People believe that entrepreneurs have special talents or superpowers that set them apart from the rest of us. The truth is that entrepreneurs are just like us, with similar fears, talent and lives. But what sets them apart is resilience, curiosity and the constant effort to make the world a better place.

 

Starting out on one’s own is never easy. But this is a feat that our next interviewee in Inspiring Lessons from Industry Experts has accomplished. Rakshit R Shetty is a young entrepreneur who heads a freight forwarding and sourcing company based in Bangalore. Rakshit’s words will resonate with you if you’re a young entrepreneur looking to make it big in the world of business.

The Start of A Dream

 

  • What was the journey from your academic years to your initial days as a professional like?

I’ve had a smooth transition because I started working immediately after my MBA. Also, my internship experience played a role in preparing me for the professional world. So I was ready for the challenges that I faced during my first job as a sales representative.

The only struggle was adapting to professional life because academically I wasn’t very organized. So that was a struggle. But nothing that I couldn’t overcome.

 

Overcoming Big Challenges, One Small Step At A Time

 

  • During this time, what were the challenges that you overcame that added the most to your growth?

That way every day was a challenge since I had to interact with new people. I was an introvert and a little shy. When I finished my education, I didn’t have a strong command over sales or talking to professionals. So as a salesperson, I met new people every day. This is when I realized that this challenge had added to my caliber, my strength and increased my confidence.

 

“Professional learning is all about application.
You learn a lot in a short span of time.”

 

I am a changed person because of meeting new people, talking to them and sharing knowledge with them. It has been a good journey and a steady learning curve. The fact is you can learn from anywhere, even from your friends and the people you surround yourself with.

Academic learning is all about books, but professional learning is all about application. It is in this space that you learn a lot in a short span of time.

 

  • As someone with considerable entrepreneurial experience, what have been your key takeaways from your professional journey?

I can’t really pinpoint one thing – the takeaways have been varied. But I think working smart and analyzing where the business opportunity lies is important. There are a lot of meetings and discussions for which I need to take out time. There are moments where business opportunities are offered and you need to grab it. At other times, opportunities pass you by and you never recognize them.

“Recognising and nurturing an opportunity
is key to becoming an entrepreneur”

 

So recognizing and nurturing an opportunity is key to becoming an entrepreneur. You need to see the business potential and how to use it in the future. Along with that, strategizing is essential. It’s important to develop foresight in identifying the opportunity. You need to develop foresight to a point where you can spot the opportunities and cultivate skills to recognize it’s business potential. It’s also a skill, you know, talking to people and learning something at all points.

 

  • What is the next milestone you want to achieve either personally or professionally?

Professionally, it is expansion. We are in the middle of expanding and want to branch into sideline businesses as well. Right now, we’ve already completed the expansion and we’re soon going to launch a new vertical. We want to grow and make our presence felt across India. We are already venturing South and are soon going to open offices in Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai. So 3 offices in South and in the next 2 years, we are looking at opening at least 6-7 offices in India.

 

  • Who are the people who have mentored/inspired you the most?

There have been a lot of people who have inspired me. From friends, colleagues to office bosses – it’s been a value addition from each person. I learned a lot from my first boss and was motivated to do things by looking at him. A cousin of mine is an entrepreneur who inspired me during the time I stayed with him. My last boss was an entrepreneur and mentored me for a year. Which is how I developed my liking for the field and decided to explore it as a career.

 

Process is everything.
Cultivate a process, and follow it every day

 

One thing that I’ve learned is that everything is process-based. It’s important to set up a process and follow it every day.  And this philosophy should extend to everyone. The people in your team should also be motivated to follow the process in order to fix things that don’t work out.

Another thing I’ve learned from successful people is that it is important to have short, mid and long term goals. Add to that a meticulous process which is followed with discipline and achieving your goals becomes easy. You can always alter or add to the process, but it’s important to have a process in place especially when you’re starting out.

 

Experience Guides The Way

 

  • What is that one advice you would want to share with someone who is starting out on their own?

Don’t look for the money. Money is not business and money will come. Whatever you do, you have to execute it with complete passion. Strategize things and work towards achieving these goals. If you venture into business with the intent of making only money then things won’t work out.

Also, when you venture into any business you need to be clear about which stage of growth you’re moving towards. How big do you want your company to be? Ask yourself this question and work towards achieving your goal with passion.

The problem with keeping money in mind is that you won’t be interested in the future of the business once you start getting the money.

 

We hope these parting words will inspire young entrepreneurs to work towards their dream of achieving success. We thank Rakshit for taking the time to share his experience and for guiding young minds with his words. Everyone’s journey is different, but insights from visionaries like Rakshit can inspire us to do better each day.

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