Kudos to you! Thanks for sharing this Scott. Much needed right now as the doubts are welling up in my newest venture. Thanks for the write up Scott! Very refreshing to have an honest look at building a business. I still read Leo sometimes, but for learning to be calm, and Altucher sometimes for his honesty and zany ideas. But you—you have me for life simply because I feel the authenticity in your writing and I believe in you. I believe you are making the world a better place.
You make me wish that idea would strike me sometimes just so that I could give back to you by my own success and tell the world that it started with Scott Dinsmore and LYL. Of course, there is more to it than that, but honestly, when I read your posts, I feel that. Whoa Jacque! Thanks for this. What a wild comment to read — you have no idea. Showing you all of who I am has always been one of my leading values at LYL and knowing that you can feel it means so much. And probably not too much time at that…. What a most lovely picture of you and your wife.
You guys are wicked…thanks so much for your never-ending supply of superzest and mojo…. A good day to you fine sir. Thank you so much for this post. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. It gives me the strength to keep forging ahead. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. Robert T. About the 12 reasons, these are some of the reasons why i question few things: money, capitalism, enterpreneurship among others.
I discovered a lot but still i have to apply many things to my own life. My journey started two years ago. LYL was the first site which actually motivated me to make the leap of faith. Wow — what an honor to hear. Keep us posted on the journey! A much needed post for me to read. I am glad that I am not the only one who bawls there eyes out every once in a while, at least once a week for me sometimes. I definitely feel intense anxiety more than once a week, which is tough, but you just feel and accept it.
You are right that being an entrepreneur sucks. That it is scary it took four years before people started to take notice. Thanks for the reminder that as crazy as being an entrepreneur is and that many people might not understand it, that it is still worth it in my mind! I would love to see a valid quiz that could help me understand if I am more an employee or more and entrepreneur.
Keep up your excellent work scott. I am always looking forward for your next e-mails. And I am slowly but steadily building inside me the confindence to build something tha suits me better that what I am doing today. What a wonderful introduction to your site, Scott! Thank you for reminded me that all of us go through our ups and downs in our never ending journey to bring brighter lights to this world.
May you continue to ignite the best in people! Thank you for letting me know the other side of the coin Scott. Thanks for letting me know that I have to work hard to make a difference, to do things that matter. Such a refreshing post! Scott, this post came from your soul, and you have obviously impacted a great deal of people including me with your writing. Because you were open and shared this, it reminds me again that I am not alone as an entrepreneur.
It takes a different mindset to run your own company and often it can feel like a very lonely road. The reality is, as business owners, we have all experienced these 12 things, and by discussing them we can link arms and help each other through those tough times. That is the beauty of humanity! Thank you for your words, please do not stop doing what you do as it is much needed!
Scott DInsmore outlines 12 reasons why some people should not be […]. Rather than a quiz, I think what your site might need is more articles like this one! What about maybe an occasional post just like this one, where you talk about problems and obstacles that have been getting you down, and how you dealt or are trying to deal with them?
Like your post about the standing desk — a productive project you were really excited about, but that had to be ended. James Altucher is of course famous for bleeding his failures out in excruciating detail. Great point Rebecca! I will definitely see how I can find a way to give this side more attention and analysis in the future. Wow, thanks so much for sharing this with us Scott. It really is hard to be an entrepreneur, however, I have never felt more free and more living on purpose.
Thank you for showing your vulnerable side which always brings along risk, especially once you become as popular as you. Hi Scott. This is my first visit to your blog, and your entrepreneur reality check article came at a perfect time. I could especially relate to 6 about how long it can take before getting any recognition. And awesome to have you here. Welcome to the adventure! Great post Scott and very timely for me. I have been running my own business now for three and a half years and can completely relate to everything you said.
In the last year I have come to realize that I no longer have any passion for the area I am in but, am wondering if it is also that running a business and being an entrepreneur is not for me, and perhaps I am better suited to being an employee or, wether if I find my passion this will change. I worry that after working for myself I would really struggle to be an employee as I value my freedom and control over my own life very highly. Scott — well done and thank you for sharing those thoughts. Having a quiz available would be great, mostly because I think it would save the people who think it would be great to have their own business in theory, but not in practice from making a very costly mistake.
When it went belly up for a variety of reasons that really boiled down to the fact that he was better at getting the work done than overseeing the entire business, it left him unable to recover financially, and filing bankruptcy was all he had left. We never stop learning, so the best course is usually to read up as much as any of us can, from places like this, and other people who have become successful, to give us the best chances we can get before we go it alone. Glad to have resources like this around, and will take part in workshops for sure.
That read like the story of my life! Yes please! I would love a quiz about whether you are meant to be an employee or entrepreneur -or maybe both. Anyway, thanks for the work you are doing and for the encouragement you are giving people to live in a way that is true to them. And for this kind of reality check because it is not always a smooth journey. Wow Scott. Thank you for your honesty. I wish you continued guts and courage! Keep on keepin on! For me, I am an employee, and I am having a hell of a time finding my inner entrepreneur.
I think I am an employee because that is my training. Most of education and social expectation is geared toward fitting into that employee role. Finding my inner entrepreneur is a growth process, and a daunting one at that. However, the universe indicates otherwise — by not giving me a job and believe me I keep trying. So here I am, a highly trained and educated cog-in-the-machine employee, trying to wake up my inner entrepreneur.
There is no rhyme or reason, only the sheer intention which has a laser focus of where you want to be. If you are ONLY a dreamer, then your fantasy will become a nightmare. In life there is two types of events which happens to us. Chris, great analogy about the learning experiences vs the brick walls in the entrepreneurial journey and in life. I just finished reading this blog post while a little fear sneaked in :. Thank you for that! After I jotted down my ideas, I continued reading and every reason you listed, I can relate to.
