Interview with Soch India Magazine

Mr. Rajeev Narang has been a witness and a part of many such journeys through his consulting, mentoring, and collaborating with entrepreneurs. Today, we talk to him regarding his experience of working with young entrepreneurs, in his experience of more than three decades.

Soch India (SI): Mr. Narang, please tell us about your journey with Young Entrepreneurs
Rajeev Narang (RN): I would like to begin by saying that I have been lucky to have worked with hundreds of young entrepreneurs in my professional life and I have gained a lot of learning from each one of them.
I have been able to stay young because of them as they are full of energy and they are bustling with ideas.

SI: What, according to you are the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur?
RN: First of all, I would like to make it clear that everyone has their own definition of success. But generally, success could be gauged based on the revenue, profits, brand value created, employment generated, and what one is doing for society. Also, we must remember that every entrepreneur comes from a different background. I have worked with those who came from business families, trying to expand or diversify. And then there were a few who were first generation entrepreneurs, trying to build a business around an idea.

But one thing was common, they all had passion, they all had something to rove and they all wanted to change the way businesses work. The key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, that I would like to mention are: Passion, Clarity of goals, they are good planners, they are confident and possess leadership qualities, they are risk-takers, and innovators and they are open to learning and upgrading themselves.

SI: We have seen businesses failing or not reaching the desired goal that they started off with. What could be the possible reasons?
RN: Being an entrepreneur is no cake-walk, it needs a lot of perseverance and a never-quit attitude. Let us not forget it involves money. It is a complex matrix and it is not everyone’s game. I don’t mean to discourage anyone, but then we have got to be sure.

What possibly goes wrong with the failing businesses, could be losing any of the characteristics that I just mentioned earlier. But generally, businesses fail when our focus shifts from our goal or the financial health of the company are not good or when we don’t focus on profits, or we don’t have our pipeline always full. There can never be one reason that we can isolate , It is always a combination of things that don’t work.

SI: So, if you really have to give your top 5 Success Mantras to budding Entrepreneurs, what would be those?
RN: The businesses are different; the backgrounds are different but the basic principles of running the businesses are the same at the core for all. And they are not just five, there are many success mantras that
an entrepreneur needs to follow at different stages of the journey.
Let me share the 5 ‘must-practice’ Mantras with you:

  1. Never give up Learning: I have seen many who, after getting some success, give up on learning. In the technologically changing world, one needs to upgrade themselves to match up. It is not true only for those
    who are in IT-based businesses, where technology changes almost on daily basis. One must adopt new ways of running businesses, and that is what I have done all my life while working for different industries.
  2. Don’t expect instant success: You are baking an exotic cake, not instant 2-minute noodles! The ingredients have to be of good quality, mixed in the right proportion, whipped for a long time to get their fluff, and then baked at a very high temperature to get their taste, color and aroma. Just like a business. One can’t miss the grind, there will be turbulences.
    There will be times when there will be no orders in hand, or the payments will take time to come, people mismatch, service concerns, and what not. The graph of business will behave the same way as your
    heartbeat, the ups, and downs. One has to go through this process, so the mantra is not to be in hurry to achieve success; Stay on.
  3. Stick to your ‘Why’: Always remember your goal and keep reminding yourself of it every time you are taking any important decision. It also allows one to stay focused on the goal and vision that the entrepreneur
    started with. I have seen businesses taking up too many things on hand to achieve success. But the need for speed always distracts from the goal.
  4. Action is better than Hope: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want people to give up on hope. But I want them to be ‘Doers’ than ‘Dreamers’. Success happens to those who get up and arise and take action. They are the ones who don’t take anything for granted or keep boasting of past achievements, they focus, they enhance their skills and they take action. Whatever it takes.
  5. Create more leaders: Being on the top makes one feels like a King, and the King always wants followers, and more followers, many of them. But that is not what successful entrepreneurs do; they create more leaders. I have seen in promoter-driven companies, the control and the decision-making at the top. All decisions are taken by the entrepreneurs themselves, keeping them busy in daily, routine activities. They get so occupied that they are unable to focus on growth, and they work for long hours, which at times impacts their personal life and health. Therefore,
    entrepreneurs have to learn to develop their next set of leaders who would take care of functions so that the Entrepreneur can focus on business growth, new ideas, and new plans.

SI: What has been your success mantra?
RN: I would like to sum it up in three words – Collaborate, Create, Celebrate. I am a strong believer in collaborations, as they synergize ideas to create
amazing solutions, businesses, teams, brands, and value for the World. And then I don’t forget to celebrate, both successes and failures. As it is said, failures are experiences and one must celebrate when one gets new experiences.

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