I had a very comfortable childhood living with my family in one of the posh localities of Delhi. Life was all about enjoyment along with studies. During summer vacations, I and my friends together used to do fun jobs like making and selling concentrated home-made soft drinks, giving comics on rent to neighborhood kids and at times selling crackers during festive seasons. This was all done out of passion and to make some extra pocket money while having fun.
One of my cousins spotted how passionate I was about doing such things and offered me a temporary part time work of a surveyor in his Real Estate agency. My job was to roam around in the area during free time and collect information on vacant houses available for rent. In the meanwhile, I worked with our area’s local cable network guy and started renting out TV and VCR. Sometime later, one of my uncles, who was working with a Market Research company, also started taking TV and VCR on rent from me for Market Research Group Discussion and CLT purposes. I made decent money and stopped taking pocket money from my parents.
On my uncle’s recommendation sometime later, I started working for a Market Research agency also as a freelance interviewer whenever I was free from studies. I gave some money to my mother and spent the rest shopping for myself. Everything was going well but suddenly we had to sell our house because of financial issues and shift to a middle income area. I was only 15 then but my life changed overnight. I didn’t feel good about what had happened.
The work which I used to do out of passion became a compulsion; to support my family financially. I worked in the Market Research industry for almost 2 years but wasn’t satisfied with the remuneration so I left that work and decided to do my own business.
I opened a direct marketing agency but that didn’t work out. Then I got an agency for selling FMCG products of a company called “BDM”. In the due course I approached other companies like Bakeman’s Bread, Panchi Petha, More Liquid Blue and Raja Biscuits etc. and started selling their products also. During the peak of my business, I was retailing products of around 10-12 FMCG companies. Everything was going well but since no one was there to guide me, about how to handle and run a business efficiently, it eventually resulted in the downfall of my business. Profits started decreasing and losses kept mounting. I was under a debt of around 5 lakhs, so I had to close my business in the year 2001.
The failure in the business made me unable to think what to do next. A lot was going on in my mind and I became more frustrated with each passing day. I again started working with a Market Research agency and could manage the basic expenses, but debt from my business was high and interest even higher and kept rising every month. I was earning merely 7-8k per month which was not sufficient. I even got retainership offer from TNS in year 2002 which I accepted but still wasn’t happy the way things were going on in my life. I left my job again and started something on my own and failed again.
I kept on trying, hopped from one business to another but success was far and distant. In 2003, my uncle who was with Nielsen Research at that time, asked me to join the company and I went back to the industry which I had left earlier. But this time, I returned as a Freelance Supervisor. I was doing more of qualitative projects and liked doing it pretty much as the income was good.
I still remember the day when I received a call from Market Xcel- it was in March’05. I was offered a job but the money wasn’t as per my expectations. We negotiated for very long and finally I joined the organization in September’05. Coming from a big company my confidence was on cloud nine. But then something unimaginable happened! I failed continuously in all the projects given to me in first 15 days. I was shattered and thought of returning back from where I had come from but the management consoled me and said relax, such things happen in life so better learn from them and take corrective actions for future.
Over the next few days I self-analyzed my faults and started working on them. Post that, whatever projects were given to me were delivered successfully and I started gaining my lost self-confidence back. I got two promotions in the next 2 years. I also grew along with the organization. Everyone was given decent authority to make decisions at some level. There was something in the atmosphere here at Market Xcel that led my heart overpower my mind and I decided to be here for the rest of my life.
In the next few years, I started leading a team but it came with its own challenges as people reporting to me were older in the system and age and thus, receptivity was an issue. But I was determined and with due courtesy and love, I made them stand by my side. I became Manager-Operations in the year 2010 and today I am heading the operations of the entire northern region for the organization.
All I want to say is, there are times we face challenges and are unclear of the path but if we keep walking, sooner or later we will reach our destination for sure. Challenges still come to me but now I look at them from different perspective and each one teaches me something.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank all those who supported me in this journey so far. Whether they are with the organization today or not but will always remain in my heart forever. With their support I have reached here today and live a comfortable life with my extended family at Market Xcel.
Nitin Kumar, Proud Family Member