India shining: Teenagers turning CEOs with some e-help
MUMBAI: Yash Bhargava, 19, is struggling to achieve work-life balance. Last June, Bhargava — still a second-year student of management studies — set up Shining Armour, a digital and creative agency that specialises in web design and social media consultancy.
The Navi Mumbai teenager already has nine clients and a staff of six. In March, Shining Armour paid Rs3 lakh in taxes and had a turnover of Rs12 lakh. “I love the independence that comes with being an entrepreneur,” he said. “But it’s tough juggling college, clients, a girlfriend, and football with my friends.”
Bhargava’s case is typical of the confidence, innovation — and leveraging of internet technology — that is driving the number of teenage entrepreneurs in India.
Last June, Bhargava — still a second-year student of management studies — became founder and CEO of Shining Armour, a digital and creative agency that specialises in web design and social media consultancy.
The Navi Mumbai teen already has nine clients and a staff of six. In March, Shining Armour paid ` 3 lakh in taxes and registered a turnover of ` 12 lakh.
“I no longer take pocket money from my parents,” says Bhargava, grinning. “But honestly, it’s tough to juggle college, clients and a girlfriend, plus make time for football with my friends.”
On an average day, Bhargava wakes up at 6 am, attends lectures till 1 pm, and spends the next eight to ten hours juggling client meetings and product pitches. Working from home, he coordinates with team members in Chennai, Mumbai and Pune via Skype sessions, teleconferences and a WhatsApp group. Football and movies are reserved for Sundays.
He is currently also working on building an e-store that will sell T-shirts and merchandise targeting college students.
As a result of his entrepreneurship, Bhargava can now take his girlfriend on dates to expensive restaurants.
“Recently, he offered to chip in for a new family car,” says his mother Manik, 47, a former general manager at Reliance Retail. “As a parent, it’s natural to get anxious about your child losing his way or being unable to multi-task. But an individual is most creative and risk-enduring as a teenager, so we are happy to see him take chances.”
Determined to be self-made, Bhargava has taken no initial investment, and little advice, from his parents. “The only time he asked for help was when he had to open a current bank account to deposit his first-ever client cheque,” says Manik. “Frankly, seeing how serious he is about his venture, I probably wouldn’t even mind if he opted out of college.”
Bhargava’s case is typical of the confidence, innovation — and parental support — that is driving the number of teen entrepreneurs and innovators in India, where tech-savvy, ambitious youngsters are leveraging technology and a conducive investment market to go it alone, simultaneously juggling their education or opting out of it altogether