There are days, sometimes weeks I bawl my eyes out and question what did I get myself into. But then I realize that this is what I love to do and it makes me happy to see my customers happy and excited to find our leis. And I realize that I love the challenges I face as an entrepreneur. I enjoy learning new things about business and creativity. It inspires me to grow and evolve as a person and entrepreneur.
So, I will not give up. Scott, I think a quiz can be useful and enlightening sometimes, but honestly I think making decisions about your life from a quiz is not the best approach to take. When I was young I took lots of career and personality tests to confirm my dream to be a pilot. I worked a few years in a desk job which I thought was more suitable. All I did each day was look outside and stare at the airplanes flying in the sky and wonder if I made the right choice.
Finally, I decided to follow my heart and leave the cubicle life for the cockpit of a helicopter. The point is that if you want to be an entrepreneur, just do it! This post is actually very relevant to me right now and I thank you for writing it. Not as much fun.
Stressing over whether our house will sell before we go or will we have to rent it out? Lots of planning, putting things in storage, starting to homeschool my son this year, will we run out of money? Compared to when I was employed as a pilot, our life now seems chaotic, stressful, and so disorganized. In other words, the future is very uncertain.
When you are an employee you know your role in the world. You have a routine. You have a steady paycheck. I am mostly happy with our decision to take a sabbatical but it has been a huge adjustment and I hope things will settle down once we get to France. Good points Scott! We only see the good parts. You hit the proverbial nail on the head! I was just having this conversation with a dear friend who wants to be an entrepreneur.
Thank you for balancing the scale and for bringing the other side to light! The entrepreneur vs employee test would be a good start for me to settle my focus issues on where I should be making my next move. I am also farily new to the site and the LYL concept. Already been sharing this great material because I find that I am not the only one in a pivotal decision about this. So seems like we are many unorganized ambitious persons wanting to get some great tips on moving forward and start making some concrete decisions. Great post! Hi Scott, I appreciate your honesty about the difficult times as well the good times when it comes to running your own business.
Anything worth having is worth fighting for! Hello Scott! Whats the difference between letting go of things not meant for you, and pushing beyond what you think you can do? Hey Scott! I really appreciate what you have achieved so far and keep inspiring people to follow their dreams! I want to say a huge thank you for all your support.
Selen x. Since I love quizzes, a quiz about whether we are meant to be an employee or entrepreneur would be fun.
Cheryl Wood: “Disconnect from Fear and Drop the Call!” – DC Metro Magazine for Women
The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Thank you for the bricks, giving us the chance to show ourselves how badly we want to be an entrepreneur. It can be a very lonely road. I understand and accept that now. I have to pretend I also want to climb the corporate ladder and buy the most expensive car when bonus season comes.
This post is sincere and honest. I have found my tribe. I will live my legend. Thank you for the value Scott. Just some thoughts! Hi Scott, you seem to come from a well-off family. Correct me if im wrong. What would you say to people who does not have that privilege? An appointment complained because we were late. I understand the numbers are more valuable for the customer, but the point of a lot of money is more freedom, not more work. I find it interesting how perspective changes with success.
I would love to take that quiz!! It does give a false sense of stability though. Thanks Scott! Thanks Scott for sharing. Life indeed has two sides to it just like a coin having a head and a tail. I see entrepreneurship as a challange and an exciting phase in discovering more about myself and how I can make the world around me a better place. Scott, Thanks for the insights and the community. You are a true inspiration and I love that your passion is to help others find theirs. In fact, I think it would be wildly inaccurate and ultimately detrimental to those who have entrepreneurial desires.
If the question is simply employee or entrepreneur then the answer is logically employee. I believe your entrepreneurial story is a perfect example of this. Finding passion in what you do was never about a yes or no option, it is a dynamic journey. Instead you forged your own path led by the compass of your heart. There is no rubric for entrepreneurs. He […]. So I have been an entrepreneur and employee, both have their ups and downs.
The one reason I stopped my last business was my family did not like the feast or famine my work seemed to go through. So if I decide to go back that route that is something I will have to consider as well. I think a test would be great. See if time has changed me attitude towards it. I would rather you shared how you deal with these things. What have you found helps you the most? Yes, that would be really helpful. As rectifying measures, Abhinav entered into a contract with a fabric supplier and a processing house, ensuring a fixed number of work days solely for him.
This gave him control over their functioning. He also started manufacturing every small accessory in-house. Even the threads used in stitching were monitored personally by Abhinav. In several situations, in order to win the trust of his customers, he even returned payments in case of outfits for which he received complaints.
Going by the bleak profits in the first year, for a moment, anybody would have thought of closing down but Abhinav was there to persevere. He started off the second year with a better control over all departments of cloth-making and his hard work paid. Very soon, I will go online with my products. I am sure this and the other initiatives I am planning will yield even better results. All the best Abhinav. Targeting the Next level…. Clubbed with an early exposure to business, the learning at this camp inspired in him the spirit for embracing entrepreneurship.
Pratik's family is into manufacturing of textile machines. It is an engineering setup and their firm designs, develops and manufactures standard textile machines. They also customise machines as per their clients' requirements. The idea behind joining the PGDBEM course was to get proper training and skills for handling and promoting his family business.
It was here that my plans got crystallized. I started with incorporating better management techniques. This was done partly through understanding several project reports before finally implementing their strategies for expansion of the business. We identified and scrutinised opportunities for expansion and acquisition of businesses. The outcome of such a thorough and well-thought plan is in front of you. I have successfully acquired three businesses in the past seven years and have turned them into profitable ventures.
With constant support and motivation from his family members, he has scaled newer heights by the day and has turned the scales in his favour, over the years. His confidence in me was a major driving force. I knew that even if I stumbled anywhere, he was there to back me and push me further. There was a time when he kept moving at a great pace but his family started fragmenting. During that time, we faced severe crisis in adopting and getting familiar with the smaller, demerged units.
