Sandeep’s secretary was roped in to take an appointment with Shraddha . It was to be a Friday lunch , a kind of working lunch as they say in India’s silicon valley .” You what , you want to sell coconut water in fresh coconuts through a Dunkin Doughnut franchisee model , sounds good but can it be executed , you need to show your plan and profitability charts to the Venture Capital investor plus you will need a strong and experienced team with the right qualifications thats a must .” Shraddha gave her advice to DeV , she could see the man was in a hurry to get going .” We are having an event called Bhasha you can join us it will be a perfect place to make contacts and chat up some fund managers , you will have to get into the game .”
story.com had a plush office very new age , sleek , eco friendly and vibrant decor and look to it’s interiors .But thats what Shraddha madam likes the most she is into the best and thats what she is always striving for .She even managed to get the TATA’s to invest in her company and was a hit in the IAS and government circles of Karnataka . In no time she had made story.com a content portal for Indian startup eco system , again here it was stories of the brave leaders and entrepreneurs who were doing things differently and were embracing technology to build their companies and product lines , she reported on these start up wonders ,in came the Venture Capital these were investment bankers , HNI’s with a lot of cash and they wanted to invest in great seed ideas that could mature in to a profitable business in the future thus getting their clients higher then expected returns .With that came the regulators and government officials who would give the necessary permissions and permits to these new start ups helping them grow faster cutting the red tape of industry as it where .Shraddha was the ring leader getting all these guys together to benefit industry and society over all , at least that is what her goal with story.com was . She would make money through reports , events , portal advertising , seminars and exhibitions , also commission if she got your new start up idea seed funding . I guess that is why she was game for it when Dev approached her , she was in it for her cut . A deal was done she would take 5% of the total VC fund pool after disbursement of the amount into the company account . They were targeting 1 million dollar as the first round of funding for the brand Dunk in Coconut . This was going to be challenging as presentations would be made , meetings arranged , dinners more meetings along with inspection that all formalities have been meet .
“ We can chat with Suresh Tata he is a relative of JRD , he could invest he is into farming and agriculture that sort of stuff , he owns a lot of Fertiliser plants up north .I am sure we can get him to sell some coconut’s .” Shraddha smiled and took a sip of coconut water from a straw .
So it was Jaynto who had to make the product presentations , he sat days on end on internet , studied journals , scouted libraries looking for different flavours , concoctions , experimented with different tastes of coconut water and finally decided on four primary flavours Rose , Khas , lime , Cola . “ Yes we will have four flavours of coconut water Rose , Khas , Lime , Cola along with coconut malai of the same flavour we will have cocktail sticks with line and pineapple slices stuck to them , this concoction will be sold chilled through franchisee outlets and stalls across the city . We will start with Cochin and Delhi as our test markets .” The man had got it all figured out .
Sandeep had to be won over and that was a job Dev took on himself ,” See boss you are not getting younger , you will get a fat severance package and you have your savings and graduity to fall back on , you know this is our ticket to a bright future , your experience will be needed to get Dun Kin Coconut going .” Dev put the cards on the table ,’ Think you will be a founder member of a start up idea a new age entrepreneur , you will be giving motivational lectures and write books on your journey , now tats some think to aspire for .” Dev got even more convincing .” When the company gets funding you will be a millionaire your self and have large number of stocks , who know where your life could go too .’ He finished his sermon to Kanwar with elan .” Ok I am in .” thats it it was that easy finally Sandeep had been roped into the board of Dunkin Doughnut .
Dev still needed funds to get the paper work done pay for reports this he bowed from his Appa , in all 1 lakh rupees . He set up Dunk-in Coconut as a registered Privately held company with His Dad , Him , Sandeep , Jayanto and Shraddha as its board members .
Dev had been a coconut lover as a child and enjoyed the drink all his life , he would go boating and fishing in the Kerla backwaters , see the farmers climb up tall coconut trees and then with their blades strike them down to the ground in huge bunches . The fresh coconut where cleaned and sold in the markets and at the sea beach where people enjoyed the water and coconut mania for Rs 5 . He will now be branding and productising this simple need gap into a franchisee model idea , charging a premium for cleanliness , variety ,service standardisation .
The D day and arrived then Dunkin Coconut team had to give a presents to Suresh Tata , who was a prospective funder of the idea . Dev and his gang had taken the day off form the office the entire team flee to Bangalore for the presentation in great secrecy after all no one in Dunkin Donut should no this all was going on and their head of Operation was also a part of the conspiracy .
