Testament : A Student Run Startup That’s Actually Making Money

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Nishant Mittal, who co-founded “Testament”,  has proved that hard-work and sheer determination have never lost and never will. With Kumar Sambhav (operations), Avneesh Khanna (technologist), Ankit Jindal,  Karan Rana,  Paras,  and Rajat Mittal, their company Testament is one of the best start-ups to come up in the last four years out of India. They have created a network of 13 lakh engineering students across India and provide employment opportunities to them by paying them as much as Rs. 14,000 a month. And they have done it, without raising capital from any investor.

In fact, they were offered funding by their University on graduation but the college backed out at the last minute. Undeterred, the team went ahead anyway. They created a journal online and started providing training for students.

From a University Journal, they jumped to creating manpower solutions, providing training to students and development services to companies getting them to where they are today.

Sitting in India Coffee House (for lack of an office space), they reached out to big companies like Ford, GM, UBM. These companies were convinced and held a positive view that Testament could provide manpower solutions for their interim requirements. In the time that they were actually providing training to students, they also had on board as a mentor corporate trainers accredited by American Institute Of Business Psychology. Guided by expert mentors, they learnt how the industry actually works.

The very first client was UBM, an event manager. Nishant had been pursuing IBM for four months but matters didn’t move forward. When an existing vendor ditched UBM, they got their first break. They impressed UBM so much that he and his team are now serving UBM in 25-30 cities across India.

The express coverage by various media journals is helping Testament to achieve their ongoing goal of Rs. 5 crores, and to this Nishant adds that they have a philosophy of growing 400% every year. And this is possible by people reaching out to you- now called Thought Leadership.

One quality that separates Testament from other start-ups, is that while many start-ups raise capital by finding and inviting investors, Testament generates capital, locating clients, not chasing investors. All their businesses have been inherently profitable. They have only just withdrawn salary for the first time since conception this month. This has helped them to save money and creating their own capital, and disproving the myth that raising funds comes first. They only want clients, not investors.

The team’s main agenda by the time of graduating was to have created a situation wherein they needed no job.  The moment they graduated, the entrepreneurs started an office.

On being questioned what’s the difference between Delhi University and IP, Nishant responded,  “DU is a very a vibrant culture- because it is not a technological ecosystem…. and people are extremely connected with each other through north and south campus…. which is not found in IP.”

And the most important lesson he has learnt in these years? “Keep Doing- Everything Differently- Every time!  It is like rotating a 50,000 ton giant wheel- and we have to push it and just push it-  and even there is no important step each and every step is equally  important – if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you keep on being what you’ve always been! You’ve got to keep on changing- evolving…”.

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