- Tell us something about yourself?
Bachelors in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Minor in Entrepreneurship from Nanyang Technological University. I’ve interned in Goldman Sachs and Exxon Mobil’s business divisions. I’ve worked with the Joy of Giving Week in India and was a part of Jagriti Yatra this December 2012.
- Tell us something about your venture.
www.Socialcops.in is a web and mobile platform that crowd sources citizen feedback regarding civic issues, forwards them to relevant authorities and generates analytics regarding what and where the biggest civic issues are.
- What is your philosophy towards work?
My favorite quote about work is from Steve Jobs – “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” So I guess searching for what I love is my driving philosophy behind work.
- Whom do you admire as your role model? And why?
I think my biggest inspiration has come from people just like me- not larger than life wonders who changed the world, but instead common people like you and me who strive to follow their passion. I’ve written about them here: https://prukalpa.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/real-inspiration/
I think it takes a lot of guts to say no to jobs and the “demands” that Indian society places on us- and everyone I met who has trodden on an unconventional path has left me with more courage.
- “Management is core to every individual, organization & society.” Give your views on it.
Managing people, Managing time, Managing situations – Yes. So I think the group work you do while studying management is great as it teaches you important life skills and soft skills. On the other hand – Management theories, Porter’s Five Forces and the Marketing Mix – Not really. Good frameworks to know, but not really the core of anything.
- Name 3 qualities of prime importance that a women entrepreneur should possess.
–Emotional Strength (We girls get emotional about things – team, startup, etc. It is important to emotionally distance yourself at some level. A startup is an emotional roller coaster anyway, and it doesn’t help anyone if your co-founder bursts out in tears at the low points!)
– Professionalism (It is a man’s world out there. As a girl, you will face millions of issues – people don’t take you as seriously/ business contacts try to become overly friendly. It is important to be very clear and professional about your work – and ensure that you let your work speak for you.)
– Resilience (Yes, they’ll hit you hard!)
- According to you, what are the challenges for Women Entrepreneurship today?
We need more women role models! We need more women deciding to be entrepreneurs! (https://prukalpa.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/accepting-the-new-age-woman-2-0/)
- Can Entrepreneurship be taught in B-Schools/Management Institutes/Colleges?
No. The only thing that can be taught is analyzing problems. I did a Minor in Entrepreneurship. It only changed my view about one thing – I started looking at problems around me as opportunities. I started seeing things in my daily life – and going.
- Is the Name of the Institute from where a student pursues his/her Graduation/Post Graduation or other courses important while setting up your business?
I wouldn’t say it is important, but I think a good pedigree helps to gain some credibility. People need to trust you – and it is easier to get a first meeting. After that you’re on your own. I don’t think you’ll ever get an investor because of which university you are from.
- Do you think today’s economy is conducive for a new venture to start upon?
Good time for startups! For sure!
- “Earning more & more is the motive behind any business.” Is it justifiable?
Can’t disagree more! Luckily Peter Thiel (founder, Paypal and one of the most respected investors in Silicon Valley agrees):
“Doing startups for the money is not a great idea. Research shows that people get happier as they make more and more money, but only up to about $70,000 per year. After that, marginal improvements brought by higher income are more or less offset by other factors (stress, more hours, etc. Plus there is obviously diminishing marginal utility of money even absent offsetting factors).
Perhaps doing startups to be remembered or become famous is a better motive. Perhaps not. Whether being famous or infamous should be as important as most people seem to think it is highly questionable. A better motive still would be a desire to change the world.”
- Share with us the most enjoyable moment you had experienced on work.
I doubt I’ve had any THE most enjoyable moment yet… It’s a steep learning curve, and I love the fact that it’s giving me the opportunity to learn so much in so little time – so I guess, its about the journey and not the end point. Some of the all-nighters with the team, which end with McDonald’s breakfast and satisfactory work done, are particularly enjoyable.
- Your message to the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Find a problem you’re passionate about, reiterate to find the best fit solution, and GO DO IT! Stop listening to what the neighbor, the grandparents and the man you met on the street say!