Saturday, May 3, 2014

My chance encounter with Murugavel, CEO of

Any eligible bachelor in India must have come across at least once in their life time, either creating a profile on their own or their parents making it for them and start forcing them to look for a partner (I find it miraculous that parents who otherwise cannot even type on keyboards are able to create accounts, upload pics, browse pages, search and send messages!)

Same went for me too - and though I was aware of Bharatmatrimony's brand for few years, meeting the great founder who build it was an experience in itself. It was a chance encounter during GSF 2011, in November 2011 at Gurgaon. There were 150+ investors and 40+ entrepreneurs present (one of the only event which I have seen that has more investors than entrepreneurs otherwise most events are sold on the premise that there will be few investors present and a large number of entrepreneurs turn up to see these celebrities :-).

While I was completing my registration, I saw the person standing next to me giving his details at the same desk - and this person was Mr Murugavel Janakiraman, the CEO and Founder of (he owns lot many leading ventures though this one is the flagship brand, apart from being an active angel investor).

I went up to him and gave a quick introduction. He had a perpetual smile on his face, and listened intently. I told him about my entrepreneur training programs and he genuinely appreciated the efforts. This conversation lasted for about 1 minute, and he left me on a note that if I do anything in Chennai, he will be there to help me. Like many other events where people just exchange cards, offer to help and then do not even reply to email or calls just the next day, I remained skeptical. But the admiration I had for his humble nature was tremendous at that moment. Rarely do you come across CEOs who own 1000s of crores worth businesses, who are ready to have even a small talk with unknown startups.

Any my belief in good things and good people came true in July 2013. We had planned a mentor meetup in IIT Madras Research Park for our college workshop winners. I just send out a short email requesting his presence for half an hour as a keynote speaker. Within 5 minutes, I got a yes (successful people are also fast email responders :-) And at the mentor bootcamp, he stayed for the full day, enthralling the students with his experiences and giving personal attention too!

Few months later, he hosted in his Chennai office StartupYatra, an initiative by Nurture Talent for early stage entrepreneurs and it was another awesome occasion where people could learn and share experiences of starting a venture.

Meanwhile, I keep reading about his talks, his success and makes me feel so happy whenever I see the Bharatmatrimony ads on TV these days. It always brings a smile on my face, and I am sure to many other people who go through tough times - whether entrepreneurs or married folks ;-)

I have met 1000s of people in my life, and many have influenced me in lot of ways. I will be sharing my experiences with these people in my blog.

If you wish to connect to Murugavel or Bharatmatrimony team, feel free to ask and I will be glad to make an email introduction.

Till next time, be awesome!