Ajay Bam is the resident of Pune, India. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a Master’s degree in Software Engineering. Having an engineering background, Ajay is creative and has a will to change the world with his technological ideas. Entrepreneurial Attributes of Ajay
Ajay Bam is a strong person with a will to complete his dreams. He possesses the following attributes: Independent
Passionate about his work
Has a thirst for learning
Does not works for money
Don’t give up easily
Loves to meet new people
Among the above list of attributes that Ajay possess, his three most important attributes are his passion for his work, his innovative thinking and his will of not giving up easily. Innovative Thinker: Ajay Bam has the capability to make a change in the existing system with his new ideas. With his innovative thoughts he came up with an idea of making a Mobile payment and Loyalty program. His innovative thoughts will bring him success in the future as he has the potential to think beyond what others can think. Passionate about his work: His true dedication and commitment to make his dream come true, is reflected in his efforts. To make “Vayusa” a success, he has left no stones unturned. With this attitude towards his project he will definitely be the first to make the Mobile payment and Loyalty programs. Don’t give up easily: In spite of so many barriers in his way, the most effective one, the money barrier, he didn’t give up. He lost his friends in the incident of 9-11; still he continued to work to make his dream come true. Failures come in the way of everyone, but to succeed, it is very essential not to give up the hopes.
A bootstrapping approach is an approach for an internet based business with minimum resources available. Ajay followed this method to start his business because he didn’t have much money to finance his business. He made each and every effort to get his work done with minimum money investment. He even tried to arrange funds for his project through convincing financing organizations and making them invest in their project. Ajay’s efforts
His first effort was to convince the attorney John Hession for his services. As Ajay was short of money, he had to take a legal education to reduce the work of his attorney and this saved him thousands of dollars. Secondly, he had to build a prototype of Vayusa, to convince merchants. For this he needed finance, thus he convinced National Collegiate Investors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) for grants in his project. For this he brought in the third partner Troy Chen. When he started running short of cash, he applied for the housing director at The Olin Engineering School and started working for 18 hours a day. Ajay convinced a point-of-sale payment company, VeriFone for a meeting with him by calling them every day and then gave them an executive summery for his product. Even after the tragedy of 9-11, and losing 6 of his friends, Ajay decided to attend the West Wireless Conference in California with which he was able to meet Nick Epperson, a former chief marketing officer at VeriFone and the chief technical architect who had designed the VeriFone box. Ajay presented his Vayusa plan at SeaPoint Ventures and secure commitments for a first round of venture funding.
Opportunity to create Vayusa
When in his second semester of MBA, Ajay went to Munich, Germany for his four month international management internship; he noticed that people have fancy phones and are very fond of having more than one phone. He then decided that mobile applications were going to be the next big things in the United States. Then one day, after returning to US, Ajay and fellow MBA Walter Stock were meeting at Starbucks to brainstorm consumer applications for mobile technology. Then their discussion towards the hassle of coffee cards, stroked the opportunity in their minds. Market Assessment
The Market Assessment done by Ajay consists of the following points: Merchants spend significant dollars on payment fees and millions of dollars to manage loyalty programs which are not affordable by small and mid size businesses. Merchants are therefore looking for a new and cost effective customer relationship offerings and services through mobile phones which are secure and safe. Merchants need loyalty offerings for customers that include SMS-based coupons, promotions, notifications, and digital tags to drive customers to the stores and offer better customer and product services. Consumers have to carry a lot of loyalty cards for their purchases. They have to take care of their cards and losing any will lead to lose in rewards. Consumers thus need convenience in managing their payment receipts and loyalty programs providing access to all the information at anytime from anywhere.
Funds and Business Team
To get the funding source interested, firstly Ajay applied for grants in NCIIA to build the prototype and added Troy Chen as the third partner. He then convinced a point-of-sale payment company, VeriFone and had an opportunity to meet Nick Epperson and convinced him as advisor. Ajay then presented his Vayusa to Tom’s three general partners at SeePoint Ventures and explained them that Vayusa needs to raise $2 million in the first year to support the beta development and implementation, and to hire senior management. Vayusa would then need another $5 million in funding to reach a positive cash-flow position in third year. The partners were convinced to invest.
By January of 2002, Vayusa had a working prototype to support a detailed business plan, and a board of advisors that included, in addition to Tom from SeaPoint Ventures and Nick from VeriFone, a former CEO of NYNEX, a former CEO of Citibank, and Bob Anderson, director of the MIT Enterprise Forum and former CEO of GenRad. Ajay also decided to choose Rahul to build software platform whom he had met through an organization of Southeast Asian entrepreneurs. Ajay applied for a follow on NCIIA grant. Then Ajay scheduled a meeting with Jack Weston which was from a credit card industry and had recently joined a startup that was building applications to store coupons on charge cards and he joined Vayusa two months later than, as an advisor. But then Tim Patel, the software designer left the team. A new member Phuc Truong joined Vayusa as he had strong contacts with a lot of merchants.