My institute, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi has started a new activity to encourage and promote Entrepreneurship culture in the institute (Thanks to Dr. PK and Hemant Sir). Every once in a while we will have a guest speaker coming over to talk about their journey of Entrepreneurship and the key lessons learnt. Its going to be more of a Q/A session than a lecturing one, because entrepreneurship is something which arguably “can’t be taught”.
Dr. Harindar Keer is the founder and CEO of FlixStock, his latest venture focused on providing technology enabled catalogue imaging solution to e-commerce companies worldwide. He is a serial entrepreneur. He was earlier based in California where he started two technology companies.
Dr. Keer is passionate about entrepreneurship. He mentors several young entrepreneurs and has been instrumental in launching an initiative to bring together entrepreneurs.
I would just like to mention a few takeaways, some of the good points I heard which made a lot of sense to me:-
- The interpretation of the “Sales Guy”: As Dr. Keer stated, we have a very murky image of the sales guy. We think of him as some money minded cunning guy who want to take our money. The interpretation needs a change. As far as a business is concerned, it won’t exist if there are no sales. As an entrepreneur, we need to understand the importance of sales and the correct definition of the ideal sales guy. As consumers we sometimes don’t realize that we are facing a problem, a sales guy is someone who can make us understand that we are facing a problem and the product he endorses has a valuable and genuine solution to help us. It is also very important for the sales guy to be able to explain the product in brief and easy language. Focus should be on making the consumer empathize with the problem rather than the product.
- “Building Painkillers vs Vitamins”: Another important point Dr. Keer highlighted was that as an entrepreneur we should focus on building Painkillers rather than Vitamins. As the analogy suggests, a painkiller is used in the situation of urgency and a vitamin is something that may or may not be used. It makes the situation better, but it isn’t something that is non avoidable. Selling Vitamins is difficult, it makes the sales harder because it doesn’t solve an urgent problem, people may find reasons to avoid it. It is very important to focus on solving a problem for the consumer, preferably an urgent problem. As Dr. Keer mentions “sometimes not even 90% solution works, it has to be 100%.
- Focus should be on Problem and not just the Solutions, The Features vs Benefits Issue: Sometimes spending too much time optimizing the features doesn’t work, especially when it comes at the opportunity cost of the time which could have been used for talking to customers and taking constructive feedback. The product is not the business, it is much beyond that. Product is the least challenging element. It is more like; building a product is easy, finding the right product to build is the bigger challenge. Having said this, another thing to be kept in mind; we shouldn’t build a product where the final outcome/feature the consumer wants is not in your control. An example as stated by Dr. Heer, one of its start ups offered skills to unplaced engineers to make them a “better fit” for the industry, but what the consumers (students in the case) look for at the end was “the job”, a feature they can’t provide, what they could provide was “the skill.
In the end as stated by Dr. Keer, its all about “Turning around things”, which is what he loves to do. Entrepreneurship is also about that, you turn around things to make them valuable and something that sells.
If we don’t believe in the future of the product, we shouldn’t build it, but if we do, no-one can stop us.
Cheers 🙂 😀
Reported by, Entreprenuership-Cell, IIIT-Delhi