From The Economic Times
From a corporate executive to an entrepreneur, the journey of Sachin Chhabra, CEO and founder of Mumbai-based Peelworks, has not been an easy one, he tells ET. After 14 years at Hindustan Unilever
in a variety of roles in HR and sales, he decided to set out on his own
to manage the indirect sales force of companies across various sectors.
It was difficult,
given that till some time back I had the organisation to back me up for
everything. HUL offered me all the expertise, support, wisdom and
alignment to carry out any task. But again, I believe you can be a
better entrepreneur if you've had a stint at corporate India, especially
in the kind of business I am in. It is there that I realised that a
majority of the consumer goods industry's revenue comes from its
indirect sales force, and ironically it doesn't get the attention it
deserves. I decided to fix this problem.
THE EARLY DAYS
Having put all my thoughts in place, I started operating out of home
for the first few days, then moved to my wife's office, which had a
spare room. I spent a lot of time hunting for a viable office space in
and around Mumbai and visited at least 30 locations to try to strike a
deal. Now, we have an office in Navi Mumbai.
My decision to become an entrepreneur was not impulsive. It was there
in my mind for long. I completed my graduation in Economics from St.
Stephen's College and joined Xavier's Labour Relations Institute
(XLRI). I joined HUL as a management trainee in 1996. It was in the
early 2000s that I started scouting for an idea, the right one, which
would sail me through a competitive market.
It was difficult
for me to take the final plunge given that I had a steady job going for
me but I didn't want to finish my working life without trying my hands
at entrepreneurship. I decided to quit in 2010 and put into practice all
that I learnt as an HR professional in HUL in my own venture. Getting
the right talent for my venture was a problem initially but good talent
gets excited by vision. Currently, we have about 40 employees, both on
and off payrolls.
cater to companies that conduct their businesses using indirect sales
force. We compute performance-based ratings and offer recommendations on
promotions, skill and competency for outsourced staff on an online
platform so that the staff that helps generate revenue is not neglected.
Having been in HR for long, I realised the opportunity in this space
specially in a country like ours where trade is fragmented.
Within 9 months of launching, we got around $1 million in angel funding
from the Indian Angel Network in December last year. Going forward, we
have big plans and want to add clients given that there is tremendous
opportunity in the sector.