Q 1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: We are an online gaming operator in India. Although we welcome international customers, our platform is primarily by Indians, for Indians.
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: My name is Sunil Balasingam, Operational Director at U8Fun. I joined this amazing company in 2020 after the pandemic struck. Before this, I was heading operations in a popular theme park. As you know the tourism industry has been badly hit by the pandemic, and I’m happy that I’ve found this great job where I can continue to serve people and take care of their entertainment needs, but in a safe and secure online environment.
Q 3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: I’m only an employee in this company. My boss is a very busy man, which is why I’m answering this questionnaire on his behalf. My boss always stresses the importance of diversification when doing business. He always says, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, and he’s so right. You just never know what awaits you in your entrepreneurship journey, so if you channel all your resources into one thing and that one thing goes bust, then all your efforts and funds just come to naught. The best example is this pandemic. Before it struck, people were investing in all sorts of ventures. Imagine if you had put in all your reserves into a business that cannot operate in the current environment, wouldn’t you be ruined financially? My boss is very wise. He had diversified his business ventures long before Covid-19 reared its ugly head. Post-pandemic, my boss has shut some of the businesses that are no longer viable to operate, and at the same time, expanded others that have growth potential.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Always diversify
Always look at the current market’s supply and demand before jumping in
Be resilient. Tough times don’t last but tough people do.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Entrepreneurs must be risk-averse. Those who fear taking risks should think twice about venturing out on their own because businesses may go up or down. They have to hope and work towards the best, but be prepared for the worse.
Entrepreneurs must be good at planning. They have to plan ahead all the time and be prepared to change their plans many times in the face of unforeseen circumstances. But regardless of how many times they have to alter their plans, they MUST still plan. As they say, those who don’t plan are planning to fail.
Entrepreneurs must always have alternatives lined up. Always have a Plan A, B, C or more in the pipeline.
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: My boss works all the time. Even during his leisure hours, his mind is working on how to improve his businesses, what else needs to be done, where has he gone wrong, etcetera, etcetera. For him, one need not necessarily be physical present in an office or sitting in front of a computer or on the phone closing a deal to be deemed as working.
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: My boss attributes his success to his forefathers. He comes from a long line of business people. His father is still managing his own factories. His grandfather was a well-known merchant during his time, and so was his great-grandfather. My boss always says that he has the “business spirit” coursing through his veins.
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: My boss has many businesses and, for each, he markets in a different way. For U8Fun, our marketing is centred around the digital space. We do a lot of social media marketing. We also update our website regularly to ensure that our customers are up to speed on our latest promotions and happenings. Like all businesses, online gaming is very competitive, so we have to put ourselves out there to remain relevant in the hearts and minds of avid gamers. Of course, we have also got to make sure that our promotions and products are interesting and exciting to keep them interested and coming back for more.
Q 9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: As my boss owns many other businesses, initial funding for U8Fun came from profits from his other ventures. While my boss is U8Fun’s main shareholder, there are several other partners who have contributed to the financial assets of the business.
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Q 11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: As more and more countries are acknowledging that this pandemic has become endemic, I see much potential for growth in the online gaming industry. People are scared that they will contract the disease, so you wouldn’t see people swarming to physical casinos anytime soon because those places are notoriously crowded and poorly ventilated. People will prefer to entertain themselves in the safety of their own homes.
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: There are too many to mention.
Q 13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: My boss believes that good employees are the best assets any entrepreneur can have. He makes it a point to groom those who show potential and interest, giving them a great career path across all his businesses. He doesn’t believe in just roping in family members to succeed him. He says that there’s no point in giving someone an important position just because of blood relations if he/she doesn’t show the right attitude and aptitude towards his businesses.
Q 14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: There are many factors to consider and every situation is different. So, it’s difficult to pin down a duration in months/years, but suffice to say that, when it’s obvious that it’s no longer practical to carry on, then my boss will decide to call it a day on a certain venture.
Q 15. What motivates you?
Ans: Success. Whenever my boss experiences some measure of success in his ventures, he feels driven to work even harder to see these businesses grow further.
Q 16. What are your ideals?
Ans: When my boss sees that his businesses have benefitted people in one way or another.
Q 17. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: Having discussions with the team. My boss says that there’s always so many new, exciting ideas being thrown up whenever he calls for a discussion with his most trusted people.
Q 18. How do you define success?
Ans: Success is when you’re satisfied with what you’ve achieved. My boss is realistic. He knows that not every business person will reach the Forbes list of richest people. He also feels that money and profits, though important, should not be the be-all and end-all for a businessman. He feels that as long as what he does benefits society and enables him to compensate himself and his staff well, he has already succeeded. The rest is a bonus.
Q 19. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: To have good products and services to answer the needs of customers.
To take our customers’ feedback seriously.
To take criticism constructively and always strive to improve.
Q 20. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: To have the freedom to be a part of any industry that he’s interested in.
Q 21. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: Some of my boss’ businesses are now household names. As he started these businesses from scratch, it’s so satisfying for him to see them grow from nothing to what they are today.
Q 22. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Compared to entrepreneurs, employees have a lot more stability and a lot less responsibility. But entrepreneurs, my boss feels, have a lot more satisfaction and fulfilment in their careers.
Q 23. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: My boss always strives to inculcate a culture of spontaneity, mutual respect and openness in his organization. He feels that when everyone feels that his contribution matters yet respects another person’s views, then he has successfully brought on board people who can give their best to his organization.
Q 24. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q 25. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: My boss started working immediately after leaving school. Unlike his siblings, he didn’t further his studies. Looking back now, he wishes he had spent some years in higher education, if not for anything else, it’s just for a sense of self achievement.
Q 26. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: Just like all entrepreneurs, my boss is very busy. Before the pandemic struck, he used to travel a lot – within India and also overseas. In a strange way, the pandemic is a blessing because he gets to spend more time at home with his family. He now works in his home office most of the time.
Q 27. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: That ALL of his businesses will be affected at once by an unforeseen event like the current pandemic. He manages fear by being rational. He believes that, even in the worst-case scenario, there is always a solution to be found.
Q 28. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: U8Fun is an online business. The digital space is the best “location” for businesses right now because of the pandemic and also because more and more people own smart devices now.
Q 29. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: The formula is to diversify.
Q 30. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: My boss credits his wife for this. She’s been his pillar of strength all through the years.
Q 31. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: Too many to mention haha. But what’s important is to always learn from your mistakes.
Q 32. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: By learning from other people’s mistakes.
Q 33. What makes you happy?
Ans: Many things. My boss is a man of simple needs.
Q 34. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Family time. My boss regrets that he had missed out on many important milestones in his children’s growing up years. He is ever grateful to his wife for all the sacrifices she’d made and having brought up the children well.
For more information Visit https://u8fun.com