No wonder then, that after 7 years of professional stints at some of the biggest names in the industry like Infosys, Asian Paints and Onida, this IIT Delhi and IIM Indore alumnus, heeded to the call of his inner-self. And together with his co-founder, Ishank Joshi, a young engineer from IP University, he started Nurture Talent Academy in January 2010.
Priding itself to be India’s first institute for training entrepreneurs, Nurture Talent Academy was envisioned with the objective of training and mentoring start-ups, students and professionals. It has so far already conducted 235 workshops across 80 cities that have been attended by over 14000 participants.
He is clear about his objective – to enable 1000 ventures to start in the next 3-5 years that has the capability to generate 20000 jobs!!! An infectious attitude and a contagious zeal to achieve what he has set out to, here’s a peek into the ideas and thoughts of this ‘serial entrepreneur’, Amit Grover himself:
What made you start your venture?
In my previous job in Onida, I was reporting to Gulu Mirchandani, Chairman and the man behind Onida’s success. He is an angel investor and I was handling his investments.
At the same time, I became a part of Mumbai Angels, a group of angel investors and for 3 years there, I kept meeting, fighting, negotiating and consulting with different kinds of entrepreneurs every day. I met over 1000 entrepreneurs in those 1000 odd days, and it inspired me enough to start my own venture.
What has been the key to your business’s success?
We really love what we are doing – I think that is the key to our success. We love our business of training, mentoring and helping entrepreneurs, students and start-ups. We take fast decisions, and our team has the same passion to achieve something in life – I think we would not have reached here without our team’s dedication. Every time we have added a good person to our team, we have grown.
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/ do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge in our business is the word “FREE”. Free advice, free training, free talks etc. is something that we feel is a big challenge. One way we overcome that is by offering free online sessions. Those interested can attend our paid programs. Other challenges in our business include marketing to customers. How do you market a new product/service in the middle of so much noise like corruption news, sports, movies etc.? Education is a serious thing, but we try to make our sessions interactive and fun for the students. As an entrepreneur, creating a product and selling it to customers are the only 2 key functions – rest like finance, office, hiring etc. are all enablers.
Do you have a mentor who guides/ advices you on matters of the business?
Yes, I have a couple of mentors that I look up to in case of any important matters. But, as it is said, mentor-mentee relationship is like Krishna-Arjuna in Mahabharata. Krishna can guide, but the war has to be fought by Arjuna!
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Yes, I have been benefited a lot by using online event management by Meraevents.com, and use it for my program promotions and marketing. Besides, we are regular users of Google Apps, Dropbox for file sharing, Facebook for digital marketing and recently we have implemented Salesforce for CRM. All of this helps us better organize our business.
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Existing customers referring a service to new customers is the biggest and most effective strategy. We make sure that people who attend our training programs get benefited during the program and after the program we connect them to investors, help them find customers, team members etc. When our customers grow, we grow!
What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
In my opinion, top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur are:
a. Leadership – you should help your team when they need you, take the blame whenever necessary and give rewards as often as possible.
b. Patience – There are times when entrepreneurs have to listen to a no, bear risks, face criticism, but it requires patience to overcome the world.
c. Passion – In the movie “3 Idiots”, there was a Rancho (character of Aamir Khan) – and another character called Chatur. An entrepreneur is like Rancho in real life – highly passionate about whatever he or she does. Have a positive “I CAN” rather than a negative “CAN I” attitude.