“Why retail? Why not software?â€? In the last one year that’s the question people have asked me most often. Ok, there were other questions as well. The crux of all the questions howsoever framed, was generally this – Why did I change careers from software to a totally new field of retailing? Why did I leave Charlotte, US to end up in Chhibramau, UP? The reaction ranges from surprise, to disbelief, to outright rejection of the idea. People find it hard to belief that leaving a software job in US and returning back to India (that too for retailing) can make sense at all.

So really, why did I switch from software to retail? The honest answer is – I didn’t change careers from software to Retail, I changed careers from software to Entrepreneurship. Thats right, I switched from software to entrepreneurship. After learning about software and investing, I thought it was time to learn about something new – Entrepreneurship. And it is something that is best learnt by doing. So that’s the logic – I did it, coz I wanted to do it.

That the venture is a retail venture has got more to do with business thinking, rather than personal preferences. No doubt I still love software (I wrote the POS software for our retail venture myself:) but retail has the kind of opportunity and can offer the magnitude of scale that I was looking for. Plus I think that when you learn something new, its best to learn from scratch, that makes you understand the basics better. Retail gave me that opportunity – I knew nothing about retail when I decided to switch.

As an added bonus, over the last one year, I have had a first-hand experience of rural India and have learned quite a few things about it. I will be sharing them with you in due course.

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