Is Entrepreneurship a Choice or a Chance? - Start-Up Hyderabad
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Is Entrepreneurship a Choice or a Chance?

 9 years ago    

When I joined the current Company, one of my senior colleagues has told me that Entrepreneurship happens only by chance and at times things ‘click’!

4 years from that statement, the question which keeps haunting me is

“Is Entrepreneurship a Choice or a chance? “

My colleague had significant experience in Finance Field and being at a senior position,I can vouch his seniority and his valuable guidance. However, being a Millennial, how do I know what he said applies to me or many of peer groups !!

In this traverse, things started changing in my personal life. Exactly 2 years back, my wife decided to end her 7 years of corporate career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) and started her journey in the academic field. Did this happen by Chance or Choice?

Well, the story goes like this..

My wife was teaching part time in NGOs and other community centers from her teenage and an avid writer for local magazines in her town. She always wanted to become a Teacher or academician and manage her own education institution.

But being the First female Chartered Accountant in her entire family, her parents preferred if she worked in a reputed firm than choosing a destiny of her own. Never she thought she will be able to pursue her dreams. Post marriage, when we shifted to Bangalore, thanks to the cut throat traffic problems, one day we were driving to the office and spent 5 hours on the road waiting for the traffic jam to clear. She got so fed up she decided not to continue working in the office which is far off from our residential place.

She was always professional ambitious, so what is that she is going to do?

She realized her missing dream and wanted to pursue that. Thanks to Bangalore traffic, my wife’s entrepreneurial journey started. She started content writing assignments at $10 initially and slowly starting reaching out to people with similar background and journey in life. Thanks to one senior teacher who also worked in PWC and became famous for his teaching skills, she could get guidance on which direction she need to proceed. Senior people in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) had helped her gain experience in teaching and made her faculty at the Institute. Then she started working on her Book on Private Equity which was launched recently by Taxmann, a leading publisher in India. Today after 2 years we have launched 2 online projects in India for Chartered Accountancy course and established content and coaching business for Finance and Accounting courses across India and Australia with student base across India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Kuwait. One can see our portfolio of services

Did this happen by chance?

The answer is straight “No”.

It takes lot of effort to pursue leads and impress people around about your abilities and what value you can deliver. Just having a passion do not make you an entrepreneur Just having time on hand do not make you an entrepreneur. One need drive the passion in the right direction and do not hesitate to ask for help. My wife became one of the few female teachers in Bangalore city getting good recognition among students with similar reputation started in Sydney also

When I read the article by HasMetrics CEO Adam Herscher’s Linkedin article on

Why This Man Left His Fabulous $255,000 Job At Microsoft To Bootstrap A Start-up

I had to start analyzing his experience with that of my wife, few entrepreneurs whom I came across and my own journey.

One more entrepreneurship story about a known friend, Matt Barnett, comes to my mind. An AGSM 2012 business school graduate, Matt has been passionate starting on his own and never participated in campus placements. He raised $250,000 from family and friends and started working on his idea of video feedback and started

Innovative and interesting venture on how businesses can get video feedback from their customers and team. We always saw companies run consumer research and customer feedback sessions using written and verbal responses but Matt envisaged the future of the taking feedback by businesses.

“The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do”.

— Andrew Carnegie

It’s commonly quoted that only 10% of communication is actually based on the words we use, and yet written feedback & research is used for the majority of business decisions. Even if we double this, you wouldn’t make a personal investment decision with only 20% of the data, so why would you make major business decisions with similar numbers?

So how important is visual communication, what are we missing out on when we neglect to capture this, and how can we interpret visual cues to make better decisions?

Based on his real life experience, he realized video feedback is more genuine and the facial expressions by the customers provide insights into the honesty of the responses. Many consumer research firms consider probability on honest responses but video analytics is the future of understanding product trends and improving their own standard of services.

My journey is not so different from many people who started their venture. I was always keen on body building and fitness from the young age of 16. My mom used to make fun of me when I started to going to gym. She is used to say only criminals go to Gym and due to weight training, a teenager will not grow in height. Funny, lot of notions in old traditional mindset. India do not enjoy a professional fitness industry. Even after 16 years of experiencing various fitness centers and trainers over my life in the country, the situation has not changed significantly. I started anaerobics studio in 2008 with a Reebok Certified trainer in Himayatnagar, Hyderabad, India. I pasted banners on the walls across the city, cleaned and managed the studio, talked and convinced customers into joining classes and last but not the least learnt how to give aerobics lessons. I did not know the flamboyant entrepreneurship terminology, start up boom and all the jargon which i learnt inLondon Business School and Indian School of Business.

The experience of managing an aerobics studio for an year definitely gave insights into operational and customer relationship management. Obviously I was not the main ingredient in that business, my partner is. But being the manager of the place gave me an opportunity to understand the industry I want to be in . It is important for any one who want to start up something gain experience in that industry to get into the minds of the customers. At the end it is all about winning the hearts of customers which drives business. That is why my 10+ years as business partner in consumer health care companies helped me gain insights into healthy living habits of customers. Glorified names of entrepreneurship and strategy looks attractive to new comers but a seasoned businessman understands it is nothing but regular operations, solving customers problems and making sure the business sustains the financial hardships.

I launched in June 2014 to cater to the needs of health conscious individuals like me. There are online portals catering to different needs like running, cycling etc but not one that comprehensively delivers the fitness and weight loss assistance. This idea was generated out of my own suffering after my accident in 2012. I had a meniscus tear in my left knee and after my surgery I had to get special physical trainer to help me gain my stability back. Travelling between London and India did not help me maintain a stable fit life due to lack of information on good trainers. is India’s First Fitness Marketplace where we enable fitness service providers connect with fitness enthusiasts. Health clubs and personal trainers can manage their classes online and attract customers during their off-peak so that their infrastructure is utilized to the full. After recent shift to Australia last year, I realized i can expand the same solution to local market as health clubs here also suffer from the same issues as India – underutilized infrastructure, high attrition rate of customers and most importantly too many options to chose from without information on how each fitness option helps customers achieve their specific goals.

In the pursuit of my entrepreneurship, I am not jumping into a mid life crisis and leaving my job. When i was in London business school the first adage i heard in the PE/VC class by Professor Eli Talmor that stuck to my mind is the definition of Enterpreneur

“Enterpreneur is one who identifies gaps in existing customer needs and finds resources to solve those problems without knowing whether one will succeed or not”

Entrepreneurship is a Frame of mind and journey not a project to complete. People can be entrepreneurial in the corporate world also and there are many of us who actually try to address customer needs by finding resources around us. The customers can be cross divisional team, higher ups in the organisation or say the customer who is willing to pay in some form for our services.

In my experience the Journey of Entrepreneurship does not start with chance nor end with choice. It is the pursuit of satisfying needs of people around you. It is a choice of making a difference. Most importantly it is a mid life crisis, a crisis out of which a new need is developed.

#Entrepreneur #Londonbusinessschool #LBS #indianschoolofbusiness #ISB



Guest - Kishore Pavuluru


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