“While pitching my idea in Infosys, I was recommended that I must rethink about doing jobs and wasting my time because I belonged to a different space,” recalls Suprith.
A son of a professor and a homemaker, Suprith Reddy comes from humble beginnings. With dreams of owning a conglomerate, his entrepreneurial journey is nothing short of an inspiring movie.
After working for Infosys and taking a bagful of experience with him, Suprith finally gave wings to his childhood desire. Quit his job, got a student loan and landed in Germany for his masters. Eventually, he would not only drop his masters and a Google job but also go on to successfully found his company “Ophigo”.
Presently, keeping himself busy with his next project, Suprith has a fascinating tale to narrate about his burning passion, journey and entrepreneurship in this subliminal conversation with Storiyaan.
Suprith Reddy: Here’s to the new beginnings!
Questions and answers
When did you first realize your entrepreneurial stint and what were your initial steps to make it grow?
Ever since my childhood, I always enjoyed learning about great entrepreneurs. It was their stories that stuck with me. As a result, entrepreneurship got into me quite early.
As I got older, I realized that you need to develop a set of core skills. Therefore, I started side hustles during my university years which led me to gain more confidence and these were the initial steps that have led me so far.
You were one of the youngest research lads in the Research and Development Team of Infosys. What was your proudest milestone moment there?
During my stint there, I came up with an idea to collaborate bank accounts of various banks into one mobile app so that the users need not use multiple apps for different bank accounts. I pushed myself to pitch this idea to the head of R & D directly. This has to be the proudest moment in that journey as it instilled self-belief and confidence in me.
Can you tell us about your journey in Germany and what approaches you took to establish yourself?
I moved to Germany for my masters and simultaneously kick-started my hunt for jobs and luckily, I found some amazing ones.
While working at a startup, I started meeting more people and pitching some of my ideas to test the opportunities available here. This networking helped me establish and gave me good exposure in leading large teams. Eventually, I founded my startup and dropped my university.
Can you share the story of when you first founded your own company "Ophigo" and what purposes it served?
While I was exploring ideas and pitching them, I met my VC, who then introduced me to my co-founder and the investor. Ophigo is a proptech company that digitized the analog process of commercial leasing using technology.
We made two products one for the tenants and one for the landlords. Our purpose is to help them make office leases through our platform from search to moving in. Additionally, we also provide great deals on additional services like furniture, and laptops etc post the move in through our platform.
What were the biggest obstacles which you faced while trying to establish yourself in this sphere?
The biggest obstacle was that the real estate industry is not tech-savvy and not open to change. We pushed ourselves hard to enable partners to work with us by providing them only a success-based pricing model. This helped us to get into the ecosystem faster as there was no upfront cost.
When you were initially starting, did you make any rookie mistakes? If yes, how did you rectify them?
Yes a lot of them. One of the major ones was that we built a marketplace and concentrated on getting both the tenants and the partners to provide properties at the same time. Which led to a lot of work but not a good outcome. The general rule is to build one side and the other will eventually follow. However, we rectified and worked further on our plan, and it clicked.
Currently you are working on your second start-up ‘Softhesis’, how did this journey begin and what expectations does it serve to the clients?
Softhesis is at its nascent stage. It is a holding company that I built for myself to validate. I am yet to choose the right problem to solve.
Currently, I am exploring opportunities in the edtech space to build a peer to peer learning platform, digital identity management using blockchain and an Autonomous EV delivery. Therefore, it is too early to talk about expectations.
What are some of the methods you undertake to monetize startups and to gather capital?
If it is a B2C startup it would be a good idea to achieve user growth and then concentrate on monetization. If it’s a B2B startup it’s important to have a monetization plan upfront. I am planning to bootstrap my upcoming project, but when I need more capital I will start to pitch and raise money.
Can you elaborate on how you deal with the pressure?
Pressure is inevitable. I deal with it by trying to think of the end goal, get more disciplined about my ambitions as motivation doesn’t stay with you every day. Moreover, I make it a point to talk to like-minded people to understand their perspectives and stories.
What would be your advice to our readers who are trying to dip their feet in this entrepreneurial life?
My advice to a budding entrepreneur would be to understand one thing i.e. “Why they are doing what they are doing”. You can have your reasons but be clear and headstrong about them. However, there are a few reasons which might not be the right ones to startup, which are explained in my blog here.
1. Your daily mantra – Be grateful for what you have before starting the day.
2. Your favourite book – Think like a monk by Jay Shetty.
3. When you don’t work, you mostly – Explore new ideas and learn new things.
4. Your greatest inspiration in life –Mr Narayana Murthy and Mrs Sudha Murthy
5. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Building something that can positively impact a large number of people