Getting On The Same Page How do you stay real to what's happening in business? Certainly not by having your core team members 'cabined' at Saumil Majmudar's sports education company EduSports. For him, it's all in the same room.
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The Thought At Edusports
Shared vision and shared reality - two things that are critical for businesses that have multiple co-founders - ideally two or three but not 12, as we saw in the case of realty platform Housing. com. Shared vision is arguably the easy part which is to say that we as a company will reach x milestone in y period. But what's easier said than done is having a shared reality. "If yours and my reality is different in business, then it is a red flag," cautions Majmudar, Co-founder and CEO, EduSports. What remains the unsung fact among many in almost every business that goes haywire, is that one board member's understanding of what's going wrong in the business makes little sense to others, if not completely ruled out.
The Way Out
Majmudar thanks his instinct and his co-founders' for not letting any room for even the slightest of that situation creep in at EduSports. Businesses everywhere have its core team members "separated' from each other nestled into their cabins. And that's how it works, that's the natural way to work. But Majmudar and team did exactly the opposite. "We instinctively took the call of working from the same room. It may sound unusual to others but all of us are aware of each other's issue, be it product, customer, marketing etc., real time instead of summarizing it to each other as an update later over a discussion," he asserts. For those who are "cabined', it is slightly more difficult to have that shared vision. Well of course, you can meet every hour but that doesn't really happen whereas, "...If I am sitting next to you and hearing you go through, let's say a customer escalation issue then I am already aware of the problem before you brief me. So, it is all about being in sync with what your issues are," believes Majmudar.
But, has anything tangible come out of such a set up at EduSports? "Yes," says Majmudar. He narrates, "When we started out, I thought to focus on in-school sports education rather than after-school but other co-founders had different suggestions. Only, when we talked to different people and schools, while working from a common room and listening to each other, they all realized it and the conviction of focusing on in-school got shared." Other key decision taken was that they should focus on junior schools instead of middle schools which earlier wasn't the case. Majmudar is glad that they all still work from a single room. "It was an important decision from a company direction perspective," he adds. EduSports cover five lakh kids from 650 schools.
(This article was first published in the April issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)