Ankita Garg is the founder of ‘Hyperk’ – a customer engagement platform for offline businesses to engage, retain and grow high value customers. An MBA graduate, coming from a business family and working for a fin-tech company to working with various projects, she had her eureka moment at a chai tapri that led her to begin ‘Hyperk’ along with her co-founder Amitabh. Ankita shares more about her entrepreneurial story with WOI- Womenpreneursofindia
Self belief is the most important attribute for your journey. Make sure that the journey is fun. There is no bag of happiness at the end of the tunnel, it’s the journey and its worth that will optimise your happiness. So, don’t be in pursuit of happiness. Believe in the Happiness of Pursuit. And suddenly, your choices will start appearing obvious and easy to make. Start now. There is nothing to lose if you know you did the best you could.
Entrepreneurship was never an option for me, I come from a traditional business family and that’s the way of life I have known forever. Born and brought up in Gwalior, I have been strongly influenced by people around, their work ethics. My father is a businessman and I have seen him work 365 days a year, 7 days a week, from morning till the time he went to sleep. So, the life of entrepreneurship comes very naturally to me. I firmly believe that work takes up more than half of your life or at least half, so it’s important to make it fun and satisfying.
I started my career as an analyst with a fin-tech company and worked there for five years. That gave me the understanding of tech, the basics of building tech solutions and of course, a lot of people management skills. My entrepreneurial journey began as a student at IIMB in 2015. Since then, I have worked with multiple teams, built multiple products, have seen multiple failures and a couple of success stories. Also, worked on a few side gigs, did few consulting gigs. The journey of ‘Hyperk’ began in 2019 while taking a walk to a nearby chai tapri and being hit by a eureka moment when I did not have change to pay to the stall owner.
The journey started with an idea to develop a digital wallet for these local businesses. You see a problem and you have a solution in mind. Hyperk’s story is the same too. And along the way, we made many changes, pivoted, adapted to the market realities, and this is a constant task – to keep evaluating if your assumptions still hold true. If not, make a new hypothesis and validate again. We started as a hyperlocal reward app to now ‘a customer engagement platform for offline businesses’.
This journey of discovering what your brand truly means to people, what impact are you really creating is important. The more tenaciously you work towards finding that identity for your brand, the more clarity will show up in the choices you make going forward. So, I would say, finding that brand ethos and identity, and what Hyperk truly stands for, was the most difficult part.
I believe, the most difficult part for any product is getting the first sales. Till then, it’s an idea in your head. Only after you make a sale and have an active buyer and a user for your product, the journey begins for the brand and the company. In the case of Hyperk, we knew that we had to find our first customer very soon. We put together a very basic viable product. We started reaching out to select a few buyers through simple cold emails and cold calls. To our luck, we found our first paid customer soon enough. That gave us the encouragement to pursue what we have in your mind.
I would say, our first sale was an unforgettable moment. Another unforgettable milestone was our first international customer. For a SAAS product, sales is the most important validation, enterprises buy your product when they see value, performance and trust. For a foreign entity to find these in us was a remarkable milestone in our journey. It allowed our team to dream for bigger goals.
I have always loved the idea of problem solving. And by virtue of being an entrepreneur, there are always plenty of problems to solve. Of course, depending on where you are in your journey, the problems are different. But it never gets easy. And that’s the beautiful part. Each day is a new challenge. As an entrepreneur, each day you have to get up and evaluate your choices, make new ones, amend some old ones. Retrospect and plan for the day ahead. Personally, I still struggle with uncertainty at times, especially when I have something very clearly detailed out in my head but it does not happen my way. I am working on it and I hope to do better at it.
Throughout this journey, Me and my cofounder have been a constant support to each other. I have been born and raised in a business family so their understanding and support has been immense help. Above all this, I would like to add that, any entrepreneur or any person taking a specific journey needs to find some way or something to be self motivated. There are many moments of self doubt, which is very difficult for someone else to help you with. I am an optimist and I am always eager for the future
I would like to quote my favourite lines from my favourite Star Trek – “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness, that is life.” So, let’s not worry about losing. Give your best shot and have no regrets!
Thankyou Ankita. Hyperk is definitely a great platform for offline businesses to engage their customers online. We are very glad to feature your business story on WOI. We wish you all the best for future endeavours. Keep Inspiring!