India and Internet:Serial Entrepreneur

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1) What has been the story of your career and what message would you like to send to young people aspiring for MBA’s

Well, a quick history is that I completed my B.Com with specialisation in Accounting & Financial Management from Mumbai University and then my MBA from IIMA in 1993. My first job was with Trans Indus, a UK-based Tour Operator providing tailor-made Independent Holidays to British Travellers. My role was marketing and sales. I then joined Magnasound India to pursue my passion in Music and after 2 years, moved to become part of Sony Music’s set-up team in India. I was soon tempted by the opportunity to explore the emerging Internet space with Mudra Communications, where I was asked to set-up Mudra Interactive. 3 years and a few successful websites and campaigns later, I decided to go my own way and set-up Indigo Consulting in 2000.

My message to young aspiring MBAs is:

1. Please work for at least 2 years before doing an MBA (3-4 years is ideal)

2. After your MBA, forget that you have the degree. Don’t be bound by the "MBA-approved" career options – choose what gives you max satisfaction, cos that is the best guarantee that you will excel at your job.

(PS, you can find more at http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/mar/28guest.htm)

2) What various ventures have you been involved in. What is the motivation/drive behind these initiatives ?

Indigo Consulting (www.indigo.co.in) and Cashcow.in

The motivation behind both these initiatives is to create a commercial venture from scratch that offers sustainable value to clients and employees.

Indigo Consulting: By being the most respected Digital Agency in the Asia-Pacific region – respected through: Innovative Work that delivers business results for client, and provides an experience filled with learning and passion for the employees.

Cashcow.in: By being a definitive resource for Financial Services practitioners that provides timely and relevant information to help them keep pace with the ever changing world of marketing.

Creating this from scratch was personally important to me since my own motivation was the entire creative and "nurturing" process.

Perhaps the biggest risk to what I had started out to do came when 2.5/3 years into the business (and we were stable but yet quite small), my partner and co-founder decided he wanted to pursue other interests instead. I was extremely worried about the impact this would have on the confidence of our clients and employees. We had just about started building a name for ourselves and it would have been easy to have read this as a signal of yet another venture falling by the wayside. Most importantly it challenged my own self-confidence to go it alone and to achieve what we had set out to do. The commitment to the venture and my passion to create the venture is what saw me through those days – and  of course a whole lot of luck which you cannot discount.

3) What are the key learnings that you have learnt in this short period. What advice would you give to someone just out of college today and looking for career choices.

One of the most important learnings is that it is very important to identify and recognise your talents and choose a career that exploits those talents. You have to love what you do to be great at it.

Another lesson that I have learnt is the importance of honesty and integrity towards your work. Your work has to be an expression of who you are, and I’m sure, everyone wants to be known in a positive way for their work.

4) Is an IIM MBA necessary for success .Comments please.Please give supporting anecdotes or examples.

Not at all. There are sufficient examples out there of people who did not have an MBA at all, let alone an IIM MBA – Narayan Murthy is the best example of our times. However, an MBA MAY help in being better prepared, and most importantly as an insurance policy.

5) Whats your vision for Cashcow.in . Which international website is a good comparable for it ? What learnings would one gain from this site or subscribing to the newsletter ?

Cashcow.in aims to be the definitive source for tracking financial services marketing trends and happenings in India, serving as an invaluable resource to practitioners and students of BFSI marketing. It aims to be recognised for its timely, insightful as well as unique coverage of the domain. One of the sites we like in the domain is www.netbanker.com.

 

Biography- Vikas completed his post-graduation in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, and has over 14 years’ experience in Sales, Marketing & Interactive Media. Prior to starting Indigo Consulting, he set-up and led Mudra Interactive, Mudra Communications’ Interactive and New Media division.
A music buff, Vikas counts playing guitar, traveling/outdoor activities, and gadgets among his passions. He also runs Cashcow, India’s first blog on Financial Services marketing.

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