We are surrounded by immense talent around us all the time, even when we are alone. Like the age old saying goes, we all have some talent in ourselves. Sometimes our talent does get recognized and appreciated but mostly we are the backstage crew people making sure that everything is perfect at the front. And yes that’s a talent in itself! But what’s the purpose of a talent that is not recognized by the masses. No matter how humble and selfless a person is they need to be appreciated and encouraged in life, which is what motivates a person to do better. While the pat on the back from family is sometimes all one needs but doesn’t it feel good to have an appreciation that isn’t biased?
The Chai Shop is a virtual directory for talent. It’s a place where one person officially gossips about talent in various forms. It is India’s first virtual address book for talent. Apart from that, the back end does involve a lot of ‘chai peena aur baat karna’. Today with us for chai and gupshups, we have Vijith Quadros, the man behind the Chai shop.
Tell us a bit about your background and the path that ultimately led you towards The Chai Shop.
I’m a 20 year old, studying Mechanical Engineering whose lived the regular path and said screw it, not my cup of tea! I’m a musician, writer and marketer by passion. I love to read and observe. Born in Udupi and bred in Bangalore, I’ve lived in this amazing city seeing amazing talent rise and fall and it was forgotten forever. Currently being one of the best startup ecosystems in the country, Bangalore boasts a vast percentage in the NASSCOM’s 10,000 start ups but do we know who the people behind the scenes are?
I’m sure most of the time that’s a no. I started up with one start-up and saw the lack of appreciation for it. In order to make it independent I made 5 more. In this process there were very talented people I got to meet. They were in bands, production houses, etc. but no one knew them. They all knew the Big names but what about the people behind them? Isn’t that where the big name comes from? These questions were my path. I wanted to build a platform in the form of a book where all these people could be written about and featured.
How did the name The Chai Shop come to be?
The name was simple. Daily I used to go with a very good friend of mine named Vandit to this Chai Shop after college. We would order the regular lemon chai for Rs.6 (now Rs.7 😛 ) and just sit and drink it. Sometimes we would talk about people and how talented they are. This got me thinking about building one common platform for this talent and from this the name came. Plus as we all know and pretend not to maybe, there is a lot of gossip which happens in Chai Shops all across India so that was my inspiration behind the name.
Has The Chai Shop got the feedback and growth you expected since the launch?
The Chai Shop has got good and bad feedback. Some expected and some unexpected. We did have recognition from one of the world platforms and apart from that nationally a lot of people have been writing in appreciating the website and the platform given for talent to be put in one place and portrayed. The growth has been really good. Moving into 4 cities in 6 months has been a very big move but a one which is very much possible all thanks to the support and help from my family, team and friends.
Have you had any failures and what did you learn from them?
Yes I have, with one of the startups. In the hope of making an event big, we worked for nearly a month with complete concentration and due the lack of coordination by the organizers, the event didn’t happen itself. That was the fuel that drove us to where we are today. I learnt how to manage time, plan ahead and most of all be prompt to the situation more than thinking too much ahead.
If you were to be featured on The Chai Shop, which of your talents would be in conversation?
I think I would be featured for being a musician and a writer unless one of my guys writes about everything that I do 😛
Five years down the line, where do you see The Chai Shop?
5 years down the line, I see Chai Shop not just featuring talent but actually getting them to places and cities and having them perform, not just their talent but share their journey with the rest of the world as well. It would more than just a portal but a force which would help talent, inspire and make them grow. Well for the real Chai Shop, I just hope that uncle buy’s the next shop and make’s the Chai Shop a place for about 50-60 people to sit and sip his lemon tea.
What advice would you like to give other young entrepreneurs?
Nike has a very catchy line. ‘Just Do It’. I think that should be the something which every young entrepreneur should try. Stop thinking and just go for it. Respect humans and people, however bad they are, they are not machines or systems to use and throw. Don’t be a boss, be a captain. Last but nevertheless, do what you love and love what you do, it’ll take you a long way because the harder you work, the better your luck becomes.
It’s the lack of proper platforms that has deterred people from pursuing their dreams and instead push themselves in the rat race. Like Vijith said, do what you love. Do what makes you happy. Be the person that is being discussed at the chai shop rather than the one discussing! 😉