For all those out there who did not know him earlier, he is the guy who braved Anu Aunty and co-founded a million dollar company.
He is that happy-go-lucky looking twenty seven years old guy who was welcomed with thunderous claps and hooting as soon as he entered BBA to deliver his talk on evening of 31st of October. The co-founder of Alma Mater, Varun Agarwal gave a sneak peek into his journey so far as well as his ideologies as the car that had gone to receive him sped up the roads.
MM: How did film making become your passion? Did you expect it to become your profession?
VA: I always loved watching movies. That’s what made me like making films. I used to do short films. So, the interest basically came from watching one movie a day.
Moreover, I knew it was going to be a part of my profession because that was what I was aiming for and I was determined on making it work, no matter what.
MM: What was the idea behind Last minute films?
VA: There was no specific idea. I just wanted to make films, so I did it. I don’t go on doing things because I have an idea, I do them because I like doing it and then it so happens that ideas develop around it. It was not something I had planned. It is not a competition. You need not do something just because someone else did it.
MM: How important was Anu Aunty’s role in your life?
VA: Anu Aunty plays an important role in everybody’s life, it’s just that people don’t realize it. Anu aunty need not necessarily be an aunt who is your mom’s friend. She could be your dad, your mom, your friends, your teachers, society or the people around you. Anu Aunty is present all around us.
She stands for all the negative elements that people go through when they think of doing something out of the box.
She effortlessly influences everybody’s life. It all depends on whether you use that intervention as strength or a weakness.
Some people get fogged down by Anu Aunty, they stop chasing the rainbow and running after their dreams. Other people use her as a reason to get stronger. So, it all depends on you, whether you want to use Anu Aunty as a positive element or a negative element. I think she can sub-consciously become a positive element if you use the right thoughts in the right way.
MM: How did Alma Mater come into existence?
VA: The reason we did Alma Mater was not because we wanted to be entrepreneurs. I think there’s a misconception going around here. Everybody wants to become an entrepreneur, because, everybody seems to think it’s cool and will help you get girls and everybody seems to think that’ll make you famous. But, that doesn’t happen. Like I said, for every successful Bollywood actor, there are millions who do not succeed. So if you have an idea and you think its good enough to solve an existing problem, then it’s worth taking a shot at. So, we had an idea that we thought was worth trying and that became “Alma Mater”.
MM: How did your parents feel when they came to know about the career you had chosen?
VA: Obviously, every parent is worried because, it’s only in the last one year that E-commerce has suddenly boomed up and become a phenomenon. Now, it looks ordinary because everybody seems to be talking about it. It’s also very dangerous because it’s not something that is very profitable at the beginning.
But then, I have to say that if you are looking for an ordinary business in the industry, then you’re not creating any value for yourself. For every Flipkart or SnapDeal that we see, there are a thousand e-commerce companies that have shut down also. So, you firstly need to know if you are a smart entrepreneur, next, you need to know if you can disrupt something, and lastly, if you think you can, then you should do it.
MM: How dreamy is your current status as one of the young entrepreneurs of India?
VA: *smiles* As I said earlier, this was not something I had planned on. I do give a lot of talks though and the first talk was pretty exciting.
But, I usually give all these talks because it helps in my marketing.
For people who see, it does seem very dreamy and exciting. But, it is not that glamorous.
MM: How was your experience working with Preity Zinta and A. R Rehman?
VA: When you look at them from far, they seem to be super humans. But, when you go near them and work with them, you get to know that they are just like you. So, it was amazing working with them.
MM: What are your future plans?
VA:My future plan is to just keep on doing whatever I am doing and keep running with it. I don’t work with plans.
If you plan to do things, you don’t end up doing half of the things you want to.
MM: Lastly, what message would you like to give to the students of NITR?
VA:The only message I would like to give is don’t be entrepreneurs because of the fame. You may not end up being famous or cool but you will end up working 24*7 and won’t have time for anything else.
Do it because you are passionate about it.
If you are doing something because someone else is doing it or because it looks very glossy, then you’re definitely treading the wrong path.
Team MM thanks and wishes luck to this dynamic personality for an inspiring interview.