I’m Obu, a typical IIT IIM graduate with a very atypical story.
I found out about the existence of IITs only in grade X. I qualified, graduated and got snapped up, most predictably, by a bank.
After a few years of corporate career, I decided to venture out on my own, much like many of my collegemates.
But here’s the real kicker: Unlike most of the startup founders, I am not broke. My peers build their startup on their savings and often have little to give to the family. In contrast, my early-stage startup and my personal finances are totally separate. I am definitely not broke, have an income along with the home loan EMIs taken care of, all managed without the glorified venture capital funding.
How do I manage this? I’ll tell you in a bit.
But here’s a little flashback: My first job at a bank was in the financial capital of India, and it opened new worlds in my mind. I learned about money, equity markets, mutual funds and everything in between, and devoured all books that came my way.
One such book that had a big impact on me was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
If your primary source of earning your livelihood is your job, then your freedom is tied to your job. Once you get entangled with debt, costly lifestyle, your choice is limited
And when I realized that the book was specifically speaking to people like me, I quit, and decided to put my civil engineering skills to good use, by working for an engineering consultancy firm.
But my heart lay in creating large-scale impact, and the corporate bureaucracy was not something I wanted to waste my time on. I could not even think of starting up as it was 2009, we were in the midst of a recession.
Meanwhile, I cleared the CAT entrance exam, and got an admission into IIM Kozhikode as I believed having the “IIM-tag” would help me go the distance.
I ended up in Mumbai (again!), this time in the investment banking division of one of the big four global finance firm.
By 2015, I had paid most of the education loan, had enough to manage my survival without a job and to start a company with seed fund. I did through savings in my scholarships, income from trading while in IIMK, some killer investments I did in equity market at the lows of 2009.
But the money monster continued to haunt me: This time, when I was finally ready to startup, my mother wanted me to buy a house. Being the obedient son that I am, I took a loan of Rs 20 lakh, and now have a Rs 20,000 EMI to pay for the next 20 years.
The best part, however is, I’m financially stable, even without a full-time job in hand. I, a 28-year-old native of Andhra Pradesh, am a walking project, experimenting all the theories that take root in my brain, on myself. And so far, I’ve fine-tuned them to the extent that they work swell for me.
I am able to consistently generate enough income for my survival without spending too much time. (Trading is fools dream, I would advise against anyone thinking of living by trading!).
I am working on a new exciting idea besides selling mutual funds and investment advice, which earns me some commission.
I now earn around Rs.10,000 -15,000 per month without spending too much time on it. In addition, my home loan EMI of Rs 20,000 is taken care of on autopilot.
It is definitely not enough, and insignificant compared to my earnings and savings from job, however, the positives are - I can survive without a job and without depending on parents.
There are several hundreds of people like me, each with a dream, but bogged down by financial and family constraints.
“A person is really free when he doesn’t need a job to sustain his life. That’s when he can afford to do things which he like than succumbing to the rat race and intense competition of mundane corporate life.”
So I thought, why not open-source it, share the knowledge with the world?
Which brings me to the point: I’m starting a DIY course on financial planning, so one could pursue dreams, while having complete control over one’s finances. Do join in and help me help you kick-start your passion projects