Manifest the solution, not the problem

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When his father and uncle started their business unit in the 1970s, India was still recuperating from the Indo-Pakistan War. The country had a shortage of young engineers and the period remained in the memory of many as one of struggle. Yet, Mayank Shekhar recalls how his father and his peers were determined to make it, and he believes, it is this “childhood conditioning” that propelled him to become an entrepreneur himself. “My family runs a mechanical business in the automobile industry”, says Shekhar who has spent his early years developing his primary passion – electronics – crediting his father for the freedom that allowed him to pursue his interest. Today, he leads a new vertical that offers engineering solutions in the packaging industry. “In my friend circle, someone is selling toothpaste, someone is selling insurance. Nobody is in the core engineering field and I don’t know whether they are enjoying what they are doing, but I surely am enjoying what I am doing.” Shekhar says, when asked about the one thing that he enjoys about his work, “…product creation. Taking a thing from a concept stage to a finished product, this gives me a lot of kick.” A business, according to him, offers a tangible solution to a problem and the key is to combine multiple interests together, which leads to innovation. Being one of an inquisitive nature, an important quality in an entrepreneur, Shekhar has spent his time in establishing systems in his company. In his many discussions with his late father, Shekhar has learned that evolving systems are the prime difference between companies that become great and the others which stagnate. In his words, “Unless you have systems in place, a system for everything, you cannot run a business.” That has what has steered his business forward. Shekhar is a strong advocate for on-the-job learning. He says that each problem in a business is an opportunity to a new solution, which cannot be integrated into a regular training module. It matters that entrepreneurs do not limit themselves to the methods which have always worked for them. Innovation presents itself when disruptions are initiated. “If you continue to do what you have always done, you would always get what you have always got.” “You have to have a fire in your belly; if you want to do something, you should like doing it”, is his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. He attributes his passion and the success he has achieved to the “law of attraction”, a force that runs the universe and manifests what people want. For this reason, he confirms that all problems in a business, when manifested as their equivalent solution, miraculously solve themselves, including the most difficult ones such as getting the first client. Once, when he was younger, an electrician who saw him working on his gadgets referred him to a company which manufactured food packaging machines. That incident, Shekhar believes has changed his life. He went to the factory unit and delivered a controller for the machine. Later, when a client did not compensate him, he decided to launch his own vertical, where he invested in making efficient and higher technology at a low cost. Now in the midst of writing his second book on how Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) businesses function, he is attempting to decode the perspectives of a customer and that of an OEM business owner. About his first book, Shekhar says that it was a book that he wrote for his son, who wanted to learn about electronics. According to him, the market even today lacks books which delineate concepts of the subject, a passion that he has maintained throughout the years. Shekhar’s Top 5 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs: 1. Whatever you plan to do, just go and do it. 2. Manifest the solution, not the problem. 3. Always be authentic. 4. Remember you are not selling your product; you are selling ease. 5. Be disruptive. As a proponent of technology, Shekhar emphasizes the importance of digital marketing and the use of social media. He himself has used videos as a steady marketing tool to stay connected with his clients, and has improved turnarounds at minimized costs. Digital marketing, he says, is in your control and gives you the power of choice. Shekhar reiterates that authenticity – being true to yourself and your client – has helped him overcome the tough times. He believes that compulsion cannot keep him be authentic, it is his passion for his work that has driven him, and that has remained his motto in life. For his future, Shekhar sees himself steady and confident. In his suave manner, he says, “When I plan too much, I feel things don’t get done. When I leave them a little and I just walk along, they happen in a better manner.”