Here’s the transcript:
My Startup Idea: Toehold’s Co-founder on His Eureka Moment: Times of India, 25 March 2018
In this column, we bring you the stories behind how startup founders got their business idea, and the things, events, and actions that eventually led them to their big eureka moment.
“Winning awards for wildlife photography made me realize I needed to take this seriously”
The idea: To start a travel and photography company
Eureka Moment: Jayanth Sharma inherited his passion for photography from his father. Growing up in the 80s, Sharma watched his father teach photography. He moved on to work in the IT industry but kept up with photography as a hobby. “I pursued it in my free time on weekends. In the mid-2000s, I won a couple of prestigious awards for my wildlife photography. That was when I realized I needed to take this up seriously,” he says. He quit his job at Accenture in 2007 and started doing freelance photography. Soon, he got together with his photographer friends and launched the company in 2010.
Early days: Sharma started conducting photography workshops. “I had to get used to not getting a regular salary but I slowly expanded to doing photography trips as well,” he says.
Biggest challenge: “Since no one had done this before, we made mistakes and learned from them. There were no benchmarks. Convincing people to pay for our service was difficult,” he says. When they registered with the registrar of companies, they had to define both travel and photography.
Present-day: The company rents cameras and equipment, conducts workshops, and organizes photography trips. In eight years, it has conducted tours for 25,000 people in India and abroad. Around 9,600 people have taken their workshops.
This article has been featured in the Times of India