When you have nothing to lose

Article contributed by Liao Minghao, MBA Class of 2019.

On the evening of 6 Sep 18, a group of close to 20 Nanyang MBA and Nanyang Fellows students had the opportunity to hear the sharing of Nemesh Singh, Founder of Appointy.com, a bootstrapping startup based in Bhopal, India in ESR-10. The event was organized by the Entrepreneurship group comprising members from both MBA programs. The speaker started off by sharing his journey on how he ended up going into entrepreneurship. Ironically, he shared that unlike MBA graduates who often have good jobs to look forward to, he had “nothing to lose” when he graduated from college and could therefore take the plunge to be an entrepreneur. Instead of having a well thought of business plan like all good MBA students, he shared his experiences where a series of chance events brought his startup to where it is today.

Some of the interesting concepts we learnt in the classroom came to mind as he shared the experience of how his company grew over the years. Experiences like how the company adjusted its product as they learnt the needs of the customers and how they moved from a free service to a subscription model and eventually a provider of customized solutions for multinational companies were all useful case study for the group of MBA and Nanyang Fellow students present.

Besides the business aspect, Nemesh also shared his team building experience and how he managed to hire and more importantly retain talent by operating from a second tier city Bhopal in India. He spoke of his realization after years of hiring that it is better to hire the correct person who knows how to think rather than the person who possessed the skills required. He shared that skills can often be picked up rapidly by the person hired based on his ability to think and these people are often successful once they picked up the necessary skills.

Finally, Nemesh also shared on the importance of solving the correct problem. He opined that the difficulty was not solving the problem but solving the correct problem. He shared his experiences in resolving some of the challenges that Appointy.com faced over the years such as hiring talent and building culture to illustrate his point that identifying the right problem to solve is critical and sufficient time and effort should be spent identifying the root problem as it is the key to success. Overall, it was an extremely enriching experience for those present to hear the rich experiences of an entrepreneur who walked a different path.

 

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