Granting Access To Information
‘The advantage of working with top talent is that you are constantly learning from them and they have an infinite hunger to learn and succeed. It is a win-win proposition'
Photo Credit : Himanshu Kumar
Satyam Darmora is an entrepreneur and founder of i2e1 (Information To Every One), a company that is working on a free-Internet model for masses and is also currently serving more than one million free Internet sessions every month across multiple locations.
From conceptualising the idea to realising it and bringing a high impact team together, as a founder Darmora has been directly involved in making i2e1 a success. Today, it is the fastest-growing and largest distributed Wi-Fi network platform in the country with over 60 employees in the company.
Instead of following the traditional model of Internet delivery via pipe business approach, Darmora decided to invest in a platform business approach. The result has been a unique model to provide free Internet to millions, which has turned into a profitable business and is growing at a fast pace. In fact, the company has grown 50 times in revenue and scale in the last two years.
i2e1 aims to provide free Internet to 500 million people and create business models that solve information asymmetry. In the last two years, the team has been working on pathbreaking technology to disrupt Wi-Fi business models in India. To make this happen, i2e1 has set up more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in 52 cities across the country and emerged as the largest distributed Wi-Fi management company in the country. In Delhi alone, the company has set up one hotspot every 500 metre, an amazing feat using a sustainable business model. More than 70 lakh users have subscribed to i2e1 or its partner’s services till date.
“Technology is changing every second. We keep pace with such needs by constantly learning about newer technologies and business models, applying whatever we learnt pertinent to our business, and by investing in top talent. The advantage of working with top talents is that you are constantly learning from them and they have an infinite hunger to learn and succeed. It is a win-win proposition,” says Darmora.
About the role of mentors and guiding spirit in his life, Darmora says, “During the i2e1 journey, we got some invaluable advice from Donald Peck, a seasoned private equity player and Prof Mausam, an AI expert and a professor at IIT Delhi. Our investors, Siddharth, Brijesh, Pranav and others have been great mentors in our entrepreneurial journey.”
i2e1 will impact lives of 500 million people in the next five years. “The ‘why’ of our company is ‘information to every one’. While, the product forms may change, our ‘why’ would remain the same and hence we will always be relevant,” says Darmora talking about his vision.
Darmora is excited about being part of BW 40 Under 40. “I am in the process of continuous learning and committed to impacting 500 million lives through our businesses. Till such time, it is just a journey,” he says.
“BW 40 Under 40 is surely a great recognition. The jury and the BW Businessworld brand recognising one’s worth is a significant confidence booster. It also acts as a great motivation for the entire i2e1 team, which has worked really hard in the last few years,” he adds.
Darmora has a unique message to young entrepreneurs and young executives. “Every problem statement has a conventional formula 4W+H to solve it. Start with ‘why, know your ‘why’, focus on solutions than problems, and you are bound to excel. There would always be 99 problems and 99 reasons for you to quit. But then for every 99 such reasons, there exist one way to do it right and one reason to stay,” he says.