5 things to think about if Entrepreneurship is your next best choice!

There are many things people think before taking the big step. So here’s a few from our 3 years of this crazy journey:

1. REASONS

Every reason that makes you do things, that makes you be who you are, that makes you think and re-think comes into play here. Your reason to be an entrepreneur should convince you every time you think about the “why?”.

Our reasons to do this range from “Proving a point!” all the way to “This is it and nothing else matters”

Reasons are important because no matter the journey, you are always convinced to stick to this decision and make things happen.

2. ECO SYSTEM

Majority of Entrepreneurs thrive on an eco system either created by them on their own or somethings that gets handed over to them over a period of time. Your eco system is not just a medium to get your work done or generate revenue but a bigger reality that defines who you are as a person. This reality will impact your working style, leadership methods, product innovation, network strength and above all how you choose to live your life.

Think about the eco-system you already have around you if you were to enter a certain industry.

Our Eco System represents a large number of friends turned entrepreneurs/clients/vendors who live as one big happy family making sure everyone is always motivated and happy.

3. COLLABORATOR/PARTNER

We feel this to be the most important of all things to think about. On a personal front, you’re partner will either compliment you or oppose you. On a professional front, your partner will either always work with you or do his/her own thing. Different business models require different combinations. There is no wrong or right combination here, but the most important thing to think about is the one person you want should walk with you for the rest of your life.

At Phaze Experience, we are a strange lot. Everyone is a close friend and well wisher. On professional fronts, we do what we love, we work together when we want, we wander off to distant lands by ourselves but we all know we are in it for life!

4. SURVIVAL INSTINCT

“Imagine, you’re lost in a forest. Predators out to get you everywhere, every step you take makes you feel even more lost, the days are extremely hot and nights are extremely cold, you have no water or food around you.”

How strong is your will to fight back!

Once you’re an entrepreneur, life will take you on broken roads to many beautiful destinations. Your instincts are your strongest weapons and this is a very challenging journey.

5. OBSERVATION

I read somewhere the best tactic in war is to “Keep quiet, stand back and observe everything, strike when ready!”

Wishing you all the very best! Go and kill it!

Living in another world in Delhi!

The last 2 weeks there have been 6 days that I have felt I have been taken to another world in Delhi. We have all heard about  this area before but I don’t know how many have actually visited the interiors of it – Badarpur anyone! That is where the violet line of the Delhi Metro ends by the way! Well I had to visit this area for an activation for Vitingo – an orange flavoured vitamin drink that is distributed by our clients Project Dharma (http://www.dharma.net.in/)

The first thing that hit me was the sheer size of the area, I never knew that Badarpur is hugeeeee! to say the least. There are areas inside it like Meethapur, Molarband and Sai Nagar which  have a population of over 15 lakhs. Another thing that I got to know and was surprising (in a good way) was that people other than their basic Roti , Kapda and Makan did not have shortage of electricity and  water in that area. This considering that so many of my friends in Gurgaon have a problem with these amenities but then I guess the major population being blue collared employees and daily wage earners do count as a major vote bank for the politicians.

Past two weeks have been an intense experience for me and my team conducting these activations. It’s given me an understanding and experience of how to sell in Hindi and I never thought that it would be so tough, what a retailer would think before keeping a certain product at his shop and I’m guessing some considerations would be very similar in the colonies we live in, the conditions that our maids or drivers live in and how we can help them. This experience becomes even more interesting and fun because of the Student Ambassadors that are helping us to conduct these activities. It’s great to see them take out time from their regular life and volunteer towards impacting the society at the base of the pyramid/

A friend who I was discussing this project with said, what you are doing seems very similar to what an MBA from an IIM would do if he joined an FMCG company in his 1st 3 months. Well I would like to believe that and also hope it serves as a great experience for our ambassadors.

Mannan Abrol

Steps

Step by step approach, one last step to scale, one last step to success. Three simple things always buckling at the back of an entrepreneurs head. And then comes a sudden extra 20 kg’s of weight added to the same buckle playing the usual devils advocate and asking you What step to take now?

We may not be as usual as any start up given the work done and heritage built in the last 7 months of our existence but now its reached a stage where the big questions gets highlighted almost everyday. So once a start up has acquired basic credibility and a fairly good operating budget, what is the next big step to take. Is it a bigger step to hire or build an even wider range of services which encapsulate an end to end solution or is it to keep going the way we’re going.

