The presence of a mentor ensured that these founders had solution to problems that arose during their entrepreneurial journey
The journey of an entrepreneur is long and arduous. It is a solitary path which everybody, who is aspiring to become an entrepreneur, has to tread. In such cases, mentor is someone who guides and helps the person find purpose and direction.
These three successful entrepreneurs running multi-million start-ups owe to their respective mentors.
Aye Aye Coach!
Deepak Singh Ahlawat, founder and CEO of Purple Quarter, says there are countless instances when the words of his mentor have shown him the way.
“He once said, ‘CEO is a coach, not the captain of the ship’. These words have carved my entrepreneurial journey and shaped my leadership style,” says Ahlawat. These words, he shares, have allowed him to see the game being played from a distance, providing an eagle-eye perspective that other players participating in the game might lack. “To translate this into business terms, I would say that it helps me empower my core team to be self-sufficient and guide them towards the end goal with clarity.”
Letting go of people within the organization is also a hard pill to swallow for a leader. Ahlawat’s mentor also taught him on how to overcome this conflict, “Most leaders can’t make a swift decision when people from their company plan to leave. My mentor gave me a gauge to navigate through these situations. I would gather the faculties of my mind, by asking if I will ever rehire the person. If I think I will, then I would invest my energy in working out the differences that caused the rift.”
Human Connection Counts
Since business is all about chasing numbers, valuations, revenue, profit, etc., it becomes easier to function in a mechanical manner and miss out on the humane side. Milan Thakkar, CEO B2C Business of Walplast India, shares his mentor taught him that it is the human connection that wins in the game of business. “My mentor told me that it doesn’t matter who is doing the selling or who is doing the buying; it’s the human connection that counts.”
This piece of advice inspired Thakkar to make a personal bond at every level of the company and not treat everything like a mere transaction. He also adds, “This holds good for all stakeholders who are part of an organization’s growth trajectory.”
Purpose & Commitment
For Ranga Reddy, co-founder and CEO of Maveric Systems, a “four-point guideline” from his mentor in his former years has helped him establish his core of entrepreneurship.
“The advice helped me grow my company and also establish myself as a professional.” The four points that has kept him going all these years are:
-Don’t start a venture just because you are bored with what you are doing currently.
-While there are many opportunities that present themselves it is important to choose one that is in line with what you can act upon and create a long-lasting impact.
-The team that you are going to work with on this opportunity is more important than the opportunity itself.
-Finally, unless you can commit five-six years of your time in growing and nurturing this opportunity do not venture out in doing anything else.