EDII Alumni Speak-up Series 5#: Taking Plunge After Testing The Waters by Ranjeet Shrivastava (Forret India)

Ranjeet Shrivastava (PGDBEM 2001-2002)

Forret India

It was on a momentous day in the month of August 2001 when Ranjeet Shrivastava set his foot in the state of Gujarat. It was a new place for him, a new land with a vast expanse of opportunities. Little did he know that this would soon become home away from his home in Bihar. Few days into the state and Ranjeet was awestruck with the freedom, peace, business-friendly, people-friendly and crime-free life here. He could see girls and women travelling alone at odd hours and kids on scooters at midnight, enjoying their lives. Then and there, he had made up his mind; he was here to stay. He had decided to make a living here and as destiny would have it, today, Ranjeet is a popular name in the entrepreneurial circle in the city of Ahmedabad.

Ranjeet’s interest in entrepreneurship stemmed from his roots. His family was into the business of LPG Distributorship. Ranjeet wanted to bring more professionalism into their business and thus started looking for courses in entrepreneurship. It was then that he came across EDII and without any doubt, took the plunge.

At the very onset, Ranjeet had decided that he wouldn’t delve into his family business immediately post graduating. Instead, he would first help set up at least five businesses as a consultant, and then plunge into becoming a fulltime entrepreneur. The learning at EDII, as he shares, benefitted him aptly. “Especially the practical hands-on training and field exposure opened up my mind and my plans for venturing into a Consultancy Services business got crystallised here at EDII.”

After graduating from EDII, Ranjeet started working with Maniar Vehicles as its Sales Head, with the objective of imbibing knowledge of local market and its struggles. Two years down the line, he switched to Kotak Life Insurance as Branch Head. Between 2005 and 2014, Ranjeet charted an inspirational journey. In the first 18 months of his tenure here, he bagged six promotions! The repository of knowledge that he had gained at Maniar Vehicles was vital in this success of his life. The understanding of the local market came handy at Kotak.

In 2008, he finally took over the reins of his family business in his hands. It was a tough challenge but Ranjeet not only sailed through, but also mentored his spouse become an entrepreneur. Forret India Pvt. Ltd, his consultancy firm, has in the past nine years grown from two to 40 employees, with an increase in turnover of almost 50 per cent year-over-year.

In the year 2015, Ranjeet ventured into yet another domain – boutique services – with the name of Askanytime.in India Pvt. Ltd. This firm operates only for its registered clientele and has a whole range of services, ranging from event organising, tour operations, IT services, house or office renovation, etc. Upon enquiring how he identified this business opportunity, or how did he benefit his family business, Ranjeet, besotted with a smile, shares, “As promised, I did five successful consultancy projects, free-of-cost, to get the flair of business operations. All the five businesses were unique in terms of products/services and were successful. Seeing this kind of success gave me strength and confidence to start my own venture. So much so, that I did not take a penny from my family, friends or relatives for starting my venture. I made it work single-handedly and that made me feel as an entrepreneur.”

“Patience was my strength. It has helped the entrepreneur in me come to the fore,” clears Ranjeet. He also adds, “My family has supported me through the thick and thin. They always had faith in me and my capabilities. They believed that I would run the business well, owing to my education and professional skills, and that I would be able to handle the pressure well. Their confidence in me has led me to my targets.”

Ranjeet’s journey has been progressive, although he has had his share of hiccups. Initially, he faced fundraising issues as he had committed that he would not take a single penny from family, friends or relatives. So, the start was risky. But, god helps those who help themselves. He managed funds from his savings and some promoters. Thus, Ranjeet sailed through and managed things using his knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship. “I never thought of giving up as failure was out of question and out of my dictionary. EDII played a key role in keeping me motivated. The learning that I derived at the Institute has helped me grow at every stage of my venture. Before starting my business, I took legal advice from my mentors at EDII. Live projects and the whole environment helped me in my journey at every step,” recollects Ranjeet.

For his future, Ranjeet has steady plans, well-thought and well-planned. He wants to make his business “glocal” i.e. global-local. He wants to capture the whole market with his products. Today, his turnover stands at close to ₹ 4.5 crore. This figure has traversed a long journey from ₹10 lakh in its first year of operations.

To the aspiring entrepreneurs, Ranjeet only has to say, “Never ever give up. You are unique and you have the courage needed to plunge into entrepreneurship. Have faith in yourself and keep patience”.

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