For the bigger accidental billionaires, the next step was a highly risky and one crazy step that took to quickly scale up and emerge into their respective competitive scenarios. So what could be that next step for our Perception & Experience Design Company today?

 

Abhimanyu Tewari

Are you getting your daily dose of…

Manipulation -the word has been stuck with me since my college days, not like I din’t know the meaning earlier but I experienced or actually realized that it is so prevalent in our day to day activities during college. I have seen all kind of adjectives added to negate the negative connotation that the world has  – positive manipulation, one time manipulation, productive manipulation (ever used or heard one of these)

Frankly I don’t understand the ‘shuh shah’ around it, isn’t everyone manipulating everyone in some regard any which way. The marketer with his advertisements to the consumers, vegetables and fruits vendor in the colony when dealing with their customer (why do we have to bargain so much then), friends when dealing with each other and in recent times the crowd at ExCel Arena have been getting the better of referees in the boxing ring or at least that’s what the Indian boxing contingent think. Well they have been handed the short end of the stick in some cases and I guess that has taken a toll at other’s as well. The boxing contingent went into the Olympics with high hopes, great preparation and athletes who had proven themselves at international level and Mary Kom’s medal seems to be the only ‘bronze’ lining in an otherwise below par performances by the Indian pugilists. I will remember the boxing competition for the fighting spirit shown by young Devendroo Singh, dubious decisions handed over to Vikas Krishnan (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/london-olympics-2012/news/Hopes-of-boxer-Vikas-dashed,-CAS-rejects-India’s-appeal/articleshow/15376244.cms) and Manoj Kumar (http://sports.ndtv.com/olympics-2012/news/item/194726-london-2012-boxing-manoj-kumar-says-cheating-ousted-him) and of course, the 5 time world champion, Olympic  bronze medallist and mother of two- Mary Kom.

I read this somewhere about manipulation, from the point of view of business –“In the short run, it’s easy. It’s easy to fool someone or lie to them or give them what they think they want.”  That’s very true and the easy way out might take you several steps ahead in the short term but pushes you even more back in the long term.  At Phaze, we want to take the road less travelled. Our intention is to try to work towards profitable long-term relationships that lead to satisfaction, trust and work which leaves a smile on different people’s faces.

P.S Hoping for a good performance by the Indian wrestlers at London. Let’s get that Gold!

Mannan Abrol

Measure of Power

What is power? besides being a global phenomenon, besides being an integral part of our instincts, besides being a tool, besides being a greater platform, besides being the measure of responsibility, besides being the defining element of an individual, besides being hidden behind patterns of thought. “Power beyond measure” as reflected in a certain fairly popular quote I may have come across sometime. This definitely got me thinking about the word and its true meaning if any…

Do we strive harder to realize true power or do we strive harder to realize ourselves? There might be an interesting link somewhere between the two then. And realizing ourselves being a positive notion justifies the use of the term in that case. So how can we in all our thought differ the same from right or wrong if it is linked to a much greater cause of the mystery i.e. life. I am definitely witnessing one of the highly philosophical times when thinking about direction.

Now given this pattern of thought, I think the first thing to plan and measure is the power I wish to realize myself with and the true measure of capabilities I can bring to the table be it for my own colleagues or my own clients for that matter. So in that case if I want to achieve a certain measure of greatness today, it gets linked to the way I will plan to measure my own power in that case. And similarly, if I need to create a positive notion to both the terms, it is automatically driven by intent.

So just to share an important and truly valuable humbling realization given this pattern of thought, the power of intent is really the true measure of who we are, aim to be, being a phenomenon, being an integral part of our instincts, being a tool, being a greater platform, being the measure of responsibility, being hidden behind different patterns of thought.

Think about it ! 🙂

 

Abhimanyu Tewari

 

– Culture –

In my last post I said that a foundation of a company is built by people, so if you have the right people which means you  have a solid base. Yes 1st step crossed but post that how do you ensure the rest of the building is built and your company grows and my answer to that is ‘Culture’. Culture of  a company/team is what will take those different ingredients and make the most appetizing meal out of it.

