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Inspiring Story of Asish Mohapatra: From Rejections to Billion-Dollar Success

Asish Mohapatra's journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and unwavering belief in one's vision. Despite facing skepticism and rejection, Asish embarked on a daring mission to revolutionize the unorganized Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector in India.

Asish Mohapatra Dropping out of prestigious roles at McKinsey and as a leading Venture Capitalist, Asish took a leap of faith to found OfBusiness in 2015, aiming to address critical gaps in the market.

A Bold Leap:

Asish Mohapatra's journey is a testament to his unyielding spirit and audacious vision. Hailing from Orissa, he defied the odds by securing admission to the prestigious IIT Kharagpur without any coaching, a feat that earned him admiration and respect from his peers and mentors alike.

However, Asish's trajectory took a daring turn when he made the pivotal decision to relinquish his lucrative roles, first at McKinsey and then as a prominent Venture Capitalist (VC), in August 2015. Despite the pride and acclaim he garnered from his academic and professional achievements, Asish was driven by a deeper calling, one that propelled him towards a path less traveled, marked by uncertainty and risk.

The Genesis of OfBusiness:

In a landscape dominated by consumer giants like Amazon and Flipkart, Asish dared to venture into the uncharted territory of SMEs. With a focus on providing essential materials like metals and cement to the manufacturing and infrastructure industry, OfBusiness initially faced challenges but quickly gained traction, processing over Rs.20 Crore orders monthly.

Asish Mohapatra Identifying the Missing Piece:

Despite early success, Asish recognized a fundamental flaw in OfBusiness' model – the absence of in-house credit capabilities. With 95% of transactions relying on credit, Ashish understood the pivotal role credit played in SMEs' purchasing decisions. However, raising funds to facilitate credit proved to be a daunting task, as VCs remained skeptical about the profitability of the credit model.

Persistence Amid Rejection:

Undeterred by rejection, Asish embarked on a journey of relentless learning and exploration. Studying balance sheets daily and immersing himself in SMEs' operations, Asish sought to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. Despite facing 73 rejections from VCs, Ashish remained steadfast in his pursuit of securing funding to realize his vision.

Asish Mohapatra Turning the Tide:

After months of perseverance, Asish's efforts bore fruit in December 2016, when OfBusiness raised Rs.70 Crores led by Zodius Capital. This infusion of capital marked a turning point for the company, enabling it to implement its credit model successfully. With the newly acquired funds, OfBusiness witnessed exponential growth, disrupting the market with its low-interest, collateral-free credit offerings.

Scaling New Heights:

With its innovative credit model gaining traction, OfBusiness experienced unprecedented growth, reaching revenues of Rs.100 Crores by 2018. Expanding its portfolio to include digital services like BidAssist and ProcureAssist, OfBusiness emerged as a frontrunner in the SME sector. With subsequent funding rounds totaling Rs.500 Crore, OfBusiness solidified its position as a leading player in the market.

Asish Mohapatra Expanding Horizons:

With a bolstered capital base, Asish Mohapatra embarked on a strategic expansion drive that propelled OfBusiness to new heights of success. By 2021, the company had successfully acquired a staggering 7 lakh SMEs, cementing its position as a trusted partner in the sector. This milestone was accompanied by a strategic diversification into new verticals, including agricultural products and specialty chemicals, underscoring OfBusiness's commitment to catering to a wide array of industry needs.

As revenues surged to an impressive Rs.2000 Crores mark, OfBusiness's lending vertical emerged as a cornerstone of its financial ecosystem. With a robust loan book totaling Rs.1500 Crores, the lending arm contributed a substantial 43% to the company's overall revenue, reflecting the pivotal role of credit services in empowering SMEs and fostering economic growth.

Amidst this period of expansion and consolidation, Asish Mohapatra's vision for OfBusiness began to materialize in its entirety, setting the stage for the realization of a long-cherished dream.

A Vision Fulfilled:

In a crowning achievement, OfBusiness achieved unicorn status in August 2021, following a remarkable Rs.1300 Crore funding round led by Tiger Global. With a valuation of Rs.10,000 Crore, OfBusiness cemented its status as a trailblazer in the industry, empowering SMEs and driving economic growth.

Asish Mohapatra The Present and Beyond:

Today, OfBusiness stands as a beacon of innovation and resilience, with revenues soaring to Rs.7,139 Crore and a staggering valuation of Rs. 40,000 Crore.

Asish Mohapatra's journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, highlighting the transformative power of perseverance, determination, and unwavering belief in one's vision.


Asish Mohapatra's journey from rejection to billion-dollar success is a testament to the triumph of perseverance and audacity in the face of adversity. Through sheer determination and relentless pursuit of his vision, Asish has not only transformed OfBusiness into a market leader but has also reshaped the landscape of SMEs in India.

As OfBusiness continues to chart new territories and redefine industry norms, Ashish's legacy of innovation and resilience will undoubtedly inspire generations to come.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 8th July 2024.

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