A Serial Entrepreneur Writes …….


Saumil Majmudar (above) is the co-founder & MD of EduSports

Firms he has founded: Learn@Home, QSupport, Sportz-Village and EduSports

One thing he says he’d do differently now: He would not give up

His idea of the most exciting space to be in: Indian consumer space

Here he is in his own words:

When I was asked to write about my experience as a serial entrepreneur, I decided to first find out the definition of the term. This is what I got: “A serial entrepreneur is one who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses”.

Note that it doesn’t talk about success, only about starting new businesses. Maybe success is assumed. And here’s a definition that one of my entrepreneur friends gave me many years ago: “A serial entrepreneur is very often a euphemism for a failed businessman!”

I started my second venture SportzVillage because my first — QSupport — did not succeed. The only promise I made myself was that whatever I started next, I would not give up till it was successful. So, the choice of what to start next was critical.

In 2003, as I started SportzVillage, I found little use for my previous network, learning and expertise. I had to work much harder since I chose to start a new venture in an unrelated field, but one that I was passionate about.

In the past eight years, my team and I have tried multiple business lines, ranging from corporate sports,sports travel, sports technology and sports infrastructure to school sports.

Our aim was to build a profitable and scalable business. We had to try multiple lines because many did not work out. The one business that emerged was EduSports, which covers nearly 200 schools and helps 1,50,000 children play through a structured in-school sports programme. And SportzConsult is a leading sports management business that works with corporates and brands.

So while we did not compromise on the core vision of building a business in sport, we were flexible in order to survive and then grow. And so people started referring to me as a ‘serial entrepreneur’.

The risk with ‘serial entrepreneurship’ is that the market can be spooked into thinking that if the going gets tough, you might just give up on this one and start another venture if something exciting catches your fancy.I guess it is like job hopping.

Success in business requires you to be at the right place at the right time with the right product or service and the right team. There are too many moving parts that have to fall in place. If you are there already, just stay there. Don’t go searching in the dark again.

I have also found that if a business is or looks like becoming successful as in the case of a , most founders stay with it and build it. Why would they leave a successful business and start another with a mortality rate of 98%? Unless, of course, they plan to sell it.In such cases, most entrepreneurs typically turn into angel investors or venture capitalists. Rarely do successful entrepreneurs start another business from scratch the way they did their earlier business and the exceptions are statistically irrelevant.

I believe that most serial entrepreneurs have failed at an earlier venture. And then, it is hunger that makes them start a new business. The hunger for success; the hunger to relive the excitement of a new venture; the desire to prove to yourself — and the world — that you can spot an opportunity, build a business and make it successful. Maybe, in the next few years, I will graduate from being a serial entrepreneur to a ‘Sports Businessman’!

-From ET 14/7/12

About Keerthika Singaravel

4 Responses to A Serial Entrepreneur Writes …….

  1. zap says:

    i really like ur post,thanks a lot

  2. Alex Jones says:

    Best way to learn about anything is to learn from those that have done it. This is a good post.

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