The saying "Ghar Ki Murgi Daal Barbar" (Familiarity breeds contempt) holds true as people often overlook or undervalue the things that are familiar to them. This sentiment seems to be reflected in the case of ISB (Indian School of Business), where I pursued my studies. Despite being invited every year and even having a case study written about us by Harvard Business School, ISB failed to extend an invitation to me. It appears that Indian business schools may not fully appreciate their own talent, as expressed by Aman Gupta, renowned for his appearance on Shark Tank India.
However, Hyderabad holds a special place in my heart, as it is a city that has provided me with numerous cherished memories. It has been the backdrop for many significant milestones in my life, as Aman Gupta recalls.
The company I co-founded, boAt, has achieved remarkable success, creating history by becoming the second-largest wearable brand globally. This accomplishment is a matter of great pride for us, as it puts India on the map in terms of wearable technology. Furthermore, boAt has solidified its position in the Indian market by capturing a significant market share, as Aman Gupta proudly shares.
Asserting that Indian brands are here to stay and poised for further growth, Aman Gupta declares that people are increasingly embracing and purchasing products from Indian brands. He even goes on to mention his previous work experience with JBL, an American audio equipment manufacturer, stating that he is now their biggest competitor.
During his visit to the city, Aman Gupta was invited by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and addressed over 200 members on the topic of "Ride on the Waves of Success with The Great Indian Shark, Aman Gupta" at the Park Hotel in Somajiguda on Saturday evening. In her welcome address, Ritu Shah, Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad, recollected a quote by Hillary Clinton, emphasizing the untapped potential and determination of women to overcome challenges and barriers.
The hall was filled to capacity, with women eagerly anticipating Aman Gupta's speech. Overwhelmed by the large turnout, he admitted feeling nervous, stating that he had never addressed such a sizable audience of women before. Initially, he struggled a bit, but as he gained confidence, he managed to earn their trust, effectively utilizing his sense of humor to make his 45-minute talk light-hearted and enjoyable.
Aman Gupta openly shares that he faced six failures before the success of boAt. Despite the setbacks, he never looked back, and within a short span, boAt has reached an impressive milestone of selling one crore units. The company now employs nearly 5,000 people and is valued at Rs 10,000 crore, with Aman Gupta holding a 25% share. Their sales revenues currently stand at Rs 4,000 crore, and remarkably, they achieved profitability from day one. With financial security established, Aman Gupta no longer actively runs the business; instead, it is managed by professionals. His main driving force now lies in people and their energy and enthusiasm, leading him to invest in and inspire others. Furthermore, the income generated from his guest lectures is donated to charity.
Although Aman Gupta admits that he was not initially a technocrat, his previous experience at JBL provided valuable insights. Additionally, some of his colleagues from JBL joined him in building boAt, contributing to the development of technically superior products. When questioned about the possibility of his colleagues leaving to become competitors, he assures that he takes good care of his employees, emphasizing that he does not wish for another Aman Gupta to emerge from his own company.
When asked to choose between idea and execution as the key to success, Aman Gupta expresses that while a good idea is important, it is the execution that truly matters. Success can be attributed to various factors, including hard work, luck, ideas, and effective execution, as he highlights.
Aman Gupta concludes his speech by sharing eight lessons that have guided him on his path to success: 1. Customer is king, 2. Frugality, 3. Back to basics, 4. Do what excites you, 5. Balancing money and passion, 6. Empowering young individuals to run your business, and 7. Adopting a "we too can do it" attitude.