KOCHI: Mumbai-based author Rashmi Bansal became an inspirational writer quite unintentionally. “I tell stories that inspire and interest me. These are not told often,” she says. True to these, when she released her first book ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’, Rashmi received an email saying, ‘I read your book and quit my job to pursue my dream.’ “I am just a storyteller. But stories have that kind of power,” she laughs. Express talks to the writer on the sidelines of the Women Startup Summit, which was held at Integrated Startup Complex, Kochi, on Thursday.
Your previous books were all about entrepreneurship. The recent one, however, was different. Can you tell more about it?
My tenth book -- ‘Shine Bright’ -- was released in May. The book discusses intrapreneurs. It is for those who are employed in a company but are still able to think and act like an entrepreneur or change the direction of the company. I wanted to give this message that everyone need not be an entrepreneur. There is a lot of scope within one’s current job to do things differently to make an impact.
A major portion of the workforce in Kerala are employed in companies. For starters, what does it take to create a positive impact?
The key is to be happy. You need to have a lot of emotional stability and internal strength. The initial days of one’s career may not be as satisfying as he or she thinks. However, it is important to do his or her best, no matter what the circumstances are.
Is this a good time for women entrepreneurs?
There’s never been a better time. Because we have platforms talking about women entrepreneurship and aid in investment, any woman can now start a small business with a small investment. However, growing a successful business is difficult, regardless of gender. Women, in this case, face additional challenges. One is their self-doubt. They need a helping hand in mentorship. Second is the balance between professional and personal lives. That’s a bigger challenge.
Recently, we were all disturbed by the news of the untimely death of the founder of Cafe Coffee Day. That ought to faze people from taking risks and investing in a product/service. What tips can you give to those just stepping into an entrepreneurial venture?
Believe in your cause. Be practical. Accept mistakes. Learn from failures. Reiterate your end goal to yourself frequently. Be your best in whatever you do. Most importantly, do not be afraid of risks. When you take a risk, think what’s the worse that can happen. Just because your product/service failed does not mean you are a failure. Don’t take that to heart. Your experience is still valuable.