The Biggest Challenge In Society Is Its Thought Process Which Is Conditioned for Many Years - M. K. Kaushik

My goal is to change the thought process and show the results. Though there is so much buzz about entrepreneurship and startups, the majority of parents/society are not coming forward to encourage their wards.

1. Tell us more about your company and your journey so far.

Vaagdevi Incubation and Business Accelerator (VIBA) is a company that fosters Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It has started its operations in January 2019. The vision of VIBA is to see the youth of India to become Job Creators instead of Job Seekers and help in the development of the country’s economy. 

Our focus is to encourage Make in India and vocal for local. In this direction we have reached around 10,000+ students, 150+ Colleges with 35+ events to bring awareness about entrepreneurship and startup schemes. Now we have good mentors, industry collaborators, and investors to support the startups.

My Journey with VIBA is very cordial as my dream has been to become an entrepreneur and solve the problems in society. I have 11 years of experience in Industry, Research, Academia, and Startup Community. My experience adds value to VIBA to go forward and achieve its goal. So far, 10 Startups have been incubated in which few of them are operating in the market while the others are in the ideation stage.

2. How did you come up with this idea and go about executing it?

As I mentioned before, I always wanted to become an entrepreneur and solve societal problems. I ran a Production house called KBR productions which did Ad films, Short films, and works related to creativity. It was active for 3.5 Years and later shut the operations for some personal reasons. 

But if you look at the society, Parents, and others, their focus is more on getting jobs and settling for it. No one bothers about individual interests and their capabilities. I was closely observing things and pursuing my own way until everyone started talking about the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship. 

When every country was focusing on job creation and entrepreneurship including India, I felt mine has dream turned into reality. But most of them don’t know what is real innovation and entrepreneurship. My focus is to reach as many colleges and schools as possible and give my support in building a startup ecosystem in the country. 

A positive reform in this year 2020 that even National Educational Policy (NEP 2020) is also more focused on entrepreneurship. VIBA has 35 employees who are well trained in various domains that are probably essential and helpful in building a startup ecosystem. They are the pillars of VIBA and abide by my instructions in executing the plans to success.

3. What is the biggest challenge that you've faced till now and how did you overcome that?

The biggest challenge is society is its thought process which is conditioned for many years. My goal is to change the thought process and show the results. Though there is so much buzz about entrepreneurship and startups, the majority of parents/society are not coming forward to encourage their wards. I agree with the fact that the success rate of startups is less but no harm in encouraging and trying for a few years if they are interested in an early age. Coming to colleges and universities they have to revamp their abilities and facilities. Lastly, students have to focus on what they want to become and how to enhance their own skills to achieve their goals. In my 11 years journey, I am seeing progress, though it is minimal I have the confidence of bringing the change in society/Parents, students, college, and universities.

4. What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur?

Commitment, Devotion, Punctuality, Perseverance, and Responsibility are the utmost important qualities to be a successful Entrepreneur.

5. What are some of the most important factors for running a successful business?

Employees are an asset to any company. Taking care of them and showing empathy plays an important role in running the company successfully. Customer is GOD- the statement says it all. 

Taking their feedback and inputs makes any business successful. Last but not least, adhere to the core values and ethics of the company.

6. What are your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship is not that easy. Moreover, it requires at least 3 years of your time and support from parents. Aspiring entrepreneurs should be confident about what he/she wants to do and the kind of impact he is going to bring in the society or community. One more important thing is acquiring the right skills and forming a like-minded team that wants to travel throughout your journey.

7. How can one overcome a hurdle of lack of funds when starting up?

There is no need to worry about funds initially rather focus on your idea and build minimum viable products. Get initial traction with your Proof of concept. Create confidence in your target customers and look for early adopters for your product. 

If you are good at solving the problems of customers, funds will follow you. Many incubation centers and funding agencies are there who will help you. We ourselves encourage startups. If you think you have a great product idea and proof of concept, reach out VIBA. We will try to help in bringing your startup into the market.


- Interview by - Sri Sravya Nalla 

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