"With the right guidance everyone can change their personalities. My personality development classes at the institute did just that. They taught me how to look at things from a unique perspective and how to express my views with power and conviction."
Q. What ignited the spark in you to start the business? How did the idea for your business come about ?
A. After doing my graduation I had the option to either join my family business or pursue further studies. Joining my family business would mean working in a very protected environment. That did not excite me as I thought it would stifle my productivity. I wanted to do something different, something more challenging and exciting. I knew I needed more knowledge, more training to be able to pursue my dreams better. So I opted for higher studies. My stint at the institute increased my self-belief and I was determined to chart my own course.
However I wanted to understand the workings of the corporate world so I tried to gain experience in various fields. I did door-to-door campaigning, worked in a call centre, and even helped my father with the family business.
However I finally realised that this was not my calling. I needed to work on my passion and my dream. My mother understood the turmoil inside me and loaned me some money and encouraged me to go ahead and follow my dreams.
I moved to Hyderabad and set up a cafe called ‘South Park’. Those days were very tough. There was hardly any money, I was living all alone in a new city, and I was trying to build something from scratch all on my own.
As they say, failure is the best teacher. I made numerous wrong choices from choosing a wrong location, not doing enough research, to buying the wrong piece of land. After putting in 9 months of hard work I was told that the land on which my cafe was built would be taken over by the government for the widening of the road. Also there was a metro being built near my cafe whose temporary boundary wall literally blocked the entrance of my cafe. I was shattered. I was barely able to make ends meet and I could see all my efforts wasted. During these toughest days of my life my mother and my sister stood by me. My sister encouraged me to not lose hope and start again. She convinced me to sell-off the cafe and move to Delhi and with the money start afresh. In Delhi I could save on a lot of expenses as I would be staying at home. The plan made sense so I sold whatever I could except the ‘Dessert Parlour’ of my cafe and moved to Delhi.
It is this dessert parlour which became ‘Goosebumps Ice-cream’. My past failures helped me make the right choices, the brand took off and as they say the rest is history. Today Goosebumps is ready to expand into various other cities of India.
Q. What is the best advice you ever got ? From whom?
A. There is no shortage of free advice available from anybody and everybody. Whether you like it or not, want it or not, you will always find someone ready to give you advice.
I personally like any advice that challenges me. It makes me work harder.
The best advice that I have got has been from my father who always says “Think ten times before doing anything”. I never do ‘anything’ just for the heck of it, rather I put in serious hought and only when I am totally convinced I venture forward.
Q. "Great leaders are also great speakers” Do you agree? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
A. Great leaders have a different outlook towards life so when they speak it’s actually their experiences which speak for them and when they connect to someone’s aspiration it automatically turns to gold.
Personality I feel an individual is defined or made by what he sees and learns from the environment around. With the right guidance everyone can change their personalities. My personality development classes at the institute did just that. They taught me how to look at things from a unique perspective and how to express my views with power and conviction.
Q. What are the key elements to starting and running a successful business ?
A. Doing what you love is the most important factor if you want to be successful.
What I also feel is that you should be calculative in your approach. So don’t waste time on activities which don’t give you the highest returns. Proper allocation of time is the key differentiator between a very successful person and a not so successful person. Be judicious in deciding where to put your efforts, so that the output is the maximum.
Q. Marketing is the most important aspect of a business. How do you market your business ?
A. Marketing is that element of the business which acts as a catalyst in growing the business. It has to be well planned and strategised in accordance with the competition and the target market. Right allocation of your marketing budget can give you handsome returns. So it should be well thought out and executed similarly.
When it comes to my business the budget allocations change according to the demand. So sometimes I need to go very aggressive and other times just the routine promotions work well. Every business owner has a vision of where he wants his business to go. Keeping that in mind he should decide his strategy.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. I have just one advice to give which is - "Start with a faith and end with trust”
Q. What motivates you ?
A. My motivation is seeing people happy around me. I try to maintain a balance between my personal life and my professional life..
When the faces which are important to you are happy and smiling that means you are on the right track and for me thats my motivation. These smiling faces are the right ingredients for the recipe called “life”.
Q. What makes you happy ?
A. Living life the way I want. I make my own destiny and don’t let life decide it for me.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur ?
A. Sacrificing the time that I could have spent with my family is the only sacrifice I have made rest has all been my choice.
Q. What is the secret to your daily productivity ?
A. Being aware
Q. Which other company apart from yours do you admire the most ?
A. Reliance industries & Walt Disney company
Q. Your favourite vacation spot ?
Q. Your favourite designer? Dress?
A. I have no favourites but anyone who makes a good business suit is my favourite!
Q. Your favourite actor ?
A. I have two - Vin Diesel and Akshay Kumar