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At 70', I still run parallel to the Learning Curve
Kanwal Rekhi, Managing Director, Inventus Capital
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Earlier, Indians were not known as entrepreneurs, managers, or as marketing people. Only a single dimension image was attached to them of being techies and good in mathematics, people were not ready to accept Indians as entrepreneurs calling it unnatural. Breaking this stereo type thinking, TiE emerged as a movement where Indian-Americans came together under a broad umbrella, with a selfless nature attached to it. It was a platform built to interest the entrepreneurship integrity having idealistic principles, have outlived its purpose of support our younger people through difficult phase.

Advice for Emerging Entrepreneur
"If you cannot serve your customers well, you are not going to survive." To all who aspire to become entrepreneurs,as a mentor Rekhi advises them to get closer to the customers, move into marketing, sales and customer support department. This will help develop skills to understand customer's needs and their expectations from you. Rekhi came from a non-business family and engineering background, but when he entered into entrepreneurship, he realized that technology is not the focal idea that surprises people, instead your understanding on their need and the way of presenting marketing messages to them. Having an innate business attribute, Rekhi suggests people to apply the principle of answering yourself-why would anybody buy from me and how do I know their needs?Selling and marketing is the approach for this principle in order to know what customers want and what one is selling. So, first find the pain point and then offer them the pain killer.

It's never late to learn new
Having being engaged with more than 100 companies in Silicon Valley and India, Rekhi deems that even at this late stage there is always something new to learn. The reason behind this is the ever changing market and exponential nature of technology. One cannot be confident of future needs as what worked yesterday might not work today, so one needs to be very alert of the business environment and should be ready to learn something new each day. Technology is ever evolving and the market dynamics keeps changing so one needs to stay on the top and have a bird's eye view to grasp changes. This is just the one side of the story; the other side reveals that few things never change like the need to serve your customers and being competitive enough in the market. Rekhi affirms "When you stop learning you are dead and you can't survive in business".

Stimulating new apps
Today, apps allow customers to access information and services at their fingertips, no matter which mobile application platform is being used. Creation of apps has solved numerous problems in the Valley. One example could be of the UBER which provides car service to people residing in the NYC in one click. The research in the transportation sector in the New York City reveals that UBER cars deliver better service than Taxis. Thus, these new sophisticated apps satisfy customer needs in the market place in new fashion using new technology.

Message for the community
There is no shame in failing, instead the real shame is in not trying. A lot of people do not start with the fear to fail. No one knows who will succeed and who will fail as an entrepreneur, so the only way to find out is by giving it a shot. This is a high risk game and even if you don't make mistakes, you are likely to fail. Just like learning to ride a horse, you will fall a couple of times and if you are afraid to fall you will never learn to ride a horse.

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