Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gopalakrishnan Raman - Serial Entrepreneur from Mumbai, India

1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship?

My career journey started in 1978 when I joined my father's running printing business.

I came to this business by default. I had finished my Inter C.A. and was to appear for Final when my father fell ill.

I was forced to then get involved in the flourishing printing business due to this.

2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Earlier I was in printing for nearly 30+ years mainly in IPO printing market.

Now I am a serial entrepreneur with a stock broking franchisee of Sharekhan, an events company bringing international speakers & trainers to India and proposing to also organise unique musical programmes with renowned international artists.

3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

While I was in the IPO printing business, we had expanded quite a lot with infrastructure and technology around 1993-94. The market suddenly crashed with famous Harshad Mehta scam and later Ketan Parikh scam. Turnover slumped and we fell into a debt trap.

It took me 10 years to get out of it clean.

4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

Discovery period was in year 2004-05. I was going through a bad patch in my earlier business of printing when suddenly I was invited to join BNI. I was an introvert by nature and Networking was alien to me.

I discovered that I had an uncanny ability to meet new people and interact with them comfortably and this fact changed my lifestyle.

Rest as they say is history, as I began coaching and training in networking and rose to become Area Director of BNI for Mumbai.

5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

My experiment period was very short. After I left BNI few months back, I was not sure what to do. Suddenly opportunities came and fell in my lap. My son who was very interested in stock markets wanted some practical training. That lead me to contact Sharekhan franchisee Diamond Investments and this lead to the collaboration.

Similarly, I had already met Venus Academy people 7 months back and worked with them as a silent supporter in 2 earlier events. That success of these events lead us to the collaboration.

6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for the next five years?

My VISION for the next 5 years is to keep continuing to be a serial entrepreneur. Have multiple ventures and help the youth of this country through my ventures. Give them opportunities to work with us, collaborate with young minds and help my bit in increasing the GDP of our country.

7. How would you advise/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

My blue chip advice would be- take risks if you are convinced about your idea, be passionate about it and go ahead.

Always have Plan B for any venture in place. Have exit options drawn out in advance.
That's what I learned from my first business.

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