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. I am a Financial Advisor to business owners and engage in inter-generational planning for lasting wealth.
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. 1. B.E. (ECE), MBA
2. Carried out inside sales to SME sales to corporate sales to enterprise sales to global sales in companies like HP, West, NTT Data, Advantech. Received numerous awards for sales performance.
3. Started a restaurant business. 1st year sales:₹12 lakhs,8th year sales:₹6crores(multi restaurant).
4. Learnt and implemented insurance concepts in business and in life over the past 3 years to get certainty as well as liquidity in both personal and professional spheres
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. Business owners typically focus on what they do best, and that’s running a great practice and providing state-of-the art service. Managing their personal finances often takes a back seat; they sometimes put their families at stake to save their business and this can create a tremendous amount personal and professional stress. And as their business grows, so might the complexity of their finances. Therefore, providing a proven cashflow, recovery cashflow and investing as per our investor profile is more important than ever by protecting our income through insurance.
I overcame several financial myths that were destroying my prosperity. I have been working on building my wealth and keeping it no matter what happens on the market by using my personal finance strategy that leverages on my strength as an entrepreneur. I aim to share this secret with my clients.
Q.4 What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans. 1. Invest in yourself first to handle your business (find a mentor who has already built a business which is similar or exactly like yours). I had Mr. Rajan Parulekar as my sales coach who himself is great salesman; Mr. Ryan Gromfin as my restaurant coach who himself runs a chain of restaurants; Dr Sanjay Tolani, one of the world’s top financial advisors based in Dubai and with whom I personally learnt advanced financial planning strategies.
- Don’t lose money. Always get your investments back at the earliest.
- Pay yourself first. Keep aside 18% of your income into a war chest(insurance) account.
Q.5 What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans. 1. Understanding financial statements
2. Sales skills
3. Leading a team
Q.6 How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans. My passions are business, investments and helping people.So, the number of hours does not matter to me. I spend quality time with my family and the rest on my passion. I enjoy life as long as I involve myself in my passion.
Q.7 To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans. 1. Focus – planning everything a day before so that I can work on priorities one by one.
2. Spending time alone to review my progress on business as well as in life and to set new benchmarks 1based on my goals
3. Asking for help from others wherever I am not good at something
Q.8 How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans. For me, marketing is all about standing in the shoes of another person and helping them get what they want
Feedback allows me to work on areas where my clients want improvements and retain or improvise our brand value.
Q.9 Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans. When I first started, I leveraged a lot of money from the bank and invested all my money without finance and business knowledge with the desire to grow.This caused huge stress during sales slumps and the initial phase of business because I did not understand whether to put profits into marketing or repayments. I now work only on borrowed money at a current ratio of 2:1 and quick ratio of 1:1,while bootstrapping to grow my business and unlocking value through partnerships.
Q.10 What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans. Become a master of your business and retire within the business
Q.11 Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans. I have achieved economic independence now and finances aren’t a constraint anymore. I am dedicating my life to educate and serve hardworking, honest business owners who haven’t been given the proper financial tools to build lasting wealth.I assist them so that they may live the life they love and carry forward a lasting family legacy. I am on mission to manufacture economic independence for 10000 entrepreneurs.
Q.12 Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans. I like to those companies which are growing with strong financial statements. Some traits of companies that I admire are as follows:
- Don’t lose money (ROI =1)
- Regain cost of money
- Don’t use short term funds (STF) for long term assets (LTA)
- Use Short Term Funds for Short Term Assets
- Use Long Term Funds for Long Term Assets
- Quick ratio 1:1
- Current ratio 2:1
- Develop an incentive system based on incremental profits
- Pay to vendors, employees on time as per agreements
- After initial stages of growth, there should be exponential growth
Q.13 How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans. Good employees are the one who save the business owner time so that the business owner can grow the business further. We would have more money than time. Thus, saving time and meeting company objectives are very importantbenchmarks for good employees.
Q.14 How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans. If revenue is less than fixed expense for 3 to 6 months, I will give up that idea.
Q.15 What motivates you?
Ans. Setting a challenging goal and then learning skills to achieve that goal gives me motivation.
Q.16 What are your ideals?
Ans. First time entrepreneurs without any financial support.
Q.17 How do you generate new ideas?
Ans. Closely listening to market forces, customers’ problems. Market demands will indicate an idea. We just need to execute it.
Q.18 How do you define success?
Ans. Success is giving value to society.And, as time passes, our contribution or value should grow.
Q.19 How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans. Awareness about existing in the market is the first step to acquire customers.
It is vital to understand what makes a customer happy and what makes them sad during the initial stage of business. Once formula is known, spend a lot of money in marketing to acquire the desired client base. Knowing the formula and targeted marketing are the keys to build a successful customer base.
Q.20 What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans. Everyone wants certainty in the life even though both life and markets are uncertain. I always think of how to create certainty and give right directions to the company in solving their customer problem. This thinking keeps me busy since the market can be volatile. So, I need to keep changing business strategies to provide certainty as much as possible.
Q.21 What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans. Paying myself first without keeping the business starved for growth.
Q.22 What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans. Entrepreneurs works in uncertainty for very long or till the business survives.
Employees needs direction and certainty to work efficiently. Humans needs a leader because our fear drives our emotions in most cases. We are designed to be followers. Leaders and governments build civilizationsto provide certainty to humans.
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. I gave freedom to work with gentle pressure to drive business as per the processes, systems and checklists. Regular reviews were conducted for not only for employees but also for me. I have a checklist for me on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. Incentives are based on company profits. So, sharing profits with performance-oriented employees is the culture I have established.
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. Investing in myself to become a good operator of business. Not leveraging loans too much without understanding business.
Q.26 How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans. It has affected my family life a lot. I was initially carrying business stress into my family. As I matured, I understood that family life is like a root and business is like a tree. As long as family life is strong, even if one’s business fails, it is still possible to start another business with family support. If your family life fails, your business inevitably fails gradually. I started giving more time and nurtured my family members and now I am running successful business with much more stable emotions.
Q.27 What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans. Anger. I often ask myself: what will I get if get angry? The first answer is that my health will suffer. I try to solve problems without getting angry and then resolve issues in an assertive manner.
Q.28 How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans. Conducting a survey as per targeted audience demographics
Q.29 Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans. Focused habits and being ambitious.
Q.30 If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans. Chhatrapati Shivaji, a self-made king with no background. Tales of his bravery are countless and stories of his victories innumerable.
Q.31 Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans. Dr. Sanjay Tolani
Q.32 What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favourite book?)
Ans. Speed of Trust
Q.33 What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans. Investing a lot of money and borrowing a lot of money in a business when I didn’t have complete understanding. Investing just to make money.
Q.34 How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans. Learn from your mistakes and study mistakes made by others in your field.
Q.35 What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans. I like reading. I also enjoy contributing to my network without any returns or monetarily gains
Q.36 What makes you happy?
Ans. My happiness is directly proportional to the number of people I serve selflessly
Q.37 What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans. I sacrificed my regular life to be in the top leagues and often didn’t give time to myself as well. I do not recommend this to anyone. Learn to balance life even if there’s no money so that it would be very easy to balance life when you get money. I learnt it the hard way thanks to my coach’s help.
Q.38 If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Ans. How committed are you to your business or mission?
Company : Sandeep N. Setty – Financial Advisor
Contact : Sandeep N. Setty
Address : Unit 28, 1st floor, Arya hub Mall, Hope Farm Juntion, Whitefield
City : Bengaluru
State : Karnataka
Zip Code: 560066
Country : India
Phone : 097436 83444