From the get-go, the conversation between Siddharth Sood and Gaurav Dublish has the undertone of a casual college campus chat. This is because the co-founders of Wildcraft — the Bengaluru-based firm specialising in adventure gear — have been friends for almost two decades right from their early days at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai. The co-founders work in an informal environment in their meticulously designed office. The avid readers that they are, a simple book rack separates their workspaces. Interestingly, it was a book that Sood gifted Dublish with a small note written in it for him that marked the beginning of their successful business journey. The MBA graduates formally took over the operations of Wildcraft in 2007 after its original set of founders left the company to pursue their personal interests. They were already helping Wildcraft through what they called ‘armchair entrepreneurship’ since the beginning of 2000. In 2007, Sood quit his job at GE in Singapore while Dublish resigned from Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai to sink their teeth completely into the company. The homegrown sports and adventure company is now present in around 550 cities across the country and is aiming to clock a revenue of around Rs.400 crore this year.
How did the two of you meet?
Sood: We met in college. We were in the same batch at NMIMS in Mumbai; we pursued our MBA together. Then, Gaurav majored in marketing while I went into finance. I think the first memory that we have of meeting each other was probably in the hostel.
Dublish: We got to know each other better during the summer break because we were one of the few students to have stayed back at the hostel.
What was your first impression of each other?
Sood: I am from Shimla and he belongs to Meerut. When the two of us got talking, we realised that we were small-city guys who were t