Meet Rajeev Kumar – A serial entrepreneur and investor who is mentoring budding entrepreneurs from all around the country.
World over, although kingdoms have turned into democratic republics, but royal families have basked in their royalty over generations.
Born in one of the oldest royal families of the world in Mavelikara district in Kerala, a prince did part of his initial schooling in UAE and completed his higher education in India. But Kerala is a not a state of Entrepreneurs. So even royals try their hands at working with Government or Corporates. Our Prince too started his career was with an Ayurvedic company SD Pharmacy where he used to look after the marketing and operations of various districts.
Unlike North Indian royal families, South Indian royal families are not that wealthy to financially support economy risking initiatives. But the prince always had a passion for entrepreneurship. So to gain an experience of studying market analysis and ways of getting capital for startups, he started enhancing his knowledge and skills in this field.
His entrepreneurial journey began in 1997 when he started a consulting firm to provide execution, consulting, and strategic planning (loyalty program), for various sectors and industries. Unable to get a proper name for his firm, he named it with his own name ‘Rajeev Kumar Consulting’. Through his firm, Rajeev Kumar gained a lot of experience in developing e commerce websites and other technology related services. At a time when internet services and websites were arriving in the Indian scene, when even a single link on the browser took quite some time to get loaded, Rajeev designed an e-commerce website. He also had to face a lot of problems with this as there was no proper internet connectivity, and effective graphics for the purpose of designing. He designed a website even before sites like ‘yahoo’ had come into the picture. Motivated by the support that he got from his mentors as well as colleagues, Rajeev initiated his own start up. In those times, the craze for developing online applications was pacing up. Realizing the need, he came up with an innovative idea of establishing an online platform where people could create web applications (sort of Cloud Computing). After the ‘.com’ boom, when IT suddenly started ruling over the minds of professionals inclined towards web technology, Rajeev used his consulting skills to make organizations aware of proper and efficient way of using IT.
He spearheaded numerous companies and mentored several startups & growth-stage companies from diverse sectors and NGOs, and also sits as a board member of many organizations. His innumerable initiatives and participation in various business ventures titled him as a SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR, and a constant supporter of fresh and new start up ideas.
When asked about the amount of enthusiasm and courage in today’s youth about entrepreneurship, Rajeev says, “It is not only about having courage. Out of my experience, I feel that every other youngster is into entrepreneurship these days because they feel that is the easiest thing to do! People don’t come up with fresh original ideas. 95% of the entrepreneurs who are engaged into start ups have copied some already existing idea with a few modifications in it.”
We wondered how does he encourage youngsters to come up with original ideas for their business ventures?
“I would say that unless one has a proper innovative idea, an effective strategy, he should not venture into business. Although there are two schools of thought about Entrepreneurship- one which says that one with an entrepreneurial mindset should start venturing new dimensions from Day 1; the other says that one should get enough work experience prior to starting a business. I support the second one and strongly recommend freshers to first get involved with some established company to get a work experience. While working, they would learn many vital aspects of business- the dynamics of a business, strategy building, market analysis, need of the customers, establishing relations with clients, understanding how the idea or the product will be used by the clients. Before venturing into startups or before designing a business plan, one should understand the above aspects” says Rajeev.
He continues: “Also, having a mentor is very important; the mentor need not be an entrepreneur, but the one who can teach or guide the fresher about aspects such as difference between corporate and ‘not so corporate’ ventures, the various aspects of sustainability, market and customer need analysis. Such mentors are hard to find, but has to search for them. I was quite lucky to have mentors to support me from the very beginning, even before I realized that the potential of entrepreneurship in me. Having a good network is also very important before venturing into startups. One should not have the assumption that sharing their idea can be harmful for them, as there are chances of it being copied. Sharing your idea to a widespread audience can give you broader dimensions of improving and furnishing it before execution. These are a few steps one should follow before venturing into entrepreneurial start ups.”
Only an experienced and visionary Entrepreneur like Rajeev, can encourage aspirants towards fresh constructive ideas and can give them the thought towards designing effective business plans.
Compiled By : Nikhil Sharma | TOC
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