“Build your network before you need it, but remember to give too.” This may well be some of the best career advice you’ll ever get.
Meet entrepreneur Rupa Ganatra, the co-founder of Millennial 20/20. We caught up with her to find out how she started her businesses (yep, plural!), her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and what the Millennial 20/20 Summit is all about!
Stay tuned for our coverage of the Summit next month, we’ll be down there so do come and say hi!
1. What made you decide to start your own business?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs so it wasn’t uncommon to discuss business ideas around the table from an early age. It was my interest in business, passion for problem-solving and my belief in value creation that led me to leave my job in investment banking and start my own businesses. With my business partners, we launched the online retailer www.yes-sir.com, digital publication www.boemagazine.com and most recently Millennial 20/20. This is the first Summit of it’s kind that will explore the Future of Next Gen Commerce with Official Partners Accenture, Forbes & CNBC and with 3,000 brands, retailers & start-ups in attendance.
2. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Starting your own business is one of the toughest most challenging things you can do. Within that, the greatest challenge is learning to manage your time effectively and stay focused on a clear goal and vision. Another challenge is creating a work/life balance that enables enough time to achieve all the things you desire from your work life, while allowing quality time for yourself, your family and friends. Is education always the best first step into a job? Or experience?
Education is one step into a job and an important one. However there is nothing more important than experience, to prepare you for a job. In my first job in investment banking, I learnt more on the trading floor in the first week about the business and the role than I did in my three year upgraduate course at university.
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3. What would your advice be to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Set your goals, write them down and work backwards from the end vision. What is your overall 5 year vision/goal for your company? What are the monthly and annual goals you need to reach to achieve that? One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from a fellow entrepreneur was build your network before you need it, but remember to give too. Don’t network with the sole purpose of taking. Be prepared to give to receive. Don’t be afraid to pivot your business model or change your vision along the way. Some of the most successful companies did not start with the same purpose as they exist today.
And finally don’t be afraid to fail. Failure offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to start again more successfully.
4. Tell us about your Millennial 20/20 event.
I genuinely believe that Millennial 20/20 Summit focuses at a unique time in industry, where large and small businesses are dealing with a more-complex and ever-evolving and powerful consumer that requires them to think of innovation, disruption and technology as key components of their future.
In the next few years Millennials will make up the largest section of our workforce. As digital natives they will lead the way in disrupting every sector and creating a new age of “doing business”. From deference and admiration for brands and retailers, our customers now challenge prices, seasons, origins, value and authenticity. The Summit will explore how we can use data and technology to develop a coherent and relevant voice that places our business profitably and sustainability at the forefront of the Millennial mind.
Want to know more about the Millennial 20/20 event? The two-day Summit will have 150 world-class speakers across 3 conference stages running simultaneously across 4 industry sector tracks. The Summit will host 4 live immersive showcases, 40 curated exhibitors and networking opportunities by day and night. Speakers include Intercontinental Hotels, British Fashion Council, Rio Ferdinand, Alan Yau, FarFetch.com, Formula-E, Fitness First, Rovio, Astley Clarke, Planet Organic, PepsiCo, Unilever, McDonalds, Wimbledon, NBA Basketball, Starwood Hotels, Forbes, Vice, BuzzFeed, The Lad Bible, Fortnum & Mason and many more. Want tickets? Click here.