How did you end up as a Co-Founder? What was your route to this position?
Growing up with a foundation in Western classical music and piano, my musical journey took an exciting turn four years ago when I immersed myself in learning Hindustani classical music and vocalization. Along this path, I encountered a significant challenge—I needed accompaniment instruments like Tabla and Tanpura to facilitate effective learning.
Despite various attempts to address this need, including the use of pre-programmed physical devices like “shruti boxes,” I realized there was a gap in the market for a comprehensive solution. While there were a few apps available for singers, none perfectly solved the problem, and most were not reasonably priced. Conducting thorough user research revealed additional pain points, such as users’ need for reminders to practice regularly.
Leveraging my skills as a seasoned Software Developer, I saw an opportunity to bridge this gap. I envisioned an app that would be easily accessible, ad-free, boast top-quality user interface and design, and accelerate the music learning process. To enhance my capabilities, I took several online Product Design and Product Strategy courses.
In September 2022, I launched the initial version of Bandish on iOS. Despite its basic functionality, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and I received valuable user feedback. This feedback became the catalyst for rapid iterations, leading to 20k+ downloads across Android and iOS platforms within a year, all without any formal marketing.
Throughout this journey, I had the privilege of assembling a small team of incredibly talented and passionate individuals. As a close-knit unit, we are laser-focused on user satisfaction. My role as Co-Founder involves steering the vision forward and developing an effective product strategy to fulfill our mission of helping music students learn faster and better through our app.
This journey has not only defined my role as the Co-Founder of Bandish but has also underscored the importance of continuous learning and user-centric innovation in our quest for musical excellence.
Why are you the right person to be the Co-Founder of your company?
I am the right person to be the Co-Founder of Bandish because of a convergence of my background, skills, and dedication to our mission. With a foundation in both Western and Hindustani classical music, I bring a deep understanding of the intricacies of music education. My experience as a Software Developer allows me to merge technical expertise with a passion for music, enabling the creation of a product that addresses a genuine need in the market.
What sets me apart is not just my technical proficiency but also my commitment to user satisfaction. The initial success of Bandish can be attributed to my hands-on approach in understanding user pain points and iteratively improving the app based on valuable feedback. I’ve actively sought out opportunities to enhance my knowledge, taking online courses in Product Design and Strategy to ensure the continuous improvement of our product.
Moreover, my role extends beyond technical leadership; I have successfully built a dedicated and talented team that shares our vision for revolutionizing music learning. As a leader, I prioritize an inclusive and collaborative work environment, fostering a culture where each team member’s skills contribute to the collective success of Bandish.
In essence, I am the right person for the Co-Founder role because I bring a unique blend of musical insight, technical acumen, and a relentless commitment to creating a product that truly makes a difference in the lives of music learners. I am not just leading a company; I am driving a movement to redefine music education, and my passion for this mission is unwavering.
What gets you up in the morning?
What gets me up in the morning? Honestly, it’s the excitement of making a difference in people’s lives. I believe every day is a chance to move the needle and work towards our goals. I’m driven by the idea that, hey, maybe today is the day we create a meaningful impact. That thought alone kicks me into gear each morning.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
The journey to where I am today has been shaped by the invaluable support of various individuals and mentors who have played pivotal roles in my personal and professional growth.
Firstly, my parents instilled in me a love for music and supported my diverse musical pursuits, providing the foundation for my journey into the world of music and technology.
My sister, a phenomenal dancer and a constant source of positivity, has been a guiding light throughout my life.
Her passion for the arts and unwavering encouragement have significantly influenced my creative endeavors, including the development of Bandish. On the personal front, my wife has been an integral part of my musical journey.
We’ve not only performed in several music events together but also share a commitment to learning classical singing. Her support, both creatively and personally, has been a driving force behind my pursuits.
As a fledgling entrepreneur, the guidance of seasoned mentors has been instrumental. Their insights, drawn from their own experiences, have provided me with invaluable perspectives, helping me navigate challenges and make informed decisions.
Additionally, the talented and passionate team at Bandish has been a driving force behind our collective success. Their dedication and collaborative spirit have not only fueled the growth of the company but have also contributed to the vibrant and innovative culture we’ve cultivated.
Lastly, the unwavering support of our users, who have embraced and provided feedback on Bandish, has been a constant source of motivation. Their trust in our vision has fueled our commitment to delivering a product that meets and exceeds their expectations.
