· customer, with focus on brand building and

·        
Author of the Book : Varun
Agarwal

·        
Title of the Book : How I
Braved Anu Aunty & Co-founded A Million Dollar Company

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·        
Name of the Publisher :
Rupa Publications India Pvt Ltd

·        
Place of Publication :
7/16, Ansari Road, Daryaganj ,New Delhi 110002

·        
Year of Publication : 2012

·        
Summary of the Book

The book relates the story
of a young average engineering graduate who is currently jobless. Due to
parental peer pressure, he was pushed into becoming an engineer which he hated.
 He was more inclined to start his own
business rather than being pushed for either higher studies or getting a job.
He also sees that most of his classmates, though employed were still trying to
achieve the goals set by their peers and being miserable about it.   

He was forced to go for an
interview and due to his average marks was offered a job which was completely
unrelated to his studies. He decides not to take the job and makes up his mind
to become an entrepreneur. He, together with his already employed classmate
came up with an idea to start a business of their own.  A business model including the product, the
target audience and the finances available was developed. In the process, they
faced many road blocks like parental disapproval and lack of finance. One thing
which kept them going was their own belief in their business idea. The business
idea was well thought, innovated as per the needs of the customer, with focus
on brand building and getting the right financial assistance at the right time.
In the end, they managed to create a million-dollar company in a very short
time. The driving force behind it all was that they wanted to live their own
life and not live the life that others decided for them. He also wanted to
prove that “No Job, No MBA, No Future” is not always right.

 

The concept of the book
essentially focuses on the following:

·        
Belief in what you want to
do

·        
Do not get pressurized by
parents/peers

·        
Know what you want in terms
of the product that you want to sell

·        
Review the business model
and make suitable changes

·        
Know your target audience

·        
Product price to be
reasonable and appealing to the customers

·        
Brand placement and
networking

·        
Learn the art of
negotiation

·        
Have a strong back-end
infrastructure

·        
Start small and scale up
intelligently

·        
Increase Geographical
presence

·        
Get the right funding at
the right time

 

While being focused on not
giving into parental/peer pressure the story covers all the 4 P’s of the
business venture, like, Product, Price, Place and Promotion. At many stages of
the story we find that there is a strong belief in the product and the
capabilities to bringing it to the customers.

MVP stands for Minimum
Viable Product, which is in the initial stages when one sells his/her product
to its customers, the feedback one receives can be further used for product
development to make the product better and more suited to its main target
audience. I would narrow down on a product keeping in mind from a small set of
products. I would also have answers to all the “why’s” that may come up during
doing business. I will put every penny in the business that I believe in.

I will study the viability
of delivering the product to the customer and choose the one most efficient and
economically viable to my business. Create a focused target audience, test the
sample products with this audience, develop procedures on a small scale to
deliver the product to the customers. Upon receiving suitable response,
replicate the same with another set of customers. All the money generated through
sales will be put back into business to cater to the bigger group of customers
without taking any extra burden of financing. If the response is not as
expected, I’ll go back and develop my existing product with the help of the
responses I received from my initial customers, and this time develop it in a
way keeping in mind what the customers really want and expect from the same. I
will try to keep things simple at the beginning and keep the costs down by not
scaling up till  I have generated enough
customer base. I will use all the social platforms to build my brand. Timely
deliveries and quality of product at reasonable price would always be my main
aim. Networking and customer feedback will guide my future course of actions.

Lessons Learned for an entrepreneur:

It is essential to follow
the 4 P’s of marketing.

Product:

Ideas for a new product can
come from observing day to day life and we can narrow down to something which
is not readily available to a large group of end users. It can also be case of
similar product being available but either it suffers from poor quality or is
not reasonably priced. The product should aim at creating a new subculture. The
new customers must have a need for the product and not only a “want”. The
product type will also have an influence on how it is to be placed for example
in stores or on the e-market.

Price:

Price of a quality
product can be kept under check by keeping things simple, keeping overheads
down and negotiating hard at all levels.

Placement:

 It is important to start small with a focused
audience. Test the sample product and ensure the sample orders are delivered in
time. Once it is established that the product meets the satisfaction of the
focused audience, replicate the process with a larger audience. Customer
feedbacks are an important tool to guide the future placement and delivery
strategy.

 

Promotion:

The decision of choosing a
name for the business is one the most step towards the brand development. The
name should be catchy, and the same time be appealing to the target audience.
The business logo will be derived from the brand name. This will appear on your
business cards, website, letterheads, tags, labels, brochures, e-mailers etc.

In the beginning word of
mouth is the best way to promote a product. It is essential to promote your
product shamelessly at all the platforms such as personally, on social networks,
website and by e-mailers. Brand placement should be visible at all possible
places such as labels, tags, packaging material, e-brochures etc. Once the
business is scaled up other promotion media such as print, visual and digital
should also be used.

Statutory compliances:

To start a business the
company name must be registered. After registration bank accounts are to be
opened, registration with central and local tax authorities is to be done.

Financing:

To begin with it is a good
practice to use you own funds when the business is starting.  As the trade goes, revenue generated from the
sales should be put back in to business. At the scaling up stage, it is
important to get the right valuation for your business and get the finances at
an optimum rate.

The funds so received
should be used upgrade the business system processes.

Employ additional staff is
required, increase customer base, improve deliveries and invest more in brand
building.

In summary, the driving
forces are:

·        
Know your product

·        
Know your customer

·        
Keep things simple

·        
Innovate to suit customer
needs

·        
Networking and customer
feed back will drive the future business

·        
The last but not the least
have a strong belief in your yourself

 

Lessons Learned for an intrapreneur:

A clear knowledge of the
product, business processes, systems and customers will be the tools to
successfully implement the business model. The intrapreneur must ensure the all
the management policies are timely and correctly implemented. A close watch is to
be maintained to spot any faults in the business deliveries. He/She must come
with solutions to solve the issues at the earliest. Quick response to all
customer queries must be given. He/She must have answers to all the possible
“why” that may come up in the course of the business.