Who we are
This is how it started
Jai writing about the Dirt Mania Journey
“Start-up by nature is an adventure” Jai Parameswaran - Co-founder Dirt Mania
Statistically speaking, a startup is the most illogical and irrational thing to do. Most of the startups do not live to see their first year, let alone make profits. Living it for last 2 ½ years has developed a deep sense of respect for businesses who find their feet and place, and continue to create value. I realised that the journey is long and only for the brave-hearts when I spoke to successful person who sold his building security company for XX millions (Yes, there are non-app-based business which are bootstrapped and built brick by brick).He said that he was at it relentlessly for more than 20 years before he became an overnight success.
This is how my journey in creating a living entity called Dirt Mania started. I had this itch to do something of my own like many (all?) of us. It was logical to leverage an existing skill. I sat down and wrote things which I am good at; Good (hopefully) Human Resources skills, below average but tenacious long distance running grit; ability to understand business and people, which made me an above-average investor in companies. The last one helped to me to be an able HR business partner too.
I used my stock investment skill in creating my first business. I started managing investments for a few of my friends. It was a zero fee model with a partnership only in profits. The first year my share of their profits was an obscene percentage of the capital invested that one of my friends changed it to a fixed fee model :). It was not a scalable model because of regulatory constraints and my candidness with customers. I told all my customers that it is the stock market and the possibility of losing all the capital is very much real (I believe it to be true). As you can imagine, I did not gain many customers.
Even though I was thrilled by converting my skill to capital, it just wet my parched throat. I was still very thirsty - because it wasn’t creating an institution, it was just solidifying my reputation.
I was on the prowl and was constantly checking for opportunities. This lead to me asking my gym owner (who was also my instructor) on his expansion plans. He runs his gym with a lot of passion and energy. He has an enviable track record in repeat membership. It is exactly the kind of business I would invest in. When he said he needs capital to expand, I jumped at it and suggested a meeting. We went through the numbers and the capital required was beyond my scope and it would have required me pooling money with others. I wanted to own a substantial part of the business and not a small fraction. This is when Raj told me about Dirt Mania. He had started it some time back and was having trouble keeping it afloat. When I first visited Dirt Mania, I did not see a rundown place which it was. I saw passion in Raj’s eyes and his dream of what it can be. He was running it as a single owner business. It took me just 2 weeks of contemplating to jump into it.
I am not making this up, we did the valuation of the company in the back of a paper napkin at a Cafe Coffee Day. We fixed his salary for being the full time CEO of the company. All this was done in 30 minutes. We appointed a corporate lawyer to establish the firm for us.
Raj suffered through endless Excel sheets on the business model and the investment plan. We bought 4 bikes for the money we invested. Fast forward to now, we have created a company with thousands of happy customers :)
Our mission remains simple.
We want to create capital by creating happiness and adventure for our customer. Come, join us for a ride.