Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.comMy first guru
Life. I started a business at 19 with my father's savings. Within two years it failed. Life then taught me two important lessons: (a) you have to work hard to make things happen, and (b) it's not how hard you fall but how strongly you recoverMy first boss
Lalit Khanna at Arthur Andersen. I was fresh out of college and reeling under the failure of my venture. He taught me the importance of doing things the "right" way and not taking short cuts
My first job
As an article associate at Arthur Andersen. It taught me professionalism, how to take the initiative and managed to ignite in me a drive/desire to succeed that I wasn't even aware existed within me
My first promotion
As senior associate at Arthur Andersen. It gave me an opportunity to interact directly with the senior management and our clientsMy first disappointment
Not making the cut at the state level in the under 15 cricket trials… For the first time I truly was exposed to how competitive the world outside really was
Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.com Photo: Vivan Mehra/www.indiatodayimages.com
1. Entrepreneurship to me means:
A state of mind and a way of life. It is not a function of whether you are doing something of your own or a start-up venture. You can be entrepreneurial in your approach in a big organisation as well.
2. If u haven't:
Ever failed in life, then you haven't taken enough risk. Yatra.com is my third attempt at entrepreneurship. The first was back in 1991 when I tried to set up a chemical manufacturing unit in Bhiwadi. The business was a spectacular failure and I lost my father his entire pension. The second time around, was in 2001 when I was trying to raise capital for a venture to open micro breweries in India and 9/11 happened and all sources on venture capital dried up.
3. I love:
To try out new things and take calculated risks. It is very important to constantly keep reinventing yourself both personally and as an organisation. I started off trying to set up a manufacturing business and from there ended up doing my CA, post which I decided to take a break and go abroad for an MBA. From there I left a stable job with a large MNC to join a much smaller organisation and finally, after getting fired from there following a buyout of the company, decided to return to India to set up Yatra.com
4. I'd rather have:
Been a soldier. I think there is no other institution like the Indian Army. My father was a part of it and I would have loved to have followed his footsteps in this regard. I am one of those who thinks it would be a good thing if India, like some countries in Europe, introduced a couples of years of military service for people post university.
5. Work and fun:
Need to co-exist, though this is easier said than done. We try and inculcate a culture of fun at work. However, more often than not it tends to get lost in the day-to-day work pressures. It is important to prioritise this despite the external pressures.
6. I chose Salman:
For he is "human" and he is one of those unique stars today whose appeal connects with both the classes and masses.
7. When it comes to hiring:
We have realised this the hard way that one should not compromise when it comes to hiring, as at the end of the day it is the people who make the difference. A wrong hiring is a dis-service to both the person that you are hiring and to the organisation. A wrong hiring is something which is hard and time consuming to rectify. Hence, it's better to invest the incremental time upfront to ensure that you get the best resource for the job.
8. MBA is:
A great investment in yourself. My year at INSEAD was by far the best year of my life. I made some great friends and the exposure made me a more well-rounded person.
9. Second place:
Makes you try harder.
10. My colleagues think:
I am too pushy and can be aggressive at times. These are both on account of the passion I feel for the business and the brand that we are building. I truly believe that we in India, in this generation, are blessed as we have a once in a multi-generation opportunity to truly shape the future of our economy.
11. Yatra for me is:
My first born child (Yatra was born 2 months before my son). It's not just a job or an entrepreneurial venture, its an integral part of me.
12. I delegate work:
To people who take ownership and are willing to be accountable.
13. Indian travellers are:
Not adventurous enough, though this is changing and we are trying to change it through "Adventurenation.com".
14. The perfect sunrise:
Is in the mountains. My best experience has been the sunrise in Leh.
15. I prefer (hills or the beach):
Hills any day. I love the crisp mountain air. My son and I are both fond of trekking and love to wander off and explore new tracks.As told to Vivan Mehra