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Entrepreneurship Journey of Varada Murthy -Founder Director,People First


As a student, Varada wanted to become a Chartered Accountant, but family circumstances forced me to take care of his Father’s small business when he was studying in College. Although, he entered the Corporate world for 8 to 5 job and continued for about 17 years soon after his Post Graduation,he relates his entrepreneurship spirit now to the basic lessons learnt during that time!

 Few important values and qualities that he picked from his parents and from his Father, in particular are Discipline, Determination, Courage, Honesty and commitment.  This, plus his exposure to multicultural working environment abroad has taught me a lot that is required for an Entrepreneur.

He always believed in Dreams and building something where we can contribute for the benefit of society at large, and he thought more than Human Resources, it is the Educational Services where we can really add value to people at large.  That is when he founded People First Leadership Academy.

Varadha says,to be honest, our journey has just begun and there is so much to learn for us to reach where we are aiming and of course, learning never stops and it is all the more in this journey of “Entrepreneurship”. With the success we witnessed in the Corporate world or looking at many other successful people, we get motivated and inspired to start our own, thinking that it would be easy.  I remember once, one of the Speakers in an Entrepreneurship Seminar saying “There is never going to be an “ecosystem” that is waiting for an Entrepreneur to show up and do his / her magic”  We need to work hard and create one for ourselves.

Later he adds, it’s a different ball game when you are on your own, compared to working in a corporate world where you have a system in place.  Here, you need to run around for everything and believe me it was not easy for me to digest, particularly coming from a place where life was so easy with good systems in place, where customer service was one of the top priorities unlike here!  It was frustrating to wait and watch for one small thing to be moved from point A to point B!  Many a times, I was wondering what am I doing? And had to cut down my speed because it never worked as I planned and it will never work the way we think, I guess.

As per Varada, the first thing is that we need to be prepared to accept the reality that we need a serious long term planning as it may take longer  time than we put down in our nice Business Plan to see the positive results so until such time, we need to be prepared to sustain.  You have got to believe in yourselves and also prepare your family for that. One important thing Varada learnt early on is to collaborate with people to grow, we are still exploring it and we always will as we believe that it is the need of the hour for business.  Spread the idea and share it with lots and lots of people, never keep it to yourself.  There will be enough people to help. It may also be a good idea to have a Mentor or a Coach.

 Don’t chase money, work with passion and money will come eventually!

Hiring challenge

He talks about hiring where he says that hiring the right people is one of the biggest challenges today even for bigger and established companies.  For a start up, it is huge challenge. Freshers mostly look for brands, good perks, infrastructure and start up is the last option for them!  Referral system may work well here.


Visualise, Dream, chase your Dream.

In Varada’s words Be ambitious, Dream and visualize bigger things for you. There are always people to pull you down and discourage you.. For him, my overseas exposure, working with multicultural work environment and putting myself into continuous learning by reading, attending various Seminars and Trainings helped me in being tough mentally.  He started his entrepreneurial learning much before he started his company to say so because while working in a Corporate, he never felt he was working for someone else; always felt the belongingness, although had disappointments on many occasions like most would have had. He thoroughly enjoyed his work life and no complaints whatsoever.

A message that he provides to all of us is that Set a Goal and work with a strategy.  Even if the set strategy does not work, change the strategy but not the GOAL is what he says he learnt and strongly believe in.

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Amisha Singh

Avid Blogger, Digital Marketing Enthusiast, Entrepreneur, Product & Project Strategist, Nature Lover, Foodie.