The topic may sound very abstruse, but then this is how we (humans) perceive things at first go. Many young age entrepreneurs are often ardent about learning key entrepreneurial skills. In their odyssey, they try extracting lessons from almost everything, which inspires them. From books to successful individuals, they dive deep into every probable source of entrepreneurial ‘Gyan’.
In my quest to find another ‘true’ source of inspiration, one fine day I encountered my family ‘PanditJi’. After greeting him, I quickly indulged him into a conversation before my parents get a hand on him. My curiosity led interaction with him gave me a ‘handful’ of lessons on an entrepreneurial journey as a ‘prasad’. Below are the extracts from my interaction:-
It’s pure ‘Busy-Ness’ – Yes, that is how he defined it. He isn’t the first age entrepreneur, he is just leading his family’s tradition. His business requires a sheer expertise into ‘Time Management’. Appointments are given and managed with precision. One home after another, worshiping and paying tribute to god & goddesses never ends.
You go and meet your clients (Yajman in Sanskrit) and explore opportunities in any of the possible associations. And yes the appointment entirely depends on the astronomical calculations; they often (very often) have the alternative dates in place. I asked, ‘What if you still miss onto ‘timings’? He replied “Bhagwaansamajhletehain”.
Lesson: Time Management
Old (in) School– He has been on and off adding academic degrees in Astrology, Sanskrit and others to his qualification. I asked him, “Why is it still important for you to study? He responded, “Padhaai se jo gyaan milta hai us se log impress hote hain” (The knowledge I get through study impresses people).
His degrees are not just the value additions, but it also helps him generating more business. From being a simple ‘Pandit’, he now gives tuitions to kids who are willing to learn ‘Sanskrit’. He also has pupils, who are keen to learn more about the Hindu Mythology and Astrology.
Lesson: Learning Never Ends
Gone Digital – Since my childhood days, I have seen him carrying a lot of books (ancient) in decrepit condition. The condition of the books only worsened with time. But guess what? He has now gone digital! Yes, he now carries a tablet, which has been gifted to him by one of his clients (yajman).
The tablet contains all the necessary chapters, slokas, mantras, stories, etc. in audio or video formats. Usually, he used to sing ‘Aarti’ in his grating voice. But this time, I was amused to see him playing the ‘Aarti’ on his tablet. He also told me about him being listed on a couple of online portals that provide him leads for more clients.
While everyone was so pleased with the pooja, I kept on thinking about the change technology can bring to anyone’s life. But you have got to play with it first!
Lesson: Adopt Technology And Acquire Marketing Skills
The Team Game- I almost fell unconscious when I heard this from him. Yes, he has a team now. With an increase in the flow of business opportunities, he saw many of them slipping from his hands because he was a lone warrior.
What he did to tackle this situation was inspirational. He became an employer! He brought a few amateur pandits from his small village in U.P. and brushed their skills through training. He now sends his teammates to lesser valuable or new clients. By this, he ensures maximum business generation. This has also given his business model a nip in the form of ‘exclusivity’.
He has now become ‘Guru Ji’ who attends occasions, which are more auspicious and has more revenue generation opportunities.
Lesson: Build a team. Believe in it. & Grow.
Net (WORK) ing- Although he has built a team now, but he got stuck to his roots. He gives all necessary personalized attention to his clientele. He personally meets his clients on a regular basis. His team provides him ‘feedback’ from the new clients and he focuses on those who can become a ‘follower’.
Amid of his busy schedule, he precisely pays attention upon ‘client retention’ while maintaining a good rate of new business acquisition. He further affirmed,
“ Poorane yajman hi logon ko refer karte hain unhe main mana nai karta”. (Older clients give more referential business and thus, I don’t say no to them).
While being on a growth track, he realized the importance of ‘Word of Mouth’ marketing and counts heavily on it.
Lesson: Networking is important, but don’t lose focus from getting positive ‘Word of Mouth’.
Atul Pratap Singh
Co-Founder & Director
V Spark Communications
India’s leading Reputation Management Company for Brands & Individuals