The first few years were also difficult as there was financial shortfall due to change in management. Gradually though, we overcame the situation and business started falling in place. And with diligence and perseverance, Pratik came out of the grim situation. From a family business, Pratik has gone on to lead four companies today. With his entrepreneurial spirit intact and sight on distant goals, he is here to stay. The top priority at this point in time is to go public. We wish him the best in all his endeavours.
With perseverance, everything will eventually fall in place. Ayrton Mayengbam PGDM-BE Ayrton Clothing Ayrton Mayengbam is an example of faith in self; he affirms how determination can steer passion, and help break the barriers of language, boundary and customs, to rise and shine. Ayrton hails from an affluent family of Manipur. Infact, I never planned my life with my education in mind. I was a rebel. If someone said that a particular thing was out of my reach, I would put in all means to achieve it. I have been a rebel and let me confess, I loved being one.
But he never saw himself joining his dad's business. Being my own boss fascinated me. Left with no other option, he started exploring possibilities in India. EDII's entrepreneurship course appealed to him as it was in consonance with his ultimate goal. Also, Gujarat being renowned for its business mindedness, coming to the state with the dream of becoming an entrepreneur somewhere instilled a curiosity and hope in him.
EDII gave me a platform to think about entrepreneurship in a systematic way. His father is a construction baron in Manipur, and he and his family wanted Ayrton to join the construction business back home. But, Ayrton wanted to be on his own; he wanted to carve his own identity. His search for business opportunity was leading him to a no-man's land when at a party, his school friend reminded him of his creativity in designing denim jeans. Ayrton was popular among his friends for designing his own denims. Ayrton never bought readymade jeans for himself; instead he had designed every pair of jeans he owned.
The suggestions instantly went down with Aryton and alongside pursuing his course at EDII; he started exploring the possibilities of getting denims manufactured. I realised this was my passion. Also, I had grown up under the informal mentorship of my grandmother who was a fashion diva and a jewellery designer in her own times.
Every aspect was now hugely impacting my decision to venture into the field. I felt it was always in me; just that I had never jolted it. Encouraged by this, he ordered more pairs. But this time, the order was not executed to his satisfaction. I had outsourced everything and had taken things for granted. This failure taught me how important it is to focus on even the minute details when it comes to business. I sold these at a very cheap price.
I was often mocked but I bore it all, drawing a lesson from even failure and every mockery only because I wanted to have the last laugh. The first few months were tough as finances posed a major challenge. On several days, he went without two square meals. Ayrton had refused to accept financial help from his father who had initially disapproved of his business. He wanted to fight back every odd and prove his mettle. Financial training and able mentorship made me research the systems of creating denim. Eventually, sheer hard work clubbed with faculty guidance showed me the way.
It was only because of my training that I could work within limited budget, handle manpower and succeed in a state where I had come just two-and-a-half years ago. He believes that while East gave him the direction, the western end of the country gave him the entrepreneurial route. He has also initiated work towards floating textile export house and launching cotton trousers. With a capacity to roll out 10,, denims a month, Ayrton lives life by the motto — life is short. This young entrepreneur has his growth strategy perfectly in place and is focussing single-mindedly on the three most important aspects of business — product quality, brand-building and market.
Fighting back is Ayrton's biggest trait and he is determined to move ahead. The Story of his Steely Resolve. He wanted to make it large but never thought seriously over what it takes to make it thus. As a protected child from a family with business background, he wasn't ever coerced into working hard and establishing a distinct identity. After his graduation in commerce, he was once again at crossroads — he wanted to join business but at the same time felt it was too early and that he should dabble with something else.
But the phrase — 'something else' made no sense to him. All he was sure of was that he did not want to pursue a master's degree in engineering akin to his peers. I got more focussed here. The desire to create something of my own got kindled in me. He started contemplating his own business. After research and under mentorship of his guide and father, who possessed 45 years of experience in the steel industry, he zeroed in on steel rolling mills. He prepared a detailed project report and tried to learn as much as possible about the idea.
The question about a permanent base for his business bemused him but only for a while, as somewhere in his heart he was convinced about Ahmedabad as his 'karmabhumi', as Sumit puts it. Sumit was discouraged by many of his friends who were dissuading him from joining the steel business; they said he was technically not sound and, therefore, would not be able to pick up tricks of the trade. But, Sumit remained resolute and never doubted his competence. Hence, I was against quitting this easily. I did understand why not being an engineer would hinder my business or could be a mark of my technical incompetence.
So, despite his impatience to take the plunge immediately after completion of his course, Sumit waited for a while. He took up a job with an Ahmedabad-based company as a trainee to derive on-job training. Simultaneously, he got an opportunity to put his skills to test when he revived a steel plant. My father encouraged me, saying that unless I soiled my hands, I would not learn anything. Vinod International gradually started moving up the ladder. Sumit has made a mark for himself and today owns offices in Saudi Arabia and Dubai as well. But, success didn't come easy to him. He has had his bad days when he felt like quitting but he hung on.
Sumit smiles as he shares how, owing to his pride, he never took any financial help from his father even though there were times when mustering finance was a hefty task. To survive in the market, he had to offer credit for 90 to days, which he found utterly difficult, given his limited resources. He carefully devised strategies to deal with every difficult situation and to sustain in the market. There were times when he had to substantially reduce his margins to stay in the league.
Sumit's optimism kept him going. Always on a lookout for newer opportunities, Sumit is ambitious and raring to go. Over the next five years, he plans to put Engineering Quartz Slab Project together. Having established himself as a successful entrepreneur, Sumit also wants to give back to society. He has represented India during Ministers' Forum at Uganda and is also an active member of several organisations. Sumit's grit and determination has scripted an inspiring story, a story that entails the transformation of the steel business in India.
