Gearing up to be an Entrepreneur
01:29 - When to think of higher studies?
04:30 - Take financial loan to go abroad?
06:00 - Options without going abroad
08:50 - Is higher study my right choice?
10:28 - Opportunities in India itself
If you are thinking about being an entrepreneur soon after college then this episode is for you. Maybe, you are want to be an entrepreneur for a purpose.
Chetan is the face of purpose based entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur he has tasted all flavours of success – first being in a job and excelling in it, both in India and in the US. Then being an entrepreneur soon after college.
Chetan boils down his success mantra to ‘Do what you love, Love what you do!’. In this episode he shows you how.
He also answers questions such as
Is entrepreneurial family background a must? (8:30)
Should I join my father’s business? (9:30)
Do I need co-founders? (11:00)
Bootstrap, Organic Growth or VC Money? (11:45)
Does being an introvert disqualify me? (13:15)
Chetan has always wanted to make a difference and he has done so in healthcare in India in a big way. When computers were still an elite thing he took them to hospitals in smaller cities and towns across India. He is now a startup entrepreneur working out of silicon valley. His new company Enimorro is just coming out of stealth mode.
Welcome to the podcast Chetan!
Chetan (1:20) I appreciate for having me here.
Brij – I called you as the face of purpose based entrepreneurship and you have managed to find purpose in even grief and tragedy. If you don’t mind sharing some of that personal stuff, I want to hear from you how you went about creating constructive action for yourself.
Chetan (1:45) In a sense the gift I got from my mother is, ‘Do what you Love, Love what you Do!’
Events tragedies bombardments happen and are part of events of all of our lives. We really do not have some of them in 100% control. What you can do is based on what you have. Yes. I lost my brother Rakesh in a road accident and that resulted into Rakya Technologies. I lost my mother in multiple myloma – that kind of triggered a thought for new venture called Enimorro.
Again I come back to – it is a result of function of what you really love to do in your life. Solving access challenges in healthcare, that has been my love for the last 21 years. In the process, my mother – we lost her in multiple myloma. Then being passionate about healthcare, when I tried to dig down deep into root cause of it, I could figure out from doctors and specialists that it is due to constipation. And, my mother being an indian woman, shy, she had not disclosed to anybody and people whom she had disclosed they had not taken it very seriously.
So then came a thought, as an engineer and an entrepreneur in health tech, ‘what is it that I can do?’. That is the start of Enimorro.
I felt just put a simple mat which measures the weight with IOT sensors of weight. Measure the weight when say my mom goes inside the rest room. Comes back. And measure the weight again. See the difference. If the difference is not 300-750 grams. If it is almost negligible for months together or weeks together, then you can mark it as a constipation and then take a corrective action. That was the thought process that started. Enimorro is precisely in that direction, Brij.
Brij (4:10) – very nice. you said, love what you do and do what you love. So, obviously there is purpose and passion behind all this. If you have a sense of purpose then obviously passion finds you. But it does not happen for so many young people. They are at a loss on how to find their purpose. It is almost like a yearning. You are saying, if only I knew my purpose I would be passionate for what I am doing. Yet there are so many attractions. So many distractions. I am comparing myself to others on salary. On title. In all this, this sense of purpose or pursuit of purpose tends to get lost.
Chetan (5:00) It was the same case (for me). I too, when I joined Wipro, worked with telecom. Which is totally unrelated area. I think it happens to everybody. That is where the 2nd line comes into play. The first line is do what you love. 2nd one is, ‘Love what you do!’
As I said, events, tragedies, bombardments are part of our life and we can’t really shy away or move away from those events happening to us. You can only prepare yourself, how you want to react and that is what is the second line (is all about). Whatever comes on your way, just do it (with) full love. Give yourself there. In the process you will figure out the true love of yours.
Brij (5:50) – so there is no half hearted measure. If you doing it then you are doing it with full love. What I hear you saying is that that is the key to finding your purpose. You first bring in the passion, and purpose will find you.
Chetan – Absolutely! and that is what you have a control (on). If you are forced to do a sweeping then do it full action. That is what the ‘jhadu’ you have in your hand. Isn’t it?
Brij – Very nice
Brij 6:20 – you have always found real and compelling problems to solve. What do you do to find these opportunities?
Chetan (6:30) – in that sense I am very lucky brij. For example, Covid was a very lucky period for me. I was locked inside the room and no phone call, no noise. And myself with a book and with a drawing board and a pencil and a paper – I think if you can spend (time) very well with your own self of 24 hours a day, probably these are the bye-products of what you get out of it. When you have discovered your love, you just have to travel around the world, and then find out who will subscribe to that love and that work and what you are going to deliver. So that’s the way I put my action items, into work.
Brij (7:15) if you are able to find Covid times are purposeful and useful then definitely your actions are also saying the same thing. Chetan you engage with customers. You go to the ground. I think you try to find out what do customers really want and put yourself in their shoes.