“ Big day Dev sir Shraddha madam is waiting for you all , go in to the board room it is open .” Shraddha’s secretary ushered the team in . In the board room where already seated Shraddha and Suresh Tata ,” Ah1 so you are the boys who want to detail fresh Coconut water to the world , I mist say it was a nutty idea when I first heard of it , but then I am a nut myself , Hi I am Suresh .” Mr. Tata warmly welcome Dev and Sandeep . In minutes Jayanto took the floor with his presentation , now and again Sandeep gave his two bit on the operations and Dev chipped in with the financial figures and the first year production plan .All in all the meeting went beyond lunch time , all were engrossed in the presentations with side discussion taking place all the while . ‘ We would use ice candy and frosts to cast the outer side of the Coconuts the kids can lick them of it will be good for those who have a sweet tooth .’ Suresh gave an innovative idea to the team .
By Thea time it looked that Mr. Tata had been convince to part with the first round of funding but there was a catch he wanted a three year plan and expansion plan for countries out of India . Plus the funds would be given in trenches one a period of three years for operational costs that the company will incur .” I guess you have sailed through we will fund you and look forward to selling those coconut’s .’ Mr.Tata left with a smile of contentment.
“ Yo man Dev we did it guys , we are in bunnies VC funding in the bag it’s party time , it’s time to celebrate ,lets hit the Pub’s on MG Road .” On cue Jayanto shouted he was the the one most excited his frustrating life at DunKin Doughnut was over he was the boss now , it was freedom all the way and the gang wanted to party .
“ Cheer’s here’s to Dev and his magic Idea , to DunkIn Coconut’s lets get nuts guys , it’s coconut toquilla shots for all tonight .” Jayanto barked with ecstatically . It was a new dawn and a new journey for all of us , we had to leave our jobs at DunKin Donuts and plugs into our start up idea . We had to build from scratch but before all that it was time to get drunk , dance on the bar and gorge on raw sushi .
‘ Dreams thats what life is about dreams within dreams and thats what we talk about stories of dreamers like Dev and company story.com will be carrying the story of DunKin Coconut winning first round of venture funding tomorrow , will have all your mug shots on my website tomorrow , so watch out there going to be lot of guys calling you up .’ She smiled , she knew this will be breaking news for her portal .” But yaar wait till 12 noon we will all put in our papers with the HR let us inform our employer before you tell the whole world , we owe them that much I have worked their for more then a decade now .’ Sandeep was sure he wanted to follow a strict policy on this , no news report before resignation it was settled .The part was over past mid night and Dev decided to hitch hike with Shraddha in her Camry Toyota .
“Put the widows up na Dev I hate the noice of traffic it stops me thinking .” She asked Dev to do her a favour .” You must be over the moon it’s a big thing for you getting started on your own idea and that to with some one else money .’ She light up a Silk Cut cigarette and light it up with as diamond studded lighter , Shradda was always dressed like a Queen , she loved Traditional stuff like Sari , Shalwar at times trousers for the board meetings .She was sophisticated and bold , dusky and vivacious like a middle eastern princess and our Dev was no less of a king , they hit it off the tow of them , even in the tequila part in the bar they exchanged a few jokes . Young people in Bangalore during the start up boom ,” I find you a bit tense at times , you need to loosen up , come let me. Take that heavy blazer off . She helped Dev with his blazer and then offered him his cigarette , “ It’s all a process a network , you scratch my back I scratch yours , an act system no one knows who is making money and who is loosing it , but their is money all around thats for sure ,” She paused to see how Dev reacts to her observation .” It is a dog eat dog world I am told , but with fiends like you we have nothing to worry about , I am sure you can keep the Tata’s under control .” Dev knew that Shraddha was astute and she had experience by her side , he had full faith in her abilities .” I like south now we will open our first office in Cochin my dad will be a help in that .” Dev tried to make his future plans .” Not so fast Mr. You need to go though Murari Bapu first . “ Who the hell is he .” Dev enquired .” He is the Don of Kerala , he is the man behind the success of the Communist in the state , a kind of God father , to get your outlets and stall’s running you will need permissions , health clearance certificated and a lot of red tape awaits you my dear ,” Shraddha knew there was a task at hand .” The Murari is a fixer of sorts , if we get his blessings the state and local administration is ours ,we can get guards and man poser easily .” She knew her business plan , but Murari Bapu had to me met with and taken into confidence . “ So what are we waiting for fix him up now with the funding in the bag you can also hope for a fat cut .” He smiled ,” Yes no less then 5% remember , oh! Your hotel has arrived .” She asked the driver to stop near the reception .’ See you Dev will keep you posted bye! “ Shraddha waved at Dev who waited for the car to get out of the gate . He felt light in his heart , he felt at ease that he ha her by this side , during the most challenging phase of his life when he was building his dream and his company. Yes she was a great alley to have and this would be a partnership that would go long .
A office was hired in the centre of Cochin and an advertising agency deployed to make the logo and banners for the brand and also design POP and shop designs .” Once a Malyali always a malayali you have found your root’s selling Coconut water , your own business idea is taking off , I am so proud .” Appa Dev’s father was pleased .