In today’s Her Business Story here at A League of Her Own, we meet Bhumika Zhaveri (known as Bhumi) who is the female founder behind InteriMarket.
Bhumi tell us more about InteriMarket and what it’s all about
InteriMarket focuses on Employer’s Skilled Contractor Workforce: Hire, Onboard & Rehire within hours, not weeks.
We concentrate on improving contractor’s engagement and retention in your workplace, as our basic value proposition but there is so much more to us as we are building an ecosystem of end to end transactions that take place between organizations and highly skilled contractors. As our early target market Professional services organizations can now avoid the pain of wrong hires via human error, cost of empty seats and extensive repeated staffing agency fees.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I was always a self-starter, proactive and gritty individual. As an introvert, I listened more than I spoke, and saw problems very differently, hence I am a better problem solver with no limiting views on possibilities. I knew from a very young age that I would be an independent worker, hence I became a consultant/contractor before focusing on my tech startup because not only had I to learn my own strengths and skills but also gain industry expertise before solving a challenge as mammoth as the growing skilled contractors and millennials in the gig economy.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
I usually let an idea fester for long enough and if it starts to keep me up at nights I know it is worth my time. So, after letting the idea fester for over a year whilst keeping an eye on the problem I wanted to tackle and the scale of it, i.e. trends and after over a year I realized I was truly passionate about the problem. This led to my research, conversations, and I consciously took time out of my consulting to set into a new routine.
After learning what I did, and filling in the gaps I officially started on this 12 months ago with a quick beta product to study our early product market fit for a period of 6 months. We are now working on our platform v1 release, currently live testing with one early customer before we roll it out further in the later part of 2017 on release.
What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?
Letting my team and people that believe in me down. I have always been highly dependable, and I am happy with change and the ups and downs that accompany entrepreneurship including lack of money, extremely long hours and chaos but the thought of letting people down i.e my co-founder and early team, now my investors and customers is one thing that still scares me sometimes because that to me would be counterproductive. I am here to help bring a solution in a sector that needs it in the right way, and so it is huge pressure I place on myself.
What has been your proudest moment?
Being able to bootstrap and conduct our product market fit is my proudest moment. Purely because it shows that I was thinking pragmatically and was able to invest my own time and money in the risk of setting up something innovative in a new category within a very crowded and chaotic sector, where most products and noise is quite frankly neither innovative or targeting the heavy weight challenges. And it did not stop there, we learnt quickly and within a year we have some organic talent traction and an MVP with great vision and plans, so I am really proud of all our earlier and current team members at various levels.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
This is not the first time I have founded my own company although my first tech startup so I avoided a lot of legal and accounting pitfalls and must haves. Having said that, I think as my first tech startup I think if I could do anything differently it would be how I go about forming my early team and some hiring decisions and pitfalls I made along the way.
What does success mean to you?
Professionally success means having a global product that is brilliant and solves problems of our user groups exactly as we anticipate it to. Being able to give greater control, better access and enormous economies of scale for both our user groups: skilled contractor talent and organizations, is my goal and the day we achieve this and more I will consider myself successful.
Personally, success has a different more intimate meaning and I feel that I am successful each day that I am able to make a difference in mine or someone’s life even in the smallest ways. I don’t let professional success be the only motivator to drive me and my happiness.
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
Of course, mistakes are not failures they are the best teachers that guarantee success, whatever an individual’s definition. I find the time spent doing whatever it is that results in the “mistake” is so much more valuable than money or paid education. One such mistake was waiting too long before starting InteriMarket, but I feel that actually that wait has not only fueled me with drive but also taught me a thing or two that I may not have learnt should I have started it sooner.
Which women inspire you?
My mother is the first woman who inspires me because she is my mother & because she is gritty and strong, under thousand circumstances when she could have abandoned us to find herself and her life, she chose to prioritize us. It’s those qualities at my core, that with education and experience has been enhanced into an unbeaten passion and integrity.
In addition to her I really admire Sheryl Sandberg – I think she is most instrumental in success of Facebook and its journey, plus personally she is so inspirational. There are a few more beautiful and intellectually driven women within arts, media, business and social services that I truly admire for what they have done in their relevant sectors and causes by not only challenging the status quo but helping introduce or lead change.
Warren Buffet – there is only one. He is truly inspirational and wise to say the least. There are many other business men who I admire like Bill Gates and Richard Branson but I feel that I have learnt or related most to the advice of Warren Buffet, to me he is a legend.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
Empires are not built in one day! I say this with a pun because I know the reality of time and hard work, the loops. Yet I am patiently impatient and that drives me to go that extra mile esp. as I know I was not privileged as an immigrant and an outsider and I had to work that bit extra to get that bit further.
What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?
Stay focused. There are too many distractions when you start out, especially when you are desperate to get through the doors. And that’s exactly the time when you stay focused and even “No” to things that do not add to your vision and direction.