Broadband business is one of the most lucrative areas in technology and the fast-developing network sector where everyone is looking for high speed internet connections. However, the market has become competitive and saturated and there are hundreds of challenges one has to face to sustain themselves in this business. Raghu Shetiye, a first-generation businessman who decided to venture into this line and made it to the top. This is a story of Raghu Shetiye’s DNA Broadband Network in Goa.
DNA is not Raghu’s first venture as he had started many businesses before landing in the internet world. In fact, Raghu had pioneered the Taxi Aggregator Service in Goa with the name Taxigo, which in due course did not perform as expected, but his idea got him a good name and into the business community of Goa.
As mentioned above, Raghu is a first-generation businessman and being here is always challenging with many surprises and only a strong person can stand that. Raghu has proved himself to be very strong at heart and in mind, and can tolerate the pressure of roller-coaster ride that is the business world and stay grounded at the same time.
According to Raghu, the DNA Network has played an active role in enabling thousands of household and business establishments in the state, “We have started this revolution of providing the fibre-optic enabled high speed internet to Goans who once had no option but to adapt to the slow wireless network in the state,” says Raghu, the man behind DNA network in Goa.
Till the year 2016-17 having a fibre-optic high speed broadband was just distant dream for households and small businesses, as only few rich people and big corporates would enjoy real power of internet and paying huge amount for it. “The cost of installation itself was in the range of 5 to 15 thousand and rental was also beyond the reach of common man,” said Raghu.
The Journey of Raghu Shetiye
Raghu’s journey in the business world started in 1996 with his entry into the Real Estate Business, but he did not stop there and kept venturing into various businesses with his creative mind working 24X7 in multiple directions. “I have always been creative right from childhood and I decided to use this creativity to bring some difference into the Goan society,” says Raghu, “I always dreamt of bringing that change in the lives of Goans and make this place just like other developed states in the country.”
The Entry of DNA Network in Goa
Today Raghu heads the DNA network in Goa. “Almost four years back I saw the pathetic condition of the internet in the state and decided to bring high speed fibre-optic cable networks in to Goa,” said Raghu adding that, it was the period when the Goa government had just started providing laptops and tablets to students free of cost, “But the problem was those laptops and tablets were of no use in the absence of good internet connection and the available services were beyond the financial reach of the students and this prompted me to go beyond the geographical boundaries and bring the high speed fibre-optic internet in to Goa.”
Raghu realised the potential of high-speed internet in Goa and he also become convinced with the fact that internet should not be looked at as a luxury but a basic need of the residents of Goa. “Looking at the current scenario then I was completely convinced that absence of high-speed internet will only hinder the development in the state. Internet is a basic need to developing education system,” he said.
Raghu, Sagar Mhambre from Mumbai and Dinraj Paico from Canacona in Goa approached Mr Iqbal Hooda from Mumbai, who was running a DNA network in Mumbai to pitch their idea and rest is the history.
The internet revolution started in Goa with the offers of fibre-optic cable installation free of cost and monthly rental of the amount almost 40 percent less than prevailing market price then. “We decided not to charge the installation fees this way making it affordable to every household and small businesses in Goa,” said Raghu adding that, they also ensured to keep the rentals nominal so that it is friendly to the common man’s pockets, “We announced that there is no hidden charges and we did not charge the deposits also making it almost free for the users.”
Laying Fibre-Optics on the Trust of Goans
When you provide free installations and instruments worth over 5000 rupees for free it is a big risk. On one hand you might end up losing the instrument and second is losing a customer permanently but nothing like this happened. “People of Goa are very honest and any possibility of them misusing patronage granted to them was very less,” said Raghu continuing that, he is thankful to the people of Goa that they never have broken his trust any time. “Luckily all our customers supported us but none took advantage of the privilege granted to them.”
Victory of Faith
Raghu took a chance by bringing a huge network in to Goa and was very much confident about the support he will receive from the people of Goa and his faith paid off. The DNA network won the confidence of the clients establishing a long term & transparent relationship.
A Difficult Road
Although Raghu had received a good support from the people of Goa,the road ahead was not as smooth as expected and Raghu started maneuvering through rough terrain to achieve his goal. “The installations in the rural areas and difficult terrain was very tricky,” said Raghu adding, “the biggest challenge was getting the staff to work. We have majority of Goan staff working with us but many of them from remote areas and were facing transportation problem. Lack of transportation facility hindered the work, but we managed it with the help of other contract workers.”
According to Raghu, Goa faces major issues of manpower due to two reasons: first many Goans travel aboard due to lack of job openings in the IT industry in Goa and second is the lack of opportunities in Goa. “Apart from those who travelled aboard for the work, rest of Goans do not have the exposure to the outer world. Goa being a small state has good amount of skilled manpower and if the local businesses give them chance by making Goans as their first preferences the scenario will change.”
Despite acing many hurdles, Raghu is happy with the progress his venture had made in Goa. In a very short span of 4 years, his company has achieved a very good branding and customer base in the state of Goa and Raghu us positive that it will keep climbing more. “What makes me happier, is the support we managed to provide the students of Goa. I feel that we have empowered the students in Goa by providing the high- speed internet at the right time they needed it the most,” he said.
According to Raghu, his achievement is the gratitude from the students for making them feel empowered. “My heart gets filled with the joy when I see Goans are getting better connected with the outer world with the high speed internet connected working on the fibre -optic cables,” said Raghu with a broad smile on his face.
The real meaning of success may be different for the different for the different persons, but for Raghu Shetiye it means the ability to empower others. “I have only one message for the students: there is no alternative to hard work and I want to take Goa forward into the education revolution that was started by Bhausaheb Bandodkar. According to me everyone is entitled to high-speed internet connection regardless if the person living in the city or the remotest villages in Goa. I am very firm on my values,” says Raghu.