ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

The first episode of the Webisode Series, Season 2 has received a tremendous response for all the right reasons. One of the highlights of the webisode “Is Your Next Generation of Your Family Entrepreneurial Enough?” has been the Q & A section. This section of the webisode allowed students and aspiring entrepreneurs to pose questions to the guest Shri Devendra Surana, industrialist, economist, Managing Director of Bhagyanagar India Limited.

Here are the highlights of the Q & A Section:

Pranav Ashar: What are some habits that you’ve picked up in the entrepreneurial experience that has helped you make the right decisions in your professional career?

Mr. Surana: To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to listen a lot. When we become bosses, we tend to tell more than listen. After listening, you need to question. You can delegate work to people by just asking the right questions.

Mr. Surana: The businesses today have a small shelf-life. Things have to change very fast. There is a thought process in youngsters that I have to change the way things are. My take is that we have so much experience with our parents. Even today, whenever I want inspiration, I think about what is the question my father would ask me in this situation. So, you don’t need to change what is there. You only need to add on to it. Just going online is not going to change how things are already running. Disintermediation is a very simple trend that’s in business – whether we like it or not, the manufacturers are going to go to the consumers. You need to see where value can be added to the business.

Kirti: Do you recommend students drop out of school and pursue their entrepreneurship journey?

Mr. Surana: I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re confident in continuing your learning lifelong without formal education, then do it. A successful entrepreneur has a serious thirst for learning especially in today’s world when everything is changing so fast. When you give up your formal education, your learning should increase and it can be focussed towards your area of specialization.

KirtiV: How did you feel when your kids shied away from the family business and what would you tell parents who have children who don’t wish to be part of the family business?

Mr. Surana: My son wants to join the family business. My daughter wanted to do fashion designing and that’s her call. I would be neutral. I would neither encourage nor pull them. It is a choice that the child has to make using their own thought process. You may think that it’s easier to start your own business but everywhere there are problems. From my son’s point of view, if he joins my business he has a readymade platform as I had when I joined my father’s business. My struggle became less and a lot of gates opened up.

NiyathiVarma: How can we recognize at a young age whether we should pursue an entrepreneurial journey or focus on studies more?

Mr. Surana: I’d say focus on your studies. To take up an entrepreneurial journey, you need to have passion because nobody succeeds the first time. I don’t want to discourage the budding entrepreneurs here but be very clear that in an entrepreneurial journey, you need a lot of passion, perseverance, and a lot of donkey work also. Life is not a bed of roses where you become an entrepreneur and it becomes a story. Every instance of success has ten years of hard work which is never talked about.

KritikV: I have many new ideas, like a new manufacturing technique or an innovative app. What methods would you use to filter out viable and better ideas to start a business?

Mr. Surana: If you want an Earth-changing idea, you need to see that your idea increases the profitability and productivity of your customer. For that, you must use a lot of technology which is available in the world. Boring businesses are more profitable than the glamourous ones. Businesses like show business or airlines are a lot more lossmaking and competitive as compared to a business like housekeeping or something that reduces the drudgery of your customers.

KritikV: What are the key attributes that are needed in an entrepreneur?

Mr. Surana: Passion, perseverance, hard work. I think these three are more important than what people would give credit for like education and IQ. Perseverance is probably the most important. I would also add a fourth quality which is the risk-taking ability- to take that leap of faith.

This Webisode was truly enriching and inspiring to students, parents, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

You can watch the entire webisode here. https://www.facebook.com/metamorphosisedu/videos/783919022370037

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