Who Is Neel Banerjee?
StartupWithNeel.Com is a website for actionable business advice for entrepreneurs and other successful people.
Hola, I am Indranil Banerjee (Neel) the Founder of at startupwithneel.com and OpenFire Technologies, where I help entrepreneurs kick more ass. Before that I was a growth monkey at my Dad’s Organic Farm, a Digital Marketing Specialist, Cyber Security Expert and Software Developer. These are my stories on marketing, starting a business, personal improvement, security and productivity tips and thoughts. Join with me in this future bound entrepreneurship race.
Specifically, you’ll learn secrets about the best ways to stand up in social media, how to start not failing, growth hack your business, my best marketing hacks and more. I’ve failed many times (even now) and succeeded many too over the years, and these are my stories.
You can email me at neel [at] startupwithneel [dot] com. Yes, that is my real email. I reply to people who invites me for A special Biriany at Arsalan. (just kidding).
Things I like:
- Motorcycle Adventure
- Playing Football (Soccer) in the Rain
- Biryani (with a hot Gulab Jamun as a dessert)
- Reading words on pages (Books & Blogs)
- Painting when depressed
- Fun with Friends
- Helping You 🙂
- Working out Aahhh..(not do pretty much now)
If you are more interested about me. You want to know what is my full story until now then keep scrolling or click here.
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Started Business at the age of 6, Kept It Rolling
I’m Neel Banerjee, Well ! my Registered name is Indranil, My Friends and Colleagues used to call me as Neel. So I adopted This name. It’s Easy to speak and Market Friendly. I had started doing business selling “Scented Eraser” & “Scented Ball Pen Ink” (90’s People will remember This) at the age of 6′ (Studding Class 2) I assume.
The “Shock Salt” (a Black colored dry tarmirated salt) was on a high craze those days (1998-2000) to test, and was out of the market, I have partnered with a guy (a Whole Seller) 6 kms away from my Home, started with 20 Packets/day only 0.50 Rs/Pice and Sold them to my friends and our fellow students at 2.50 Rs./Piece (Making 500% Profit on each Item) and the Business growth sky rocketed within 3 months and started selling Directly from the Guy (The Whole Seller) to other Retailers and Made Huge Profit for 2-3 Years.
Started a Business with my fellow classmate Selling Homemade Pickles, Our Base was elaborated then and Business scaled between 4 High Schools around our Town but Made a huge mistake (May Be not mine) , I take The responsibility, The Demand was good but as there was no variety we had provided the Market was caught by Long time Players. I Had lost a Huge chunk of my Investment.
While I was in 7th or 8th Grade I had mapped a Business Plan where I had stared Cross Selling and Upselling Products, There was a person named Ashoke (1 Km Away from My Home), A Street vendor of “Phuchka” (a spicy Snack Poured with Tamarinated Salty Water and Potato Mix within), also had a Full Time Retail Shop, I used to buy Cricket Cards, WWE (called WWF That Time) Cards (A Very High Demand Product) at that time, I had Introduced The Item in My area for the first time after seeing it while my Summer Vacation to my Grandpa’s (Maternal) House at Kolkata, I was selling Cards (showing value : How to play and all? : Now days called Product Demo or Content Marketing) and at the Prime Time (Tiffin Time) That retail Shop Owner use to sell “Phuchka”,
To get an everyday fixed customer I use to cross sell his product (“Phuchkas”) as an Affiliate, taking commission from him, 20% on every 10Rs Buy and The Coupon Code was a New Card to be shown to Him (The Retailer) when someone Purchases. By doing that the buyer will get 2 Rs Off on every 10 Rs Purchase. SO, it was a Win For ME and For the Retail shop owner as well as for the Fellow Students. The Business Has Grown up huge (According to the need of mine at that time).
Well If You are an Indian and You are from a Middle-Class Family, you should understand the Responsibility of Study and the 10th Board Exam. Meanwhile I was 15+ then and the Board Exam came up, so No more Business, Straight to Education. I was a good Student though (It’s a Plus point being good in education provide more Trust than being good in any-other at those days). For 2 Years, I had not done any business, It Hurtled me then but later it’s validated as Profitable.
Yea! After the 10th Board Exam it’s time to choose Special Subjects (Science / Arts / Commerce). It was an easy Decision for me then, I choose Pure Science (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics & Biology) and Oh Yea, got admitted to a New School (You can check that out on My LinkedIn), one of the Best in the Town. My Entrepreneurship Sprit had matured by then and I knew I had to find New Opportunities and I had no Trust Base there (A New School: You Know how it works).
Soon I had found a profitable business opportunity there (Market Research is Important for Creating a Product and Selling). This was a Boys School Only (Till Class 10th) and There was a Girls School nearby so the Good Students from Girls School used to Admitted for 12th Grade study, there. And Mobile Phones had just Penetrated Indian Common Man’s Market, as I was Going 12 Kms By Bus to that School alone, My Dad had got me one (NOKIA 1110). Well the business Man Spirit Rose Up and I use to sell Mobile Recharge Card, Gift Cards, and Hand Printed Cards (BTW I am an Artist / Painter: Check My LinkedIn) to all The Shy Love Birds (Couples in School). There I was even Cross Selling, Up Selling Products and used SMS Marketing, Wall Notes, Even Cold Calling (I did not know these names back then).
I was Studying Well Too but My result was not what I was Expected (Broken Hearted).
