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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Giridhar Soundararajan, Founder at Barrel Exhaust

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Giridhar Soundararajan : After failing twice building mobile applications and going bankrupt, I had nothing in mind or pocket to try. I met a few interesting people while failing who stressed me to follow my heart. But that was the issue, like most people, I didn’t know what my heart wanted. I began searching for that and in that quest, wanted to do “One week One Job” for free. The idea was that I would get people to agree for free labour and I would get to know what I like and what I don’t. I contacted everyone from Gerry Martin (the National Geographic Reptile expert) to Two wheeler showrooms for mechanic jobs. I also remember reaching out to my friend who was a Hot Air Baloon pilot to see if I could work as an assistant or helper. Then nothing worked, so I came across the 7 days test to find what your heart loves and it worked for me. I found my heart and soul was into automobiles and I had to build my startup around this only. Voila !! Barrel Exhaust was born!

Great Companies: What are the various products and services provided by Barrel Exhaust

Giridhar Soundararajan : Barrel Exhaust primarily specialises in designing and developing exhaust systems for a variety of two wheeler brands across the globe. We started off with Royal Enfields in India and slowly evolved for other brands like Aprilia, Bajaj, KTM, Kawasaki, TVS, BMW, Suzuki and more. Apart from just being exhaust manufacturers and exporters, we also manufacture racing handlebars and accessories. We also have a racing training division called “Barrel Racedays” where we train bikers on dirt tracks for skill enhancement and entertainment.

In 2020, Barrel Exhaust opened a new division called Barrel Electric with a dream to build high performance electric vehicles for the world. We are currently working on it and are excited about the direction we are going.

Great Companies: What makes Barrel Exhaust different from hundreds of other auto accessories firms?

Giridhar Soundararajan :

Barrel Exhaust is more a passion driven organisation than just profit driven like most. At Barrel Exhaust we do not consider that we are in the business of making and selling accessories or products, instead we are in the business of selling unforgettable experiences to the bikers across the globe. Our vision statement makes this very clear. “Create Happy Bikers” is the simple vision statement that drives all our decisions at Barrel Exhaust. We want to deliver happiness to bikers and auto enthusiasts and that cannot be just by mere products.

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Giridhar Soundararajan : The last 6 years have been filled with ups and downs and I feel this is going to be there for all in various degrees. Entrepreneurship is a practical course we sign up for and the lessons are hard. Struggle with low capital, unfair competitors, govt policy hurdles, manpower, pandemic and the list is endless. The entrepreneur’s job is to solve new problems each day and make way for the team to perform it’s best. Challenge is to attract talent even when you can’t afford to pay them. Challenge is to keep yourself motivated even when the entire world under your feet crumbles. Challenge is to believe in yourself even when your near and dear ones don’t. Challenge is to be able to sacrifice your pleasures today hoping for a better tomorrow. Challenge is to know whom to trust and whom not to because you can’t progress unless you trust and you can’t progress if you wrongly trust. Yes, read it again.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Barrel Exhaust?

Giridhar Soundararajan : Barrel Exhaust in the last 6 years has earned a great brand image in the minds of the customers across the globe. The idea is to make Barrel Exhaust much stronger at the global platform and expand our offering to four wheelers soon. Barrel Electric would be the focus and developing the high performance electric vehicle for the world by 2023. The goal is to make the brand “Barrel” one of the most iconic automobile brands by 2025 and change the face of transportation with innovative solutions. "Barrel" shall be the most sought out destination for thinkers, innovators and must be a huge talent pool that makes a positive impact for humanity.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Giridhar Soundararajan : Don’t wait for anything to happen before you could start. Time is the most critical resource. The sooner you start the earlier you learn and as Mark Cuban says “Perfection is the enemy of Profitability” . It’s okay to do something and improvise than just keep improvising and never launch. Once you follow your heart, the universe will extend help from unknown sources. Go for the kill!

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