Taking Plunge after testing the Waters. It was a new place for him, a new land with a vast expanse of opportunities. Little did he know that this would soon become home away from his home in Bihar. Few days into the state and Ranjeet was awestruck with the freedom, peace, business-friendly, people-friendly and crime-free life here. He could see girls and women travelling alone at odd hours and kids on scooters at midnight, enjoying their lives.
Then and there, he had made up his mind; he was here to stay. He had decided to make a living here and as destiny would have it, today, Ranjeet is a popular name in the entrepreneurial circle in the city of Ahmedabad.
Communicating for Results
Ranjeet's interest in entrepreneurship stemmed from his roots. His family was into the business of LPG Distributorship. Ranjeet wanted to bring more professionalism into their business and thus started looking for courses in entrepreneurship. It was then that he came across EDII and without any doubt, took the plunge. At the very onset, Ranjeet had decided that he wouldn't delve into his family business immediately post graduating.
Instead, he would first help set up at least five businesses as a consultant, and then plunge into becoming a fulltime entrepreneur. The learning at EDII, as he shares, benefitted him aptly. Between and , Ranjeet charted an inspirational journey. In the first 18 months of his tenure here, he bagged six promotions! The repository of knowledge that he had gained at Maniar Vehicles was vital in this success of his life. The understanding of the local market came handy at Kotak. In , he finally took over the reins of his family business in his hands. It was a tough challenge but Ranjeet not only sailed through, but also mentored his spouse become an entrepreneur.
Forret India Pvt. Ltd, his consultancy firm, has in the past nine years grown from two to 40 employees, with an increase in turnover of almost 50 per cent year-over-year. In the year , Ranjeet ventured into yet another domain — boutique services — with the name of Askanytime. This firm operates only for its registered clientele and has a whole range of services, ranging from event organising, tour operations, IT services, house or office renovation, etc.
Seeing this kind of success gave me strength and confidence to start my own venture. So much so, that I did not take a penny from my family, friends or relatives for starting my venture. I made it work single-handedly and that made me feel as an entrepreneur. They always had faith in me and my capabilities. They believed that I would run the business well, owing to my education and professional skills, and that I would be able to handle the pressure well. Their confidence in me has led me to my targets. Initially, he faced fundraising issues as he had committed that he would not take a single penny from family, friends or relatives.
So, the start was risky. But, god helps those who help themselves. He managed funds from his savings and some promoters. Thus, Ranjeet sailed through and managed things using his knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship. EDII played a key role in keeping me motivated. The learning that I derived at the Institute has helped me grow at every stage of my venture. For his future, Ranjeet has steady plans, well-thought and well-planned. He wants to capture the whole market with his products.
You are unique and you have the courage needed to plunge into entrepreneurship. Sparkling all the way….. A designer par excellence, she is a renowned name in the jewellery industry. Priti had a protected childhood in a joint family in Surat. A national champion in skating, she grew up with the learning that nothing comes easy; hard work begets success. To become an entrepreneur did tickle her creative instincts and she decided to give it a shot by undergoing the course. Doing business was not new for Priti as her family was into the business of chemicals and she had grown up seeing them discuss business.
However, she had never thought of entrepreneurship as a career for herself. Priti had the desire to achieve but was clueless about the trajectory that she wanted to adopt. But, I believe somewhere that an inkling impressed upon me and I decided to join EDII to learn how to become an entrepreneur.
It was an apt decision, I must say. Quality sessions, knowledge and guidance of faculty and industry interactions proved to be helpful. I knew I had it in me to make it big. Her husband was into pharmaceutical and hotel businesses. Priti was assigned the responsibility of managing operations of Lifespring. But by this time, despite all the satisfaction that I derived from running a business, I had begun to feel the need to have something of my own.
Despite all efforts, she could not save her marriage and returned to Surat. She was at an all-time low. Life seemed to have given her a mean defeat. My mother was aware of my knack for business and motivated me to think on those lines. I had a passion for jewellery and had made some keen observations. I had noticed that people were being cheated in the name of diamond jewellery.
So, I had made a mental note that someday I would venture into diamond jewellery making on account of huge market potential and because I believed people deserved better. I had shared this idea in the past with my mother who now encouraged me to start a business in diamond jewellery-making. My mother thoroughly convinced me. She started thinking on the lines of setting up her dream venture. Priti attended a one-week diamond grading course, followed by one-month jewellery-designing programme at International Gemological Institute IGI in Mumbai.
Both the programmes proved to be helpful. While the diamond-grading course offered knowledge in the key area of diamond business, the designing programme imparted insights into creating artistic pieces of jewellery. Exclusively designed by Priti, the jewellery brand was created from carat gold and embellished with diamonds and gem stones. The raw material is sourced from Surat and Mumbai. Elegant, ready-to-wear jewellery pieces are made by job contractors based in Surat and Mumbai, and is the forte of Awesome Sparklers.
The jewellery-makers were informal workers and labourers, compensated through the piece-wage system. The products of Awesome Sparklers range from rings, pendants, chains, earrings to complete sets, both in the light and heavy ranges. In addition to retailing these products, Priti also got into small-scale distribution of loose diamonds.
Awesome Sparklers has earned the reputation of selling unique jewellery with awesome craftsmanship. And, that they will do only when the designs are subtle yet appealing. All my designs depict a distinct subtlety except the bridal and the special-occasion jewellery, which are heavy. Recently she started her own all-equipped, technically innovative jewellery factory where emphasis is solely on quality and workmanship. Who could have proved this better than I.
I was fortunate to have got trained in entrepreneurship and to have received guidance from my father, whom I consider my role model. No wonder, one connects instantly with Preethy. Just when I would begin to settle at a place, my father would get transferred and within a few days, I would find myself in a new school, among new people, trying to make friends. I think that trait has remained with me. I love to meet people, so much so that my father even lightly mentioned during my growing up years that I must get into the hospitality business. Somewhere, that light comment by my father had a deep impact on me and I actually began nurturing the dream of a career in the hospitality business.