Now I was in the college (After 12 Grade), Took Computer Application (Had a Keen Interest on Computer and its Functionality from Childhood), Soon I had Found Huge Opportunity for a very straight forward Business, started with Selling Affiliate Products (Books, Stamps etc..) from outside vendors / eBay (Not popular those days) to College Students. The Internet Had come (My dad has Sponsored that too as The College Fees). I had Started finding doing Business Online (It was the first Year). I had started learning many detailed Nomenclatures of Business world.Now I was in the college (After 12 Grade), Took Computer Application (Had a Keen Interest on Computer and its Functionality from Childhood), Soon I had Found Huge Opportunity for a very straight forward Business, started with Selling Affiliate Products (Books, Stamps etc..) from outside vendors / eBay (Not popular those days) to College Students. The Internet Had come (My dad has Sponsored that too as The College Fees). I had Started finding doing Business Online (It was the first Year). I had started learning many detailed Nomenclatures of Business world.
During the First to Second Year of College, My Enormous Interest on Computer & Its Associates Lead me to step in to the field of Information Security (Hacking). Started Learning a lot, investing most of my Time learning Web Application Testing first and then Network Penetration Testing (All self-Taught Hackers / InfoSec Professionals follow the same way I suppose). As I had a Steady Income I had no problem buying needed Accessories (Modems, Firewalls, A Home Made Little Server and many more), I was also learning Programming those days C, C++, Assembly (Must for System Security and Testing), & Java, Python and Perl. Yea! also joined a Hacking Club named [SECRET] Team OpenFire, Team CultOfTheDeadCow and ICE, ICF etc.
We all the members had a competition internally on Knowledge and Practical Show offs (Typical Hacker Culture), Those days all Hackers did not had the proper skill sets (Networking, Programming & Understanding of Systems and Web Apps Even Programming). So, to help the community we (Me and Likeminded people) had started a Forum & IRC Chat Server (Very Popular Those days).
The Main Source of Income was some Sponsored Hacks (NDA Signed) and Private Security Practice (Law Enforcement Department used to call us to help), My own Software Business (Creating Software’s for SMEs and Local Retail, Whole Sells, Where I had a huge Influence from Childhood). I used to Invest a lot of my time on Work, Study and Hacking Practice, nearly 18 Hrs a Day, sometimes more (Had a very Tough relation with the family members those days).
All used to go well, Had a pretty good Income, Well established Local Business and a Golden Learning Carve. During those days I had found, there was a lack of proper talent and Professional work in the field of Information Security (Hacking) in India. Discussed with the other admins in the group (Shritam, Alex, John and Other), Sir Ravi Ramachandran (SecurityTube) was Idol for us that time. We (all the lead team members of our group) mate and drafted a plan to start a Information Security Business, named OpenFire Security (Now Closed). I was the CEO and Co-Founder of that Company.
Life Teaches Everything
Starting a Company and Running it was real hard, I understood through the process. Shritam and Gourab (founder GreyHatHackers.Com : Now Closed) & Abhijit came to my home and we had started the business against all odds, We used to stay together in my home for more than 2 months and Created OpenFire Security, OpenFire Technologies and OpenFire Academy.
It was a great start. We already had a huge craze in the market and now delivering Professional Services (Which was not available in a large scale in the market those days) there was a mistake that we had done at the very beginning, we were 5 individuals started It and was competitors previously on our forum now working together has become tough.
We all had the “Glory-On-My-Name” Crisis, which turned into a emotional fight among us and We kept loosing Proper Leads and Opportunities in the market. The name was drawing inside the Egoistic Shadow of ours. and eventually the great Story of Team OpenFire dumped inside the dust of our personal ego and unprofessionalism. Though I singularly kept it rolling till 2015.
After my Graduation, I had started My Post-Graduation (MCA). I was running OpenFire Technologies that time (2012), beside that I also had started a website TechGaget.Com which was a a huge success initially and I had started learning Digital Marketing and Digital Advertising, SEO, SEM, PPC, Social Media Marketing etc. The Blog had got more than 100,000 Visitors/Month during (2011-2013) then kept losing interest on tech blogging and started my own Private Consultancy where I used to serve Web Application Penetration Testing, Network Security Testing, Exploit Development and Research and Red Teaming.
I was also running our little Family Agricultural Firm along with my Father. Where I Introduced my Marketing & Sales skills, and started selling Organic Products Online through EBay, Olx, Quicker. our home business grew from $50K to 10X within 3 years and Still we had that business and my Father singularly running it Now. I had also Completed my Post-Grad in 2015 and Kept my Consultation on InfoSec, Digital Marketing and Growth Hacking running. I was become a member of NAASCOM – Kolkata (2016) and SillyCon (2015-16) that kept me rolling.
During 2016 better say nearly the end of 2016 I had come up with a Idea to help Startups, SMEs as well as Corporates with my Vast Knowledge that I had gathered throughout my Entrepreneurial Journey and Help them succeed. There are a lot of Firms, Companies, Individuals Selling Shit Courses, Books, as well as Services to The Businesses, I had also inside those Trap Once. I know the Pain Points, The Problems, The Mistakes and The Opportunities, The Indecisions that Optential Startups, Great Businesses makes and which lead them to a Dramatic Failure (as we had During OpenFire Technologies). If you are reading this long timeline story of mine, I hope You can relate situations that You had gone through or can go through in very near future.
You Know 90% of StartUps fails don’t be one of them, I can help, yes literally I can, Obviously if You need one, It’s not a sales Speech You used to see on Websites, Videos, Emails etc., Like Some Step-by-Step formula, A very Unique System or a Long form cold Email no I’m not going to do that. If you really want your Business’s Success I know you will choose the Right Path. Lets See what You Do.
Life for me is a never ending race of successs vs failure. It’s the battle to find out your ownself inside you.
Money is just the metaphore, its just the tangiable indication of your success rate not the whole.
Stop Chasing money chase yourself. Be Successful and Happy along the way.
I will keep updating my phases of life along the way and you should do too.