Vinamra Pandiya gets candid about his various business ventures and how he combines business and adventure.
E-commerce, as the term implies, has moved the “business” of buying and selling online. What of g-commerce, or as Vinamra Pandiya, an IIT graduate in Chemical Engineering and owner and founder of Qtrove, explains it, “good commerce”?
Vinamra Pandiya’s first professional break came with India’s first online meal ordering service, Mom’s Kitchen, in 2006. Post a successful three-year journey with them, he joined Tasty Khana in 2009 as a board member and COO.
Ideating from experience has always been a plus point for Vinamra. A visit to a flea market gave him the idea for his next venture Qtrove, which aims to be a curated marketplace that displays and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country.
“When I started speaking to vendors in that market, I realised that it is difficult for small vendors and entrepreneurs to earn their living and sustain in the market, especially in this era of platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. The experience of working with small vendors is completely different. They don’t have an appropriate market for themselves, and it was really important to give them a proper chance and a proper platform,” he explains.
“While in Pune, I found a few problems in their food delivery system, that’s how I ended up starting a meal delivery service in India. After successfully establishing it, I started working on my new venture Qtrove. The idea was to support small entrepreneurs and give them the platform to sell their products, provided their products are unique, handmade, non-mass produced, natural and well-skilled with basic guidelines of sustainability,” he further adds.
Apart from enjoying himself as an entrepreneur, Vinamra is also a traveller and an adventure seeker. He has always loved to challenge himself while exploring various destinations. He has completed one of the most difficult treks in the world — the Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan. It is 6.5-km round trip trek, which is more than 10,000 feet above the sea level. “Travelling and adventures have always helped me in my business. I love playing sports, which involves fear. Apart from de-stressing, it will give you satisfaction as well as confidence that you can achieve anything in life.”
Sharing his trekking experiences, Vinamra says, “We started early in the morning and came back by evening. With every step, we were thinking that we won’t be able to do it. But, whenever that thought cross or minds, we would picturise our final destination. It gives us motivation. After that, we would take a pause and then start moving again. The excitement of reaching your destination is incredible.”
As an adventure seeker, Vinamra also tried skydiving during his first trip to New Zealand in 2012. “At 15,000 feet above the ground, everything seemed to merge with the sky. I can’t describe how scared I was, but later, when you get a little comfortable, you start floating in the air. It’s a lot like leaving your secure, well-paid job and jumping into the unknown and uncertain world of being an entrepreneur," says Vinamra.
He has also tried paragliding in New Zealand, and now is planning to attempt scuba diving, parasailing, and bungee jumping, “Paragliding is safer than skydiving and it is the closest feeling one can get about how birds fly. It gives us a sense of freedom,” he adds.
“Playing sports has helped me make quicker decisions. When you jump off a plane at 15000 feet, you have just a few seconds to decide whether to take the plunge or not. It builds confidence and character in high-pressure situations. You also learn to trust more; it teaches one to place trust in another individual. It is the same when you become a leader. Trust your team and trust them enough to enable them to do the right thing,” he concludes.