Speaking about the Journey so far, Mount Woods Studio’s Founder, Mr. Ankit Dhadwal said,
It’s been a roller coaster journey with many ups and downs, where every turn has a new twist. Being in the IT industry for 3 years, we have worked with people who belong to different industries starting from Restaurants, Builders, Education, Miners, etc. Each individual has their own requirements and it’s fascinating when we hear their ideas and beliefs that they can change the current scenario in their own respective industry. From their ideas and while working with them, the journey of learning is adventurous that we sometimes look back and see how far we have come but at the same time we still have to achieve a lot of things.
Every day there are new requirements which mean new challenges to face, which means we are always on our toes working hard for the satisfaction of our clients.
Being an engineer myself, I have seen how technology is getting advanced day by day. Sometimes it feels like the sci-fi movies that I saw during my childhood are coming to life. How Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are combined to make human life better and easier. Soon there will be bikes flying above us in the sky and people might wear Iron Man suits, who knows what the future holds but it’s definitely going to be exciting.
The IT industry is full of opportunities and when I started my own journey as Entrepreneur I was knowing I have to keep myself updated with technology which itself is the biggest challenge. It’s one of the booming sectors in the world where the IT service market is forecast to grow to 748 billion US dollars in revenue in 2020 – source statista.
We as IT company are trying to fulfill client’s custom needs from our different services which every individual requires at a certain point. We are currently providing Website Development, Graphic Designing, Animation, UI/UX Designs, Product Photography, Video Production, and Digital Marketing. All of the designs and development are custom based which means no 2 clients will get the same thing ever even if they have the same business. We believe that they are 2 individual people with different imagination and ideas of their own, so how can we build the same designs for them. Thus, for every individual, we have unique designs, properly researched according to the market with advanced technology and human creativity involved.
Till now we have served 150+ premium clients who have opted for our services.
Maintaining work-life balance is difficult for me as most of the time I’m doing multitasking things where I have to handle my team, bringing new projects, make new connections and at the same time handle family. I currently live in a very beautiful place names Solan which is located in Himachal Pradesh. I have one elder brother who left his job and is pursuing higher studies in Music as he wants to become a music composer. Thus, all the responsibility is on me and I make sure that I stay calm. For that I wake up early in the morning, go for my Kudo Martial Art Class(Karate, Judo, Jujutsu, Muay Thai, & Kickboxing) to stay fit.
During weekends I love going out with my friends on hiking, I love planting trees and like to travel to different places. I take a break once a year and hit the road. Pune to Shimla is the longest journey that I have covered so far on the bike that to Solo. My planting experience has recently got published in brown leaf which is an organization in Pune.
You have to be active and creative all the time to do good, that is what I believe and visiting new places, meeting people and having a good conversation can make you feel relaxed. It also helps you in becoming a good listener.
A brief about the venture, name, why this name, and what made you start this
Entrepreneurship was always there in my blood as my Grandmother used to sell Shawls all over Himachal and I have seen my mother too working day and night establishing her business as a retailer. My father is a retired govt. employee but that didn’t give me any kick. From my mother’s side, all of them are running a successful business and from my father’s side, all the elders are reputed govt. Officers.
After completing graduation, I applied for many jobs and got selected in one company as a Software Engineer but after 4 months I left, because of corporate politics which I still don’t like. So, I again started searching for a job in Chandigarh, Delhi, and Gurgaon. I used to travel at night, reach there early in the morning and then go for the interview. I don’t know what was wrong but I never got a proper job. All my interviews went well but never got a call. Then on my parent’s suggestions, I started preparing for Banking Jobs which I never liked but there was no harm in it only knowledge was to be gained and it helped me in becoming more confident while giving written exams for the interview.
I still don’t understand the concept of aptitude tests. I spent my college life studying Technology, how systems are developed, learned how to code and then suddenly all the Companies were having aptitude tests to select students.
Banking Exams were also a failure. Getting rejected again and again was terrifying. I still remember when I couldn’t sleep properly and my behavior also started changing. Aggression, bad attitude and getting irritated from small things. I, then started Kudo which helped me a lot, also they were looking for someone who can develop their official website. They asked me and I got my first official payment of INR 20,000/- and then after a few days, one more website came in for which I charged INR 35,000/-. I was really happy that if I can do this, then I can do anything. I, now started my own business and started my journey as an entrepreneur.
Then I started searching for a good brand name to start and after brainstorming for 2 weeks I came up with a name NETFLUX which was combined from 2 names where NET stands for internet and FLUX means charge. On 20th Jan 2017 I booked my domain as netflux.co.in and hosting, bought my first laptop which was a Macbook Pro. At that time Netflix was not so popular so I thought I can go with this. Everything was going well but life had different plans for me. I got an offer from Pune because of my brother. He referred to a company and I got selected. I thought it would be fun, learning and meeting new people.
Where everyone was celebrating Valentine’s day I was celebrating my trip to Pune on 14th Feb 2018. Coming to Pune was a life-changing moment for me. It’s a place where you can learn a lot. A small-town boy traveling so far from home, the overall experience was very different. I never thought I would go there but life is all about experiences and exposure.
