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Devesh Chawla: the right team can take you a long way. I believe it’s the people and my team that have made my challenges easier and my success better

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๐Ÿ’ผ How did you end up as a CEO? What was your route to this position?

We all have our own journeys; some relentlessly stick to their plans, while others change routes for a different life.

Regardless of the path we take, we’re always supported and helped by other people in our challenges, celebrations, and transitions.

It is such a journey that took me from cubicles in a wealth management office to the exciting and dynamic world of startups.

My versatile experience over the past few years has ranged from being an entrepreneur in the dynamic startup economy to being a mentor to various budding startups. It all began in 2009 with my idea to start a cab service based on GPS.

I created a working model and reached out to various industry experts. However, when I approached the aggregators of the taxi/cab service companies, I was discouraged from pursuing the idea.

I took their words seriously and decided not to further work on the idea as it needed political connections and managing unions. Having dropped the idea, I started working in a firm as a wealth manager and was responsible for managing ultra-HNWIs money, who invested in India and abroad across asset classes.

Through this experience, I acquired a huge amount of networking and domain expertise. However, simultaneously, I also saw Ola’s birth and their journey to the 1000-crore club on the footholds of the same idea that I wanted to initiate back in 2009. This turned out to be an eye-opener for me and caused me to reflect on the decisions I made.

Over the years, I have also spent a lot of time mentoring startups and investing in them, connecting with investors, and gaining a lot of experience and exposure.

As a result, I didn’t hesitate to work on his next idea when I had a new idea. I decided to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors/mentors by providing a platform for their interactions and valuable feedback from these dignitaries to these entrepreneurs to help them with their journey.

Thus, took place the establishment of Chatur Ideas โ€“ which has now become one of India’s leading startup enabling platforms that act as a ‘ONE-STOP SOLUTION’ for startups and entrepreneurs. Currently, Chatur Ideas has more than 1100+ startups under its wings.

We have also collaborated with 1000+ institutions and have a base of 1500+ investors, which is rising gradually. Not to doubt, we have a tremendous lifetime value of people associated with us.

From an 18 years old aspiring entrepreneur to a 60-plus angel investor, we are happy to cater to all.

๐Ÿ’ผ What gets you up in the morning?

Our time on this earth is a blessing, and every day is the beginning of something new. My family and relationships are what give my life meaning. They make me happy and enable me to give them happiness.

I am an easygoing person and love everything life has to offer, so there’s a lot that keeps me happy. This makes it easy for me to be positive and happy no matter what life throws at me.

๐Ÿ’ผ Who helped you get to where you are today?

You know, people say the right team can take you a long way. I believe it’s the people and my team that have made my challenges easier and my success better. I would like to majorly give credit to their ‘Chatur Ideas’ and their optimism.

๐Ÿ’ผ What is the best or worst business advice you have received, and from whom?

The key to being a good leader is making decisions. There are times when leaders don’t really know what to do but are afraid to take a call. In these situations, I still follow what my wife advised me to do. You simply need to take a step back and do something that clears up your mind.

When I feel stuck or confused, I take some time out to introspect and analyze the situation from all angles. This allows me to gain some perspective and clarity on what the problem is. Secondly, I reach out to my mentors, colleagues, or friends for their opinion.

I believe that they are always our biggest cheerleaders. And thirdly, I believe in taking a walk. A walk has the power to clear your head and help you think more clearly.

๐Ÿ’ผ If you could go back in time to when you were a teenager, what life advice would you give yourself?

As a first-time entrepreneur, I wasted a few months looking for the solution before looking for the problem.

This should be the other way around. They should look for the problem first and then find the solution. Just finding the solution is not enough.

The solution should be very enticing and should have the potential to create money and solve problems at the same time. These are the pointers that first-time and aspiring entrepreneurs should keep in mind.

๐Ÿ’ผ What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

Every entrepreneur is unique. What makes each successful is their drive to succeed and the hard work they put in.

When I meet a startup, I only ask for 2 things, their business plan and PDF PDF stands for Perseverance, Discipline, and Focus. For example, Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, knocked on 1009 doors before he became successful.

That is perseverance, the persistence in doing something despite hurdles. Being spendthrift on your investor money like college graduates is not how an entrepreneur should behave. So, discipline plays a key role in an entrepreneur’s success.

Thirdly, a laser-sharp focus is required where the entrepreneur’s focus must only be on aim and nowhere else, just like Arjuna of Mahabharata, the best Archer of his time. These are the qualities that I feel a leader should have to be successful.

๐Ÿ’ผ How can a leader fail?

A leader becomes a failure once they start becoming “Selfish” Every leader ought to think about the betterment of his followers more than anything.

๐Ÿ’ผ What do the next five years hold for you?

As one of India’s largest startup enabling platforms, our goal is to further grow globally. USA, Israel, UAE, and Qatar are just a few of the countries with an international presence.

We aim to expand our presence internationally as we continue to grow. The most important goal would be to help 50 startups reach unicorn status.

๐Ÿ’ผ Mentorship is a big business in the West. Do you have any experience with it?

I have been deeply committed to assisting today’s youth to gain financial independence, be it through entrepreneurship, jobs, or the stock market. People need to learn to be self-reliant.

To achieve that, I have conducted various workshops and courses on stock market technical analysis, entrepreneurship, and financial independence so that my students can make money on their own.

I have also invested and mentored in numerous startups, which include O-Genie, Orbit Marketplace, Habitales, Finzard, Market Pulse, Hubilo, and many more.

At Chatur Ideas, we offer domain-specific mentoring from top technical experts in the specific field to ensure quality output is achieved through support from the mentor/advisor.

๐Ÿ’ผ If people want to reach out to you or your business, what is the best way for them to go about doing that?

Chatur Ideas is one of India’s largest startup-enabling platforms. With over 1500 investors in our network from India and abroad, we aim to provide a ‘One-Stop Solution’ to Startups and entrepreneurs. If you’re simply looking to connect with me, you can drop me an email at [email protected]

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Written by Fredd

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