Here is the exclusive interview with Mr. Vishal Singhal.He is a very successful entrepreneur and mentor also. He shared his entrepreneurship journey with us.
Mr. Vishal Singhal is alumnus of University of Western Sydney, Australia and an accomplished professional with over 15 years of sales, marketing, and management experience, with the ability and skill-set to provide creative, innovative, enthusiastic and forward-thinking leadership in a team environment. He has worked in different capacities in organizations such as Kellton Tech Solutions, Exchange4Media, CellStrat, Healthply and other companies. As a leader and mentor, he strongly believes in the virtue of being multi-faceted, hands-on leadership and in giving employees ownership and accountability of their work.
Q. How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
After my masters, I came back to India from Sydney with this idea of crowd serving, which just basically means voluntary hosting. However, I could not act upon the idea much.
But this gave me a taste of starting something on my own. So, as an experiment and to learn how the market works, I went into e-commerce of books and started my first of the many ventures – www.etruevalue.com. In 2003, I used to work extra hours in night shift, on voluntary basis, in the HR department of a well known BPO in Noida and as a full-time entrepreneur by day.
Extra working hours were purely for research purposes as I wanted to pitch to the HR head an idea about opening a library for the employees, where they could enjoy reading books in their free time. Post this, I tried to persuade two other large BPO companies to do the same experiment with me but that could not culminate.
Q. After discovering your interest for entrepreneurship why did you go back to the corporate sector?
In 2005, all my experimenting came to an end because I got married. I had to take up a full time corporate job after much persuasion from my family. But still I was in China for a major part of my job.
There I tried my crowd-serving idea again and came in touch with a friend who agreed to volunteer for being my translator. By the end of first 3 weeks of my trip, she enjoyed her role so much that she left her other job and became a full-time translator and employee in our China office.
Mentoring to me is a drive that helps maximize human potential in children
Q. How did CellStrat come into being?
In 2007, I quit my corporate job and founded CellStrat. Which was a management consulting and system integration firm that provided services in the areas of mobile strategy, marketing and mobile broadcasting solutions.
As business grew and I brought in revenue, I decided to hire interns which would primarily be premium college students like from IIM-Indore, Ahmedabad, IITs etc. This was the first time I hired interns from colleges and had an amazing experience guiding teams of students from across India.
Q. How did you discover your love for being a mentor?
I have always believed in the Spirit of giving. So, when I started hiring interns in CellStrat, who were mostly 2nd or 3rd year college students. They were all very curious about how business works and how to make a career path ahead of them as entrepreneurs.
I used my experience to help them pick up the tricks of Starts Ups. And we became so well connected that I still get calls from them asking for advice and some of them I think are doing even better than I have.
Q. How did you come across your motto of Giving and how has it affected your life?
Working with students taught me – the more you give, the more you gain. It did not only give me a lot of satisfaction but also taught me how to be practical about using your time because I believe that no one should ever sit idle.
When I went to do my post-graduation from Sydney in 2000, I volunteered at immigrant kids centre and used to work with students from all over the world.
Through this I also got a chance to be part of the hospitality brigade in Olympics of 2000 happening in Sydney that year. I got to serve food to international athletes and democrats which was a huge highlight of my student life.
Q. Are mentoring and coaching a part of the giving process?
I enjoy guiding young entrepreneurs and Start Ups full-time. This is where my motto of giving again comes into play – so yes, it is part of the giving process.
My family supports me in my endeavours, but for the large part they are exhausted with my experimenting and new ideas (chuckles). However, I go ahead with what I feel passionate about. And I think the more you give the more you get, and so far, I have experienced a lot of positive changes in my life.
Q. Any message that you would like to send to our readers who are a combination of students and entrepreneurs?
One thing that I always advice to any young entrepreneur who comes to me is – Never sit idle in your career. If there is nothing else, go work with start-ups.
Even if you must do an MBA, I suggest that you should first spend at least a year of your life with a start-up and try to work in all departments, be it finance, accounts, marketing, sales, human resource, anything. You will see after gaining this experience you will sail through your MBA very smoothly.