STORY AND LESSONS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

After completing MBA from top 20 business school, I was happily placed in a then top 5 media company ‘P’. The initial enthusiasm and bubbly attitude was well received by our GM and was getting the extra attention that would make anyone happy.

That was exactly the reason for bootlickers and chumchas to target me. When days gone by, somehow I coudnt digest the fact that mere talent wasn’t enough to grow up in the corporate ladder.


Concentrated politics made me to resign the job backed up by the belief that top 20 business school image would fetch me a decent job in better environment.


But alas, the reality was quite contrary as I resigned my job exactly at the time of Sep 11 attack and job market was very poor and kept me jobless for a period of four months.


I decided to go to Mumbai in hunt for a job. (That was the time I experienced transgender behaviors and it was one of the popular posts here). I could hardly manage any jobs other than door to door selling which I didn’t like because I hate irritating people at wrong time.

So I decided to go back to higher studies in UK which gave me ample opportunities to mingle with multicultural people and learn the modern steps of business.

When I finished my studies there, I was 26 and I don’t want to go back to job world as I would be far behind my peers.


With the help of our university’s entrepreneurship center, I started my company ‘F’ with high hopes.


And that’s how I became an entrepreneur.

Though I was aspiring to be an entrepreneur right from my schoolhood, had I been consitantly in the job market, I doubt to have achieved that dream if not situation compelled me like this.


The initial days were very disappointing as I started this business without any basics. I did all the possible errors and I was in such a pity state that I wasn’t even able to judge why my potential customers turned their face against me.


After four years of struggling, now the business seems to be back in track. I could smell some profits. Yeeahhh.


More than profit, it’s the recognition of talent is more intoxicating. I thoroughly enjoy it.


Coming to the main part of the post, I would like to present here, couple of valuable lessons I learnt as I can see lots of MBA’s and aspiring entrepreneurs in this blogosphere.


I would definitely don’t want to term it as an advice as I hate advices. I believe advice never give freedom and make people dumb. I would like to use an alternate word ‘suggestion’. I like this word as it gives freedom to think. And also I can never assert whatever I said here is correct as I keep changing my stances often.


OK lets start the lessons.


Lesson number 1:

A mother of a successful business man went to her husband and said “Our son is now 10 years and growing older day by day. I want you to start teaching business lessons right from now so that he would be a seasoned business man in future”

Dad said “alright. Call him”


Son came with a little hesitation because of his dad’s unusual assertiveness.


Dad carried him and placed him on the top of a cupboard.


“Common son, jump from there”


“Dad, its too high and I may get myself injured if I jump from here”


“Don’t worry son, I am here to catch you. Common, jump”


Son jumped. Dad didn’t catch him. He fell flat in the floor. It was painful.


Dad said “ first lesson in business. Do not trust anyone, even if it’s your dad”

I learned this lesson in a way giving lump sum as price. Everyone in business world is after money. No one will help you if they have to make a loss. Unless the terms of business is mutually beneficial, we are certain to make loss at one point of time. Secondly, unless we have a clear system to track down the results of an individual, he will cheat us even if he is a Buddha.


Lesson number two starts here.


Unless we learn to say 'NO' to our clients, we would end up making wrong terms which would eventually push you in deep shit.


All right, anyone of you please send this piece of experience to Harvard business school. If they invite me for a guest lecture, I will throw you all a lavish party.


I think this is my first post other than social causes. I don’t know how readers would like it. So please spare some time to leave your feedback here. Your time will be respected.


51 comments:

Singh Amit said...
November 1, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Very Nice post...
An enlightening post...
Don’t trust anyone...and saying “No”... So true in business...
Not only we learn from our experiences but also from others...and really it’s gr8 to know your experiences and would hope in your other posts too...
Wish you more profit from your business...
Cheers!!

Mahesh Kalaal said...
November 1, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Hi...

Am a social entrepreneur aspirant with lots of admiration towards self made entrepreneurs. Good start and i will be looking forward to read more from your aspects and perspectives....
keep writing :)

BK Chowla said...
November 1, 2009 at 6:44 PM

From my personal experience I can certainly say that there is politics in every company and so are the Chamchas.Accept it.My philosophy has been,either join them or beat them at their own game.I did exactly that and I have been a reasonable successful executive.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy.Those who succeed are written about and those who fail are written off.
My suggestion to all your readers is ...do what you think your attitude and aptitude...but be honest to yourself,you are bound to prosper.

