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Great things always begin outside your comfort zones

Ranjeet Ranjeet Walunj has two decades of experience in scaling high-tech, enterprise-grade products globally, leading large teams, and advising startups on technology and business strategy.
Great things always begin outside your comfort zones

A Rank holder and a topper in Maharashtra, An Engineering student, born in Mumbai and raised in different parts of Maharashtra, the dynamic and versatile, the leader and Vice President, Ranjeet Walunj shares his amazing path breaking journey in his own words. 

Engineering, ek katha!!!

Most of us settle down into a way of life that is comfortable and acceptable to the people around us. We crave something more from a better job, a better social life and a never-ending list. Yet, a few of us strive to constantly move out of our comfort zone and learn something new.  Growing up, I was a happy-go-lucky child, learning and adapting at different places. My family had a background in politics. 

Post schooling, I picked up Computer Engineering, solely on the basis that I found it fancy. It was in demand, and it made me very curious. With time, I fell in love with it. In the second semester, I didn’t fare well but came back and in my second year, got involved with Linux Group of Bombay. And it turned out to be very beneficial for me. I learnt the new trends in the industry and began assembling hardware for my colleagues and decided to teach them to build a computer. I began taking money for assembling computers and then began teaching them how to install Linux on systems. I made a good amount of money there. A friend of mine approached me with an offer to manage servers for a spammer. Web hosting was a small world back then, and I looked at it as an opportunity and began managing 70–80 servers, which was a super experience. As a student, I loved it since it was a lot of learning and decent money. I then stopped and began my internship with another friend who had started a company for web hosting.

Learning Never Exhausts the Mind

During my experience there, I wrote a program for film recommendations to the users. I was in my fourth year of engineering but was invited to film parties and loved the glamour. I build websites for a lot of Bollywood movies and the stars used to come and sit at our office. There was huge learning there. Post Engineering, I was offered a job at the advertising agency. Working at an Advertising agency gave me different perspectives of various domains and the experience was incredible. I built lead management systems for a leading bank which was replicated in different banks. For one of the banks, I built a system within a week and launched it as well which became a super success in 2004. The lead management system became very popular. I literally began to be referred to as LMS Ranjeet- Lead Management System Ranjeet. 

After that, I moved on to another agency, where I had an opportunity to develop and deploy an analytics system. We then got funding for building an ad network. I built the network and during this period I was also spending a lot of time in the Indian Startup Ecosystem. We started volunteering and helping events like Bar Campaigning. During this period, there were amazing startups formed because of this initiative. I began leading this for the city. 

Giving liberates the soul of the giver

We then began an initiative called the Sapling Project. We first began distributing saplings at Shivaji Park, Dadar free of cost and asked them to plant it anywhere in the city and take care of it till it begins surviving on its own. It was our little initiative to give back to the city. Post Mumbai, we began the project in six cities and planted over 1 lakh saplings across. A lot of people began donating to the account, and we spent the same on saplings. We began distributing them at all public places and the project continued till 2015. 

Post 2015, I began to feel that the advertising field that I was working in was getting stagnant. I then joined a company as a co-founder. We were the first company to run an independent service centre for Apple in India. We started using our own platforms for servicing. We were known for excellent servicing, and the people at Apple noticed it. We then received opportunities to do the same for other companies. Their customer satisfaction score was enhanced because of our systems and Apple began giving us more licences. We had around 26 authorized centres across the country. Once we began generating interest, we sold our company. 

Motto: Past Accomplishments come with An Expiry Date

Once they bought us, they loved our platform and began using our platform globally. They appointed me as a CTO for the same. I began travelling rigorously. Did this for 3-4 years. A friend then approached me for scaling the tech team for his company. I wanted to get into a new field at that time. I joined the company and helped him scale his company. I was then in China to set up a R&D lab. When I came back, I wanted to start something for tech talent in Mumbai. I joined CleverTap and then began my journey here with a single motto in life, “Past accomplishments have an Expiry Date” and you have to continue your journey of learning. 

Posted on December 6, 2023