Aparajita Prasad is the director of MetaConnect Consulting, where she provides a solution for all your business research, strategic advisory, and mentorship needs. She is an IIM Ahmedabad alumna &; a renowned Corporate Leader and Subject Matter Expert with over 15 years of experience in Business Research, Strategy Consulting, and Startup Advisory across the globe. She is an investor and mentor to start-ups and on the advisory board of many incubators and accelerators. Today we got a chance to interview her, lets know more about her journey:-
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to a successful entrepreneur or to people who share their success stories? We can significantly learn many things from the experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with her:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please;
MetaConnect Consulting is a knowledge-based company which tries to bring affordable strategy and business insights across all spectrum for small to mid-sized company and enable their business growth.
After around 15 years of working with reputed business research and consulting firms, I started MetaConnect consulting some 3.5 years ago and since then we have been supporting start-ups and MSMEs across all verticals.
Q2) How did the idea for your business/startup come about?
Well, I was always passionate about doing things differently and life has been a satisfying journey so far. After some corporate experience, I wanted to give it a try at an entrepreneurial stint. I learned work at established firms like Accenture, TCS, Evalueserve, Heidrick & Struggles, etc, and later tried at funded start-ups as a safe bet before venturing onto my own. The learning has to be there.
Q3) What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I have a passion to do something which can be rewarding at both ends – something which can enrich my learnings as well as where I can add value to the entire ecosystem. Otherwise, it would lose the charm.
Q4) How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
Oh, this has been well thought of – the name has to reflect the soul of a startup. “Meta” means beyond or transcending and “Connect” is all about connecting or stitching the ecosystem. Consulting refers to the nature of the business. So, we spent a good time coming to consensus on the name.
Also, we had to check if this was available to register. It is equally important to finding the name available before we incorporate the firm at the ministry of corporate affairs. Once finalized, we are very satisfied with it as it reflects our zeal very well.
Q5) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We are into the service segment and provide consulting services. We have three verticals and deal into Business Research, Strategy Consulting, and Startup Advisory across all sectors.
Q6) Why should people choose your product/services?
The knowledge industry thrives on experience and our consultants come from good pedigree and bring with them a global experience that is much sought after. We have a huge repeat customer base which is a testimony of our great and satisfying services rendered so far.
Q7) How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Word of mouth referral and connecting in person worked well for us. Also, strategic connections with like-minded platforms helped us get more work. Digital marketing is also very helpful – I don’t suggest direct selling here but showcasing our worth brought the attention to us and converted into business orders.
Q8) What risks are you facing?
Consulting has also been impacted by the pandemic crisis, more so for smaller boutique firms. Many projects are paused or canceled as the firms are struggling with survival issues and many of the long term and strategic plans have been put on hold. We tried to pivot ourselves here and are now catering to the startups and MSMEs in their turnaround strategy and revival plans. Good quality talent has to be retained in knowledge-based firms like ours.
Q9) Did pandemic (COVID 19) affected your business? if yes how?
Like I mentioned, Pandemic paused a lot of our assignments. It also caused delays in payment and pre-closure of multiple phased projects. It’s been challenging for all of us. But, things are improving now a bit.
Q10) Have you considered any alliance/partnership/funding?
We have few alliances and partnerships going on and are looking for more such strategic tie-ups to grow further. This is the key to grow and bring more traction in the dynamically changing world and remain significant in the system.
Q11) What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
As a business owner, we wear multiple caps. We need to see the vitality of business as well as the welfare of our own employees. We have to keep the project pipeline warm and also build the brand image. Compliance is equally important to keep sorted for the business to go on.
It is not easy to keep juggling all these at the same time – it requires a composed mind amid all the chaos.
Q12) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
Hahaha, there is no line left which defines when the day starts and when it ends. As an entrepreneur, we are constantly involved in our work. Opportunities can knock at any time and it’s a quickly changing world, we can not wait for a fixed work hour to let things happen. One needs to be always aware and ready to grab the chance. Quick turnaround and remaining responsive is the key.
Q13) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Currently, the biggest fear is keeping the cash flow going. We are pivoting ourselves and ready to pick the low hanging fruits which can help us survive this tough time. Things would change for sure.
Q14) What comes first for you money or emotions?
Both are important in their own ways and are somehow linked as well. Emotions need to be business emotions and should be treated in the right manner as passion. I always say “a business without a goal is like a life without a soul”.
The money would follow and is the fuel to keep the business running. One cannot behave as a college-goer and immature while running a business and play behind personal emotions.
Q15) Tell us about your early life & How has been an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Getting onto the entrepreneurial journey, it has kept me a lot more involved and busier. But yes, one has to maintain the personal and family life equally satisfying else it would drain up the mental and spiritual energy. That is not sustainable in the long run.
Q16 What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs??
Guys, this is an amazing time to start on your own. The world is changing and everyone has come to the “reset point”.
There has been a lot of support available in terms of incubators and accelerators. Also, with govt push into the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission, the ecosystem is super conducive to entrepreneurship. Find a correct mentor and go for it!!
Follow Her @
|Her LinkedIn Handle||https://www.linkedin.com/in/aparajitaprasad/|
|Metaconnect’s LinkedIn Handle||https://www.linkedin.com/company/metaconnect-consulting/|
|Her Facebook Handle||https://www.facebook.com/aparajita.prasad.3|
|Metaconnect’s Facebook Handle||https://www.facebook.com/Metaconnect-Consulting-778292222525899|
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