Asish Mohaparta started at the bottom and has consistently worked his way to the top. After completely his Bachelor's in Technology at Kharagpur, he worked as a maintenance manager at ITC. Soon, he became the operations manager. Since then, he's managed a team of over a thousand people, most likely leading to his current company. Additionally, he has a strong background as well as attention to detail. Asish Mohapatra became the co-founder and head of sales at Of Business in August 2015. The company sells industrial products like cement, then gives small businesses for buying them. Six years after co-founding the company, it became one of only 21 India-based unicorns. His career so far includes countless achievements as well as other impressive factors for his resume. These are 10 things you didn't know about Asish Mohapatra.
10. Knowing the difference
Most people go to work every day to pay the bills. However, some lucky individuals pursue their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. Mohapatra is one of them. In an interview with Your Story, he discussed the difference between an investor and an entrepreneur. Essentially, an investor is someone locked into the results and understands he will be with the company for a long while before he sees profits. Whereas entrepreneurs revel in the ups and downs as their business grows and evolves.
Throughout his career, he remains in pursuit of greatness and perfection. While at an earlier position, he worked as an investor. Although listed as one of the highest GMVs, he felt he still hadn't reached his full potential. Through this level of commitment and never getting lost in his successes, he continued to grow and work towards his latest venture.
8. The factors
Mohapatra believes there are four things needed for a successful startup. First, a driven sales force. Although many might think these are sales professionals, they might just as easily be automated technology. Second, there must be a healthy balance of risk and reward. When looking at a business, one needs to analyze the markets and see where it fits into an economic need. Third, keeping your debt low is a best practice. Lastly, getting paid. Essentially, you may be passionately invested in the company, but you may need to pursue another avenue if it doesn't pay the bills.
7. Knowledge is power
In the early days of starting Of business, Mohapatra challenged himself to read three balance sheets each day for three months. Additionally, he sought out people with more knowledge. After learning everything he could, he began to understand the procedure and now does underwriting himself.
6. Surround yourself
Even though he enjoys great success, he knows he wouldn't be where he is if he hadn't surrounded himself with great people. Some of the critical factors he looks for are people who can embrace risk and remain on the same page. Additionally, much like other businesses, he knows that his company has little to no chance of succeeding without a team willing to go the extra mile for their customers.
5. Ready but not able
According to Money Control, it took Mohaparta nine months to leave Matrix even though he knew it was time to move on to something else. His time with the company was one of his earliest tastes of SME. Over time, he amassed nine portfolio companies and participated on several different boards. So, he needed to untangle his personal interests to commit to his next career move.
4. It's not pretty
One of the reasons he chose to start up a company like Of business is he knew that many people wouldn't consider the vertical since it has almost no prestige. After all, many entrepreneurs prefer to align themselves with trending industries to bolster themselves. However, Mohapatra believes this is a downfall. He feels that the industry he's in is more successful because fewer people are not quick to give it a try. Additionally, many of the areas they go to don't have direct flights, so he needs to take minor, less comfortable modes of transportation. Suffice to say, he believes that sweat and grind are the way to move forward.
3. Rejection before success
Even though Mohaparta had experience in the industry, he wasn't a shoo-in when he pitched his idea for Of business. He started as a venture capitalist with Matrix partners and stayed there for five years. According to Forbes India, in 2016, he received 73 nos before receiving a green light. One of the biggest problems people had with the company was that none of the co-founders had any finance background.
2. Staying out of the limelight
Even though many people want fame and success, Mohapatra has no problem with his business staying out of the spotlight so long as it's profitable. Much like his early training taught him, the most important thing is to focus on a series of four principles and work diligently towards success. He's maintained early building blocks throughout his career to win, and they continue to serve him well. When anyone in of Business responds to what they do, they simply say Hum Dhanda banayenge (we will make business).
1. Experience leads to profits
One of the things that make Mohaparta unique is his age. However, being older than many other entrepreneurs also means he has a stronger work ethic. Throughout his career, he consistently strives to outwork everyone. However, it doesn't mean he thinks he's better than anyone else. After all, he's always out in the middle of things instead of sitting behind a CEO desk. Many publications feel that since he's on the older side for entrepreneurs, it's helped Of business reach higher levels of success. The company is one of India's unicorns, but the way he's continuously operated the title and acclaim mean little to nothing. Instead, he focuses on the bottom line and how to serve his customers best.
Written by Allen Lee
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