Chandan Chandwani was once an engineering graduate who could have easily joined his family business. But, that would have meant going back to his native place; a thought that didn’t really sit well with him at the time. That’s the reason he went to KIAMS to pursue a management degree. In what is an interesting twist of fate – his learning at the institute only made him keener on becoming an entrepreneur and he has not looked back since.
Today, Mr Chandwani runs Vansh Industries and is a job creator rather than being a job seeker. That’s been one of the main objectives of his institute that promotes entrepreneurial skills amongst its students. But, the switch from the corporate world where he worked for a period of two years after completing his management degree, to being an entrepreneur wasn’t a straightforward one, according to the man of the moment.
Talking about his interesting journey from a corporate professional to an entrepreneur, Mr. Chandwani says, “It wasn’t easy to leave the corporate world and join the family business. What I realised, and what stands true for many family-run businesses, is that they are more people- oriented rather than being process-oriented. The task ahead of me was to first find my place in the system and then to push it to be a process oriented one.”
It was a challenge that Mr Chandwani reveled in. But he wasn’t to stop there; his zeal and motivation to do something bigger and better pushed him to start his own venture away from his native place. This enabled him to create a working environment specifically for his needs and beliefs. That’s why he is very pleased to see his company in the position it is today.
And of course there’s the personal achievement of making a difference to others’ lives by creating job opportunities for them as well. But, clearly running one’s own business has its own set of challenges; something Mr. Chandwani has faced a fair share of during his entrepreneurial sojourn. “The biggest challenge is time availability for the owner. You don’t have the liberty of falling ill or attending functions such as your cousin’s wedding for example,” he says laughingly. “You also need to be a jack-of-all-trades as you have to look after several functions of the business,” he explains. But he is also aware of the benefits involved, “The biggest high is that you are working for yourself and the results are directly linked to your efforts,” he mentions.
Mr. Chandwani is a hands-on entrepreneur who is as comfortable with getting down to the basics with his employees as he is to delegating tasks to them and ensuring that the tasks are completed. He wears different hats at work during the day, from being a taskmaster to the confidant of the employees. And he believes he has learned some of this adaptability from the teachings at KIAMS.
Talking about his time at the institute, he says, “I will always remember the interactions I had there during studies and projects we had to work on. Most of them were group tasks and they focused on team work, which I believe is important in different aspects of life. It is something I rely on when running my company as well. It also makes you realise your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can have a team member cover for you if you are falling short in some department.”
Mr Chandwani credits his teachers for developing his entrepreneurial spirit. He is particularly thankful to professors who had an industrial background and, who he believes, shaped his thinking in many ways.
Today he is in a place where he can mould young minds into becoming future entrepreneurs themselves. He encourages young students to follow their dreams while offering them solid advice. “Having a brilliant idea to sell can be a good enough reason to start your own business. But you need to have a clear vision of the service or product you want to offer. Research on the market and having your homework in place is absolutely crucial,” he says.
Mr Chandwani’s words of wisdom stem from his own experiences and can make a world of difference to aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s just like the learning at KIAMS did for him, when it mattered the most.