Gaurav Prakash is a student entrepreneur, who is currently studying Journalism and Mass Communication at Manipal University. He co founded Solutions For StartUP. Solutions for StartUP aims to be the one-stop shop by providing start ups and new enterprises with affordable web design/branding/social media solutions through talented college students. Their vision is to establish a nationwide student pool that would provide the perfect platform for start-ups to get work done as well as giving students a platform to get industry level experience.
Some of Gaurav’s other achievements are..
• Certified commercial pilot form Florida , USA
• Executive Team member at Social Media Club , Kuwait & a blogger for Middle East’s largest social media network (http://www.ehulool.com/author/gauravprksh/
• Global Student Entrepreneur Awards , South East Asia nominee and regional finalist
• Top 3 ideas at iWeekend , IIT Mumbai
Social Media Enthusiast & a speaker (AIESEC LeadSpeaker at Manipal University)
In an interview with Harshith, Gaurav talks about his experience so far.. Here are excerpts from the interview.
Twenty19 : What motivated you to startup?
Gaurav: We wanted to build our own identity, break the preconceived rules of society and start up early. We wanted to network with a lot of amazing people. Starting up gives you a lot of independence. Being your own boss, changes you as a person. Makes you accountable for yourself. It is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time!
This is what motivated us.
Twenty19: What roadblocks did you hit?
Gaurav: Our first major roadblock was our own mind-set. The startup turned out different from what the initial idea of it was.
After that establishing credibility, fine tuning the back end of the business were our major hurdles.
Twenty19: What is the importance of internships in a students life? Why do you think students need to do internships?
Gaurav:I think an internship plays a very vital role in a student’s life – not only does it give him a glimpse on how the industry works but it also helps him find the Entrepreneurial side of him; under many examples successful Entrepreneurs are born when they go for an internship and realize that they cant be working for anyone – they need to have something on their own, either way its important.
Twenty19: What are the internships that you have done in your past? How have these helped you?
Gaurav :I have previously interned with Halliburton in Kuwait – it is the IT solutions advisory for employees of Kuwait Oil Company.
This internship helped me know how work is undertaken in large organizations on a multi-national level. The way a work is documented and ticketed has taught me a lot about running an organized team.
Twenty19: Who are your mentors ? What do you think are the most important things that you have learnt from your mentor ?
Gaurav: Nandini Vaidyanathan was my mentor for a while – during out final presentation for NIT Trichy’s international b plan event.
She taught us to go big – on numbers , stats and expectations. It was come a long way in the thought process that helps me run the company in a better way.
While numbers and figures do matter – having a high aim is equally important – I always shoot for the stars,even if I fail I will land on the moon.
Twenty19: What should student look for in a mentor ?
Gaurav:A mentor needs to be someone who understands your attitude and outlook towards the business – every Entrepreneur runs his business his way. A mentor needs to have sufficient experience in the field and should be able to cater to all your requirements.
Twenty19: What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
Gaurav: Establishing a collaborative model of growth is the most crucial thing we have done to grow our business.
Twenty19: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Gaurav: Best advice would again be to go with a collaborative model of growth. This has helped us a great deal in reaching more clients and getting work done faster and more efficiently.
Twenty19: Many entrepreneurs complain about not succeeding in business due to lack of adequate funding, what is your take on this?
Gaurav: If one has a firm desire to succeed then nothing can stand in his/her way. If the start up is service driven/IT based then the initial cost will be quite less and funding will not be required, but if it is product based then a lot of funding is always needed. So it finally depends on the situation.
Twenty19: How would you describe your leadership style?
Gaurav: I am a control freak at times, but I am not arrogant. We have a good time in the office pulling each other’s legs, but when work needs to get done we make sure it is done properly.
Twenty19:In your opinion, does an entrepreneur need an MBA to be successful? Are you planning to do an MBA in the future?
Gaurav: In my opinion an entrepreneur does not need an MBA to be successful. It is a good add on to have, but an MBA does not guarantee success .So as of now, I am not planning to do an MBA in the future.
Twenty19: Finally, Your advice to young entrepreneurs.
Gaurav: Go out and start. Keep track of what you are doing. Define growth and work towards it. Do not be terrified to start up. If you doubt your abilities and are in need of guidance, come to us at ” Solutions For StartUp” we will give your start up “wings”.(Laughs)
Favorite Book : ’Entrepedia’ by Nandin Vaidyanathan and ‘Connect the Dots’ by Rashmi Bansal.
Favorite Movie : ‘The Aviator’ and I love the TV show ‘Suits’.
A personality I would want to have dinner with : Ratan Tata
If you want to get in touch with Gaurav you can do so:
Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Student Rockstars series features students who have taken outstanding initiatives and shown unusual accomplishments while they are still in college. Powered by Twenty19.com, this series aims to highlight their key initiatives and their influences so that the larger student community can learn and benefit from them. You can nominate a potential Student Rockstar here.