I received a note from Amarnath informing about completion of 7 years of CAT.
Along with that, he had asked about my memorable experiences with them.
Listing out the few that came to mind
- One of my first encounters with them: first glimpses of their talent and potential. When they wanted an opportunity to have portfolio video by making one for Startup Village. And 10k towards covering equipment renting / production costs.
This was the result
- Startup Village ad for Kerala Government: the time that truly reflected Startup Village was an integral part of them too. I had written about it some time back in another post of mine. Government came out with an ad promoting Startup Village and we ended up replacing with another one of our own overnight. Several people were involved in the high energy and high velocity operation and it was CAT who had brought together the video.
This was the result
Sharing the before as well for contrast
- The hacking incident: the time that they brought to fore their alternate facets. I think I am yet to write about this but this was a very memorable day for us at Startup Village - for the ones involved in this incident that is. We were running a program in partnership with Blackberry and the program website we had hosted for them had been hacked. (This really really was a fun incident I must add). It was CAT that helped track the source and the locate the contact details of the hacker.
- The Synthite deal: the inflection point that started their transition into a mature profitable business entity. One of their first major wins. They had edged out a competitor (a much bigger player) and has bagged the contract. At a substantially higher price point than what they had been selling so far that too. I still remember making that call to George Paul of Synthite for putting in a good word for CAT and him assuring that he will do his part in ensuring that they get the contract. Also remembering the good man on this occasion. Happened to read in the newspaper almost a year back about his passing away. Was an ardent well wisher of Startup Village too.
- The cashflow review: the time I had my mouth open and my head spinning. This was also a fun memory and that very much comes top of mind that too. Amar & Chachu had come over to review their financials and to discuss some thoughts around fundraising that they had. Without going into details, the conversations resulted in me having palpitations and us all having a hearty laugh about it. :) What is also interesting is that we will be doing yet another cashflow exercise several years down the line today in another 5 minutes or so.
Having said all that, it is indeed commendable the journey they have traversed and the personal growth they have navigated. In the process, they have also created a valuable and profitable enterprise. I have been fortunate to have been able to witness their journey from the sidelines and also to have played minor parts in it along the way. They brought to fore temperament in loads that made them well suited to build the kind of company that they did. What is also compelling is the professionalism and the congeniality they have maintained throughout with everyone they have ever come across - this really stands out for me.
At this point, as an organisation they are eager and well poised to get to their next phase of growth. And most likely, we will yet again get to play a part in some form. Conveying my regards once again on the occasion. Also wishing the very best for the years to come.