Hage Yaapa is the AVP of products at Sourcebits. Yaapa is a self-professed and Sourcebits certified computer geek. He lives by the motto, “The more you learn, the more want to learn.”
Coverage as a part of the “Awesome Startup Employee” Series
Sourcebits is a software design and development service company with a difference. Founded by a doctor turned entrepreneur Rohit Singal, the company has a unique flavor of design and ingenuity. But as it always is, the company which now has more than 400 employees in India had the initial support of more than one person. Hage Yaapa, the first employee of Sourcebits, is in fact an employee who came before the company! Rohit met Yaapa when he was still dabbling with the idea of a company.
Bio: Hage Yaapa hails from Arunachal Pradesh. He joined JIPMER, Pondicherry in 1999 to become a doctor, but decided to drop out in 2003 and moved to Bangalore. His calling had always been in computers. Computers had fascinated him since childhood. After coming to Bangalore, he set out to master as many computer related technologies as possible. A chance meeting with another computer geek with a medical background set into motion the story of Sourcebits. Today Yaapa is an integral part of the company and spends his time doing what he loves to do the most – programming and creating innovative products. Following your passion; the words haven’t been truer.
The first day: The path wasn’t known; all Sourcebits was meant to do was something amazing with computers. Yaapa was the designer and developer - one man army in a shared office space. Yaapa’s previous role as a designer is still reflected today in the Sourcebits logo. Having had to forcefully move out of their previous temporary premises, the days in the parking lot office were memorable.
Motivation: It’s very intriguing to know why a medico would be so crazy about computers. How did the transition happen? “I have always been very fascinated by computers. I remember tearing out a page of source code from a magazine sometime in 1995 even before I had seen a computer, to program it the day when I would get to touch one. Eventually I got to use one after two years in class XI, but had no one to show me how to program. Nevertheless, just exploring DOS and Windows 95, and painting on MS Paint gave me an immense amount of kick. When I joined college in 1999, Internet access was becoming cheaper and popular. I discovered I could learn anything from the Internet. Hacking caught my fancy, and I spent numerous hours every day learning to hack and program. These days I have prioritized my interest to Web technologies in general. My quest for knowledge took me to where I am today.” says Yaapa.
Strangely Memorable Incident: One not so comfortable role I had to play was that of an HR. I remember a time wherein a new recruit joined us but left by mid-day, without any official word to me or Rohit. He just left. The idea of a startup may sound romantic and adventurous etc., but when you are in face to face with one, it is quite another thing. In my case, it was Rohit’s pure enthusiasm for technology and products that made us believe in the future of the company.
Whatever happens to Sourcebits, it affects me personally
- Joining of Jimmy Jacob, Abin Thomas, and Raghu Kumar
- First major project – worth around $20,000
- Fun Booth
- Underground parking lot office
- Getting into iPhone development
- Moving to Rajaji Nagar
- Joining of Apple Design Award winner Piotr Gajos
- Moving to Electronic City
- Raising investment from Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures
Working hours: “The starting days, as expected, were very hectic, but it was fun. I couldn’t possibly keep a count but now we’ve settled down. It still is fun, but now my working hours are about 8-9 hours a day.”
Advice to people willing to take up Startup Jobs:
If there is nothing you respect or admire in your boss, probably you are in the wrong place. Maybe you should start your own startup. If you really really want to do something, no one and nothing can stop you!
That was Hage’s startup journey for you. If you too like Hage want to play a key role in building a world class company, join a startup today!
- Jubin Mehta and Varsha Adusumilli