20 Mar Learning from Entrepreneurs : interview with “Pranshu Tople”
I am an aspiring entrepreneur and work in my family business with my father.I joined the Enterprise India Fellowship 2 Years back in January 2020 Jan. I was working on different projects and simultaneously grew interest in reading blogs and creating too. I got a question back then that I could relate to myself completely, how do entrepreneurs achieve so much? How did they do it? We only see the good, the rosy and the successful parts of their journey. But just like me, they must have also struggled and failed to turn their ideas into reality. That’s when I decided to interview entrepreneurs and understand what’s beneath the surface, what’s under the water, what’s the hard work they did that we didn’t see. This enabled my curiosity to connect with them and ask questions and write a blog.
The story starts with someone who shared the importance to keep going and everything will fall in place, “Pranshu Tople” founder of a robotics service company RigBetel Labs. A curious, enthusiastic and innovative person and interests are in the field of Robotics, Automation and Embedded Electronics. He is a person who loves to share knowledge and to have meaningful conversations.
What difficulties did you face while starting the company?
So consider if you are good at singing then you have a pathway to walk on like saregama tv shows and similar to like that but, In my case like I knew I have great skill than others who are working in the same field so the biggest challenge was I didn’t know how to monetise this skill. Looking at the surrounding environment I could see one who is great in these skills doing a job at a higher post and is earning a lot of money. This was the only revenue source I saw, so I was in a confused stage at that time.
I always questioned myself whether I would be able to go on an entrepreneurial journey in this or the only way is to be an employee. Like maybe I can earn crores but as an employee. I was confused this way but this was not the path I was interested in. So I started by considering if I don’t know how to monetise this skill then I will show my skills to the world and ask the people who know how to monetize them. So that was the phase I started to post on Instagram and youtube random videos of my skills. The videos were not that topnotch, they were simply just recording the video of the project and uploading it on youtube and writing about the project in description and using proper hashtags.
I didn’t know how to make a business out of it but I knew that I had skills. So by uploading videos what I was doing was reaching those people who wanted to do those things but were not able to do it and then these people started contacting me and said we will pay you to do this for us. So technically I am not a former employee with them but still provide service for them. So regularly showing my skills through social media people started approaching me and then I started consulting also with people. Apart from consultation I also started taking proper projects. So that’s how it grew and realized this is the way to generate revenue.
As I don’t have a specific product that solves the problems of people around the world. I am not good at finding problems but I am good at finding solutions. People come to me with their problems and I research about it and find a solution through my skills. So I believe just do what you are doing don’t stop everything will fall in place.
2. What does investing in yourself mean to you?
So I bought a car recently and people told me that it’s not a good investment, it’s a depreciating asset and yes its true. But summing the point the car is electric so uses less fuel compared to petrol and costs much less to travel. Till now I was using my dad’s old bike to go to meetings and deal with travel issues. I felt the need for a car so that I can carry my robots easily while travelling and if I am wearing a suit it won’t be much of a problem while driving. Also, I forgot to mention I have experienced travelling in the rainy season on the bike on engineering days so I don’t want to do it this time. Also as I frequently travel to my home town to meet my mother, lots of money goes into travelling but now with an electric vehicle, it costs me much less. Like also, I bought a good table and chair for me as it helps me to work for more time comfortably and at the beginning of the company I had a laptop which was not so good in performance so I bought a new laptop after making some money from work which is an asset that helps me work smoothly. These all things directly or indirectly help me and my company to grow and this is what investing in yourself means to me. I believe if you are a painter then by selling the first few paintings go and purchase new good quality colours and brushes to paint and sell the new paintings for more cost rather than saving this money in the initial stage
3. How did you deal with hard times?
Major hard time as a founder to collect teammates. This is hard but more is to keep them together because everyone’s thought processes vary a lot. Every teammate thinks they are the only intelligent, smart and talented and because of this a collision starts happening. This is the toughest thing to manage. So how I dealt with this situation is that as a team leader I should know who is good at what and how you can upskill them more. So we are three co-founders and we don’t feel the need to always be there together to make decisions as there will be obvious chances for collision. So instead of that one who is good at specific things, give him that work and believe that he will make good decisions for the company.
For example:- Assume under me there are 5 engineers working. Every individual is good at her field. Then I will only give the work which is related to her specific field and will give him complete freedom. In some companies, there are practices where they hold meetings with all of their different fields of engineering like a designer, electrical, mechanical and make products. I believe those products would never work. What I will do is go to the mechanical engineer and ask her to design the product with full freedom of creativity and then will take this design to the electrical engineer and then it’s her responsibility to put electronics in the designs in whatever way possible as she is best at it. And same goes for others like a software engineer has to make software on the fancy design created anyhow. “I believe too many cooks spoil the broth”.
4. What do you think about networking?
I think Network is Net Worth, it’s a typical quote but it’s true. It’s not necessary that you should be networking with only people who are from your field. Having connections means networking outside of your field too. For example:- you Rohan you are in the civil line and we don’t have the same background but if someday your friend requires automation through robots in the civil field you will remember me at that moment and help him by connecting to me which will result in getting me a new project. So a diversified network is important.
I met Pranshu in an event and later conatated him personally to know him more as a person and his thoughts. He shared his life story to me and also the knowledge he has about the robotics field and even though I was not frm his field it sounded so intresting. Thats where I recognized he isa person who feels happy by mentoring people and sharing knowledge. This s something that I also love to do “sharing knowledge” by the means of blog!
An enterprise partner. An enthusiastic learner and DOER, having an appetite to learn new things. Seeking to become an Entrepreneur.
B.Tech Civil Engineer.