In this special segment with STW, we meet some incredible dreamers, who decided they did not just want to sit around and wait for something to happen to them, but took matters into their own hands. It’s not easy following a passion, it comes with a lot of risk and sacrifice. We hear from some folks, about what makes this all worth it. We speak to young entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals, who made a brave decision to solve a problem. Read on for this ‘Ode to Entrepreneurs’.
In conversation with Sean.
I was born into a middle class family. I have seen how the simple things in life can bring you pleasure, but how the lack of money can cause a standstill to many aspects of it.
One turning point in my life, came on the back off an accident, some of its side effects I carry till date, but my resilience and my parents faith in God proved medicine wrong, and that saying, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ right.
I was always the brainy kid throughout my younger pre-teen years, but then once I hit that lucky number 13, I discovered that I can do anything I set my mind too. I started off with sports, I loved playing, any and every sport, and I was good too, never great but really good. I managed to maintain a slightly above average marks card, but my passion for extracurricular activities were a far bigger stand out.
In my college life I discovered two things that brought me to where I am today. The first one is, ‘Real World Work’, after my first year I took a job over the summer, and I excelled at it, it was an international call centre, I was only 17, but I won many accolades there. I discovered that work excited me, it led me to prove myself where it mattered, and it entered me into a position of decision making.
I was brought up to understand the importance of an education and although I was fair at it, I knew I was meant for something more, something that an education couldn’t give me. I think the best way to sum this up is by the picture below, I discovered the same, I was able to climb the tree, but I was no monkey.
The second revelation was ‘music’; I started as a vocalist, and grew as a guitarist, to a musician, to a song writer at present. In the span of 4 years, I knew I wanted the world to know the songs I write, but I was fixed with a dilemma, financially; my parents could not afford to take care of me while I tried to make it as an Artist. I think everyone knows the hardships that come along the way and I was never satisfied with playing in bars and cafés. It had to be my music out there.
So I had effectively started working and trying to save since the age of 17. I had countless part time jobs when I was doing my Hotel Management, and in between during the holidays, I did regular 9-5 jobs with anyone who would hire me.
I did my hotel training because I had this illusion that I could go on a cruise liner, earn tons of money for a few years, then come down and use that money to try and make it. But at the age of 22, having held close to 6 different jobs (both part and full time) saving is really hard to do when you have responsibilities. My parents took a huge loan to put me through college, and I had to pay them back, it was my duty as the eldest son and a man.
How the Business Idea came about: My turning point onto Entrepreneurship was while I was working at the Jain Group of Institutions, as a Marketing Executive and Counselor, with our main project and specialization being a premier course on Entrepreneurship. I would preach endlessly to students about the importance of that course, and why becoming an Entrepreneur is far greater than working for someone else and getting a fat pay check, but then, I suddenly woke up one day and listened to all those things I said, and with the help of my mentor at JGI, (Mr. Kunal Shah) who gave me the right motivation and push, I decided to become an Entrepreneur.
The advantages were vast, I wouldn’t need to start a company, I needed to start a process, a process that will work without me, and because I have started the process, I get to reap the financial rewards. I was shocked that it was staring at me in the face the entire time (the answer that is) and I didn’t realize it, I can put all my efforts on my music, once I start a company that can function without me. Plus I will have no need of making money out of my music, I can do any show, any gig, give away CD’s, upload free songs, anything to get my name into the industry, with easy marketing because I have no target on returns, and a fair amount of investment, the sky is the limit.
Entrepreneurs constantly innovate in order to give their customers what they want. But musicians, all artists, want to share who they are, and what they feel. Whether I have 100 followers or 1 million, as long as they are following me, for my music, for who I am and for what I feel, I would still want to make music. It is the opposite for my company, I will do anything possible to satisfy my client and customer, and hence I know I will make it in both fields.
This is no longer my dream, it has now become my goal and mission, Entrepreneurship has made this possible and my company is going to make it come true.
The Company: Identifying what I wanted to start was the hardest part of it all, the statement of “Jack of all trades” came in again, I had so many fields of interest, narrowing it down was virtually impossible. So I decided not to. My positives were that I was good at a lot of things. Hence I did not start one company, but looked at 4 areas of interests, and combined them under 1 group of companies.
The 4 initiatives that defined who I am, is SPORTS, EVENTS, TALENT AND PLACEMENTS.
I then went about identifying 4 people who specialized in each field, so as to not bite off more than I can chew, and round me off at the rough edges.
FOR SPORTS: Cyril Lawrence
Someone I have known and grown up with for as long as I can remember, from childhood friends to rivals on the Hockey field, we always managed to stay friends, since the age of 4, when we went to school together, and when we played hockey for opposing teams. We shared a bond nothing short of brotherhood, and undying love for sports. He too like I, played virtually any sport, and was always involved with hosting events, managing teams and even coaching a few youngsters. Cyril is someone who is not only passionate about sports, but is even more innovative, we together have come up with tons of concept sports. We have hosted 3 events and are managing 4 teams of various sports, under Hyperlink.
FOR EVENTS: Rohaan Daniel Alex
Another classmate of mine, having studied together since the 6th grade in Frank Anthony Public School. Our love of events was what drew us together after graduation. Rohaan and I had worked together for numerous events that were conducted by Vh1 in Bangalore. His innovativeness, hard work and dedication made me realize immediately that he was the man for the job, together there will be nothing to stop the growth and accomplishments we could have.
FOR TALENTS: Victor Mario Pereira
Yes, my father, one of the most talented people I know. He is an artist, an MC, a musician and an incredible singer. He has helped numerous people discover their talents, and implement them. He knows the in and out of most industries, and has a real eye for talent. The combination of what me father and I bring to the table, leads to an exciting partnership, experience and youth combining to synchronize and help develop, discover and place, the various talents Bangalore has to offer.
FOR HR Solutions: Gerard Jonas
Gerard Jonas, has held numerous jobs in the field of HR, with 7 years of work experience. The initial thought behind the company was for a placements consultancy, since my father and I, had an entire list of contacts looking for placements, and have been doing this for years, without looking at the potential business behind it. Gerard stepped in and took it to the next level with his ideas. We currently have 3 in-house contracts with various companies, and are placing people at a rapid rate, in major corporate companies, IT companies, BPOs, and even start ups.
Small tidbits of your journey:
The journey has not been long, but it sure has been exciting, and I am brimming with confidence that it will go places. In the brief time we have started this (August 10th 2012), the response we have received is ensuring a bright future, I am confident that Hyperlink will take just a matter of a few years to be competing with each of its fields top dogs for the number 1 spot.
STW thinks that Sean and HYPERLINK are an amazing idea. We wish you the very best!