This column is authored by Kushal Agrawal, Co-Founder, Xoxoday
A greatest business lesson and answer to many complicated questions which have been bothering me for a long time got disclosed during a casual chat with my Grand dad. It was in 2016, winter when I paid a visit to my native place, a small town in central India. My father used to update my grandfather with all my media impressions and business journey on a regular basis.
One day during my family visit – my grandfather called me and asked – I’ve heard You’re doing a great job and you have a decently sized company in Bangalore. I wanted to understand what exactly you do? When my friends ask me this question I’m just able to tell them that “He runs his own IT company in Bangalore”. Your father too is not able to explain me everything about your company. Is your work very confidential that you’re not able to tell to your parents too? Explain Me about Your company and its products.
I said OKAY, Surprised! My parents don’t know about the business I’m into. Strange!
I started explaining him that we are into experiences, we organise tours, help people to travel, help companies make softwares for companies for rewarding, talk to HR heads, talk to hotels and many more.
I attempted 5 times to simplify my pitch and explain what I do to my grandfather. Every time I did – I was unsuccessful and he completely got trolled by my pitch. He didn’t understand anything from my hi-fi language. After 80 minutes of my explanation he said – Okay I understood. I can’t believe it took me 80 minutes to explain my own business idea. To just check if he understood or not, I asked him what did you understand? What business I’m into? He said yes I understood your business “You’re A Travel Agent”.
I got a shock and felt annoyed. I can’t believe I’m not able to explain my grand father what I do. I convinced myself that my grand father might not have been able to understand our new age business and I should not get disheartened.
However the conversation and its after effects changed the way I used to look into my business. I started realising the complications in my business, felt that its too complex. Felt that this is an issue I face infront of investors too, I tried convincing myself that investors are stupid. But after this conversation with my grandfather, I realised I’m running 2 very different businesses. One is into experiences and other is in rewards and recognition software. Both of them are completely different and mutually exclusive.
I realised that investors too might be feeling same complexity in my business and are not able to relate to its future. Hence funding was always a problem in this startup of mine. I also realised that the world doesn’t need complex things. They just want simple solutions to problems. World doesn’t want tough and verbose communication. They want communication which is simple to interpret and understand. Until and Unless its a scientific research with some complex terminology and tests – the idea conceptualised by an entrepreneur has to be “Hilariously Simple” for people to understand.
Thats the reason why slogans like “Tum Mujhe Khan Do, Mei Tumhe Azaadi Dnga” or “Jai Jawan Jai Kissan” type of statements connects to masses. Its very simple and Bang-ON statements which generates curiosity and connects with core problems.
One small conversation with my grand father taught me a million dollar lesson!