Bharathi said...
November 1, 2009 at 7:10 PM

@ Amit: Thanks a lot for well receiving the post. I was wondering if our regular readers would accept this business thoughts as they were used to see societal and psychological issues from me. Good that you accepted it.

@ Mahesh: Thanks a lot for your positive comment. will try to write more on this topic.

@ Chawlaji: I respect your views as a veteran's views. I agree with your viewpoint too.

pawan said...
November 1, 2009 at 7:29 PM

That was an insightful post Bharati.
I am currently at cross roads at deciding my career and Business Management is on the top of the list, well, this post can be quite useful if I ever become a manager.

Keep posts of this kind coming, as nothing can substitute experience.

Bharathi said...
November 1, 2009 at 7:33 PM

@ Pawan: Thanks for a nice comment. If at all you are choosing entrepreneurship, you should be ready to face a low life in the initial period. There were instances when we gave salary to the staffs, but I coudnt take it. All the best for your future.

Rajalakshmi Umapathy said...
November 1, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Bharathi, thanks for the advice and lessons. I loved it. I had a very serious brainstorming discussion with my dad whether to start a business or get into the corporate world. I really haven't made up my mind yet about it.. it depends on whether I get placed or not. I want to be build my own business. I have to wait and watch.. Good one and thanks again for the tip.

Sat_hi_sh said...
November 1, 2009 at 9:10 PM

Some valuable words for us Bharathi :)
Really loved this post :)

Bharathi said...
November 1, 2009 at 9:25 PM

@ Rajalakshmi: I am happy that it helped you. You can read my reply to the comment of Pawan if you like tos tart ur business. all the best.

@ Sathish: Thanks pal. nice to see you liked it.

Abdul said...
November 1, 2009 at 11:37 PM

Hi.. urs is a great blog.. been following it for quite some time.. never commented b4 though.. keep the good work..

and i'm an mtech student.. who might end up being a scientist.. well i dont mind doin business either.. but as i understand that in any field, anywhere there are people analogous to hyenas.. frankly i'm not ready for them.. i can neither cheat nor prevent being cheated.. life ud be so nice if i can remain a student, learning wat i want to in the morn and playn around in the eve.. haaaaah

Abdul said...
November 1, 2009 at 11:37 PM

Hi.. urs is a great blog.. been following it for quite some time.. never commented b4 though.. keep the good work..

and i'm an mtech student.. who might end up being a scientist.. well i dont mind doin business either.. but as i understand that in any field, anywhere there are people analogous to hyenas.. frankly i'm not ready for them.. i can neither cheat nor prevent being cheated.. life ud be so nice if i can remain a student, learning wat i want to in the morn and playn around in the eve.. haaaaah

Vipul Grover said...
November 2, 2009 at 1:12 AM

Hey.. gr8 2 know sm prsnl stff about u bharathi :)
Well, the post ended abruptly.. i hop its jst a beginning nd we'll get 2 read mor suggestions nd insights.. keep thm cuming :)

Vipul Grover said...
November 2, 2009 at 1:14 AM

@chowlaji.. u've added a very nice dimension 2 this post!

soin said...
November 2, 2009 at 1:46 AM

the best entrepreneurs i have been seeing have learned more from experience.. this month i start writing all my mba exams...i feel the indian mba is quite flawed in the sense that guys like me without any bussiness knowledge will end up having a theoretical knowledge..end up responsible for some guys and fuck it up..and its nice to know your talents and belief are seeing the rewards..and u did door to door??lol.figure yeelam sightu adicheengala...free

Surya said...
November 2, 2009 at 3:27 AM

Lesson No 2: I learnt this lesson working in the UK for good few years, and I believe that this is something that everyone of our Indians should learn....'coz it's worth it.

Thanks anna, good one!

Surya

Vishnu said...
November 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM

actually.. i liked this post.. the story was pretty good.. u inspire me to prepare for cat.. but as u said.. experience is the best teacher..

Bharathi said...
November 2, 2009 at 9:58 AM

@ Abdul: Nice to see you comment here and happy to know you follow this blog regularly. Hope I would meet your expectations in next coming post. Even though we arent ready for the hyenas of this world, at one point of time we need to face them. I would suggest you to be ready for this. All the best for your future.

