Entrepreneurship has become the buzzword of the 21st century, playing a pivotal role in both developed and developing economies. It encompasses the use of the right skills and initiatives to anticipate needs and introduce innovative ideas to the market.
To delve deeper into the world of entrepreneurship, the Women Entrepreneur India team speaks to Roopali Mehera, the Founder of My Transform. Roopali has over two decades of experience in the retail and marketing industry. With her vast experience in business management, Roopali is fuelled by her passion for bridging the gap between students’ learning choices and employment opportunities.
Rupali’s venture, ‘MyTransform’ is an AI-based application for career guidance and skill development and provides these services to young students at the base of the pyramid. She is solely involved in the space of Youth Transition from learning to work and has created a first-of-its-kind process-based application for guidance.
Here are choice excerpts from the conversation.
In your opinion, what are the most challenging aspects of transitioning from college to work? And how can it impact someone's entrepreneurial journey?
Roopali Mehera: From what I have observed thus far, the transition from college to the workplace is far from smooth for many individuals, especially the younger generation. The experience varies from person to person, depending on the availability of proper information and awareness. It's no secret that everyone desires a well-paying job or a position in a reputable multinational corporation after college. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the initiative to explore opportunities beyond education, limiting their exposure to a wide range of subjects and industries to which they can contribute. Consequently, when such employees enter the workforce, employers often encounter a lack of creativity and efficiency within their organizations. This is why creating awareness is crucial, enabling young minds to choose their path, explore various career options, and make significant contributions to their organizations. By doing so, they can surpass organizational goals and maximize their potential, rather than wasting valuable time on pursuits that do not align with their strengths.
The process of venturing into entrepreneurship can be intimidating, with numerous options and decisions to make. How would you advise young entrepreneurs to mitigate risks?
There is no foolproof way to avoid risk in entrepreneurship; in fact, entrepreneurship itself is inherently risky. Engaging in entrepreneurship means taking risks by investing everything you have—your time, money, and experience—in your product or idea to make it stand out to your target audience and competitors. With evolving consumer behavior, some businesses or ideas may thrive while others fail to meet the needs of their consumers. However, a true entrepreneur should never view failure as the end. Entrepreneurship is a journey where success is not final, and failure is not fatal. One must keep moving forward even after reaching the pinnacle of success. Rather than shying away from risks, entrepreneurs must embrace them and develop the necessary skills to mitigate them effectively.
Could you outline the pattern or formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Certainly, there are several key ingredients for success, with perseverance and patience at the forefront. Entrepreneurship is a one-way street; there is no turning back once you embark on this path. You must be willing to take risks, handle rejection, and persist even when faced with challenging circumstances. Importantly, success in entrepreneurship is not solely about creating new products, and ideas, or solving critical problems every time. You can work on existing ideas, products, or solutions, or pursue something you are truly passionate about. At the end of the day, what matters most is achieving financial success, which can provide you with a fulfilling and prosperous livelihood.
Do you believe that a large number of people are shifting their careers toward entrepreneurship in this post-pandemic era?
While I don't fully agree with this notion, I do see a significant trend of individuals, post-pandemic, preferring to serve as professionals or entities rather than traditional salaried employees. In today's scenario, professionals across various fields, including IT professionals, content writers, digital marketers, and even legal consultants, are actively transitioning to freelancing and working from home. They are showcasing the same efficiency and accuracy, if not better, while also enjoying improved earnings and the status of being entrepreneurs.
How does education impact the performance of entrepreneurs and waged employees?
In my opinion, education has a greater impact on the life of a waged employee compared to an entrepreneur. Waged employees often require higher qualifications and better grades to secure positions in reputable organizations. On the other hand, entrepreneurs have a different story altogether. It doesn't matter if they are less formally educated or even if they have dropped out of school. With a fresh idea, the necessary skills, and a positive attitude, entrepreneurs are more than capable of thriving in the market. While education is not a prerequisite for entrepreneurs, it certainly adds value to their journey. In the case of waged employees, education is often a requirement. Although education impacts both professions differently in terms of recruitment, it ultimately equips individuals with knowledge and capabilities, irrespective of their chosen path.