Ravi hails from a small village in Alwar, Rajasthan and had a modest upbringing during his childhood. However, despite his humble beginnings, he was a hardworking individual who demonstrated academic excellence as well as prowess in sports.
Ravi was passionate about sports, particularly badminton, but lacked the necessary infrastructure in his village to practice. Fortunately, his childhood teacher, Shri Shivtaj Singh Ji, generously provided logistical support and infrastructure for Ravi to practice in a nearby town. Ravi’s dedication paid off as he emerged as the winner of the district badminton tournament. His involvement in sports played a crucial role in shaping him both professionally and personally.
Ms. Savitri Devi, Ravi’s mother, had a significant impact on him, particularly when it came to emphasizing the importance of education as a pathway to success. This message was conveyed not only through her words, but also through her actions. Despite being illiterate, Ms. Savitri Devi began her own studies at the age of 40 and within the next ten years, during which Ravi was also growing and developing, she was able to learn to read and write.
That’s quite a journey for Ravi! Moving to a new city for higher education can be a big cultural shift, but it’s great to hear that he was able to make a lifelong friend in Sandeep Gupta. It’s also impressive that both of them were among the top performers academically in both 12th class and engineering entrance exams. Going to Kota for JEE preparation must have been quite challenging, especially with the transition to English medium. However, it’s amazing that Ravi was able to succeed in all of the exams he took, including NDA, AIEEE, and JEE. It’s a testament to his hard work and dedication. Ultimately Ravi decided to attend NIT Jaipur for engineering.
During his graduation, Ravi actively participated in sports and yoga. He was a dedicated member and volunteer of Rajasthan Yoga Parishad and was involved in various yogic activities.
Ravi’s entrepreneurial journey started when he was still studying at NIT Jaipur. He would provide class notes to his classmates and became known as the “Xerox Wallah.” In addition, he started a coaching institute outside the campus to earn some extra money. His part-time income exceeded his first job’s salary by more than double.
Despite his success in Jaipur, Ravi decided to move out of the city to start his professional journey as a software developer.
After spending a few years as a software developer. Ravi was fortunate to have Shri Siddhartha Jain as his mentor. Under his guidance, Ravi gained valuable professional experience working on both technical and non-technical projects. This experience sparked his interest in business, leading him to become determined to pursue a business education. Ravi succeeded in passing the entrance exams for all of the top MBA colleges and ultimately secured a place in the 2011-2013 batch of the prestigious PGP in Management program at IIM Bangalore.
During his time at IIM Bangalore, Ravi learned to deal with failure and the intense competition that permeated every aspect of life at the institution. At IIM Bangalore, there was always more to learn, explore, and improve upon, and this experience marked the beginning of Ravi’s lifelong journey of self-improvement. The most valuable lesson that Ravi took away from his MBA experience was the importance of accepting and learning from failure. He also became adept at multitasking, managing projects, studying, and participating in sports simultaneously. Although he had a fear of public speaking, he confronted this fear by running for office during his second year. Despite being rejected from the sports club during his first year, he ultimately won the election for sports secretary. Even then, Ravi demonstrated sportsmanship by welcoming his opponents onto the team, recognizing the value of diverse opinions. This experience helped Ravi to mature and develop a higher level of understanding.
Upon completing his MBA, Ravi delved into the world of startups, beginning as a Delhi NCR business head at Taxi for Sure. He subsequently worked with a number of notable figures, including Appremeya (the founder of Koo), Raghu (the founder of Zolve), Ronald Rosario, and the core team. Ravi played an instrumental role in building the Delhi NCR business from the ground up, transforming the company from a single taxi to 1000 rides per day in just eight months. As a result, Ravi was promoted to the position of PAN India Supply Head. During his time at TaxiForsure, Ravi made a smooth transition from his initial role as an individual contributor to a position in management, where he excelled.
After experiencing the rapid success of Taxiforsure, he was inspired to pursue entrepreneurship, but his first attempt ended in failure. Despite this setback, he persevered and worked on several ideas, making a number of mistakes along the way. Eventually, he found success as an early employee in three different startups, all of which went on to become unicorns: Oyo, Droom, and Wheelseye.
While at OYO, Ravi reported to Abhinav Sinha to spearhead the company’s expansion in Rajasthan. Ravi successfully oversaw the expansion of OYO into 11 cities in Rajasthan within a span of six months. After building a robust team in Rajasthan, Ravi transitioned to the central team to optimize vendor management, streamline the supply chain, and improve inbound sales conversion. Ravi’s time at OYO was characterized by an intense focus on executing the company’s mission, and he gained valuable experience in prioritizing tasks critical to the success of the business.
Following his stint at OYO, Ravi joined Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles and the second startup to achieve unicorn status under the leadership of Mr. Sandeep Agarwal, the founder of ShopClues. While at Droom, Ravi worked closely with Sandeep, gaining valuable insights into leveraging technology to drive sales and operations. Ravi also learned effective strategies for managing attrition, even in the turbulent environment of a startup. Ravi’s time at Droom provided him with numerous lifelong lessons, thanks to the guidance of the founder and the core team.
Ravi was immediately captivated by the innovative approach of Wheelsye’s team, Manish and Anshul, to enhance the lives of fleet operators, in an industry that had remained stagnant for half a century. Additionally, the team’s connection to Bharath and Ravi’s community touched him deeply. Leveraging his vast expertise and experience in mobility, Ravi led the growth of Wheelsye’s sales team from 20 to 2000 members. Within a year, he facilitated the company’s expansion throughout India, and impressively onboarded a million trucks in record time. Ravi also played a crucial role in establishing the fuel and insurance businesses, contributing to Wheelseye becoming his third unicorn as an employee.
During a pleasant ride with Wheelseye, Ravi crossed paths with Sumit Gupta at a friend’s gathering. Sumit had been tackling the issue of commuting for the masses, recognizing that despite the impact of technology on the lives of most Indians, intercity bus travel for Bharath travelers remained chaotic. Ravi himself had experienced this problem during his childhood, and his family in the village continued to suffer from wasting countless hours waiting at bus stops. Driven by this issue, Ravi and Sumit co-founded ApniBus, with a vision of transforming the bus travel experience into one that was easy, convenient, and comfortable. Their goal is to enable passengers to track and locate the right bus, book tickets with ease, and travel with peace of mind, all at the click of a button. With their shared passion for technology and in-depth understanding of the Indian transportation system, they aimed to digitize the entire bus travel stack, increasing its efficiency and accessibility for everyone.
With a vast knowledge base and years of experience, he has much to offer new founders seeking to grow their startups. One of the fundamental principles he stresses is the importance of resolute conviction in the idea. Founders must genuinely believe in the problem they aim to solve and possess a profound personal connection to it.
Being open to asking for help is another critical aspect of scaling a startup. As entrepreneurship can often feel like a solitary path, it’s essential to establish a support system. This may involve seeking mentorship, forming partnerships, or simply reaching out to others within the industry for guidance.
He also emphasizes the significance of planning and documentation. A well-documented plan will enable founders to remain focused, make informed decisions, and communicate their vision effectively to others. With a clearly defined and succinct plan in place, they will be better equipped to navigate the challenges and uncertainties of entrepreneurship.
“करत-करत अभ्यास के जडमति होत सुजान ।
रसरी आवत-जात ते सिल पर परत निशान ॥ ”
To summarize, his counsel for new founders is to persistently work hard, keep solving problems, and continually adapt. With dedication and effort, they will eventually be able to overcome obstacles and achieve great success. Furthermore, many anonymous and unseen supporters are ready and willing to assist them along the way.