In essence, it’s the combined support of family, mentors, team members, and users that has propelled me to where I am today. I am deeply grateful for the collective effort that has shaped the journey of Bandish.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
I once received advice suggesting that rapid growth should be pursued at all costs, even if it meant compromising on product quality. This advice, though well-intentioned, contradicted my belief in delivering a top-notch product and maintaining user satisfaction.
I realized that sustainable growth, rooted in the consistent delivery of value, was more crucial than achieving rapid but unsustainable expansion. This experience reinforced the importance of aligning business strategies with core values and user-centric principles.
If you could go back in time to when you were a teenager, what life advice would you give yourself?
If I could hop into a time machine and chat with my teenage self, I’d offer a couple of pieces of advice. First, I’d say, “You don’t have to be the most skilled at something to be successful at it. Just take that first step and get started. Skills can be honed along the way.”
Second, I’d emphasize the importance of relationships, noting that a big part of success is about who you know. Building a strong network opens doors you might not even know exist. So, don’t underestimate the power of connections; they can be as valuable as your skills and hard work.
What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?
As a leader, I prioritize three key values that guide my approach:
Clear Vision and Communication: I believe in the power of a clear vision. I make it a priority to articulate this vision to every member of my team consistently. Transparent communication fosters a shared understanding and unites us towards common goals.
User-First Mentality and Product Quality: A user-first mentality is at the core of our work. We never compromise on the quality of our product. This commitment ensures that we not only meet but exceed the expectations of our users. Quality is non-negotiable.
Friendly and Inclusive Environment: I recognize the significance of a positive work environment. Cultivating a culture of friendliness and inclusivity is crucial for the well-being and productivity of the team. We thrive on collaboration and celebrate the diversity of ideas that comes with an inclusive workplace.
How can a leader fail?
I think there are many pitfalls that may cause a leader to fail. Here are the ones I am most vigilant about:
– Poor Communication: Ineffective communication can lead to misunderstandings, decreased morale, and a lack of cohesion within the team.
Strategic Vision and Adaptibility:
– Lack of Vision: A leader without a clear vision may struggle to guide the team, resulting in a sense of aimlessness and diminished motivation.
– Inability to Adapt: The business landscape is dynamic, and leaders who resist change may find their strategies becoming obsolete.
Team Dynamics and Accountability:
– Failure to Build a Strong Team: Neglecting the development of a cohesive and collaborative team hinders overall performance and success.
– Lack of Accountability: Failing to take responsibility for mistakes or not holding team members accountable can undermine the leader’s credibility.
What does the next five years hold for you?
Over the next five years, I envision an exciting and transformative journey for both myself and Bandish. My primary focus is on expanding the impact of our app, solidifying its position as the go-to platform for music learners worldwide. We are committed to continuous innovation, enhancing features, and incorporating cutting-edge technologies to provide an unparalleled learning experience.
I see Bandish evolving into a comprehensive music education ecosystem, offering not only instrumental accompaniment but also a broader range of educational resources and tools. Collaborating with educators and musicians, we aim to create a dynamic platform that caters to diverse musical genres and skill levels.
Simultaneously, I am passionate about fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth within our team. I envision Bandish becoming a hub for creative minds, attracting top talent and providing an environment where everyone can thrive both personally and professionally.
On a personal note, I aspire to deepen my own musical knowledge and skills, continuously refining Bandish based on my evolving understanding of the art form. Additionally, I am excited about exploring partnerships and collaborations that will contribute to the broader music and tech community.
In summary, the next five years are dedicated to the relentless pursuit of excellence for Bandish, fostering a culture of innovation and learning, and contributing meaningfully to the world of music education.
Mentorship is a big business in the west, do you have any experience with it?
While I haven’t had direct experience with formal mentorship programs, I’ve actively sought guidance from experienced individuals in the entrepreneurial and tech communities. Informal mentorship has played a crucial role in shaping my understanding of business dynamics and leadership.
Engaging with mentors has provided valuable insights, allowing me to navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and refine my leadership approach. Their experiences have served as a compass, helping me steer Bandish in the right direction.
As Bandish continues to grow, I am exploring opportunities to engage more formally in mentorship, both as a mentor and mentee. I recognize the immense value mentorship brings to personal and professional development, and I’m eager to contribute to and benefit from such collaborative learning experiences.
If people want to reach out to your or your business, what is the best way for them to go about doing that?
I’m always eager to connect with people. Feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected]
For general queries, our support team can be contacted at [email protected].
Looking forward to hearing from you!