@ Vipul mams: I purposefully kept this lessons short because I want the readers to think over it. At the moment I dont have a plan for next post but I am sure will knock when something lingers my mind. And yes Chawlaji has added a very good practical aspect.

@ Soin: What you said about MBA is very true. and that is the reason why many dont like MBA guys. Yeah I tried door to door for couple of days. I didnt like it. Figure ellam illa. aana en koda vantha trainer than sema figure. Thats the reason why I extended it for two days. or else I would have cut it in a day ;-)

@ Surya: Yeah u r right. Today I have to say No to one of the obligations raised by the client. I know if I say yes, he would suck my blood :-)

Bharathi said...
November 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM

@ Vishnu: I am glad that you liked this post. preperation for CAT itself a good experience. All the best.

Shankar said...
November 2, 2009 at 10:56 AM

That was a very nice post... and the story of dad and son was really good... nice lesson.. let the future business people learn from this.. throw on more lessons to them.. it might be useful...

Bharathi said...
November 2, 2009 at 11:12 AM

@ Shankar: Thanks Shank. I am glad you liked it. Will write more if I feel like sharing.

Lakshmi Rajan said...
November 2, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Nice post!

The satisfaction you get being a self-made man is wonderful! Cheers for your decission to be one! Since childhood , I hate being working for someone and took a decission earlier my life to be a self made man. Ofcourse, monetarily I might have made more if I had worked but then my free will is not curbed and I value it very much. It also gives an xtra responsibily and good feeling when you know your decission to be self-made creates job for others.

And yes, I have fallen many a times and still learning to walk but I am sure to walk and run :)

Bala said...
November 2, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Gr8 post! Indeed gr8 lesson you have learnt and shared with us!!

It's really a tough art to learn to say NO... But it's one of the must learn in the field of business..

Envy on you.. Coz I'm also a man who was wanted to be an entrepreneur from my childhood... But still lingering in the world where I'm paid monthly...

Bharathi said...
November 2, 2009 at 12:37 PM

@ Lakshmi Rajan: One more thing that keeps me staisfied about being a self made man is that I can frame my own culture in the organisation. I dont have to adapt to the bootlicking culture that prevail outside. I am happy to know that you are a self made man. congratulations and all the best for you to run fast :-)

@ Bala: Happy that you liked this post. I know its really tough to say NO. but if I say yes for something that I shouldnt, then I would yearn loss. I got it once and that heat is enough for me I think :-)

Shruti said...
November 2, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Bharathi
Read it for the second time! Lovely post yaar! Even i wanna be an entrepreneur! I planned to do MBA in IIM and wanna start a business! wanna encourage new and fresh talents! I have so many ambitions! But don't know when am gonna fulfill my wish!
Totally different post from you! Loved those nuances very much :)

Cheers!

Rachana Shakyawar said...
November 2, 2009 at 7:01 PM

@ Bharathi
Beautiful post!

You have shared a very enriching experience and must be shared with all the students in college and other higher studies. This shall give them a chance to learn from the experience and stop by a second and have much stronger grip over their alternatives and decisions made in life.

Keep Rocking!

Attitude tees said...
November 2, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Even though I'm a successful entrepreneur, I know I always have more to learn. Continuing to get ideas from new people and learn helps me stay successful. What lessons about entrepreneurship can you share?

Sid 'Ravan' Kabe said...
November 2, 2009 at 7:30 PM

dude totally got ur point and back it up... one more point i need to add to your tips...never every belive in anyone...not even ur own blood...:D

Ossum...:D

edsley said...
November 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

very right about the 'saying no' to clients!

Bharathi said...
November 3, 2009 at 9:49 AM

@ Shruti: Happy that you liked it. All the very best for your future.

@ Rachana: Thanks a lot for your nice comment. At them moment I dont think it deservers more publicity. may be once I am satisfied as a successful business man, I can try spreading the message. Thanks a lot for your faith.

@ Attitude tees: I agree. I think you have shared a valid point here. Thanks.

@ Sid: :). Thanks pal. I am happy that you liked it.

@ Edsley: welcome to this blog. am happy that this point impressed you. Keep visiting.

Shankar said...
November 3, 2009 at 7:18 PM

hey bharathi.. why dont you reduce your font size??? I feel its too big my friend....

Bharathi said...
November 3, 2009 at 9:09 PM

@ Shankar: i thought it would be easy for you guys to read.

