Months after receiving a second round of investment from Tata Motors, the co-founder of Repos Energy shared how a call from industrialist Ratan Tata changed the company’s fortune.
Repos Energy is a Pune-based startup which offers doorstep delivery of diesel through its app. The company aims to reduce the country’s total fuel consumption by popularising its distribution model.
Now, taking to LinkedIn, co-founder Aditi Bhosale Walunj shared her encounter with Ratan Tata. She said that when she and her husband, Chetan Walunj, started out with Repos a few years ago, they figured out that for their firm to grow, they needed a mentor. “And without any doubt we both had one name that is Ratan Tata Sir,” she added.
When Aditi suggested that they meet the former Tata Sons chairman, Chetan was quick to remark, “Aditi, he (Ratan Tata) is not my neighbour that you saying let’s go meet him”. However, she did not back out.
In the LinkedIn post, Aditi wrote, “We both have had no formal business education but we learnt one thing very early in our lives–an excuse towards anything is a foundation which one builds a house of failure.”
“Everyone told us you cannot meet him (Ratan Tata) and that it’s impossible. We didn’t use this as an excuse. “NO” was never an option,” she added.
Further, Aditi then went on to explain how they finally got the chance to meet Mr Tata in Mumbai. She said that they prepared a 3D presentation of how Repos Energy wanted to change the energy distribution and deliver any energy/fuel to the last mile using technology. The couple also wrote handwritten letters to Ratan Tata and reached out to sources who could have connected them to him.
Finally, after waiting outside Mr Tata’s house for 12 hours, Aditi said that she received a call around 10 in the night after they returned to their hotel. “I was reluctant but when I answered, the voice on the other hand said ‘Hi! Can I speak to Aditi?,” she recalled. Aditi said that even though she knew who it was on the other end of the line, she still asked who it was.
“This is Ratan Tata here. I got your letter. Can we meet?” she heard on the phone.
Aditi recalled experiencing multiple emotions at the time. She revealed that she was numb, had goosebumps, tears running down her face and a smile on her lips. “The next day we reached his house at 10.45 am at his house and waited for him in the living room with our presentation. And sharp at 11 am a tall, fair person with a blue shirt walked towards us. And it felt like SILENCE,” she wrote.
The co-founder said that during the meeting, Mr Tata asked her what she expected from him, to which she replied, “Sir, help us serve people and take out country global. Guide us.” To this Mr Tata then just simply replied saying “okay”. “We stepped out of his house, like we were walking out of the temple. After that Repos is where it is today because of him,” Aditi said.
She also added that the three-hour long meeting with Mr Tata was “sheer mediation for us where he heard our ideas, shared his experience and guided us”. At the end of the social media post, she also thanked the deputy general at Ratan Tata’s office, Shantanu Naidu, who she said was an “angel in disguise” for her company.
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