Ankita Talks to Feministaa about her Journey with ‘Gapoon’

Ankita Asai was in her final year at IIT Kanpur and she applied to Schlumberger during the placements season. “I was standing in front of 1000 smart people when the recruiters asked me to speak about my experience during the internship. I remember speaking really fast, like I was reciting something!” says the founder.

Today, Ankita is pitching to various HNIs, CEOs of multi-billion companies, media and taking Gapoon to great heights.

Based out of Bangalore, the disruptive team consisting of Ankita, Apoorva Mishra, Ankit Bindal & Nikhil Gupta who are structuring the largest dis-organized market of home maintenance services in India by being a one stop platform for all users to conveniently hire professional service-men online. With services covering the entire domain of home maintenance like plumber, electrician, carpenter, painter, pest control, all types of home appliance & laptop repair; along with up-front & fair prices, fully automatic lead dispatch & follow-up system, Gapoon aims to provide a solution to this  disorganised sector in the market.

Prior to starting up, Ankita was working as an Oil-field engineer in Schlumberger. “Although it was fat- paycheck job but the satisfaction of doing something about which I am passionate about was missing,” says Asai. When the idea of Gapoon was incepted, Ankita’s family, even friends & colleagues were quite skeptical at first about leaving such a high paying job & treading into a space so uncertain & unpredictable. “Although now in retrospection it feels like the right step to take but at that time it was certainly one of the toughest decision I had to take,” she adds.

Sometimes you have to take that big leap of faith because unless you actually try you can never expect to succeed.

One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is the financial instability. Ankita was used to living a plush lifestyle where she could buy what she liked, travel where she wanted  & do things freely without giving much thought.

Now even to enjoy for a special meal, I have to plan weeks ahead in advance.

For most entrepreneurs, opportunity of starting their own business, the idea of being their own boss motivates them to startup. But for Ankita, the biggest factor was the fear of failure! “When I took this decision of starting Gapoon, it was not my sole decision but so many people including my parents and colleagues were relying on me. In such a situation, you simply cannot give up. This sense of responsibility provided me the strength to forget my own problems & focus solely on the benefit of my company,” says the bioengineer form Kanpur.

Starting a company is easy but building a business is not!

Ankita feels that starting up is like going on a war. A war against wishes, comfort, society & friends. “The most important pillar has to be family. Having support of your family provides you the necessary strength to freely follow your dreams and work hard for your belief,” she says. Every day at a start-up comes with a new problem, posing threat to your already unstable path. Hence, having support of your family seems to be the only positive constituent in your upside-down life. Ankita advises all the parents to give the adequate freedom to explore when it comes to pursuing their dreams.

I know that we all feel protective of our children & want them to have a stable future but we have to let them try, we have to let them fail & ultimately achieve something in life because in the end, success is ultimately nothing but a summation of all your failures.

Ankita sacrificed her financial instability to start-up Gapoon. She also believes that being involved in your own start-up provides no window for socialising at all. “I find myself working 24×7 with no weekends, no holidays, and no definite work hours. Also, I used to be an avid traveller but now I hardly find the time & occasion for it. But every good thing comes after some serious sacrifices & struggles; there is simply no way around this to the island of happiness,” she says happily.

Startups need a lot of dedication to really keep on improving each & every day to turn itself into a successful company. Ultimately, the success of a company depends on the stability of the business model & the team. Gapoon faces a big challenge in the marketing department with its limited resources.

Earlier, if faced by a problem, I would spend hours in accepting that that problem exists. I simply cannot afford to do that right now. I learnt to quickly recognize the problem, respond effectively & move to my next task. It really takes a great deal of maturity  to do so, but those skills come with your decision of being an entrepreneur.

As a message for the future entrepreneurs, she says, “Never be afraid of trying. Your future self will thank you for that decision because each and every experience brings with itself so much learning & opportunity for self- growth that you wouldn’t repent trying.”


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