She proved herself and in three months, was promoted to their Executive Lounge to receive VIP guests of the hotel. It was her father who introduced entrepreneurship in hospitality to her and suggested EDII to pursue training in the area. I still remember we had a lot of case study exercises and exciting field visits for a comprehensive learning experience in entrepreneurship. I opted for Services Management. EDII put my entrepreneurship plans in perspective. I knew I was thinking right. Her project report at EDII was also on homestay business.
Homestay is a form of tourism that allows a visitor to rent a room from a local family in a homelike setting. It is sometimes used for improving language skills and getting familiar with the local culture and lifestyle. Guests are either accommodated in the family home or in separate quarters nearby. Nowadays, most homestays provide their guests with just as much comfort as a reputable hotel. Preethy had thought about this business idea because her assessment of the footfall of foreign tourists to India had given her a fair idea about the huge potential that lay in this business.
Homestays are in demand in regions witnessing maximum foreign tourists and, therefore, Preethy had very carefully chosen Kerala. Hence, Kerala is an appropriate location for a homestay venture. However, it involved several reminders and follow-ups for the inspection and other essential formal procedures. It was a big challenge indeed to understand the way labour is employed in Kerala.
Only specific kind of workers can be hired for a particular work, so one cannot recruit people from other community for some kinds of work. Thus, owing to stringent labour rules and high literacy rate, it was very difficult to hire manpower at a reasonable rate. Homestay units fulfilling all the essential conditions prescribed by the Department of Tourism and meeting all required criteria in the checklist of facilities, belong to the Class-A category and are given the Diamond House status by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation KTDC.
The journey was replete with challenges but was worth the effort. That became our winning point. The homestay was also done up with that objective. Karithanam is an ayurveda homestay with an ethnic touch; it caters to the wellness and rejuvenation needs of the guests in ancient and traditional Indian ayurveda way.
Karithanam Homestay also offers a full-fledged library equipped with over 3, books from varied areas so that the guests can explore India through these books. As a business strategy, Preethy is very particular about sustaining relations not only with the lead travel agents in and around Kerala but also with other travel agents across India so that the business prospers. I wish to provide excellent hospitality and the best of other services under one roof to each and every individual who visits us.
Khadi on the Voyage of Grace and Elegance…. Gradually though, the fabric came to be associated with ruggedness and lack of finesse, and got relegated to a backseat among the list of fabrics. For a very long time during the evolutionary stages of India, Khadi was fighting a losing battle. Some relief came when Khadi started getting blended with other fibres like silk and wool to produce appealing, colourful fabrics with some distinct qualities and sheen.
Several designers took turns to reviving the image of Khadi and ensuring that it starts getting associated with modernity while simultaneously underlining the traditional feel that it embodies. Yet there are miles to go before Khadi bears a victory baton. Priyanshi Jariwala is one of the few visionaries to sight the glamour quotient in Khadi. Priyanshi took the plunge into entrepreneurship with an assurance to the young that she would introduce Khadi to them in a fashionable and ever-so-desirable form.
Her innovative start-up, The Khadi Cult, offers fashionable and youth-centric Khadi clothes. Her family is into metallic yarn manufacturing. They also own a diagnostic centre franchise of Apollo hospitals. But, Priyanshi had other aims. She wanted to join her family business not as a natural successor but as a deserving successor with an idea about business to make it big on her own merit.
She wanted to make a meaningful contribution. The professors were approachable and were always ready to help us with our business ideas. They tested waters every now and then to make sure that we were certain and confident about our business idea. Right from the first year, Priyanshi started working on her business idea. She had a liking for clothing and accessories, and these were the two opportunities she focussed upon for market research. Ultimately, she settled on floating a business of providing comfortable and fashionable clothing in Khadi for the youth.
While they have an orientation towards western clothing, they also prefer comfort and style. I decided to move away from the run-of-the-mill fabric used in designing clothes for the youth; instead gave them different kind of clothes that promise style and comfort. She visited a host of Khadi Bhandars to assess the market and without much ado, took to business.
She expanded choices for youths and pitched Khadi as a stylish fabric, which remains cool in summers and provides warmth in winters. She adorned the clothing with modern prints, styles and cuts. With such focus, Priyanshi worked on her start-up. Even for her internship, she worked on her own start-up, thus having perfected the strengths and assessed the weaknesses by the time she launched her unit. The path for Priyanshi was not a bed of roses. Lack of experience and practical training did put her into losses and wastage of metres of cloth.
Reaching out to people was also a task. However at this juncture, she used her entrepreneurial training. So, at every stage, I fought till I gradually felt confident. This helped her achieve creative landmarks by way of designing Khadi chaniya-cholis which got her noticed. She is also careful about not repeating her designs and places more focus on innovating. Her next innovation is Khadi Denim.
Priyanshi plans to make Khadi popular in India and abroad and is already in talks with a few companies in New Jersey, France and Europe that are interested in the distribution of Khadi wear. This young entrepreneur is all charged up and is taking small steps to success. We wish her all the best! Tiling her Success Brick by Brick. And, it is this tag that Kinjal wanted to break-free from. I was clear as to what I wanted to equip myself with and hence, surfed the internet to gather details on the syllabus of various business-related courses.
My two-year stay at EDII opened up a new world for me.
I was surprised to know the scope my family business had in terms of expansion and modification. The focus of the growth plan was on identifying strengths and weaknesses, and addressing these with forward-looking strategies to place the business on a higher growth trajectory over a period of next five years. Kinjal was now ensconced in knowledge and felt comfortable. She was determined to be the torchbearer of a business where presence of women is almost negligible.
Hundreds of families in Morbi are involved in manufacturing ceramic products but the number of women entrepreneurs in this business is negligible. Also, the manufacturing units deal directly with the suppliers and there is no retail selling. The owners of ceramic units have to deal largely with labourers, truck-drivers and suppliers.
