BITSian
BITSian experience in one word.
Best-days-of-my-life (I know this is not one
word, but couldn’t describe it better)
thing that you will always miss about BITS.
Night-outs before the exams and doing everything else
other than study
you learnt at BITS that has always helped you.
Competition is good. It helps you get better.
would you like to see BITS in the year 2020. Your ideal vision.
Among the top 5 in schools in the world.
BITSians on campus: Not to leave campus without doing this one thing!
One word – Friends. Make as many friends as you can
during your 4-5 years at BITS. They will be your life long connections
association with and thoughts about BITSAA. I have been involved with BITSAA since 2003, and
have been amazed at how it has grown over the last few years. What excites me
is the passion everyone in the team has. Amazing teamwork.
to BITSians on campuses:
Use your time wisely, involve yourself in
extra-curricular activities. Dream, dream big. If you are looking to become an
entrepreneur start in college, with the resources available at BITS it’s become
a lot easier.
to all BITSians: We should meet soon. Always a pleasure meeting