An Interview with Mr. Aakash Gandhi, Founder, 88KeysToEuphoria.com
By Karan Mange, Correspondent, BMS.co.in
- Tell us something about yourself?
I was born and raised in Florida, USA. I received an MBA from the University of Central Florida. However, I was fortunate enough to balance the academic strains of life with a creative inclination towards music. I took western classical piano lessons from the age of eight. During my college and post-grad years I began giving more importance to music in my life when I finally launched my own YouTube channel in 2008 – www.youtube.com/88keystoeuphoria. After a couple of years playing piano on YouTube, I realized that there is an unexplored niche market waiting to be served. That’s when I decided to merge my passion for music and business and create 88KeysToEuphoria.com
- Tell us something about your business?
88KeysToEuphoria.com (www.facebook.com/88keystoeuphoria) is essentially the world’s first web portal 100% dedicated to teaching lovers of Bollywood music (old and new) how to play some of their favorite tunes on the piano. The website is designed with easy step-by-step video tutorials so that anyone of any age or background can learn to play Bollywood tunes on the piano using both hands. You don’t have to know a single thing about music to get started, as the site provides “Piano Basics” tutorials that will help you get started. A subscription will give the user unlimited access to a continuously growing library of Bollywood songs, with both beginner and advanced tutorials. It’s also a very cost-effective and convenient way to bring music into your life.
- What is your philosophy towards work?
Work is all about finding something you love doing, and then figuring out how to make a living from it. I firmly believe that one should live to work and not work to live.
- Whom do you admire as your role model?
Steve Jobs’ entrepreneurial attitude and business style is something I really look up to. His vision for perfection, sophistication, and elegance is one that few pioneers possess. His unorthodox leadership and ground-breaking technological breakthroughs is something that always inspired me.
- Name 3 qualities of prime importance that an entrepreneur should possess.
1. Vision – An entrepreneur should possess the creative drive to innovate and introduce the world to a brand new product/service of marketable value. While having a strong business sense is crucial, without a creative and constructive vision it is easy for a business to become one-dimensional, eventually drying out.
2. Leadership – While an individual can be the greatest visionary of all time, it will be useless if that person does not have the skills required to bring those ideas to fruition. An entrepreneur should be able to introduce his business to the world with vigor and passion, while simultaneously developing, managing, and leading a team of subordinates who share his vision. Without a strong head at the top of an organizational structure, it is easy for corporate chaos to ensue , losing the company’s vision. This is perhaps the hardest entrepreneurial trait to acquire.
3. Social Responsibility – Whenever you attempt to start your own company, you enter into an implied social contract that requires you to act with good ethics and for the betterment of the world around you. While one of the goals will always be to make money, it should never become the “mission” of the company. An entrepreneur should always maintain accountability and strive for customer satisfaction. This should be the primary means to maximizing profits.
- According to you, what are the challenges for Entrepreneurship today?
The reason why most businesses fail in the first year is because they fail to provide a long-lasting product/service that will retain value for the intended market. There is a difference between a business person and an entrepreneur. To be a good entrepreneur you must be able to anticipate consumers’ needs, not just determine them.
If Henry Ford had simply determined the needs of the consumer market at that time by surveying consumers, he probably would have learned that people wanted faster horse carriages, not motorized vehicles. If Steve Jobs would have surveyed the market prior to creating Apple, he may have learned that consumers wanted faster calculators, not desktop computers.
The point is, consumers don’t know what they need until someone comes along and shows it to them. It is up to the true entrepreneur to anticipate what consumers will need. This is the most challenging trait of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
- Can Entrepreneurship be taught in B-Schools/Management Institutes/Colleges?
Yes. In fact, it is an important study that is already being taught by Business Schools around the world.
- What qualities you see for apart from the required academic qualification while recruiting a person?
There are many qualities that are more important than a person’s academic history. Most importantly, that person must understand the vision and mission of the company and should align themselves with the goals of the business. Secondly, they should exhibit a good understanding of the needs of the consumer market. Thirdly, they should share the drive for innovation and creative ingenuity. This is especially important for small businesses, where the concentration of ideas is high.
- “Earning more & more is the motive behind any business.” Is it justifiable?
Maximizing profits will always be a goal of the business. However, it should not be the only goal. Earning money is a good thing, because it provides for long-term sustenance of the business, continued employment, and the continuous pursuit of the company’s mission, which is to provide a valuable product/service to the marketplace.
History – 88KeysToEuphoria.com was founded in January 2011 by Aakash Gandhi.
Vision/Mission – 88KeysToEuphoria.com is created to bring the gift of Bollywood music into anyone’s life.
Products & Service – Learn the play popular Bollywood tunes on piano through easy step-by-step online video tutorials. No prior musical training required.
Marketing Strategy – Internet Advertising, Social Media Advertising, Radio Advertising, YouTube
Existing Market Presence – 100% – 88KeysToEuphoria.com is the only company to offer such a service.
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