A brief read on Mr. K.B. Chandrasekhar was all that was needed to inspire the Gladiators to pack into the class even on an early Saturday morning. A founder of a number of companies from Exodus Communications to Jamcracker, Chandra’s entrepreneurial message to the Gladiators was simple: Only a zeal for one’s start-up will differentiate a successful entrepreneur from the rest. “Your customers need to see fire in your eyes! Your start-up does not have any brand value and history. It is the passion for your business which will get a start-up its first customer.” Fervour is what Mr Chandra has in profusion. He can give MBA students a run for their money when it comes to energy!
Chandra’s life story is one which is at once both motivational and awe-inspiring. Coming from a typical middle class family from South India, Chandra started off his professional career with Wipro. He continued to work there for a few years. Later, despite having a comfortable job in India, he left for the US with as little as $5,000 in savings to set up his first entrepreneurial venture.
When asked what made him take such a risky decision, his reply was simple “There is no thing as a right time to start a business. If you believe in the venture then go for it”. For the next 30 minutes, Gladiators were completely captivated in his talk, as he narrated his entrepreneurial journey. His first venture was a dismal failure. But entrepreneurs simply take failures as hard lessons. “Remember, success just inflates your ego! It is from failures that one learns the nature of business. So, never shy away from failures. But at the same time, never repeat the same mistake” True to this spirit, Chandra founded Exodus Communications in 1994 and then followed it up with his present company Jamcracker Inc.
From there on, Chandra’s goal has been simple: India should be an entrepreneurial hub for the 21st century. He founded an incubation centre in his alma-mater – Madras Institute of Technology. He has played an instrumental role in the thought behind setting up Great Lakes along with Uncle Bala. Little did we know that the person in front of us was such an enabler of education for the youth of this country!
The session was a treasure trove of advice for the budding entrepreneurs of Great Lakes. By the end of Mr. K.B. Chandrasekhar’s talk, the Gladiators had surely learnt a lot about the hard work and determination required to start one’s own business. Looking at the serenity and satisfaction on Mr. Chandrasekhar’s face – the destination seems worth the effort.
– Aadhaar Verma