Espark Viridian organized a unique initiative for its startups, where emerging entrepreneurs from our centres interacted with Mr. Akshaypat Singhania, a business leader from the legendary business house of – the Singhanias. ‘Meet The Business Leader’ was an inspiring event for all our entrepreneurs, visiting his ancestral office at New Hind House, Mumbai, and being greeted by Mr. Singhania and his team. Mr. Singhania showed a keen interest in knowing about every entrepreneur’s startup. He interacted with them in great depth and shared valuable feedbacks. The entrepreneurs that were present came from diverse segments – Edtech, Healthcare, Legaltech, Green Initiatives, Hardware, and more.
Mr. Singhania’s interaction further extended to answering the questions put forth by the entrepreneurs and the Espark Viridian team on diverse themes. His words impressed upon the importance of always having the attitude which must be positive, no matter what an entrepreneur encounters on his/her journey. Reflecting on his journey, Mr Singhania shared the fact that they made mistakes too and cited instances where they were up against the wall while trying to get in some different product lines. These examples acted as a driving force to manage failures, tackle difficulties, overcome obstacles, and move forward. Mr. Singhania also stated the need to stay relevant as an entrepreneur to the current needs of the market. He shared with the audience how he noticed the lack of ready-made brands for men which led him to pioneer a brand like Park Avenue. “Product is the key. Focus on the product. How is the product adding value? Is it disrupting or fulfilling consumer needs in a better way?” were key to understanding the positioning of his brand. He also highlighted the importance of understanding mindsets in the context of an Indian customer. Elaborating on that, he discussed the mistake of selling a starkly-disparate product under an existing product line which has a negative impact on the mindset of customers.
Talking about his interest in investing in startups across different sectors and his INR 100 crore fund, he reasoned that understanding the business was important to him and equally having a good market size. The profitable startups with long-term future potential and low cash burn with growing traction would, therefore, definitely be a hook for them. Apart from his interest in the sectors of Retail, Fashion, Media & Entertainment, he also said that his company was open to other sectors too if they fulfilled their criteria and made sense to them.
“Is it easier to inherit a business?”, was one of the questions that came to him. He responded that despite the advantages, it is practically a fresh start because of the everyday challenges.
On team management, he advised the audience to understand every team member by being in their shoes, keeping them motivated and recognizing their efforts. Any integrity issue is a red flag and should be dealt with immediately. On striking the perfect work-life balance, he said it evolves with time. The Meet concluded with him giving souvenirs to every entrepreneur and leaving them with a simple and inspiring message – “Believe in your dreams and live by the principles.”