Trishna Mohanty didn’t mean to enter the world of start-ups and entrepreneurship – but that is exactly what happened when she was brainstorming ways to bring businesses that traditionally exist offline in India, into the digital sphere. Her app The Lister has a two pronged approach; helping to bring businesses online but also to connect users to their services. Today the Bangalore, India-based entrepreneur is learning the ins and outs of being a woman in tech, fine tuning her product and continuing to grow her budding business.
Mohanty’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
In this day and age where everything is digital, there are a few things which are left offline. Attempting to look for services that traditionally don’t have an internet presence, on the actual internet, creates not only hassle but delays. To circumvent this, we created TheLister platform with the sole idea of transitioning these offline services to be online. Whether it’s architectural or home decor service, real estate, or even events – it’s now possible to find them all with our app. To provide this feature to the masses of India, I unknowingly stepped into the world of startups and entrepreneurship.
Success isn’t gauged by your bank account chiming profits or getting a bigger valuation of your startup business. True success for me is when we as an online platform are able to help customers connect with the right businesses in order to get their services fulfilled – the very reason why we entered into this market in the first place.
The biggest success will always be our very first day of launching the service. We had spent over 6 months brainstorming the idea, fine-tuning it and after running through numerous tests, we were finally ready to launch it into the market. But the next thing we bumped into was getting our domain blocked by the social media giants, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. However, the turning point came when we devised a new strategy to circumvent the situation by emailing interested clients about our platform. That day we received over 400 registrations! That was the point in time when we knew what kind of change we were going to bring.
Since our platform has a bi-faceted outlook, catering to both the customer and the business, there had been few challenges in making things work in synergy. With time and effort, we’ve learned to cope with such situations and with the aid of the finest personnel in our arsenal, we worked as a team to synchronize the day-to-day operations. We put in a lot of hard work the initial days but the platform now connects both parties seamlessly through the added help of our AI algorithm.
My role model isn’t a tech god or any serial entrepreneur. Actually the person I most admire does not even have a business background! But she’s a force to be reckoned with. She is none other than Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the young Italian girl who eventually became the wife of former Prime Minister of India. This has nothing to do with Indian politics, but about her character, her story, her sheer will to adjust to a new culture, to a new country, to stand up and keep her head high when everyone tried to suppress her.