I had the pleasure of interviewing Gaurav Agnihotari, a young entrepreneur running a multi six figure per month ecommerce business while having a 4.1 GPA in university. This interview is to inspire the next generation that it’s never too early to start chasing your dreams, even if you’re still in school. Here are the questions we asked Gaurav.
A short story about yourself
I was born and raised in Abbotsford, a city in Canada. My parents immigrated to Canada from India in 1996. Just like many other immigrants, my parents sacrificed to provide my siblings and I a better life.
Up until grade 12, my mind was made on becoming a family doctor. My parents really wanted me to become one and I knew there was a lot of money in it. However, I never really had an interest in science.
One day I had a life-changing conversation with my grade 12 biology teacher. He told me if I was only becoming a doctor for the money, I should rather get into business. He told me it was not worth forcing and studying for 8-10 years for a career I had very little interest in.
After that conversation, I learned more about entrepreneurship and business. I remember how fascinated I was when I first came across ecommerce. I never looked back ever since.
Now I am studying business in university while running an ecommerce business.
How do you balance school with business?
The flexibility of university classes really helps in balancing. I would pick class times that allowed me to have significant time to work on the business before and also after the class, while giving me enough time to study and work on homework.
However it does get quite overwhelming when it comes to midterms and finals. During these times, I would prioritize studying and work less on the business.
I am still growing my team and have 4 employees so far that handle the business day-to-day tasks. Thanks to my team, the business does not require much of my time as it did before.
How long did it take you to succeed in ecommerce?
It took me 1.5 years to get to where I am now. It was definitely a struggle at first and I lost a lot of money. However, I wasn’t too worried because I knew I was still learning the ins and outs of the industry. Everytime I failed, I learned something new. I am very grateful for my failures because without them, I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have today.
What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur?
Starting at a young age is the best time to start. There isn’t much we can lose. We have no bills to pay or children to feed. Starting a business is not easy but we have the most freedom to make mistakes and learn. So I would definitely advise to get out of your comfort zone and try as many things as you can.
Also google and youtube are your best friends. There is tons of free content out there that will guide you to achieving whatever you choose to pursue.
What are your future goals?
I have many goals but to keep it nice and short, I want to grow the business to beyond 8 figures and also get into different forms of investing.
Where can someone contact you?
Direct messaging me on Instagram would be the best place. My Instagram username is @24_gaurav.