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Never Giving Up

Our paths are oft beset with doubts and seldom do we know exactly what we want to achieve. Harjaap Singh Mann is an exception to this rule. He has always had his eyes on his goals and, despite the many impediments, has marched steadfastly towards them.

A Computer Science engineer from National Institute of Technology (NIT) Silchar, Harjaap started his entrepreneurial journey as an undergraduate student with his first project, computerization of recruitment process, at Assam University. After graduation, he worked on multiple software projects across industries before setting up a joint venture with Semiconductor Laboratories to work on embedded software.

In 2004, this venture went into litigation. Following this were five very difficult years. Harjaap spent all his time preparing for court hearings, while he helplessly watched his venture falling apart. Customers backed out, projects shut down, and employees quit. By 2009, Harjaap was left all alone. His family, utterly disappointed with the state of affairs, implored him to take up a ‘normal’ job. He succumbed to their wishes, but only after securing a lifeline that he could continue working on projects outside of his work hours, so that he could continue trying to fulfil his dreams.

With forethought, Harjaap joined a call centre as a voice agent and worked the night shift so that he could work on software development projects during the day. He devoted each non-work- ing second of his (including breaks, cab rides and weekly offs) to his projects. His colleagues noticed his enthusiasm and started pitching in. Even the management recognised his smarts and offered him a position in London. However, Harjaap had other plans. He quit, explaining his rationale to his manager, “I am a horse, but this is not my race.”

“Work hard, do the right thing, and success will follow”

Harjaap’s family recognised the hard work he had put in and offered him their full support. Things started falling in place when his venture, Proof of Performance (PoP), got selected for The Power of Ideas 2010. The team soon expanded. His wife and a few colleagues from the call centre came on board. However, his quota of challenges hadn’t been exhausted! PoP’s billboard advertising recording team came under the suspicious eye of the authorities across many cities and towns. This capital - intensive method of data collection slowly became unsustainable; Harjaap urged his team to save their careers and find other jobs. Many stayed back to work without any compensation, committing fully to the arduous task of reviving the company.

And revive they did! Harjaap and PoP are now on a steady growth path. With an enviable client list including BJP, Star TV, Hero Motors, Flipkart, Uber, Freecharge, Harjaap is now focusing on achieving unmatched growth. PoP is a ship that has weathered numerous storms, battled the winds fiercely, and has come out stronger. And, Harjaap is the captain of this ship.


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