Therefore, even if it is an established family business, parents do not encourage their daughters or sisters to join the unit. But, with the new generation of girls wanting to make a contribution, they are now joining the business although mainly in the marketing and accounts departments of the units.
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Very soon, her card bore the designation of Managing Partner - Shreeji Ceramic. Kinjal shares her card with an exuberant smile. I had joined the institute wanting to learn the nuances of family business. And, EDII not just made me competent in this area abut also taught me several other aspects related to entrepreneurship.
First and foremost, I gained immense confidence which helped me sail through every situation. Being an age-old business, certain practices had almost got embedded. To change them needed to primarily assure the promoters that these are further contemporary in outlook and will guarantee far better results. Kinjal also looked for freedom in decision-making and style of work. She did not want to get inhibited by the interference of the promoters.
I did not want such a situation in my business on account of my joining it. I was aware of some of the gaps but I did not want to impose anything on anybody too soon. I was fully aware of the repercussions of such a pressure. So, I decided to take one step at a time. All my soft-skills training at EDII was being put to test — creativity, leadership, communication skills and so on. Gradually, she introduced professionalism in business and made everybody do away with the traditional ways. Kinjal researched the ceramic tile industry, carried out a market research and pointed out how the consumer preferences had changed and that a progressive business is always the one to match steps with the market trends.
Today, her production unit produces several new varieties which is in keeping with the demand and leanings of the people. Kinjal understood the importance of innovation for a business and therefore introduced several innovations in tile designs. This was an instant hit among the consumers, and also positively impacted her company's productivity. Kinjal also technically upgraded the traditional tile-making process which was prevalent earlier, which resulted in better-finished products and in turn increased demand. In another landmark move, Kinjal ensured that in line with campaigns such as Digital India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, her organisation too adopts green and clean fuel for power sources.
Step by step, Kinjal almost turned around her family business. She not just imparted it a progressive outlook in terms of its business processes but also introduced positive modifications in technology and design. Slowly and steadily, I have made my place in the business. I learnt at EDII that if I want my suppliers to give preference to my products or buy only my products, I must take care of their needs. It is important for the manufacturer to know if the supplier is facing problems; these could be in transportation, in procuring the supply on time, etc.
Here lies the gap as generally manufacturers in ceramic industry do not involve themselves in such issues. I just identified these gaps and addressed them. I was delighted to see the results and more importantly, to see my family develop faith in me. She is working on branding Shreeji Ceramic internationally by resorting to all modern tools of marketing. She has also joined hands with another EDII student Nikita Maheshwari in developing a website for selling ceramic tiles online.
This initiative has earned rave reviews and appreciation. The colour of the tiles displayed on the website varies from screen to screen. Indian customers are still not used to buying such products online but there are ways and means which can be relied upon to address these problems. Today, Kinjal is an example for other potential women entrepreneurs and is a testimony to the fact that women can succeed in any field of their choice. Kinjal is highly confident about the technical bent of mind among women and says that with right knowledge and orientation, they can fly.
Kinjal thanks her stars for having got an opportunity to hone her skills at EDII. A second-generation entrepreneur, Kinjal has carved a niche in the domain. Today, the senior members of her family acknowledge her support and look forward to being guided by her. On a Ride to Tickling the Taste Buds.
In college, his friends looked up to him for organising events and mustering sponsorship support. My confidence instantly soared up. That was the first time the seeds of entrepreneurship were sown in me. Determined, he made another foray but unfortunately, that also met with an inglorious end. Just when Parth had given up all hopes of making it big in business, a friend mentioned that he must give himself a second chance.
Driven by passion and motivation, Parth decided to delve again but this time, certainly after equipping himself with relevant knowledge. Parth was in no two minds about undergoing a course in entrepreneurship. In fact, he had even tutored kids of India in a course on Entrepreneurship Leadership, managed by Infosys. But, only a few days into the course and I realised that the world of business was vast, its vicissitudes were perplexing and unless mastered, it was difficult to move ahead. Calculated risk-taking, business opportunity identification, project implementation and sustainability were areas that particularly caught my fancy during the course.
Parth had always been experimenting with food. He was fond of cooking and had tried his hand at it several times, simply out of interest. Ironically, Parth had also never looked at his skills from the point of making a living. At EDII, he realised he could convert his passion into a business opportunity. Parth started working on his idea. His biggest concern was to impart a unique identity to his venture. Parth began work on his business model and crystallised his plans well within the duration of the course.
I was studying all the time, thinking business or taking actions related to my plans. The process of creation had engrossed me completely. The idea did raise eyebrows initially, so we asked Parth as to how did he think about it and not a restaurant which normally would be the idea for a food enthusiast. For me, finance was a constraint and so, a lavish restaurant at a posh location was ruled out. Next was the idea of a theme-based restaurant. Parth had to reason extensively with him to get his nod.
Parth started popularising his signature drink — the jamun shots, served in an enticing glass rimmed with salt and garnished to tantalise the taste buds. This soon became a rage among all age groups and people from nearby localities started frequenting his truck, especially after dinner.
Parth was careful about giving a twist to every dish that he served. Besides shots, The Fruit Truck serves exotic fruit platters, cold-pressed and blended juices, vegan smoothies, fresh fruit shakes, and fruit desserts that are a rage among young and old alike. This was when some people copied his idea and parked trucks with almost the same products, at cheaper rates. I knew I was in a business where I would sustain even if I used sub-standard products. Gradually, people realised that what I served them was chemical-free and healthy and that is how my customers started thronging to my truck again.
He addressed this concern strategically, leading to very little wastage. Parth considers the storage facility as his biggest strength and says that because of gaps in this department, several vendors could not sustain. He smiles and is quick to add how this trade secret is his biggest blessing. He plans to diversify and capture different locations.
