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Beating recession blues...

The nation is happy now that the Sensex is recovering from a long bout of flu; but even when thunderclouds hang over the economy, some people still made their hay. Itee Dewan writes...
Hindustan Times | By Itee Dewan
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2009 05:48 PM IST

The nation is happy now that the Sensex is recovering from a long bout of flu; but even when thunderclouds hung over the economy, some enterprising people made their hay, not despite, but because of the gloom.

Anuj Gupta left his well-paid advertising job during deep recession to set up his business. “Indeed, that was the best time to start something,” says Gupta. Sounds astonishing, until he explains why.

Gupta started his marketing service company, The Next Big Thing, with partner Priyanko Ghosh, 28, late last year. It was the best time to snap up manpower. “Many high-calibre employees lost their jobs, so we could hire them at a lower cost,” says Gupta.

There is one more advantage, says Gaurav Kumar, 26, an interior designer who started his event management company, Aura, this January. “If you help clients in bad times, they remember it for life,” he says. Not a lot of cash flow at this point, but “you should look at it as an opportunity to accumulate intangible profit, i.e. goodwill”, adds Kumar. His company being less expensive than established players, clients with tighter budgets are drawn to start-ups like his.

Cheaper infrastructure like “lower rentals and realty prices” also makes a slowdown period good for start-ups, says Gupta.

Biju Mathew, 33, launched his website,, a month ago and in the very first week, he got 10,000 hits. If any business works during the recession, it is this, he feels, as “the Net is ever evolving”.

In times of a crisis, crisis managers are in demand, figured Gautam Mehra, and so he set up his business solutions company in December to help firms that are going bust. Kishi Arora, a pastry chef, also helps people sail through the bad times — by feeding them. Foodaholics, her gourmet dessert service, was born this March.

“Desserts work as mood-lifters,” she says, “so rest assured, the sales will never dip.”

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