With the Olympics on I want to touch on India’s sporting culture by sharing a story of a Sporting Hero of India. I don’t know how many of you know of Santhi Soundarajan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santhi_Soundarajan) but she was (she is not dead but i’l tell u why I write ‘was’ here) a Silver medal winner in 800 m at the Doha Asiads in 2006. Now to why ‘she was’ because she failed a gender test and was stripped of all her laurels at international and national level. Presently, she works as a daily wager at a brick kiln earning Rs. 200/day. Some of you might say well she failed the test din’t she but for a medal starved country like ours don’t you think more should have been done for our sporting hero. If you still have doubts whether or not, let’s compare this to a story of another middle distance runner but from South Africa. A Gold medal winner at the Berlin World Championship 2009, Caster Semenya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caster_Semenya) failed a gender test and was stripped of her medal. Unlike what happened to Santhi, the South African authorities and citizens came out in support of Semenya so that she could regain her standing and dignity in world sports. Result: the IAAF revoked her ban and this year at the Olympics, she was the flag bearer for the rainbow nation at the opening ceremony in London. There are thousands of stories like these which tell us about plight of Indian sporting heroes and I only hope they find the strength and courage to carve a successful life for themselves.

Moving on to culture of a company, it’s only the two of us directors who comprise “Phaze Experience” at present and we have developed a culture for us in the last 8-9 months. In terms of working culture we as a company thrive on challenges and pushing ourselves beyond our capabilities to service clients. At times with help from friends and other organisations but that’s another thing about us we are very open to collaboration and working with different people to deliver a quality product. As people we believe in hard work and we realize that there nothing like a free lunch. If you have to do well you will have to slog it out. Having said all this we also realize that fun is an extremely important part of any culture and that’s why you would find post working hours a lot of friends are welcomed to our office ( we do need some time of each other after the whole day btw). And invariably you will find the smell of pizza, fizz of coke, the sound of music (so cliche) and chatter fill our small cabin that we call office.

Mannan Abrol

Brands and Super Heroes

Have you ever spent some time to analyse your perception and impression of a Super Hero. The underlying fact remains that you will always trust a super hero to deliver miraculously. Can organizations and their respective brands build a super hero like perception of themselves?

This is a strange but interesting pattern of thought that struck me a few days ago while sitting and having a few interesting conversations with a close friend. However subjective could be highly inspiring for a large number of organizations operating within the servicing sphere. Here are some of the key elements that a super hero builds his brand around:

  • Miracles: The way a super hero operates has always got something to do with miraculously showing up in a time of need and saving the day.
  • Purpose: Any and every super hero has a story, background and a clearly laid down path which he/she will always follow and so will all their stories.
  • Timing: They will always appear at the right time just before everything is meant to be destroyed or brought down.
  • Heroic Figure: The physical evidence of most super heroes is super strength, presence of mind, street smartness and speed.
  • Winner: A super hero is a true winner in every way. He will always prevail over evil and win the battles he is fighting.
  • Trust: There is a very powerful pattern of trust and unconditional love for a super hero.
  • Recall: The inspiration and strength a super hero inspires is always thought of or remembered in times of a challenge.

I do wonder if there are many organizations out there with a similar perception out there yet or not?

Abhimanyu Tewari

‘Foundation’

They say, ‘if you start well you would in variably even end well’, also ‘a well built building has a sound foundation’… I’m just not quoting these things for the heck of it what am coming to is, you might start well and and you might build something substantial but if your foundation is weak you will always be on uncertain grounds. I started dwelling on the word ‘foundation’ while reading an article where they used it in reference of it’s literal meaning and got me thinking about more profound connotations of it in terms of a company.


The article was on the privately managed Delhi Metro Airport Express which has been shut down for two months, due to a safety concerns. Problems with the bearings, is the reason that this step had to be taken  (for those who don’t know, bearings are the interface between the pillar and girder, hope that din’t confuse you further). Out of 2,100 bearings on the elevated section of the corridor, nearly 233 need some correction or the other. When I read the number 233, as a citizen I’m astonished and it seems like quite a lot of negligence on the part of the authorities involved. Not even going into the  life threatening encounters that could have taken place or the safety hazard part of it, I’m just glad that steps have been taken before anything happened. For those who believe in making easy money and have traveled by the Airport Express, you might want to file a suit against DMRC and Reliance Infra on the grounds of exposing you to life threatening situations.

