This story is about Purna Duggirala, better known by his website chandoo.org, which has a mission to help people become awesome in Excel. What was a hobby years back and a start up business of $100 umber crunching with Microsoft Excel, has turned into a big business for this young entrepreneur who quit his 9-5 job in April 2010 to work full time for himself, anytime, anywhere!
Purna runs chandoo.org along with his wife and holds the job title of CEO of Chandoo.org – he though prefers to call himself – Chief Excel Officer instead of Chief Executive Officer!
When he completed a Computer Science degree from Andhra University, Purna went on to complete his MBA from IIM Indore in 2006 and joined Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). His work involved doing a lot of analysis and research using Excel.
He made $136,000 in 2011, and was on track to make $200,000 in 2012, in just his third year in business.
In 2009 he started chronicling a series of tips and tutorials about using Excel to become more productive. Crucially he didn’t target Indians, but instead reached out to interested prospects all over the world. As a blogger, he didn’t depend on advertising revenue, something that very few people in our study mentioned. Instead, he created products and services himself, offering downloadable guides and an ongoing training school. He was also a good copywriter.
Updating spreadsheets can sound like incredibly tedious work, but Purna positioned the core benefit away from numbers and toward something far more powerful: ‘Our training programs make customers a hero in front of their bosses or colleagues.’ Not only would their work become easier, Purna said, but other people would recognize and appreciate them for simplifying a complicated process. New customers arrive every day from Google searches, mainstream media coverage, and hundreds of links.
Today he makes money from selling Excel Training globally