Do you want to become an entrepreneur? Do you want to start your own business?
I have talked to many entrepreneurs and learned one important thing: You don’t need a higher degree, a bunch of money, and business experience (background) to become a successful entrepreneur. All you need is an idea and a strong plan.
Recently I talked to a young serial entrepreneur of India – Mr. Manish Tewari. He has founded companies like Koovs, Pokkt, and PiggyRide.
And he shared his success and insights to inspire new entrepreneurs out there. I and you have a lot to learn from him and in this interview, he’s sharing his experience with us.
Let’s get started:
Q 1. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Manish: For me, as an entrepreneur, the key driving force is the idea and the impact it can create on the end-users. All of my three ventures Koovs, Pokkt and now PiggyRide have been primarily customer-facing products that have brought some innovation or new product offerings to our customers.
In my current startup, the biggest high is when parents praise about our services and themselves refers to their friends without any incentive.
Q 2. How has being an entrepreneur improved/affected your personal life?
Manish: Being an entrepreneur is a 24 hr job and obviously, it comes with its own share of stresses and worries but still, it has taught me a couple of very important lessons. Hyper focussing on key things and delegating other not so important things has helped me in maintaining a better work-life balance.
Secondly, it has taught me to not worry about small failures, embrace criticism and take feedback which now also has significantly improved my personal life too.
Q 3. How do you build a successful customer base?
Manish: For me what I have learned over the years is that delighting our customers by over-delivering on the promises has worked the best for having a successful customer base. Taking regular feedback from the customers and having excellent customer support acts as a retention agent for the customers.
Leveraging the network effect of the existing customers also helps in increasing the customer base much faster.
Q 4. How do you market your startup and your best successful tactics?
Manish: Before we go into marketing, we need to first understand what is our key positioning in the market. In PiggyRide, our highest priority is to make sure the kids’ rides are safe and secure. Once we achieve this day on day, month on month, the business will itself gain customers organically.
The best strategy which worked out best was to offer free limited trials to our new users which got us new customers and also good reviews and more feedback for us to improve
For any startup to succeed, one should clearly define its strategy for getting new users on a timely basis and then retaining them.
Q 5. What is your startup’s mission?
Manish: Our ultimate mission is to provide an evolutionary safe and secure transport facility for kids that can help parents of our country who are struggling hard to manage their time and work and solve their extra hustle to drive their kids to their academies.
We aim to help our society to convert into a safe environment for kids where they can travel anywhere without their parents and can still feel secure.
Q 6. How do you define success?
Manish: As cliche as it might sound, for me a startup is finally business and success for the business is when I can do wealth creation for my shareholders.
Q 7. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting, what would it be?
Manish: The most important piece of advice for anyone who is starting or thinking of starting is never in with love of your idea. You need to discuss with your family, friends, seniors, mentors, customers before taking the plunge. Burn the midnight oil, slog on weekends, hustle your way out and try to launch a prototype and test it with some customers.