Lessons from India’s Top 10 Entrepreneurs 1-Parvesh Agrawal
Name: Parvesh Agrawal
I started up Vinove (PixelCrayons) in the year 2004.
We are an offshore outsourcing firm focused on SME segment in the US and UK. We offer consulting and implementation services based around open source frameworks, frontend engineering and mobile.I started up Vinove (PixelCrayons) in the year 2004.
Risks and risk aversion is part and parcel of a small business. The challenge is to minimize, mitigate and learn at each step.
Currently, the risks that I feel exist for us are:a.Abundance of resources, yet lag of skilled/employable workforce: We have devised a strong T&D program internally with clear evaluation mechanisms and defined growth path for each individual in the company.
b.Knowledge base and Intellectual property management: We are in the process of implementing various software and processes to help us manage knowledge and IP.
c.Managing the weight of process formulation and implementation: Often, businesses end up wasting valuable resources on implementing processes that they may not necessarily need.We keep a clear-cut focus on implementing the minimal set of processes that we must rather than copying companies 100x our size.
Three big lessons that I have learned are:-There’s no overnight success story – It takes tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, diligence and commitment from the entire team to be able to sustain and grow.-Evolution is the key: There never was, is or will be a perfect day. Evaluate your business carefully and keep on evolving with time, rather than sticking to your own set of conjunctures. -Seek help: We wasted some of our very precious time not seeking help and trying to figure out things on our own. There are great people around who’re willing to help selflessly and help you see your own “blind spots”– speak with them and be open!
A few things really:a.Every now and then, I ask myself – “What is it that I would ideally want to do if given a chance to choose”?When I know that what I am doing is what I always wanted to do and I am doing well, it fuels the continued passion towards my work. I feel passion alignment is one of the biggest driving factors that you need and of course in due course, some motivation in form of results.b.Success stories all around including that of my father! When I see successful individuals who started on their own, and have made it big – I feel an adrenalin rush.It motivates me knowing that none of these stories could have been stories had they not survived through hardships, challenges and solved problems on their way to success.c.The jungle rule applies – “Eat or Be Eaten”. In other words, either you’re leading or you’re not. And until you’re not, you must not stop. Get up and get to work!
The role has taken many shapes and forms.At the onset, it was more of a doer as with most start ups. With not much money, hierarchies and management are only on paper. You’re pretty much doing everything on your own starting from admin to books to sales to delivery.But as time evolved, we were able to define processes, designate roles/responsibilities and expand teams, where in people are responsible and answerable for various functions within the company. My role now revolves around setup up strategic goals for the company and Global Partner Relationship management.
Advice to young entrepreneurs
I don’t think I am worthy enough to be advising fellow entrepreneurs yet.Just a learning from my own experience though –Accept criticism as if you were mining for Gold. 99% of it may be useless but then the 1%, if used right, makes it all worth it.
Use this 1% as a catalyst to fuel your pace towards realizing your dreams rather than letting it be a hindrance.
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