Looking at the word ‘foundation’ from the point of view of someone who is looking to build a solid base for its company, I’m thinking what does it take ? And yes it takes a couple of hundred things but everything becomes negligible or less important if you have the right people. When I refer to people here I talk about the people who work for or with you to deliver your product. I think for any start up, the case is always – how do we attract the right talent? and attracting them is just the 1st step to it.

 Our theory till now on this is to work with people in our circle and collaborate with people that we trust but we realize that at one point of time we would have to move beyond the circle of trust. Where as big MNCs require degrees, experience and percentages (at least that’s what I think), we look for intent, passion, drive and whether they are English speaking or not (ya! that is important 🙂 )

Talking about people who work for you, I would like to share a friend’s experience who started his company two and a half years back. This week, one of his employees quit, who had been working with him for nearly a year. The reason for him leaving was not work pressure, less pay, working conditions or anything like that but a very positive one, he want’s to start up his own company. Very heartening to see considering my friend is closing 25 and his employee is 23 years old.

Well in the end, anyone looking for a job, do contact us!

Mannan Abrol

Collaboration replacing competition

Have you ever come across the term Strategic Alliance used between different partnering organizations. I seem to be noticing this as an emerging trend across industries where individuals are choosing collaboration over competition to increase their overall capacity and capability.

This is fairly interesting given this is possibly the largest and fastest emerging entrepreneurial generation. More than money or an idea, any organization will grow by way of expanding capability and capacity with another complementing organization. Thanks to our ever growing networks and social media channels that bind them together, we can today look in almost all possible directions to seek the right strategic alliances and take on challenging and large scale projects together.

Our own experience with such alliances has been unique. Surprisingly more than capability, we have been blessed with diverse dynamics with different sets of individuals and their respective organizations. They have not just enabled us to expand but actually given us short term management degrees which may come in handy in the long run.

Team dynamics are quite an adventure in terms of learning when you work with another organization by way of a strategic alliance. So by this observation, does lack of competition really lead to lack of collaboration?  and in a more monopolistic environment, does absence of competition decrease the viability, uniqueness and dynamic nature of a product? and further does the absence of diversity collapse new ideas and growth prospects for that same product? But at the same time in the presence of too much competition and diversity, does this same product loose out on quality?

The fun of doing what we do when we do something of our own! Such questions are maybe what help us gain new prospects and ideas.

Abhimanyu Tewari

 

Country vs Self or Winning vs Losing

If there is one sport that has caught the attention of Indians (of course after cricket) in the last 20 years and has produced home grown heroes to look up to, I would give my thumbs up to Tennis. Led by the dynamic duo of Paes and Bhupathi, it has certainly given this cricket crazy nation something else to drool on, you can’t discount Sania Mirza’s contribution to Indian tennis now can you!

In the past there have been fissures in Indian Tennis but those cracks were always mended for the sake of the country. But the recent refusal by both Bopanna and Bhupathi (apparently the lead protagonist in this whole controversy) to partner with the number 1 tennis player in India – Paes at the London Olympics has shaken the foundation of Indian Tennis. So are they in this case putting their self interests ahead of the country’s or are they a better combination to represent India at the London Games ? Well recent history would suggest, that on current form and practice they are India’s best bet. The reigning French Open champions came together earlier this year and will be playing at Wimbledon together as well. This is after foregoing very successful pairings previously to prepare together for the Olympics.

As this situation unfolds like a high profile corporate deal between AITA (All India Tennis Association) and the players, it will be interesting to see whether the most successful Indian tennis player is able to raise his game and inspire his partner’s – 24 year old Vishnu Vardhan to an Olympic medal (which would be his 2nd) in his 6th Olympic Games appearance for India. (not a very proud record to have BTW)

Moving on from Tennis at the core of the controversy lies a situation which we as people come across quite often – choosing your own interest over anything else (a person, a greater cause etc). According to me as long as you can back your self and your decisions and come out a winner (definition of winner being ambiguous here) you will have enough material wealth and good Karma to go around!

And a company with an intention to provide unique experiences to clients we hope to back ourselves with decisions which make us money and in return leaves our clients with a smile on their face. 🙂

Mannan Abrol