Who says friends and business cannot go hand in hand? Some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world have been founded by friends – Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft), Larry Page and Sergei Brin (Google), Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak (Apple) among others.
Closer home, we just need to scratch the surface to find those top start-ups that were also built on the strong bedrock of friendship. A heart-warming story of two friends – Sachet Koul and Sid from Happy Games, is one such.
Amigos until hell freezes over!
Sid and Sachet met each other in 2016 when their stars aligned, purely by coincidence. Sachet interviewed Sid for his first job, where he later became his manager too. Spending time together made them realize that they shared a lot more in common, especially their wacky sense of humour. The bond grew stronger gradually, and they remained in touch even after leaving the company.
Sachet had always been a board and card games aficionado, and he regularly indulged with friends over weekend parties. In 2018, Sachet decided to turn his weekend shenanigans into a start-up focused on building novel board and card games. He roped in Sid, who willingly agreed to be his business partner.
They currently have two card game products on offer–
Adulting Can Wait (ACW) developed in collaboration with dating app Tinder, is a funny card game meant to be the perfect ice breaker between people meeting at parties.
Would You Rather (WYR) is a soul-baring card game with questions covering career choices, intimate secrets, and personal demons. It is guaranteed to spice up the house parties.
Their friend‘ship’ can wabble and wobble but not tumble
For these friends and co-founders, the mantra for managing both friendship and business is quite simple.
Sachet says, “I would say our friendship has evolved after we became business partners. We were very candid with each other and remained true even in the partnership when it came to a business discussion, that really helps. As we had worked with each other before, we understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, there was trust, which has helped immensely.”
Even the best of friendships witness turbulence, especially when it comes to steering the same ship. Sachet quips that they have their share of arguments and clashes but tries to ensure that it is well-intentioned and leads to the welfare of their start-up.
They also ensure there is a clear demarcation of their personal and professional lives. Work-related discussions are completely discouraged post working hours and during chai and dinner meetings.
Both Sachet and Sid have some valuable advice for friends who are looking at starting up soon. Friends should make it a point to talk to each other’s current or ex-colleagues to get a better idea of how they are on a professional front. It is very easy to be biased towards your friends, but at the end of the day, you need a partner who gets the job done for the venture to succeed. Without proper due diligence, the start-up is doomed to fail.