StartupTalky is one of the strongest community in India and we have a lot of professionals who are doing great in their lives. To share their learnings and inspire as many people as we can, we are interviewing all the StartupTalkers in our "Know the StartupTalker" series.
Today, we have Mr Sampathraj Mathurperumal as our interviewee. Sampathraj Mathurperumal is the Director - Execution at Opheila. You will learn a lot from this story of Sampathraj Mathurperumal in his own words.
Who Are You?
After being an employee in the software domain for 22 years, I quit as Project Manager during 2013 September. Started a software company and also a Hair export company catering to the US, Europe, and India. Ready to learn anything of interest, I have hobbies like cooking (South & North Indian, few international cuisines) and baking cakes, cookies, etc. I like travelling too and have travelled to a few countries like the US, Japan, Hongkong, Thailand, etc. Excited to meet new people and make new friends. Recently established a branch of my Hair Company in Miami, US, yet to get functional. I am also a Corporate trainer and have trained over 2000 people as part of my stint in the training domain.
Given my software experience, I prefer to systematize the activities of my business wherever possible and learn in the process.
After analyzing around 13 businesses and trying out a few, I finalized on exporting Human Hair and Hair products, focusing on the US market and the Indian Market. Since I didn't know the technical aspects, I fixed a few goals and worked on acquiring the knowledge, which I achieved in 18 months.
If you're asked to choose three words for your autobiography, what would it be?
Curios, joival, adaptive.
What Is Your Typical Day Like?
Well, I wake up before 5 am. I go to the park and walk 5 km, exercise, jog a little bit and finish off with Pranayama. Have herbal soup/juice and get back home to assist my wife in cooking. Get to work and check the task list for today and start completing the tasks. (I update the list before leaving office.) Reading specific blogs and books is part of my routine. Once I leave office, I change my focus towards home.
Bitter fruits are a part of the journey as the Startup World is a never-ending jungle. Your experiences, if any?
Well, made mistakes on the financial front and learned a hard lesson. When I fell, I realized even though there are good people, since they are few, we need to go through the other set of people first. Organized and focus work and self-motivation should be daily. Irrespective of what others say, or advice, if you have thought over, analyzed and defined on a path, do take it with patience and action. You will eventually get it. There is a good in everybody, try to find it and focus on that, then, that person will become good, at least when dealing with you.
When I was down and did not have much activity, I sharpened my knowledge by reading a lot (around 3 books a month) and attended several motivational seminars and workshops, which helped me in my efforts of bouncing back.
What Are The Tools Which You Can't Live Without?
First one is my typing skills, even though it is a small skill, I feel confident when I can type faster without looking at the keyboard.
Tools like MS Office, Google, everyday task list and graphics tools like Coreldraw, Canva, Photoshop, etc helps me achieve my tasks effectively. Finally, the best tool is Paper and Pen, which has helped me in times when technology and power are not accessible.
Who Is Your Favorite Entrepreneur and Startup?
Steve Jobs is my first admiration because of his out of the box thinking. My friend Ramesh (into coal business) who started 12 years back with no money, no support and was getting 400 Rs. loan. He didn't even have money for food. After 12 years he runs a company doing 150 crores and moving towards 200 cr. His path is a real motivator for me. There are quite a few entrepreneurs from all over the world whom I admire coz of their perseverance, focus, and humbleness.
What do you think about the future of the Indian Startup Ecosystem and how can we make it better?
Indian Startup Ecosystem is growing at a wonderful pace. To make it better, we need to fix the following challenges-
Trust: This is missing in all aspects of life. A real validating entity will be helpful to certify small companies and support companies (eg. if there is a validating company to validate web design freelancers, it would help select them) This is required in most of the domains.
Support: support systems with people who are ready to help without expecting returns. (an e.g. StartupTalky group which has professionals who guide without expecting anything in return) such groups should be available and more accessible.
Bonding: Bonding can become effective only through personal interactions and physical meetings, rather than online meetings and webinars.
Any Hack That You Want To Share With Us?
Have your plans on paper with steps. Better to do a SWOT both professional and personal. This will help you identify your current position and your goals. Try to automate wherever possible, thus reducing dependency on humans who are prone to error.
Become what you expect others to become. (e.g. if you want your colleagues to come early to the office, you have to do it first) Everybody has dreams, find it and help them. You will have a friend for life.
Transfer all thoughts and work-list, plans, etc into a diary, an app or some gadget. Free your mind and memory, it is required for innovation and creative thinking. Do something that is not related to your current profession or career. (I learned to make soap which rejuvenated my thinking skills and my perspective towards people).
Love us or criticize, we are always happy... but we would love to know how we affected your life in any particular way? Any words for the admins, please? (suggestion/feedback/expectations)
Hey, This group is doing very good. It would be more helpful if physical meetings are held in various cities on topics not just restricted to IT / technology, but all other aspects of a startup. I have a very positive experience with StartupTalky as I can see people going out of the way to guide or assist others who require knowledge. Thank you so much. Keep up the good work. Will get involved more actively, soon.