You were shy and introvert so what has transformed you to become an extremely bold and confident personality.
The transition took place when I started my venture Rooh Entertainment, Initially, it was an easy task to interact with old clients as they always knew me… but when the team size and operational costs increase you are forced to look beyond the contacts you already have. I had extremely hard time to conversate with people in networking events or meet-ups and often would stand alone at the corner of the room dreading, however, one fine day I realized it was enough and started reading few self-help books to overcome these challenges. Few of my business associates helped me out… and now I have been doing public speaking in few of our largely followed licensing shows in USA, South Korea, Hong-Kong, London addressing the crowd of 500’s and above about entering the Indian market, the scope the growth opportunities to being a moderator in various licensing events questioning the panels on licensing & merchandising business… looking back it never seemed the old me could have ever done that possible!
To be an entrepreneur was your childhood dream. Ever had an alternate career plan?
No. I never had an alternate career plan. Coming from a business family – I always wanted to do business since childhood. Since childhood, I have only one dream – to be a successful entrepreneur & do something good for the people.
Tell us about your venture “Rooh Entertainment”
I started my own venture Rooh Entertainment, when I was 22years old, in the year 2010. We all need a firm Sense of Identity! Rooh Entertainment believes that everyone living has a varied Sense of Identity especially when it comes to a brand. Thus, having its own Sense of Identity becomes the essential part of any business to run, grow & survive on this competitive edge. We at Rooh Entertainment aim to focus on this by creative’s, marketing strategies and PR communications that help our clients make their mark in their respective industries and creating its own Sense of Identity. We provide Advertising Solutions like Creative Designing, Advertising & Branding Solutions, Brand Licensing & Brand Extensions, Public Relations (PR), Media Buying-Media Planning & Digital Marketing that is well described under ATL, BTL, Brand & Corporate Identity & Retail Identity verticals. Rooh Entertainment also supports the client with Bollywood & Television Artists – Celebrity Endorsements, Appearances, or for TVC Shoots. It has Rooh Entertainment has grown heaps and bounds with two of its in-house digital publication – Animation Digital Digest & Licensing Corner.
What all things you handle in licensing business?
Rooh Licensing helps in collaborating with brands and licensees to drive around the strategic licensing partnership and mark growth with the new business avenue created. Today we represent/provide consultancy to brands and facilitate brand representation and extensions. With our extensive connections, we offer a bespoke Opportunities service for licensing opportunities around the world & specifically Indian Market. It also provides consultancy services to corporations looking to maximize their IP potential. Recently we successfully organized ‘The Brand India Licensing Summit 2017′ the high-level executive conference which saw the participation of who’s who from the brand and merchandising world. Next year summit will facilitate women entrepreneurs in the licensing field throughout India. We aim to acknowledge the young and emerging licensing executives who are making their marks by conceptualizing innovative ideas.
What was your business original mission? How has that mission evolved in the time since?
Our mission is to bring growth to the industry so that it can make itself stand in the competitive global market. We do this as a media for animation & licensing industry so that we can understand each vertical with an unbiased eye bridging the gap of outsourcing work, IP creation & selling the content, Revenue Generation, Licensing & Merchandising. By organizing ‘The Brand India Licensing Summit 2017′ we have put up our leg to unified industrial bodies with a sole purpose of strengthening the licensing industry and bringing them at a platform through the summit.
Do you have any major competitors? How do you plan to compete with them?
Every business has a competitor and I am never scared of one. In fact, I rather believe, more the competition the better the business gets. As the market opens you get lot more opportunities flow to you.
How do you facilitate a positive work environment that attracts & retains talent?
We follow an open work culture where we go to picnics, hangouts and celebrates all festivals at our office. This Ganesh Festival we welcomed Bappa and all staff took part to decorate the office and all spiritual activities we had organized. All enjoyed homemade food which was made by my mother. In Navratri, we followed the color scheme. The festival of Diwali saw colorful Rangoli made by the staff. I treat my staff during all festivals, and whenever possible we eat together.
Entrepreneurs are a job creator but in any economy, we have the majority of job seekers. What would you like to say as an entrepreneur?
True that our economy has more job seekers rather than entrepreneurs. Finding a right kind of job is tricky and time-consuming. Even if you acquire a right job, after working in the position if you did not get what you had dreamt of. Then I must say that it’s always better to follow your heart and start something of your own with a passion and hard work. I guess many millennials have now begin to understand that as a result of which we are seeing a new start-up culture wave in Indian Economy!
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Every day is learning the process for an entrepreneur. I’m only as new as today. I don’t think there is anything I wished I had known earlier.
What do you consider your biggest weakness?
Whenever I used to meet the clients personally, they misinterpret me with my young age. This has been a major strength & weakness because clients are always skeptical before agreeing to finalize any deal with me. But whenever they see the planning & execution behind any of our project, they were the first one who would raise their eyeballs in an astonishment and appreciation!
Did you ever deal with contention from your family concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
I have come from a conservative family. Even though my parents have always been supportive of my business. In 2014 when I was at the age of 26, met up with an accident, while traveling from the train. I was survived with heavy injuries on my hips and legs which made me to take complete bed rest for six months. I was in a wheelchair for one year. While I was going through body checkup I discovered with Avascular Necrosis. Avascular Necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to interruption of the blood supply. Early on there may be no symptoms. Gradually joint pain may develop which may limit the ability to move and resulted in complication such as a collapse of the bone or nearby joint surface. When we learned about the disease my one hip was at stage 3 and another was at stage 4 which is non-curable. We were shocked when my Doctor said I would be in the wheelchair for the lifetime! Avascular Necrosis is very rare and non-curable disease. Indian Doctors doesn’t know how to deal with this disease. I received lots of setbacks since childhood, in terms of health which affected my daily routine like Asthma and cornea transplant and now the AVN. This resulted in my family opposing me to continue my entrepreneurial journey.
Having said so, I got inclined towards spirituality, and read many self-help books, power of sub-conscious mind etc and found my solace in meditation which gave me immense strength and positivity to cope with AVN and have an active lifestyle. Today I live day-to-day life to the fullest even though I have constant pain, my work and routine doesn’t hamper because of that. My family is very happy to notice the optimistic change within me which has them to now support my entrepreneur journey. Now my father supports me by heading finance department of Rooh Entertainment.
What have you learned about leadership, entrepreneurship and mentoring others?
Leadership: Leadership can be developed if the person gets an opportunity to explore new avenues over a period of time. To be a good leader one has to back by the strong team and efficient teamwork.
Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship doesn’t need a degree or any kind of qualifications. It’s a trait/skill that you own it to be successful. Challenges are a test to check person capabilities.
Mentoring: I never had a mentor in my life, which I always felt I lacked when it comes to taking some complex decision. Hence I aspire to inspire others with the knowledge and experience I have gathered over the years, sharing the guidance and positivity to achieve their dreams.
You are an inspirational figure for many startups. Can you recommend some of your success strategies?Ans: Dreams come true only when you hustle. So keep on hustling. Don’t give up.