Topline at MDI’s Annual Convention
Udit Joshi from Topline India was invited as a panellist at Delphique – The Annual National Management Convention of the Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. The Panellists included, Mr Munish Dayal, Senior Partner, Baring Capital, Mr Akshat Saxena, Co-Founder, ePay Later, Mr Varun Miglani, Startup Consultant and Growth Developer and Ms Varija Bajaj, Founder, Varija Lifestyles. The Discussion was moderated by Ms Nistha Tripathi, Best Selling Author.
Here’s an excerpt from Mr Udit Joshi’s Panel Discussion:
1. How much did an MBA help you in your startup career later on?
A couple of things happened while MBA was taking place.
Suddenly I found myself to be a part of large and scattered demographic.
- There were many who were better than I thought I myself am
- The professors spoke a language I had to pay more attention to, to understand and converse in
- There were avenues I gathered which were so new to me
So while education and learning happened in parallel, I had to make myself work hard to acquire newer and more important skills. I could bring in more content and weight to my conversations and build a network. I was able to grab myself an opportunity to work closely with the Zomato team, erstwhile Foodiebay. I was able to learn the most important attribute to manage time and prioritise.
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.
What I learnt in the classrooms was very insightful too as it helped break a lot of myths, make me learn through research and deliberations and then the competitions. The competitions teach you so much.
2. Pros and cons of working for a corporate first before starting on your own – would you recommend going for entrepreneurship right after graduation or is it wiser to acquire some experience first?
Firstly, gaining experience and time duration are mutually exclusive.
Secondly, Entrepreneurship does involve risk. My view is that the person should have the acumen to take a decision based on the strength of their idea. If their idea, planning and a team for execution is set, you should take the plunge. The universe will definitely conspire.
A job on the other hand, helps one go through a lot of experiential learnings. Thankfully, we live in the times where we have great mentors, investors, forums, authors such as yourself to help the entrepreneurs.
3. What does it take to succeed in entrepreneurship and venture capital? What kind of skills (beyond the academic curriculum) should current students focus on?
The qualities we are looking at are –
- Identifying and building the right team with the right energy: That comes with conviction. Zomato is a fine example. Deepender and Pankaj are telepathic. While we have Shopclues as a not so fine example. We know what happened with Droom coming up and the founders parting ways.
- Vision and patience: These come together because the larger the vision, the higher the dedication. Paytm is an example for this. See how large has it grown.
- Sharp focus: If you have a sharp focus, you will have a structured thinking and be clairvoyant. My organisation Topline is the best example. Very judiciously we select and work hard on tasks, which are result bearing and choose the battles we want to fight.
4. When you were in college, did you know what you want to do? How should a young professional make career choices?acumen to take a decision based on the strength of their idea. If their idea, planning and a team for execution is set, you should take the plunge. The universe will definitely conspire.A job on the other hand, helps one go through a lot of experiential learnings. Thankfully, we live in the times where we have great mentors, investors, forums, authors such as yourself to help the entrepreneurs.
Ahh… At that time I was of the belief that I should enjoy the journey, because the journey is the reward. I still pursue that but of course I got married. Now the journey is more planned, less of an adventure.10-15 years ago was a conventional age in middle class India where career choices were limited. The overall atmosphere was to find stability than satisfaction. Today there is a stark difference. There are unlimited choices. Every KOL / Influencer is an independent entrepre1neur.I at that time, had great conviction that content will be my power in my career. I chose, rather grabbed every opportunity that further enhanced my core to become my superpower.Everyone of us has a core power. And it is very important that each one of us identifies it early in life. Then as you grow, you can acquire allied powers that add on to your core and make it a superpower