It’s incredible to see the growth of startups in India. India is one of the fastest growing ecosystems in the world.
But the surprising part is that only about 9% of the country’s startup founders are women.
Today we are covering the story of Tejashree who started her company Petsearch when she was in her final of college.
Tejashree has been our client since February 2018 and has outsourced over 50+ interviews with AirCTO. She can’t imagine her life without us.
We interviewed her to know more about her journey as a young female entrepreneur in India.
Who is Tejashree?
Tejashree is CEO/Founder of Petsearch. She started Petsearch in 2016 when she was in her final year of college. Since then she has been hustling to grow her company.
Tejashree’s Journey till now
Tejashree was born and brought up in Bangalore. Since childhood, she has been fond of pets. She says “Pets have played an integral role in my life.” She has ten cats and a dog at home.
Since her school days, she has excelled in her academics. Apart from academics she actively participated in co-curricular activities in school too. She has been a part of the drama society also.
After joining college, she shifted all her focus to studies. She pursued engineering in Computer Science from RNSIT College. When she was in her final year of college the idea about Petsearch struck her mind. She always wanted to do something of her own. “Most of my inspiration comes from my parents, who are extremely supportive.”- Tejashree says.
Since her college days, she always wanted to do something different. She hated the idea of working under someone. She can’t imagine herself working at a desk and following orders from others.
Seeing the startup industry grow in India, Tejashree was determined to start her own company. She saw a significant gap in the pet industry which she wanted Petsearch to fill in.
Tejashree saw many cases of people abandoning pets, mostly when people were no longer interested in keeping them. She saw the lack of any platform online for the adoption of these pets.
She received similar feedback when she spoke to her friends too.
Overall she found the need of a platform which could help in adoption of pets. While there are many startups in the pet industry, most of them Tejashree says are solving only a part of the big problem.
She wants Petsearch to be a one-stop place for everything pet. This includes pet adoption, pet food, services (like dog walking and training and pet grooming) and much more.
What challenges did Tejashree face when starting Petsearch?
Starting a company is tough but because Tejashree started so young it was even tougher. She hoped to have a mentor when she started building Petsearch but couldn’t find any.
One of the first challenges she faced was in converting the idea into a real business. It almost took 6-8 months in figuring out what should be there in the platform and what shouldn’t. This was mostly because she wanted to stick to the core vision of Petsearch which was to help pet owners in all the different ways possible.
She tells “Convincing people about Petsearch and the idea was a major challenge for me. Be it when hiring someone or looking for a co-founder”.
One of the mistakes she made at the starting was spending more time in the design of the mobile application rather than thinking about the company and the bigger picture overall.
Current status of Petsearch
The total team strength of Petsearch is 6. The team is a combination of a Business Development Executive, a Backend Developer, an Android Developer, a UI/UX Designer, an iOS Developer and herself.
The mobile application has been live on Google Playstore for a year now, and they are looking to launch an iOS version of the app very soon.
Currently, the application is an adoption platform which also contains a lot of information related to adopting and raising pets.
The company is currently bootstrapped, but Tejashree is continuously pitching to investors to raise the first round of funding. She’s yet to monetize the application.
The challenges faced in building a Technical team?
Initially, Tejashree started building the application with the help of a freelance developer. But working for a while, she found the need for a bigger team.
Tejashree started hiring through referrals first and then by posting on job portals by looking at similar job postings.
She says “I had no clue that you needed so many people for building a single mobile application. I thought hiring one or two guys would be more than enough.”
She hoped she had a CTO or someone with more technical experience, but she couldn't afford someone with more expertise.
Initially, because of an inexperienced team, the whole development process would go quite slow mostly due to minor roadblocks which took a lot of time in solving. She says - “I tried hiring a consultant to mentor my team, but it increased my problem further. Because rather than mentoring my team the consultant ended up doing my developers unfinished work.”
After her consultant quit, the team found it a hard time managing everything themselves. They all quit due to this reason.
This was the time when she learned about AirCTO from one of her friends. She badly needed help in interviewing candidates as most of her team had quit, and she was looking to hire new employees.
After knowing about AirCTO, she quickly visited the website to learn more about the platform. She says - “AirCTO was a game changer. It’s my goto place when it comes to technical hiring”.
Since February Tejashree has outsourced over 50+ interviews with AirCTO. She recently opted for AirCTO sourcing too for hiring an iOS Developer as she wasn’t able to source good developers from other Job platforms.
How did AirCTO make a difference?
After the team quit, Tejashree had a tough time finding quality candidates. She spent even more time as she didn’t want to make the same mistake as earlier.
After learning AirCTO and how it works through Sanket (Business Development Executive at AirCTO), she decided to go ahead with AirCTO Interviews. One of the other reasons why she opted for AirCTO was because of the genuine pricing.
She also made a point to spend more time in shortlisting only qualified candidates.
She says - “AirCTO was very easy to use. I just needed to add the resume of the candidates to the platform to schedule the interview. There was constantly a person giving me updates regarding the interview.”
She likes how she is notified of each activity through email.
“The interview report was very detailed. The comments left by the interviewer about each candidate was quite useful in deciding if the candidate was right for the position or not. I could easily share the test results with my colleagues to get their feedback too.” - Tejashree says.
But the best feature according to her is Interview Recording.
Even after using AirCTO services, Tejashree looked at other similar platforms, but she told that most of them were very complicated and the plans were suitable for only bigger companies, unlike AirCTO.
With AirCTO, she tells - "I had one less problem."
When we asked her “Would you recommend AirCTO to your friends?” she answered that she had already recommended AirCTO to many of her friends.
Plans for Petsearch
Tejashree wants Petsearch to become a one-stop destination for all things “pet”. They’re on a mission to create an ecosystem for pet parents in India by leveraging technology.
The team is continuously working to make the mission a success.
Her advice to Women Entrepreneurs
She says - “Don’t doubt yourself. Women can be as good as a man too”. Further Tejashree tells not losing hope is crucial, there might be times when things are going wrong but don’t let that stop you from achieving your goal.
Learning from mistakes is very helpful, Tejashree adds.
One of the persons she looks up to for inspiration is Ritesh Agarwal. The main reasons because he also started too young (at the age of 19). Somewhere she finds similarities in her journey and Ritesh's.
Another person she looks upto is Ankur Warikoo. She loves watching his videos on LinkedIn and how blunt he’s about things.
She also derives a lot of inspiration from Jeff Bezos.
Best Resources for Starting a Company
She advises young entrepreneurs to talk to a lot of people about the idea before starting, mostly for validation.
She adds in “ Try to follow young entrepreneurs, mostly because you’ll be able to learn something new.”
She recommends -
Lastly, she advises finding a mentor in the same industry when getting started.
I hope you found her journey interesting. Do share it on your favourite social media so that more and more people get inspired.
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