How My Childhood Prepared Me To Reach Here
Soccer god Maradona was only three, when his father gifted him his first football. As a boy, Steve Jobs and his father, Paul Jobs, spent hours in the family garage taking apart and reconstructing electronic gadgets. Often a childhood passion drives us to do something really big. We reached out to several entrepreneurs to learn how their childhood shaped them up.
It Started At Home
I grew up in a home which was constantly teeming with guests, visiting relatives, neighbors and friends. In a bid to help around, I gradually discovered a love for hospitality. The entire camaraderie that was built between family and strangers over cups of steaming tea, good food and great conversations was what led me to start something in hospitality business.
Looking back, I can see that serving people with a smile and making them happy in turn was the first catalyst to my entire entrepreneurial journey.
RAHUL SINGH, Founder and CEO, The Beer Cafe
I Was Always The Team Leader
In school (J B Petit High School for Girls), teachers gave much emphasis to creativity and team projects.
I was numerically driven and arts/crafts projects were not my forte. However, when we were working on classroom projects, I was often selected as project leader. I was able to identify which of my peers
were talented and helped them optimize their skills.
They would often be the most introvert, understated and overlooked talent in the classroom. My team regularly won in class competitions, earning me the early distinction of being an effective manager, which later helped me to become an entrepreneur.
PARUL MEHTA, Founder and Trustee, Ishanya Foundation
Computer Lab Was My Mecca
I was first exposed to computers when I was in sixth standard. A 12-seater computer lab became my "Mecca". I spent countless hours after school exploring BASIC and other programming languages, I selftaught myself referring various manuals and books. By ninth grade, I was already giving lessons to other students and even teachers. I found my passion for computers very early in life and that laid the foundation for my entrepreneurial journey.
BHAVIN TURAKHIA, Co-founder and CEO of Directi
In School, I Built My First Sustainable Business Model
My first formal introduction to being an entrepreneur was in high school. Our economics teacher encouraged me to be a part of the "young enterprise program'- an international event to encourage students to develop a sustainable business model. I headed the team from my school. Later, we even got selected on an exchange program in Seattle, USA.
It was the first time, I understood what it meant to be resourceful, to be creative and achieve a quality outcome with such restrained budgets, in a real-world situation.
MITALI TANDON, founder of Morning Fresh
I Wanted It To Be "BIG'
As a child I was always fascinated by tall buildings, and travelling for my summer holidays to Mumbai, I remember staring at the slew of tall buildings and asking my dad, who owns these? And, he said they are mostly owned by big businessmen. So I decided, when I become "BIG"
I will aim to become a "Big' businessman, so I can also have a few buildings of my own.
SHEZAAN BHOJANI, CEO, Design Café
People Told Me "I Was Nothing'
Failure is more powerful than success; it motivates people in putting their best.
People constantly pointed out, not being an IIT or IIM graduate would pull me back from heading a company. Later, I could not even crack the banking exam. I constantly told myself that if I don't do it, someone else will. This determination got me where I am today.
ALOK DUGGAL COO and Founder Homestudio.com
I Was A Tech Junkie
My school (Frank Anthony, Bangalore) got their first computer in 1991. I was in third standard then and I was fascinated. I started learning programming languages. Meanwhile, a friend's mother invested around Rs 50,000 to get a computer. It was a huge sum at that time. I regularly visited them and could use the computer all the time. Access to computers at such an early age made me a tech junkie. By 15, I
was very clear that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and in the tech field.
SIDU PONNAPPA, MD, Go-jek Engineering India
(As told to Sanchari Ghosh of Entrepreneur India)
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (November 2016 Issue).