Ranga Reddy, CEO and co-founder, Maveric Systems, software testing company which provides lifecycle assurance for software applications
As the story goes
Before we started Maveric Systems, I was in consulting and often thought about building my own business. Willy-nilly, at the end of the day, I used to huddle with my colleagues and friends at TGI Fridays and after the first drink, the subject would always change to building a business. While I was discussing my idea with one set of people, when the moment arrived, it was actually a totally different set of friends who had faith in the project and said let’s do it and let’s not give up without trying for a period of three years. It has been 15 years since then and we are still going strong. So, I was lucky to have such a team at the helm of affairs at Maveric.
In the second instance, almost three years after inception, we were not able to get our offering in shape. We spent most of the investments we mobilised and achieved no significant revenues. No one in the core team wavered and suggested that we shut shop. We worked harder to find our anchor client. We started off in 2000 as a technology incubator and by 2003 we were committed to building an IT lifecycle assurance firm focussed on BFSI. During this period, the core team as well as all the senior professionals, had good reason to throw the towel in. For some reason, that eludes me to date, all of them didn’t use their mind to take the call. Instead they used their heart. That’s the only reason I can think of when I wonder why we didn’t shut shop in 2003. I would call that getting lucky a second time.
How you see it
I believe in gifts. Many a time, I am cognisant of their value when I receive them. In retrospect, I get to see how they have shaped me and my context. At that time, I make it a point to acknowledge them always in person and at times, in public. In my experience, I disagree with the idiom ‘self-made man’. I am a firm believer of ‘we are a product of many people’s gifts’.
For an entrepreneur, apart from the killer idea, talent, timing and funding are critical to success. When all of it falls in place, you could call it luck. Paulo Coelho calls it beginner’s luck. From there on, to build an institution, you need a broad-based collective vision and collective perseverance.
Favourite quote on luck
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.
In a measure
Each person, in accordance to natural ability, is inclined to an endeavour and run an enterprise. Entrepreneur is a classification in post mortem. Without an endeavour, there is no enterprise. For every 1,000 endeavours, there will be 10 which meet with beginner’s luck and out of them, with a good measure of collective perseverance one will get to be an institution.
When it comes to achieving the stated objectives, there are three things to take into account; the pragmatism while defining the objectives, ability to mobilise requisite talent and cash and fierce truthfulness in execution.
What’s your Plan L?
I plan to be easy, for I am told easy gets lucky.