Interview with Pratik Vaidya, MD of Karma Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.
Mr. Pratik Vaidya tells us how his experience with bringing a change in his company helped him achieve great success.
Interviewer: Tell us something about yourself and the company.
Mr. Pratik: I have an education in commerce and law. Following a stint with corporates, I joined the family business which was then ‘Kishor Vaidya & Co.’, a sole proprietary concern engaged primarily in ESI and Provident Fund related tasks. I had several new ideas and plans for expansion, which soon gave birth to Karma Management in 2004. We have, since, grown to become a complete HR solution, and have updated processes and services to be modern and relevant.
Interviewer: What motivated you to start your own company?
Mr. Pratik: Having had the exposure of being on the corporate side, and garnering experience being with companies like Arthur Andersen and P&G, I realized that there is a very distinct need that companies have, and that there really wasn’t anyone who was specifically targeted at providing them at the time. The growing challenges of globalization and increasing complexity of business demanded suitable solutions. My background in technology led me to leverage the platform to expand and explore new horizons. This is how Karma began its foray into outsourcing and staffing, payroll management, and personnel law consultancy.
Interviewer: What are the two things important for a successful business?
Mr. Pratik: Businesses today are governed primarily by relationships. A bond of mutual trust and respect is integral to sustenance and growth. That being said, what needs to back a thriving relationship is the ability to cater to their needs. We notice how partnerships are short-lived and loyalties are fickle. It is no wonder that service standards and customer delight cannot be undermined. The standards one sets in being able to forge strong relationships and back them with superlative service is what enables a company to survive and grow.
Interviewer: Did you face any challenges in your entrepreneurial journey and what did you learn from it?
Mr. Pratik: No business is without challenges and hurdles. Any business that is only smooth sailing is either short-sighted, or simply ignorant of what is to come. We have had our fair share of setbacks, but they have only taught us how to bounce back, and showed us how nothing can be taken for granted.
For us, challenges have been great teachings. They have helped in shaping our values and vision – and shown us ways to ideate and explore possibilities we wouldn’t have known existed. Challenges prove hard only when you view them as impediments. Take them in your stride and you will find that they have opened up a new avenue for you.
Interviewer: What would you like to advice budding entrepreneurs?
Mr. Pratik: The most important piece of advice for any entrepreneur is to never lose sight of why you started. Success and profits are only by-products of any venture, but can never be the reason why you began.They may at first elude you, but if you have a clear purpose and defined vision, it will chase you eventually. Enjoy the journey, don’t fear taking the risks, allow yourself time, and most importantly, never accept mediocrity. There can never be a short-cut to success. Just watch yourself and people you choose, the way you deliver for first 100 days. 100 days incubation is a real mantra. It can be new client acquisition or new employee or new decision to make. Ensure you give your best to any of them for first 100 days and then leverage on alternatives if something is not working out.
Interviewer: What mindset one should have to take the company to huge heights?
Mr. Pratik: Patience and perseverance are the watchwords to success. Look at the bamboo tree. It takes eighteen months to see the first signs of any life or growth. After that, however, it shoots up and reaches phenomenal heights in the shortest time. However, you need to care and nurture it through the eighteen months in order for it to grow. Similarly, you need to exercise patience and work hard consistently even when you don’t see immediate results. Things will happen at their time, but you cannot lose sight of your goal, or give up on your beliefs.
Interviewer: How has becoming an entrepreneur made you a better person?
Mr. Pratik: Entrepreneurship is not just about growing a business – it is about grooming a person. It teaches you to push yourself, to look for things in yourself you never knew existed. It teaches you hardwork and commitment. It helps you learn to balance relationships and tasks, manage yourself and time optimally. It teaches you failure and how to be resilient. It teaches you to never give up. Most importantly it teaches you integrity and accountability. All of this have changed me, and made me what I stand for today.