[Intro Entrepreneurs] Kunal Bagla – The path builder to ‘ARCGATE’

We all know how Udaipur has evolved greatly over time and marked its presence across the world as a well-known tourist destination. While roaming around the city, it came to my surprise that it also has many “OMG” aspects apart from the city’s hospitality and tourism. Since I have become a part of UdaipurBlog Team I’ve seen many things developing around the city but one thing that attracted me the most was well booming IT city. Yes, you read it right, Udaipur has left a great footprint globally in the IT industry as well. A separate IT park in the Mewar Industrial Area commonly known as Madri speaks for the IT thing itself.

Being from an IT field myself, I was more than curious to know that how did an IT industry grow in such a comparatively smaller and technologically unremarkable city than the metropolitan. While the search was on, luckily I got a chance to have a cup of coffee with one of the most successful people running an IT industry down in Udaipur. I happened to meet this ever motivating and inspiring person, Mr. Kunal Bagla, Founder of Arcgate. The conversation was more than just a normal interview and it would be wrong on our part if we don’t share such great views with you.

Let’s find out how the cup of coffee turned into an ever inspiring interview:

Q.1. Let’s start with first things first, how did the journey started from being a normal Udaipur boy to an inspiring businessman?

-So born and brought up in Udaipur, I got admitted to St. Paul’s. I studied till class 6th over there, went to boarding school in Dehradun for higher studies. Then I flew abroad to the University of Texas, Austin for my undergraduate course in Master of Information Systems & Business Honors. Since then, life has always been a rock and roll ride.

Q.2. Being from the IT field itself, you must have a vast sea of experiences, feel like sharing it with us?

-The journey started by moving to Houston. I was a technology consultant there for one of the big elephants at that time, Deloitte. Being there for good 6 years where I did a lot of large scale technology development for clients spread across all over the US. It inspired me to do something like this for my city as well.

Q.3. Tell us about your inspiration which helped you to build a corporation like Arcgate?

-It’s never a single person as such, it’s typically a journey of events which molds you and motivates you to go in a particular direction. In my case, as I mentioned I saw a huge potential in providing world-class services like Deloitte which takes it to where it is now. Again it is back in 2004-05 after the dot com burst. Even today the fast-growing companies typically do not get the attention because of:

a.) It requires a lot of attention is required.

b.) The size of the business is also very small as compared to the other industries and the risk factor in which they don’t do well.

And in our experience, no one was tapping that market, we saw an opportunity and thought to grab it. I started Arcgate while I was still in Austin. We set up a back office in Udaipur itself, pretty much a garage kind of setup. We’ve grown organically from the last 14 years by taking one step at a time. So it’s not just a person, it’s a combination of people who see the good work and contribute in different ways.

Q.4. Can you please share with us some of the fond memories from your schooling till building such a corporation like Arcgate?

-You always have good days and bad days, right, you always learn something new lessons and that’s the beauty of the IT industry that you get to learn new things every day. The key is to do something you enjoy and be open to learning new things. Make sure that you never get overconfident and complacent. Every success and failure is a fond memory in growing a startup like we are, from 2 people to 2000, the ride has been amazing.

Q.5. That accounts for the many amazing delights connected with the journey. Speaking about the darker side, what all challenges did you have to face??

-I feel challenges are part of your journey, right. All the hardships you face from schooling till you are grown up, from learning chapters in schools to meeting deadlines for your client, shapes you as a person you are. I think if you dodge those tough time and opt for shortcuts, cause mind it, you’ll be offered those, it catches up with you real soon if you fail to take it in a good stride.

Q.6. So when you are not working, what are your favorite go-to things to recreate yourself?

-Unfortunately working for a startup like Arcgate you don’t get much of the time to spend for personal life and hobbies but that’s a decision or a lifestyle choice I made. No complaints about that. As soon as I get time, I go back to the family and be with them. Apart from that I also like reading interesting success stories and business books like ‘Work Rules’ by Chief People Officer at Google, Laszlo Bock, ‘Value Investing’ and many more by Warren Buffet, there’s no end to learning.

Q.7. A piece of advice for all the budding entrepreneurs out there in the city?

-Today entrepreneurship and startups are a worldwide thing happening as far as the remote areas in Africa or be it Northern Europe. Youngsters today are trying to innovate new things and believe in taking their chances. But on the flip side, the startup culture is made to look glorified and sexy by our media whereas the reality is nothing close to that. It’s a different dynamic, DNA and yes, of course, a long journey as well. You just don’t start it because it’s a wave, you have to be in it for long term.

Q.8. Setting goal is a tough task too nowadays, how do you set it, like is it for long terms or for shorter periods?

-You should always have a long vision like planning your next 6 to12 months because anything bigger than that is more of a life goal. There’s no point coming up with a business plan for 5 years in today’s world where the things are changing drastically in the 6 months itself. Make milestones for every month, what you want to be and you are already halfway there.

Q.9. The life mantras which have always worked for you?

  • The biggest mantra is to “WORK HARD”, keep your focus and stay grounded. Never let success or overconfidence get to you.
  • Be nice to people around you as they are working for you day and night, appreciate them for strengths and weaknesses as well.
  • Focus on ethics, never try to take shortcuts in life because they catch up to you very fast.
  • Do good things that help other people as well. That’ll help you to have a good night sleep at the end of the day.

Q.11. A special message for us at Udaipurblog?

-Udaipur’s hospitality and travel industry has always made into the news worldwide; hopefully a decade from now, it can also be known as the world’s IT hub! And we look forward to platforms such as Udaipurblog that has always been the best in increasing the awareness about the potential for IT Industry. Udaipurblog has always been the best at growing things digitally as well as socially in and around Udaipur. We wish that Udaipurblog continues the great service it has been providing to its customers from the last decade.


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