Entrepreneurial alumni from IMT-G offer sound advice on starting out on your own

 

Keep your entrepreneurial instincts alive and go for it - that’s the advice two Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad alumni have for budding entrepreneurs.

In a recent interview, Amar Wadhwa, the Executive Director of CrystalEyes and Ishita Swarup, Co-founder and CEO of 99labels outlined their views on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and why IMT-G students should consider it.

Amar, who gave up a secure position as a top executive in an MNC, said he did so because he believes “in this era of high growth that India is going through, there are enough and more opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive on. Also, the only significant difference is that what I did for a salary earlier, I do so for a fee now - but I do so on my terms!”

Ishita, who said the challenges for women entrepreneurs are no different than those for men, said “We face long hours, longer gestation periods, lack of money, lack of resources, and many frustrating times. It’s a rewarding journey, but not necessarily an easy one. For women specifically, it becomes more complex and challenging because a lot of us also manage a house and children at some point in our career.”

“On the other hand” she said, “if I compare it to the corporate world, personally speaking, I find it easier being an entrepreneur because I face no glass ceilings. I set the limit to my enterprise and no one else gets to decide how far I can go.”

Both seem to agree it’s a personal decision whether one should start out on their own right from college or gain industry experience first.

“Whenever the fear of failure does not faze you,” said Amar, noting one should have a higher risk-taking capacity.

While Ishita believes the earlier you become an entrepreneur the more time you have to experiment and learn from mistakes, she added “with industry experience comes a certain maturity and understanding at someone else’s expense and you do have access to networking which holds you in great stead. The essential ingredient is an idea and the passion to translate that into reality. The timing is a very personal decision.”

Persistence, innovation and the ability to be a micro-manager while having a long-term vision are the three most important traits needed to survive as an entrepreneur Ishita believes, while Amar stressed the need to be committed to your goals.

“Set milestones and track your progress,” he said. “Keep refining your processes as you go along. Keep your entrepreneurial instincts alive at all times. You never know when a big destiny-changing opportunity will come your way.”

The time to make your move, said Ishita is when “the time is right, the environment is right, the infrastructure is available in terms of seed money, mentors, incubation centers” and then you should just do it.