Chetan (7:40) in Enimorro it started with basically constipation problem for my mother. Today we are not attacking that. If we try to do that then many engineering challenges. We are trying to solve to for 0-4 months baby with sensors and stuff. So emotion aspect is one thing and business takes a reality. And if you are able to swing between your love and reality, I think you will be able to balance. That is my personal experience so far.
Brij (8:10) Chetan there are some people who think they do not have an entrepreneurial family background, so it will hold them back if they try to be entrepreneurs. What is your advise to these people?
Chetan (8:30) Entrepreneurial background is not a must. It may help to some extent. But I think that the burning desire, again comes with your love. Once you fall in love, you will be ready to give anything to conquering that love. In that sense, discovering yourself and discovering where you can be happy for 24 hours and what is you would like to accomplish as a sense of accomplishment in the process. Those matter most, than the circumstances you are in. I think once you figure that out, these things will fall in place.
Brij (9:15) Chetan there are many young people who have this desire that they want to be entrepreneurs to look for a purpose. So, I am going to ask you some questions, and give me the input as you would to these young people because this is the benefit your experience that I want them to have.
Chetan (9:35) – Please!
Brij – Should I join my father’s business because my engineering education will be useful in the business or my computer science background will be useful in the business?
Chetan – if you treat your father as a father (when you are at work), you are opening a different can of worms. If you treat your father as a business partner and you have a working chemistry and a relation and if the father, even when you say no to him, if he sees you as a business partner, then it is a perfect chemistry. You can do miracle with it, with the wisdom and with the hot blood, with the new generation. But if there is a conflict and if father and the son relation or the father and daughter relation comes in between in all of your entrepreneurial or business decisions, I think the answer is very clear. Strict no there.
Brij – Very nice. If you are a daughter or son and even before you think you should get into the family business first you can see whether you can be a partner with the other family members who are in the business. If you are partners as equals, if you are treated as a voice to be heard and somebody who is also there to drive things, then Yes! it is a worthwhile thing. Otherwise, Caution!
Brij (11:00) – Should I go on my own or I need co-founders?
Chetan – You definitely need a co-founder. Entrepreneurial journey is not a solo activity. It is a team activity. You may have a vision. You may have a clarity. You got to be a captain of the ship or a team player. Solo is not an option. If you are a guy who does extremely good as a solo but not with a team, then it is not a good idea.
Brij (11:45) – Bootstrap or organic growth or VC money. These are the kind of key words you hear for funds that are required to start a business. How do I go about it in the beginning.
Chetan – The state of mind is, you are coming fresh out of college. 21 or 22 years of age. Say 27 or 28 you are going to get married. You have a clean period of 6 to 7 years. A beautiful period of your life. You have just come out of dependency. You are going to be independent. Eventually around 27 there are people who are going to be dependent on you. THis is a crucial period. Judging yourself and applying thought. I am little abstract here.
On a realistic note, it will be practically a good way to go with a good accelerator program like Y-combinator or Microsoft accelerator or Netapp accelerator programs. A good reputed (program). The key here in these 6-7 years is how well you network with people. How well you work with other people. How well you build your chemistry in the process. Wherever you can maximize that, I think you should pick that line.
Brij (13:15) – If I am an introvert or I even hesitate in asking questions or while a conversation is happening and I planning my answer and the conversation goes away somewhere else.. What do I do?
Chetan – Be what you are. Love what you do. I think that will take the path. If you are worried about extrovert or introvert. I think the noisy world creates gives the illusion that the rewards are given to people who are extroverts. Is that how it works? I don’t think so. Many of them who are quiet successful, are introverts.
Brij (13:50) – what is your advise to a younger Chetan? Suppose you are 26. What would you be telling that younger Chetan?
Chetan – What I know now, to a younger Chetan I would first tell him to build a working chemistry, build a network in the college. Be with the open mind.
I would tell younger Chetan marks and competition is very very important no doubt about it but beyond that I think the relationship what you cherish is going to be long term rewarding and I would definitely give one advise to ‘chota chetan’ is on the relationship. (laughs). On relation building. Strong relationship. And walking the talk basically. Otherwise if you can’t do it then don’t talk about it.
Brij (15:00) you earlier also alluded to the fact that entrepreneurship is a complex activity and is not a solo thing. I think, this ties in beautifully over here if you are going to have a few trusted partners with whom you don’t have to worry about anything in terms of whether they have your back or not, then those friendships that you forge in your college and in your early career are going to be possibly very valuable as you grow into your entrepreneurial journey. Is it not?
Chetan – Very true! That is where I was underlining the word relationship.
Brij (15:30) it is so true Chetan. I started by introducing as the face of purpose based entrepreneurship and you simplified it to a very simple mantra, ‘love what you do what you love’. So very very wisely and very very simply put. I thank you for that Chetan.
Chetan – THanks brij. Thank you for having me here. I appreciate.
Brij – if you like this podcast do subscribe to our weekly episodes. Please also visit www.readytowork.in for more insights on career readiness. I am your host Brij Sethi and this is the ready to work, podcast. The podcast with success secrets for the young tech professional.