Kamal said...
November 5, 2009 at 7:43 AM

Hi anna... Althou i kept watchin yor posts i couldn comment on other posts.. but somthin strikes me in tis 1.. I loved it vry much and i hope tat periappa wouldn hav don as mentiond in lesson1 and surely it is only to reveal truth.. keep updatin yor experience here so tat i could get som help from it when i gonna start ma new business aftr yrs..
And moreover wat u said abt 'concentrated politics in corporate world' is very existin 1 nowadays..

Bharathi said...
November 5, 2009 at 1:03 PM

@ Kamal: Nice to know that you want to be an entrepreneur. But you should understand that it isnt very easy. You should be ready enough to face the grim world with thick skin along with hard financial troubles that would be a part of the business in the intial four years. All the best.

Reg your periappa, he doesnt teach anything on business but I did lean a lot of invaluable lessons in handling people from him. (especially those irritating ones)

Chetan said...
November 5, 2009 at 7:29 PM

one should know how to say no,
i don't know, but i am trying,as it has already caused big problems in my life ( not a professional)
taking about business, you are right money the biggest thing

The Survivor said...
November 5, 2009 at 10:32 PM

Good to see that you made your mark.

The education system is flawed, no wonder experience teaches us much better than what we learn through the books!!

Bharathi said...
November 6, 2009 at 9:08 AM

@ Chetan: Saying 'no' is little difficult. One trick to do it is, be ready to loose and analyze the pros and cons correctly. Thanks for commenting.

@ The survivor: Thanks pal. Very true. The education is insufficient in life.

rohini said...
November 6, 2009 at 3:11 PM

First timer here..

Informative post.Thanks for sharing your experiences.
All the best with your work.

Ron

Bharathi said...
November 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

@ Rohini: welcome to this blog. I am gald that you liked it. Keep visiting/ commenting. Thanks.

Asit Dhal said...
November 7, 2009 at 12:27 AM

I didn't know that you are an entrepreneur . I know that entrepreneur are risky, lucky and talented people.

In today's world, no one should be trusted..because everyone mayn't be an entrepreneur, but many are after money.

great lessons....good to find u in my blogroll.

Zanil Hyder said...
November 7, 2009 at 8:48 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zanil Hyder said...
November 7, 2009 at 8:50 AM

your suggestions are really good and i have learned them the hard way, i did not come across your post during those days.

www.zanilhyder.info

Bharathi said...
November 7, 2009 at 10:45 AM

@ Asit: You dont believe I am risky, lucky and talented? Ohh sad. You are true on everyone are after money. Beware of some people who are after those who have money.

@ Zanil: Happy to see another fellow entrepreneur. It is better to lean in hard way than easy as it stays long if we learn it hard.

Madhu | INDImag.com said...
November 7, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Bharathi,
Loved the post. I'm glad life accorded you a second chance and you made good use of it. But unfortunately everyone is not so lucky. I would want to re-iterate what Mr.Chowla said , politics is omnipresent and so are brown-nosed chamchas.

At the end of the day, it boils down to trade-offs and how it applies to every individual : Do you want the security of a job vs the risks of going solo (that could fetch rich profits) ? Can you run a company ? Can you garner funds ? How much of a risk can you take ? and on and on..

I'm sure I'm preaching the choir here, but .. :-)

Bharathi said...
November 7, 2009 at 2:05 PM

@ Madhu: You very practically summed it up. Thanks a lot pal.

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soin said...
November 7, 2009 at 3:29 PM

lol u talk about marketing and u get a viagara spam..

Bharathi said...
November 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

@ Soin: LOL. I think I need to bring the word verification on again.

Chandra said...
November 7, 2009 at 11:03 PM

nice writeup. though I do not have any degree from any top b-schools, I did leave my job a couple of years ago. I worked as a software engineer for two years and then left it :)

true, politics are everywhere. and office politics are worst to handle. talent is not enough to climb the corporate ladder no matter where you work.

good luck with your plans... may you smell more profits in the coming days...

Bharathi said...
November 8, 2009 at 12:48 PM

@ Chandra: Welcome to this blog. Thanks for commenting. I am happy you understood this well.

chennai girl said...
November 20, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Hii , came through blog hopping. U have a nice blog. Iam a CA by profession but an entrepreneur. Iam also learning my lessons the hard way. The story especially was beautiful

Bharathi said...
November 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM

@ Chennai girl: Thanks a lot for your comment. I am glad that you liked it. All the best for your business.

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