Who motivated me to start a startup?
Guru Govind dono khade kake lagu paay Balihari Guru aapki Govind diyo batay
Kabir wrote this verse to sing the glory of Guru, without whose help, one cannot cross this ocean of worldly life. He asks, “If both, Guru and God in form of Govind were to appear at the door, whose feet will I worship first?” He answers, “It has to be the Guru’s feet first, because without him, how would I have recognized (known) God?”
This seems true for me today more than else.
Importance of a mentor is unparalleled while doing a startup. A startup begins with an idea in the mind of founder but he faces hurdles at each and every step when he wants to turn that idea to a business venture.
A mentor has seen it all he has walked on the same path, he has seen the journey and can prevent you from making mistakes.
I got Mentor4Life in Abhishek Raman Sir. He is a visionary and has an entrepreneurial mindset. Let me summarise some of key highlights from our journey.
- Innovation is constant :I had my first meeting with sir, where sir told about values of Siemens and said that in the world of constant change, there is only one thing that will remain alive and that is innovation and I need to embrace change.
- Learning4Life: Learning in the age of Industry 4.0 needs to be experiential and under guidance of sir, I learnt Machine Learning and Blockchain while doing practical projects.
- Hackathons: He introduced concept of Hackathon in our division, interestingly the hackathon was a month long and output of project was amazing. Hack, Innovate and Create was mantra of sir.
- Investing in growth of employees: Sir believed in empowering people, during appraisal meeting he chalked a growth plan with me and asked me to invest time in becoming a product manager.
- Empathy: Sir taught me how we need to think from point of view of customer, he instilled a great feeling of empathy in me to solving customer problem.
- Start Small Think Big: We were having a discussion on how to implement a learning plan for our department, to which sir said lets begin training 2 employees, I did that for 1 month, then the same program was for 20, then same session was repeated 10 times over course of 10 months saving Siemens 10 lakh worth of external training, The learning were applied to real time practical project. He taught me how to become an intrapreneur.
- Zero to One: Abhishek Sir was handling a team of 50 employees, however due to project requirements he had to be moved to a startup project inside Siemens with only 3 employees, the project had a strict deadline of completing in 3 months. Sir demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills and crowdsourced resources from other projects, I was lucky to be one of the few employees to work in the startup project. We worked day in and day out for next 3 months, the journey was similar to Mission Mangal, with sir motivating us to solve complex problems and guiding us during the project. Today the project is one of the most successful projects in Siemens, with sir heading a team of 50 employees.
- Mentor4Life: When I quit Siemens and started on my own, most of my friends were laughing at me, many of them made fun of me, when I communicated the same to Sir that I have begun journey of startup he was extremely proud of me and gave me a mantra of success which till date remains with me “Focus“, he said that there will be 10 things that will distract you, people will make fun of you, some people will mock your idea, what matters is focus on your goal. An entrepreneur is one who jumps of the cliff and then makes plan, that plan can be made only when you have focus.