Friday, 5 January 2018

We are not born with an ‘Operating Manual’

"We are not born with an ‘Operating Manual’" answered Prashant 
Jadenavar while describing his entrepreneurial journey. Hailing from Dharwad, a small town in Karnataka he set up his own amateur theatre group called XpressionZ, which is also a registered NGOXpressionZ promotes art mainly theatre by providing a stage to the fresh and unexplored talent. XpressionZ is also a theatrical and behavioural training institute which aims at overall development of students and those who are unable to afford  courses on theatre and acting. It offers these courses free of cost or at a very nominal fee.

The idea of XpressionZ took birth while Prashant was doing his MBA at IBS Hyderabad. It started as a stress buster at the college with just 6 members and later became the full fledged dramatics club. Before Prashant left it had staged 25 productions and grown to 200 members. A seed had been sown.

Prashant armed with an MBA(HR) worked in the corporate sector in multiple roles for many years. His passion for theatre drove him to set up XpressionZ. He had the confidence having undergone rigorous training in theatrical aspects in institutions like Rangyana-Dharwad and National School of Drama. I could personally witness his passion for acting and spontaneity during the role plays which were part of Leadership Development and Change Management, an MBA elective taught by me at IBS. Here are a picture dating back to 2009 where Prashant is enacting the role of a coach to a distraught teenager.

We asked Prashant about his entrepreneurial journey thus far. His response is given below which would be of particular interest to budding entrepreneurs and startups.

1.      Has your entrepreneurial journey been as exciting as you had expected it to be?

Oh Absolutely. The ups and downs, the unexpected challenges, problems, hurdles, the reliefs, the support, everything has been, shall I say, a spicy biryani worth tasting. Once I quit the lucrative corporate job, there were several questions arising, for which I had no answers. I had just one thought, there is nothing called a perfect decision or a perfect life. We are humans, we make mistakes. We are not born with an ‘Operating Manual’. But once we have decided on something, it’s important to hang on. Believe in the decision, in the goal and most important, belief in us. Not miracles, but yes, our abilities. I knew, I was good at writing plays, was able to make people laugh, cry and take them through emotions. Some where I had to start, and that was the day. I respected myself, and then said, “Pack your things and let’s start the journey”
What are the key challenges that you are facing in your enterprise and how do you plan to overcome it​?​
Key challenges I would say, referring to the porter’s five force model.
Bargaining power of Customers:
As an artist, I always wish to tell a story as effectively as possible. But sometimes it so happens, that a story is applauded by a particular set of audience, would face criticism at another place. So our audience bargains, at every level, may it be experience or for a price for experience.

Bargaining Power of suppliers:
The venue. Auditoriums, are not available most of the time or the increase in the tariffs of the audis, make it difficult sometimes. Most cases venue also has a say about the genre of story they would like their set of audience to hear.

Threat of Duplication:
This is one of the major threat. Hence we don’t usually put up videos of our shows on the social media but for small clippings. But no matter, however careful we are, stories get leaked sometimes, people do steal stories.

New entrants:
This isn’t actually a problem, unless the new set of people are upto the standards. But if they are not sincere about the work. Then it so happens that it hampers our work as well. It’s like I have a field of good crops, and some one has a bad one beside my field, eventually my crops get spoilt too.

Industry Rivalry:
The entertainment industry is such where we find cut throat competition and rivalry. The extent to which people go to succeed is unimaginable. But it also helps us be on our toes and be in the game. After all, our character is known by our friends and our capacity by our enemies.

Overcoming this, well, we keep taking feedbacks in a constructive way, brainstorm with the team and take a decision. Basically it’s trial and error all the time. Reinvent ourselves, adapt to the situations quickly and make necessary changes. Most of all, if we feel difficulty in attaining our goal, we change the path, or strategy, not the goal. We just hang on.

3.     What is your message for present students who want to take the entrepreneurial dive?​
No one cares if you win, lose, succeed or get lost. So just follow your heart, grit, and don’t be so serious but be sincere in whatever you do. Enjoy the journey, after all it is beautiful than the destination itself.

Prashant shares his practical tips on transforming your dreams into reality in a one-minute video. Thanks Prashant for this clip recorded exclusively for Ghumakkad.

Prashant went on to do his PhD. He is a NET qualified teacher of 
the Universities Grants Commission, India. Dr Prashant is not the one who will rest on his oars. He has staged more than 300 productions and written 50 plays himself! He also conducts theatre workshops for school and under privileged children. Few pictures.

Prashant has won many awards. But his humility keeps him 

Prashant's story is the first in a series titled 'Proof of the Pudding'
It showcases Ghumakkad's ten former students who have become successful entrepreneurs in last 15 years. Thanks are due to the following entrepreneurs came forward to share their stories.

MBA Graduation
Business Area
Venture Name & Location
Prabudha Saurabh
MBA(HR) IBS(2010)
Career Coaching
HRscope Consultants, Patna
Prashant Jadenavar
MBA(HR) IBS (2010)
Entertainment/ Theatre and Performing Arts
XpressionZ, Bangalore
Kirti Sharma Chaudhury
MBA(Mktg) IBS (2012)
Image Consultant, Corporate Trainer
Tualmagis, Mumbai
Aayushi Kasliwal
MBA(Fin) IBS (2013)
Designer Soaps- manufacture and supply
Soapatite, Indore
Preksha Shah Jain
MBA(Mktg) IBS(2013)
Designer Apparels and Accessories
Preksha Jain – The Fashionate, Kolkata
Anjali Raj
BBA IBS(2013)
Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby
ILove9Months, Kochi
Ishita Raksha and Nidhi Upadhyay
BBA IBS(2013)
A Gourmet Dessert Studio
17 Sugar Street, Hyderabad
Sriram Gundepudi
Employability Skills Training
Digi Freaks,Hyderabad
Amrut Charan
PGDM(Fin) VVISM (2016)
Digital Marketing, Web/App Development
Aresol India, Visakhapatnam

More stories of these young achievers will follow soon. Stay connected.

Thanks for browsing,

     - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 5th Jan 2018

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