Medo Putsure, the Founder of Bambusa Express: Despite a promising career as a financial analyst the idea of financial freedom gave Medo Putsure the wings to start his own business. He is also the co-founder and CFO of NEEA (NorthEast Entrepreneurs Alliance) which works with start-ups in the food sector of Northeast India, aimed towards developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. He graduated from Cardiff University with an MBA in finance and worked for a few years in London before moving back to India. With over 5 years of corporate experience in the financial sector, he forewent the option of becoming a financial/business analyst to become an entrepreneur instead.
Bambusa Express is a chain of QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) in Nagaland, which not only specializes in Pan-Asian food but has also created innovative dishes made from indigenous herbs available locally.
Returning from the UK, he knew he wanted to start something of his own and after a few failed attempts in the IT and retail sector, he came across an old run-down government property in Dimapur. ‘’After I acquired the necessary permissions to take the place on lease for a few years, I went about setting up a restaurant. With an initial investment of Rs. 1000 and a lot of borrowed utensils and furniture from family and friends, my journey with Bambusa Express began,’’ the founder tells IEF.
‘’I wasn’t waiting for the right idea but instead tried to make the most of the opportunity that was given to me, adds Medo exclaiming, ‘’I didn’t even know whether it was the right idea! I had no experience in the hospitality or food sector, I didn’t know what to expect.” It was the excitement, ambition, and curiosity that led Medo to start the venture. However, he was keenly interested in the food sector.
“At Bambusa Express, we focus on people. Be it our customers or our employees, the core of our decisions lies in the impact created on people,’’ Medo explains. Currently managing a team of 90 employees, Bambusa Express has a two-stage process in hiring and the recruitment process depends on the level/positions they are looking for. ”We normally try to gauge the willingness to learn and the candidate’s aspirations when we interview the person,” he shares.
For Medo, leadership has been a constant challenge and a constant journey of discovery. He believes, ”Failures are part of the learning process. When you see it like that, your perspective changes into a positive one. I think reflecting on every incident/situation and analyzing what else could have been the outcome helps develop leadership qualities.’’
Approach to Marketing and Branding
Bambusa focuses primarily on the quality of food and services to help develop and grow the brand. The QSR didn’t spend much on advertisements, fliers, etc. However, they set up stalls at pop-up events, at every opportunity they got. The start-up is bootstrapped and has grown through reinvesting profits back into the business.
Medo confesses that he chose to become an entrepreneur for the love of freedom. It has empowered him to make an impact. Creating jobs, molding young minds, developing ecosystems, inspiring start-ups, and adding to the economy are some of the things that drive him as an entrepreneur.
Medo strongly believes that India will truly grow only when all its states prosper. ‘’Nagaland, in Northeast India, has seen a rise in entrepreneurs in the last decade and my role has not only been to be an entrepreneur but to also support and advise young start-ups and mentor them with a hope that the rise of entrepreneurship in our region will contribute to its development,’’ he remarks.
Importance of Mentoring and Training
Sharing his views on the significance of mentoring and training, Medo says that the journey of entrepreneurship is stressful at times. Every little help or support in the form of training and mentorship helps. In his own personal experience, ‘’I had just started this business journey when I came across the IEF master class. It not only provided me with the knowledge and understanding of how to grow my business but also helped create an ecosystem of entrepreneurs and mentors around me which greatly helped motivate and support me during the journey.’’
When not working, Medo likes socializing with people. He enjoys meeting people new and old, getting to know them and their interests. Medo travels a lot, he says that it helps rejuvenate his thoughts and refocus on his business. His hobbies include traveling and playing sports.
Lastly, his advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs is, ‘’Just start, and don’t wait for perfection but keep an open mind to adapt to changes.’’