What divides a success story from a failed experiment is the perseverance of a leader, an entrepreneur who thrives on challenges. One such entrepreneur is Saikiran Chandha, whose grit and conviction served him to mould a successful business.
Now a successful CEO and founder of , Chandha’s entrepreneurial journey has been a constant endeavour. His story demonstrates how you can capitalise on personal challenges and obstacles by turning them into opportunities.
Chandha’s early career days revolved around working in academia and the research domain. But, it all started when VIT University rejected his research project as it failed to meet the mandatory institutional formatting guidelines.
“My research was fresh and original, but the editing tools I used for document compilation were not collaborative and built for research. As a result, a substantial amount of man-hours was wasted on formatting and re-formatting,” Chandha shared.
Of course, he wasn’t alone! He found that his peers, too, waste tens of thousands of valuable work hours re-formatting manuscripts.
Taking the challenges of the research publishing process head-on, Chandha got his calling to pave his own path to success and innovation.
He participated in AngelHack Hackathon and developed a prototype that would change his life and the workflow of future researchers. It took him just one weekend to design a simple single-page application that enabled users to format an MS word document into IEEE Journal style automatically.
Chandha’s prototype won the Hackathon and received over 4K beta requests in just two months. After a fair amount of user interactions, building an end-to-end research writing and collaboration platform was the next visionary move to set this idea in motion.
He soon found his co-founder, Shanu Kumar, who had faced similar challenges while writing his paper. Typeset was built!
Minting Success: From Zero Revenue to Seven Figures
What surfaced next was a roadblock that pushed the business venture in dire straits.
“We were in the early innings when we quit our jobs, invested all our savings, and hired four engineers. We underestimated the effort required to build a real-time web editor, and the lack of a team of technical experts made it really difficult for us to sail through. Within five months, we were low on funds and on the brink of giving up,” said Chandha.
The lifeblood of a startup, i.e., funding and cash flow, was difficult to secure, but as Chandha says, “Perseverance is greater than IQ.”
Chandha adopted the outbound approach of writing cold emails to founders, angel investors, tech billionaires, and VCs to communicate about the product – Typeset.
The correspondence was concise, informative, including all the data points around publishing market sizing and traction, comprehensive enough to answer any questions the potential funders may have had. The email drafts were built on the storytelling strategy to breathe life into the brand.
A month later, Typeset landed an Angel Investment of $1M and earned advisory relationships that bolstered the company’s eventual success. But, that wasn’t the only challenge before the company started clocking in significant ROI.
To establish a strong brand identity, Chandha experimented with various inorganic paid advertising models, but they turned out to be unprofitable. Ultimately, he and his team switched to organic, inbound growth marketing strategies. After six months of hard work and dedicated efforts, revenue began to stream in.
“Today, we have an organic user acquisition engine that requires minimal marketing spend. This robust acquisition pipeline is iterative, predictable, and scalable,” says Chandha.
Chandha’s outlook and belief paid off. In just a few years, Typeset’s revenue has surged to seven figures.
Transforming the Face of Scientific Research
The publishing industry is an ever-changing, ever-evolving market, taking the inevitable plunge into the digital landscape. However, when it comes to producing and delivering content digitally, the stark reality remains far from appealing as core challenges can be very unpredictable.
Undermining authors and publishers still struggle with the effective writing and dissemination of scholarly content.
“Knowledge and valuable information must be accessible and open to all,” believes a resolute Chandha. Staying true to his belief and with one end-goal in mind, to redefine scholarly communication, he launched Typeset.
Typeset is a platform built for research writing and collaboration that also helps disseminate cutting-edge knowledge easily and effectively. In less than four years, Chandha has established a profitable venture that has changed the scholarly publishing landscape by helping over a million researchers around the world create high-quality research papers.
The product stands out from competitors because of the lived experience of its creators – the same frustration felt by millions of researchers trying to re-format and collaborate on separate platforms.
With Typeset, everything is in one place, including a built-in editor and tools to insert data, code, media, and annotations that bring the document to life. Therefore, authors can execute the research-creation workflow end-to-end from writing, review to formatting using Typeset.
One of the key differentiators of Typeset is the deeply integrated services beyond text and formatting that empowers researchers to publish the best content possible. Built-in grammar correction catches the small issues that get in the way of the narrative and integrated plagiarism detection ensures that their work stands out for all the right reasons.
Cost-effectiveness, of course, figures into the equation as it enables effective collaboration with experts anywhere across the world, saving time and money.
However, Chandha’s trailblazing doesn’t end there.
The Unfinished Business: Envisioning The Future/Bigger Picture
Typeset is poised to be the world’s largest destination for research publishing and discovery. Saikiran Chandha aims to make the customer experience more holistic by delivering an all-inclusive journal production & management platform and expanding the boundaries of scholarly communication.
“Choose one problem you are passionate about, be genuinely curious, take risks, and persevere — the society will eventually reward you with success” concludes Saikiran Chandha.
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