I worked hard at my new company and side by side my brother told me to look for other opportunities to grow my business so he introduced me to Urban Clap from where my own business NETFLUX grew. I was earning well from my job and as a freelancer but then again life took a huge turn.
One thing is for sure, life always has different plans for you. You can never settle in one place, there will be ups and downs. If your life is going smooth that’s good but hold tight it will not stay as it is forever.
One day my boss texted me and said I AM being FIRED FROM THE JOB as he is not having a salary to give it to me and gave a reason that all the IT department is being removed. He is trying hard and talking to BOD members not to fire me. I was frustrated at that time. I was like what the hell is going on. I was very mad at him at that time. Even my family got worried about this.
I started informing my friends about this who were working in MNC’s and from all of them I was getting the same answer “Send your resume we’ll do something”. Only one friend who is currently working in Cognizant referred to me and I got selected for the interview but never got a response from the company.
So from where I had started back in my hometown Solan, I was going through the same situation again. It was a time where others being laid off, Aircel got shut down, Tech Mahindra fired 600 people and the same thing was happening with other MNCs.
I thought if they can do this with them, who am I. On that day I made up my mind that I will give my best, I will not apply to any job and build my own business that’s what I aimed for.
From then on I never looked back any application for any job. No day is the same day, there were a few days when there was no income. But there was a point I had big projects that were enough for 4 months as a freelancer.
I met Pankaj Tilara who is now our Co-Founder and COO of the Company when I got stuck with a project. My friend Gaurav Pundir who handles all the designing part referred him to me. We worked on multiple projects together and he is awesome. Now he handles all the major development part of the company. He also has his struggling story with the jobs and MNCs.
He’s a gold medalist and a very good programmer, but due to his weak English, most of the MNCs rejected him. The Company HR didn’t see how talented he is and I’m glad that they rejected him. Otherwise, a gem-like him wouldn’t become my partner.
Now we both are running a successful company. Time changes everything no matter what the situation is. Never give up.
We are used to handling the pressure of work and personal life as we know we have to deal with it and there is no escape. It’s better to fight back and cherish those learnings we get from it.
As I have said it’s been a roller coaster journey and there are many turns in my life. Everything was going great but then my mother’s health was not good so I have to come back to my hometown Solan and leave Pune.
Last year, November 2018, I came back and till that time NETFLIX was so popular that I was thinking to change the name. People were getting confused and it was effected my google rankings and it was not even searched. I sat down with my friends and team members to rebrand ourselves.
One thing we all were convinced with that name should relate to the mountains from where we belong. The brainstorming part started and side by side we were checking that the name should not be used anywhere in the world. It should be easily pronounced, catchy and small. Simple yet attractive. We searched many satellite names, galaxies and while searching we got mountains and woods. We combined them and we got Mound Woods. As we are specialized in website, graphics, animation, video and product photography, mainly the creative part, Studio fits the best. Luckily, here’s how we got Mount Woods Studio as our new name for the Company and Tagline Connecting with Roots.
Now everything is going perfect as of now and coming back was not a bad decision as we have landed some high paying clients who are paying us a very handsome amount. They just need their work to be done on time, location is not a priority.
Now we are having two offices one in Solan and other in Dehradun. I’m handling the Solan office where all the marketing operations are executed and Mr. Pankaj Tilara is handling the Dehradun office where all the development and designing part is executed.
All our team members belong to the mountains and working here is a pure pleasure with bliss. We are surrounded by greenery, nature, family and friends who are always there for us. Now we provide our services to PAN India as well as overseas. Majorly our clients belongs to the USA and things are currently running smoothly. If there is any trouble, we handle it and are getting used to it.
I really don’t have funding plans right now but surely in future if we found the right angel investors who are interested in working together as a human being, not as a person who likes to see figures of revenue, definitely. Business is all about learning, we have to make decisions and the results will only tell that it was right or wrong. It is very important even if the company is not performing well, they should be with us.
We are still learners and always will be.
Any misconceptions about the industry
Few people think that running an IT company is easy, you need an internet connection and a laptop, that’s it. In the case of designs, Client mentality is majorly like “draw hi to krna hota hai, itna charge kis baat ka kar rahe ho, isme konsi research krni hai” whereas creativity has no price tag.
Well, success has always different meanings and according to me my small achievements which I have gained so far is what I would like to call having the taste of success. I started my business alone with an investment of INR 2500/- (server-hosting cost) and now the business is moving at a very good pace where we are charging clients up to 5 figures in dollars, having a very good team. So this is huge for me. I have a few clients who are now my friends and they are with me from the past 2 years and most of my business is from the offline referral part. As of achievements I’ve gifted my mother a 2BHK flat which is the biggest part of my success that keeps me motivated and helps me in doing more and more to make my mother feel proud.
My clients referred us to their friends and then their friends of friends.
Now we are also starting our own clothing brand as Mount Clad which will be launched soon.
We want to diversify our reach to different sectors and for that, we will be starting new ventures in the future.
Feel free to connect with Team Mount Woods Studio at [email protected]
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