My first lessons: Transforming my idea into a company
Lift a finger and press the switch from off to on and my office is glowing with energy. Bright and early when I reach the office, this is the first thing I do. However, way before my day’s first action begins — the movement of those excited electrons through the closed electric circuit, the neurons in my brain are transmitting the crucial information I need to further scale my business idea.
I started Timble, a patent-pending attendance system, in September 2016, with a basic motive — to help identify students who can benefit from academic counseling in IIT Delhi, using technology. My life since then has truly changed.
However, it is not just the idea that deserves credit. It’s the hard work and perseverance of my team that transformed my idea into a goal-oriented, uniquely-innovative enterprise: Timble Technologies.
Our goal at Timble Technologies is simple. Since 2016, we have been developing advanced technology to create a positive social impact. Our products include novel Bluetooth Low Energy, Image Processing, Facial Recognition and Speech Recognition systems. In the health industry, these have saved lives by providing live monitoring of patients’ condition; In the education sector, they’ve saved professors’ teaching time through paperless attendance; And in the social services space, we have worked to help combat food corruption, and track mid-day meals, for millions of students in Delhi. In March 2018, Timble Technologies was perhaps the youngest tech company to be impaneled with the Unique Identification Authority of India to work on using technology to advance the cause of millions across India.
This came in at a steep (ongoing) learning curve. I had tried and learned from 2 prior non-profit startups while at IIT and it never escaped me that starting a full-fledged company is like a Catch-22. You need the talent to realize the idea but you can’t pitch to talent till you have realized the idea. But the way I broke this catch is with the help of my partner. My roommate and I joined hands to pitch together for our first break, at IIT Delhi.
We presented our flagship offering, our Timble Attendance System to a Smart Campus Award jury at IIT and were shortlisted. After weeks-long sleepless nights and at least ten design iterations, we finally landed on a design that would work — our currently deployed Trimble Attendance box. Within 6 months, we were to deploy 25 of our devices within 6 test rooms of the institute.
All entrepreneurs know the first phase of failing. A time when you are trying and trying but nothing good is coming out of it. Till it finally does. But not a lot of people know about the second phase of failing, where the risks are upped because of the investment and client expectations and yet, failing is a part of the day to day life.
This is where talent becomes important. Every day, I rushed from one room of the institute to another to figure out why the system wasn’t working and late at night, would spend every waking minute researching on how to fix it, till I would ultimately fall asleep with my glasses on and laptop on my lap.
One night, after having contemplated dozens of solutions, just like those electrons would finally reach the bulb to emit light throughout my office, the solution came to me. The next day, I assembled my team, now of ten people, including my partner and I, to implement the solution. Just like the bulb that I switch on every day, our technology started giving the best results.
As we garnered praise and attention due to our success at IIT, we were able to attract clients and hire well-qualified talent. With now a team of 40+, and annual revenue of upwards of Rs. 3 crore, we continue to thrive in key social service sectors, all the while expanding our innovation to be more useful in other industries as well. God has been kind.
Just as sometimes the bulb fuses, we run into problems too but just as an electric connection keeps the bulb lit, my team and our unparalleled product, keeps the company growing.