There are startup founders who turn an idea that they dreamt of into success and then there are those who take a step even further to ease the roadblocks that they earlier faced on their path to success, so as to help the future entrepreneurs.
"Make the Move" book is one such attempt by Ishan Gupta & Rajat Khare to demystify the world of entrepreneurship.
Intrigued? Keep reading to see what Ishan Gupta says on entrepreneurship, the book and more...
1. The tag line of your book "Make the Move" says Demystifying Entrepreneurship. We're obviously intrigued. Could you give us a synopsis of your book? How does it help demystify entrepreneurship for someone trying to succeed as an entrepreneur?
"Make the Move" is a book written for fellow entrepreneurs. Starting with inspiring words from the President of India to young visionaries, to Sabeer Bhatia's foreword, the book leads the reader to a stimulating start of dreams being turned into reality. It defines the basics of entrepreneurship and what the big word actually means and how to motivate yourself to start your own venture.
In the second part of the book, I've interviewed outstanding entrepreneurs including Arjun Malhotra, Ashish Soni, Mohit Burman, Nikhil Nanda and Patrick Turner to reveal the motivations for their success. An important point I kept in mind was to use reader friendly words and plain and simple English. The book talks to the reader and explains the little mistakes that they're bound to make and how to avoid them.
2. We believe that there is a story to be told behind everything, including this book. Could you please share with us the motivation and the story behind you authoring a book? Also, why the name "Make the Move"?
Good question. I love these three little magical words. There's a lot of power behind them. My motivation came from my experiences of the corporate world at an extremely tender age. I realized that you don't have to be 35 to start your own company or have crores of rupees at your disposal. Yes these things are important eventually, and if you have them in the beginning, they can perhaps smoothen the ride a little. But hard work, self confidence and a belief that you can do it - are also essential ingredients for a successful venture. And there's no time like the present. If you've got the idea and the drive to push it through, there's very little that can stop you from achieving your dream. You just got to Make the Move!
3. What is it that you consider to be special about your book? Is it targeted at only Indian entrepreneurs?
The road to entrepreneurship is the same anywhere in the world. They all face the same basic road blocks. Of course the book has been written with the Indian readers in mind, but the concepts can be applied anywhere.
4. Is this your first book? If not, what other books did you author?
This is my first book, yes. I've realized that knowledge and learning is meant to be shared with others. Even if it is through my own mistakes. If I can help someone avoid them, then why not? I've learnt a lot from fellow entrepreneurs. I've spent a lot of time reading about others and how they have fallen but always managed to get up. Sure I learnt a lot of lessons the hard way, but avoided a good number by simply watching and learning from others.
I've already started working on my second book. However at this point of time, I can't disclose information on it.
5. Did the book already hit the bookshelves in India and International markets or is it yet to be launched?
The book is now available at all leading bookstores and in all major cities across India. It was recently showcased at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany as well.
6. What kind of feedback did you receive so far? How well is the book being received?
During the seminars I gave at colleges around India, I was pleasantly surprised to see the thirst for knowledge, practical knowledge. I knew the book would do well among the young audiences from that time itself. So yes, it has been received quite nicely. The feedback has been very positive.
7. Could you tell us more about yourself and the co-author? What else are you involved with currently?
My co-author, Rajat Khare and I are childhood friends. We went to the same school and then did our college studies the same time, but from different colleges. Currently, I am involved in setting up a business unit for Quantum Hi-Tech Merchandising Private Limited. Quantum is India's one of the leading IT Hardware manufacturing companies.
8. Were you holding any other jobs/managing any startups before? Your previous experiences etc.? Are you both based in India?
No, I was not holding any other job before Appin Knowledge Solutions. Infact, the company was started by us when we were pursuing our engineering degrees.
9. Few of our readers indicated interest in learning how to go about taking an idea from concept to inception. So, could you please share with us some tips from your experiences?
I feel ideas can either be common or uncommon. Now if they are common, then there will certainly be people trying them out. If the idea is uncommon and you start it, and it hits off, it will anyways be tried by more people. So it's best to take the idea and aim for the inception and make sure that you do it and do not stop before you have done it. Make sure you do your proper planning before the execution. Think them through totally.
10. What's on your mind for the future?
I am enjoying my new role as the Business Head for Corporate Gifting Division at Quantum. An MBA should be on the cards sometime in the future.
11. What are some of the challenges you encountered while writing/publishing this book?
Be it the book or running a company, the biggest challenge is the execution of the project. That was the same with the book. It was sometimes difficult to divide time between college, the company and writing the book. But we continued and made sure to take it through.
12. In your experience, what has been the most effective way to market a business? Also, what do you think would act as a catalyst to drive startups (especially in India) towards success?
I think the use of technology is really a critical factor in today's time and age in India. With technology throwing up solutions for mass campaigns as well as specific campaigns, I feel marketing will be effective and complete, only if technology has been properly used.
13. What is your take on increasing number of startups in India?
I am happy to see it. When I met the President of India earlier this year, he commented that even if one of every fifty startups did good in India, it would generate so much of employment that it would lead to a turn around for India. I strongly believe in it and hope that the entrepreneurs behind these startups continue to work hard and overcome their obstacles.
14. Do you have any personal advice/suggestions for current/future entrepreneurs?
There will be days and there will be moments in those days, when you will feel "Why? In what moment of madness did I start this venture?" At such a time, just keep control of yourself and let that moment pass. If you feel that the situation is overpowering you, go to your mentor and tell him/her to get you out of it. Believe me, the day will get over and the next day will be much better.
15. On a personal front, who is your role model? Also, which websites do you read often?
I do not believe in role models. But I have my mentors in various fields to whom I speak with regularly. They help me see a clearer picture and ensure that I do not lose my focus.
I don't get too much of time to read newspapers the traditional way - so it's mostly news websites for me. I need to keep myself updated with all that's happening around the world.
16. How did being an book author/entrepreneur affect your lifestyle? How do you get to manage multi-tasks? Do you get enough time for yourself/family?
Multi tasking is an important quality to have in today's time. You just can't do without it. Yes, I give family and myself the top priority and ensure that I get to spend enough time with them. It's difficult to find time for oneself many times. So I try to enjoy the drives across the city with nice soothing music. I make that my time in spite of the heavy traffic that Delhi has.
17. Our final question, one thing that you love the most?
I love the human spirit of doing things again and again till they are complete.
18. What is the question you would like to answer and still nobody asked you?
That one question is "How do you know that you are making the right move?" and my answer to that question would be - when you make a move, your heart, your mind and your soul are in sync with each other you can feel what you are doing is correct. Until some time back, I always wondered what people meant when they said "listen to that little voice inside of you". Now I understand what that means. It's that little voice inside your head that will tell you that the step you are about to take is correct or not. You have to pay real good attention to your own thoughts. A lot of times it is those thoughts that give you clarity and therefore peace of mind.
What are you waiting for if you already know what you need? Every moment can be a golden moment. Make the move, NOW!