From Intern to CEO – The Story of Roy RiddhinilJanuary 30, 2016
Seriously, Intern? Yes, i repeated for the third time in a row.Here i was back in 2012, first semester in college and applying for the post of summer intern at a leading national biotech startup.We were selected after two rounds of interview, all the thirteen of us from across India. The interviewer this time rephrased his question, don’t you think you are kind-of over qualified to be just an intern? “We’ll find out” thats what i said. Intern applicant: Roy Riddhinil, Intern application status: Accepted, Duration: 4 months.
Three months later,here i was building my own life-sciences startup Biocognizance. For those of you reading now and have not yet understood why i applied as an intern, kindly start reading it from the first line again. There’s a profound reason.Experience matters, they say it in books.But it was only when I was working as an intern I came across all these diverse challenges. College was fun, initial semesters were mostly an academic extension of PCM subjects in upgraded versions.My friends at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore were an interesting bunch of people.And it was here, amongst 12000 people you really feel like reaching out. And that’s exactly why I started off with a community page in facebook about my college named DSI Connective Plus.
Throughout my second semester days, i saw myself working closely with various clubs in college. Among them was the tech club,and e-cell. Entrepreneurship, is both hard to spell and hard in general.And it was when people started noticing my work at DSI Connective PLUS, that they used to mentioned just Connective PLUS. Thats how it was born. Yes just like that ! I mean crazy part being we wanted to make an online platform where people from different branches could interact together and showcase their work (more of a community platform) The same model was replicated to open similar student chapters across India.So here was I, exactly 5 months later: 4 co-founder, 60 interns, 20 core team and 32 campus chapters oh, and additional general secretary of our college e-cell.
And then it all fell apart! Unlike a happy ending scene in a typical bollywood movie things did not worked out great for me.We fell short of technical resources & financial backing.Being a complete college student run venture, more problems arised. Our core team fell apart and in a week’s time we had to pay for our domain and hosting renewals.This time, things worsened in. Negligible support from the people I worked with just proved one thing “I had to save it” As a life-sciences student i was yet again reminded by the Survival of the Fittest theory, which works everywhere.Have a look around, and you will probably get the best examples.
Things changed pretty much two years later,we didn’t make it big.But we sustained and so did all the creative and crazy ones who had been there shoulder-to-shoulder with me through the tough times.We shut down most of our campus platforms under the new banner of rebranded Connec8ive+ Ventures and launched beta for CAMPUS dashboards.This time we were selected by Hay Group, among their next big 100 startups category from India and we are under their acceleration program with throughout mentoring from their side till Series-B funding.Biocognizance was recently acquired by K-Biosciences from Bremen, Germany in an all-stock deal and I turned 22.
Steve Jobs,Elon Musk & other legendary entrepreneurs continue to inspire and help me dream every night and work like hell, every day.Life has come a full circle, in many ways.Enriched with experience even when we are expanding, steadily this time every small bit from the struggled past builds me strong from within.Learnt believing in people and not trusting them.Or if ever trusted them, don’t underestimate them.I have had my share of pains,struggle and learnt lessons all the way.Now as they address me as CEO among the people I work with, the struggle stories although small yet significant makes me stronger.So here’s my shout out to all the Khiski-Khopadis (to the crazy ones) because it has rightly been said,
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who DO.”
Find us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/Connec8ivePlus/
Contact me Roy Riddhinil Here.