The squeal had already summoned Jay who welcomed us with a firm handshake. So, this was the only dream which I had always harboured. My goal was clear; I was only looking for means. Jay was a focussed student. He is good at probing ideas and scenarios. I always encouraged him to engage with the external environment and keep sourcing opportunities. The process of approaching a business which was taught to us through various means and methodologies prepared us well for our role as an entrepreneur.
After a lot of exposure and exploration, Jay settled on exploring the potential in professional logistics. Jay wanted to venture into a business based on a revolutionary model; the Uber model appealed to him. He initiated MUVR. There he discovered the adaptability of technology in logistics which provides people flexibility and convenience.
Jay replicated the UBER model into the logistics sector by providing mini truck and tempo services within fingertips, using technology. Once MUVR receives an order over telephone, application or website, it immediately contacts partner drivers and assigns vehicles. His primary clients are Big Bazaar, D-Mart, Reliance, Fresh and Hyper city; several pharmaceutical companies and organizations in the business of milk manufacturing, automobile parts procuring, in addition to FMCG companies.
So, MUVR provides both retail real-time logistics solutions using various commercial vehicles as well as enterprise dedicated fixed vehicle for delivery and supply solutions using focussed technology support. Before floating his enterprise, Jay had initiated in-depth primary as well as secondary research. Very soon, he generated a database of tempo owners and got a good understanding of the market and its demand. Jay launched the app which fetched him good response. Jay feels happy that his company has not only helped industry and other B2B platforms solve their logistics and transportation glitches via single point-of-contact using technology but has also created income opportunities for mini tempo drivers.source url
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Many of these drivers have registered a per cent growth in their income. Jay feels happy to recall how his father, an Additional Collector with the Govt. Jay is the first entrepreneur in his family. Having overcome problems of funds and thus the limitations which cropped up in his experimentations with business expansion and technology, Jay is today comfortably ensconced in confidence and determination.
Dealing with tempo drivers and educating them on the usage of smartphones and modern applications was also a challenge for him. At times, he was bogged down by negative thoughts but he is glad he has overcome them all and has found his path. With operations in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara, Jay looks ahead with a focussed vision and strategy in place. Keep walking the unbeaten path… All the best!!! The Spirit that Prevailed to Triumph. Vivek Kataruka PGDBEM Chemshel Enterprises His office bears a conspicuous bright colour which complements the broad smile on every face that we came across within the first few metres of entering.
An exuberant face greets us with a handshake. Even during school days, my essays on career goals always said that I wanted to become a businessman. Like other children whose goals changed in every standard, mine remained unchanged. But, at this stage he was slightly unsure about his business idea and did not want to join his thriving family business. A slight probe informed him that it was a course for business aspirants. Vivek appeared for the selection test and was very soon on EDII Campus, talking and observing business with mentors, experts and entrepreneurs.
Knowledge brought in confidence and my resolve turned steely by the end of the course. But, I am a self-motivated person. I would remind myself of my college days where I had founded the commerce society to promote sharing of new ideas and knowledge as well as networking among commerce undergraduates of Delhi colleges, and then devised ways to source funds and sponsors. These little reminders helped me sail through, by endorsing that I possessed the skills to succeed and lead. I strongly held onto my belief. With nothing concrete in hand, Vivek reluctantly joined his family business.
His reluctance emerged from the longing to create something of his own and he knew that his family business would give him little scope to venture into unchartered areas. For a while, he managed the Bajaj automobile dealership, a family business arm at Bankura, West Bengal and with financial assistance from family, simultaneously, in a bid to find his ground, tied up with SSI Education to offer computer training programmes. I worked under the able supervision of my father and knew how it is to run a businesses, the daily crises, the problems of employees, pressure from customers and so many issues which have to be dealt with utmost patience and understanding.
My own failure during this period, brought me closer to reality and I understood that even with all my knowledge, I needed to know several aspects while selecting and conducting a business. I was still in touch with EDII mentors and they helped me at every stage of reaching an opportunity and fighting with my emotions after a failed venture. I was also fortunate that my family completely understood my aspirations and gave me a free hand to experiment. Its high-end products needed to be exported in bulk to Europe and USA.
Vivek found the idea promising and undertook a preliminary market study which revealed a huge demand in the international market, both for shellac as well as products derived from it. He also gathered that shellac-trading desperately called for professional players who could cater to the needs of highly-professional foreign clients. The business was till now being managed in an unorganised manner and displayed huge scope for educated entrepreneurs who could understand international regulations like FDA Food and Drug Administration approvals, REACH Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals regulations, EPA United States Environment Protection Agency governance and similar regulatory compliance formalities for international trading.
Vivek did have his rounds of crises, which he primarily encountered in large-scale production of alueritic acid and ambrettolide, but gradually his understanding of the business strengthened and he undertook a three-month pilot project to manufacture alueritic acid from seedlac. So, I collected steel utensils, hand weights, filter cloths and a gas stove, and decided to implement the project in my backyard under the guidance of a scientist and a retired worker of a chemical plant in Kolkata.
Success was not easy; several bouts of failure started taking a toll on me. I had to try really hard to continue. Certain inputs and techniques proved wrong, like some metals generated adverse reactions and thus had to be removed in the subsequent trials. However, after several rounds of such trials and errors, we finally emerged successful. Vivek then visited Europe for a quick market survey of the demand. The visit was fruitful and he was convinced of setting out on the path of commercial production. He realised the happiness of prospective buyers on seeing somebody qualified, aware, educated and professional in approach in this business.
The next step was to set up an enterprise for commercial production. Convinced about its feasibility, he established Chemshel in January But, the going was not easy. Corruption proved to be a major obstacle. Sourcing finance, acquiring land and persuading elders in the family for the initiative complicated the start-up phase for him.
