Towards an Entrepreneurial Dream: Why is it crucial to be a student of your craft?

They say long-term success comes to those who stick to a plan, follows a strategy, and practice routinely. But, what nobody talks about is what sustains long-term success, which is continuous learning.” – Jatin Nanda, FIIB Student

Starting a business is not easy. Over the past few months, Jatin had been constantly working hard to turn one of his many startup ideas into a reality. In November 2019, he finally decided to have that ‘entrepreneur’ tag in his bio and started his run with his business idea. Initially, Jatin was under the impression that learning only happens in classrooms, but as he continued with his entrepreneurial journey he realised that learning is a constant no matter what. 

Even some of the most renowned entrepreneurs and greatest business people never stopped their quest for new ideas, new concepts, and new routines. To stay relevant to the world you’ve never travelled is indeed an art. Isn’t it? To be honest, “I genuinely believe that success sometimes lies in the things we don’t know and, in a way, we’ll never achieve it if we don’t strive to learn it.

Here’s the gist of Jatin’s entrepreneurial journey so far in his own words:

1. What was in your mind while planning to do an MBA?

We live in a competitive environment where the irony is “9-5” and only the fittest survive. I really had no clear plan or strategy to enter an MBA program. I gave MAT exam but that was not a part of any plan either. The only thing I’d spent my entire graduation planning was a venture in Mumbai. And it didn’t take off as I thought. So all my plan B’s came into the play. 

It was meant to happen that way I guess. I’m glad it happened and as I mentioned no strategy can also be a great place to start with. I am 21 right now, I have my whole life in front of me. And I have been that guy who likes to have his hands full of work. MBA has been an eye-opener, you are introduced to a world that is entirely different and as I mentioned, only the fittest survive. 

2. How much of a plan did you have when you began Instock?  

An online e-commerce website was a tough decision as we knew the stakes and the ocean couldn’t get any redder. Industry leaders were in the news for M&As, reporting losses and whatnot. Initially we also struggled to build a revenue model strong enough for the tides. And there was a very slim chance that we could pull this off. Instocks catapulted the growth sooner than we expected. We are in the third month of our existence and we enjoyed the winter sprees with 44.7% spike in our sales. This being said I’d be lying if I make it sound easy. 

This calls for a lot of sacrifice, no matter how modest I may sound. Life is tricky and the only time you encounter opportunities is when you are not ready for them, and they require you to get out of your comfort zone. So studying something is like flexing muscles, learning them is putting stress on them, and Implementing them in your life is where the actual growth is. And like they say, “no pain, no gain”. 

3. Have you felt any shift in your business strategy after joining the PGDM program?

Yes, I believe there has been a drastic impact on my learning in FIIB. In fact, I got the much needed courage of starting Instocks after joining the PGDM program. Undoubtedly, being an FIIB Racer is quite motivating; the kind of mentoring faculty offers here is no less than a support system. We often get chances to meet with industry experts through guest lectures, conclaves and career enhancement training sessions, which for me has literally been a great source of gathering industry insights. For instance, I learnt during Marketing Conclave that there’s a certain psychology that goes behind in the mind of the buyer during purchase. And, now my e-commerce website shows the price of a particular item as “599” and not ‘570’ or ‘600’. So, yes there is a huge shift in Instocks strategies and all thanks to FIIB for that!

4. How do you manage to handle the pressure of it all?

So everything about doing a business is filled with rejections. So much so that you reach a saturation level, and with the MBA going on, you almost reach the edge – 4 lectures every day (1.5 hours each), the deadlines for submitting assignments, group projects, and whatnot. The rejection can come from all the possible places you can imagine and to say that you don’t care about what other people say is simply naive. B’cause then you start living in your own bubble and trust me, that’s the last thing you want to do. 

MBA is not a joke and by all means the stakes are high and there is no room for ignorance or complacency. Period. I genuinely feel that it is good to have both negative and positive criticism as it somewhere gives you new perspective and better ideas. Trust me, convincing your ego to bleed is the best practice to have while shooting for entrepreneurial dreams. It’s not as self-destructive as it sounds (chuckles). Have a vision and trust yourself. Your determination depends on how badly you want it.

5. What has been the biggest struggle with your start up so far?

Well, as a starter, it’s been a struggle in terms of funding and expenses. And in such circumstances thinking creatively is a must. To be honest, I just love my standout ideas! So, I usually look around to make the best use of the available resources and search for whatever else needed. I remember shooting a creative brand video for Instocks with my fellow mates that too in FIIB campus, the output of which constantly makes me realise that all you need is passion and open communication.

Concluding the discussion, Jatin summed up the essence of his ongoing entrepreneurial journey with a thoughtful one-liner, “Those who are not a student of education will still always remain a student of life.” 
Link to the Instocks website: bit.ly/discountinstocks