10 Important Life Tips For Entrepreneurs from CityGreens Founder Gaurav Narang
If you are an entrepreneur or want to become one, then you must read the following ten important life tips from Mr Gaurav Narang. He is the CEO and founder of CityGreens (Vertical Farming Technologies Pvt. Ltd.), a startup on a mission to solve the problem of insufficient access to safe, healthy and fresh food for urban dwellers. Mr Gaurav is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Managment – Calcutta. After education; He started to work in an intrapreneurial capacity in a Reliance ADA group start-up. When the promoters decided to exit the business; He grabbed the opportunity to transition from an intrapreneur to an entrepreneur by co-founding Medybiz Pharma. Later Portea Medical, India’s largest Home Healthcare company, saw value in the business and acquired it. He is an entrepreneur with huge experience in early-stage startups and a person with valuable life advice.
In an interaction with GoodVitae, he has shared following amazing life tips through a question-answer session.
1. How did you become an entrepreneur?
“I cannot recall a particular point in time or a moment of truth wherein I decided to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship, for me, is more of an ingrained attitude in everything I do, rather than a decision point towards a choice of career.”
2. Can you tell something about initial failures and struggles that you faced?
“Being a bootstrapped start-up; at CityGreens, failures and struggles are a part of every single day. However, we experienced the greatest problem even before we could launch.
A month before setting-up CityGreens, we created an innovative product design and focussed all our energies on building it. It was the only idea we were working on at that time and took us around three months from design to come up with the first prototype.
During the final pre-market test phase, it clicked on all the counts but one. However, the product may not have worked as envisaged because of failure on that one count. We decided to drop it. It happened one week before our planned launch. Also, we had no other option at that point.”
3. How did you handle your failures?
“We handle all struggles and failures the same way; We take a break, sometimes a couple of hours, at times a couple of days, to clear up our mind, and then we start again. It’s necessary to evaluate our mistakes and learnings and try not to commit the same errors again. We take one step at a time. Like a marathon runner, we don’t focus on the entire 42 km but on the next 10 meters, and then the next 100, and before we know we are back on our feet sprinting towards the finish line.
In the above case, the first thing we did was to postpone our launch by a couple of weeks. Then, with time on our side, we did a critical analysis of our failed prototype and drew inspirations from a small component in that to come up with our next product concept, ‘CG Vertical Kitchen Garden.’ We doubled down our efforts, redesigned a completely new product, filed for a patent, changed our website plan and design, rebuild it, and then launched it on time.”
4. Do you believe that failures are important to become successful?
“I believe, learning from experiences is very important to become successful. It does not really matter whether you are learning from a successful experience or a failed one. What matters is whether you are willing to learn and improve from every single experience that you encounter.”
5. How did you achieve your first success?
“We achieved our first success by continuing to pivot the business model till we could find something that could be sustainable, scalable and stand on its own merit. I did it in my previous venture, and we took around five years to get a fix on the right model.”
6. How do you motivate yourself?
“I don’t. I force myself to do things that need to be done. Motivation follows in later.”
7. What is the most important life lesson you have learned till now?
“Ownership. The choices we made, and the actions we took in the past, determines our present. If one is not content with their present self, they can always begin to act and choose differently.”
8. Can you share an important habit which has played a part in your success?
“I could never appreciate the quintessential MBA question, ‘where do you see yourself five years down the line?’ I still don’t. In fact, none of the answers that I had to make up 5, or 7, or 10 years ago hold true today.
One habit that has held me in good stead is that I don’t make long-term plans. I focus on the immediate present and plan for the short to mid-term. It helps me as I can revisit and modify my plans quite frequently, based on the need of the hour. Also, it gives me enough freedom and bandwidth to take risks and explore new things without getting burdened by the weight of ambitious long-term plans.”
9. Do you like reading books? If yes, can you recommend one?
“Yes. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.”
10. At last, can you share one of the important life tips for budding entrepreneurs and students?
“Don’t be afraid of living your dreams. If you try to take that plunge, the worst that may happen is, you may fail. If you do, you can always start again.”
If you like this important life tips then make sure to share it with your entrepreneur friends.