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The risk factor was also there but I persisted. I decided to seek bank loan. While SBI offered loan at Challenges kept surfacing and at every stage, Vivek kept relying on his entrepreneurial skills to ward them off. The major hiccups emerged from operating in a small town with poor access to skilled technicians, spares and plant, winning over customers by communicating the value of the offering, regulatory compliances and labour issues.
Purulia is a small town in West Bengal, with poor access to skilled technicians, spares and plant. Vivek hired an experienced worker who supervised and trained new workers. However, labour-related problems became his major worry which he addressed by forming a labour union and dealing directly with the leader of the union rather than dealing individually with each labour. He ensured that the workers received all legitimate benefits.
I believe that the best way of attracting returns is accepting customer orders as far as the variable cost is recovered. Till this day, I follow this. For marketing, I resorted to distribution of free samples to prospective clients. This helped me win the trust of my customers and they were assured of my quality. I also evolved the policy of delivering even an order as small as one kilogram and wait for three to four days, before inquiring about the payment terms. Our customer response time is less than half an hour even if it is merely an acknowledgment to a mail received from our customer.
Aleuritic acid is a key raw material for creating perfumery chemicals like ambrettolide and iso-ambrettolide. Chemshel has developed the competency to offer ambrettolide, a fixative which is used for perfumes and has an appealing market. As the next step, Vivek envisioned emerging as an exporter of ambrettolide and is today among the major global suppliers of ambrettolide, with exports to 20 countries.
Bringing this product in his portfolio was a strategic growth move. Being used as a food flavour and additive in nations with Jewish population, ambrettolide offered by Chemshel had to be Kosher-certified. Kosher meaning kashrut, kashrus or kashruth, denotes food that conforms to the Jewish dietary laws. Kosher certification signifies that the certified product meets Kosher requirements. Vivek ensured this landmark as well. Way to go Vivek!
Keep up this spirit. Accessorising to Make a Formidable Business Presence. A wave of exultation and jubilation swept the crowd, especially the gathering of EDII PG alumni sitting together right in the middle of the marquee, rejoiced with words of appreciation. The sound of applause reverberated in the marquee for a long time. Gaurav, a second-generation entrepreneur was never comfortable basking in the glory of his family business. Gaurav was never a frivolous child or a youth; his talks about his career and life perplexed his family. Everybody applauded him for the depth and logic in his thinking.
Gaurav had a good idea about his family business and right from the beginning, he was clear about making an indelible impact as a second-generation entrepreneur. I am so grateful to the mentors for literally holding my hand and giving me the confidence, which I consider the biggest success tool in business.
Gaurav carved a strategy which prompted enhancing production capacity and harnessing the export potential. He introduced major changes in production technology. Initially, his father was apprehensive about the move and had the inhibition that it might backfire. However, Gaurav very diligently prepared a list of pros and cons of both the existing and the suggested systems.
His father had no reason not to get convinced. Gaurav thus introduced the changes in technology, resulting in improved production and a noticeable rise in quality. This was exactly what Gaurav was looking forward to. He had targeted to raise the standards of his products and upgraded the normal technical and production practices adopted in the sector. It was a calculated risk as it involved a decent investment and the improved products also became a little dearer. Somewhere, Gaurav was convinced that his idea would fit the demands of the time and the world. Somewhere, I knew my move would generate results.
Soon, Rimtex was exporting to 56 countries, which meant that its production capacity had increased substantially to meet that kind of demand. With near-zero rejection rate, RIMTEX is today the largest manufacturer of spinning cans in the world, and has diversified to promote six different companies under its umbrella. I have some more plans and with more experience, I also have the courage to think even bigger. Progress must go on happening, no matter at what scale but I hate being complacent. This trait was instilled in me by EDII and will stay with me forever.
This mantra is my driving force. Each of his company commands the highest reputation globally and is benchmarked by competitors for its quality distinction. Gaurav loves the quote: The road to success is always under construction, and recalls how during times when he felt his moves might backfire and that he must resort to traditional methods, he kept repeating this quote to himself. So this, he says, is just a beginning, and he is now focussed on setting up two new manufacturing facilities in joint venture with overseas partners.
He garnered support from fellow members and led the alumni activities for six long years. He successfully built a legacy that is emulated by the subsequent office-bearers. Gaurav says these engagements motivate him to strive towards learning and progress. No wonder, his zeal for excellence, coupled with entrepreneurial inventiveness, has today seen him make a mark in India as also across the globe.
We are proud of you…. Let your baton soar higher and higher. Advising to Open Avenues A city which hosts premier institutes is also emerging as a manufacturing hub. A non-metropolitan city, it sure has not picked up all the threads of an entrepreneurial ecosystem yet but still offers some distinct advantages to budding entrepreneurs. The city is fast developing into a mature start-ups economy. One such story that the city wrote is of Nooruddin Bombaywala — an entrepreneur who scripted his inspiring success story from the scratch. Nooruddin was born and brought up in Indore. His father is a first-generation entrepreneur who had started his career in with a small plywood retail business in Indore.
Nooruddin was a bright student who was always setting new goals for himself. A go-getter, Nooruddin feels encouragement and endorsement could have honed his confidence and spirit of creativity, preparing him for bigger milestones early in life. I was a bright student and ranked among the top ten in most of the classes. My parents never took much interest in my school activities and so, I always felt a lack of appreciation.
I had to whip up all the motivation from within to keep targeting new goals. Despite my achievements, I grew up as a lad who lacked confidence. It was here that I gradually started getting hold of my identity. He firmly believed that education at the right place, coupled with exposure, could help him. I had joined EDII to gain knowledge and to get a degree which could land me a good job.
However, the very first few days at EDII transformed me into an aspiring entrepreneur. He wanted to study in the US to amass more exposure and learning. IT was a booming area then and he decided to do a course in the area in the hope of compensating for all the personality traits that he thought he was partially bereft of.
I received admission calls from five US universities and chose University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as it is a large public university.
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