Failure is part of life. Many successful people have failed in life on numerous occasions. But failing to start a business can be devastating and can have a long-term impact on the life of an entrepreneur. The ill effects of a failed business are not limited to financial stress and lack of confidence. Therefore, when someone decides to start a business with positivity and hope, they must also be ready to accept failures and make the necessary changes to their business model. For all who plan to explore entrepreneurship as a career option, SK Sundararaman’s story serves as a guide.
SK Sundararaman, commonly known as Ram, was interested in becoming an entrepreneur from childhood. He was an excellent student, who, despite being able to choose any grade stream, took an MBA after graduation. He believed that an MBA can boost your entrepreneurial journey. It was the year 2000: Internet was the most discussed terminology in the business world.
Tempted by the Internet: Ram, the most innovative communication technology he had witnessed at the time, decided to launch an Internet startup. Launched Bannari Infotech, an online networking company for IT professionals. Despite investing a lot of money and putting enormous efforts, the startup failed due to the non-viability of its business model. The dot com bubble had just burst a few years ago and India was not ready for an internet-based business model.
In 2005 Ram entered new businesses. He launched Shiva Texyarn: an integrated textile company. His goal was to research and develop specialized textiles in India and to eliminate the excess price that the Indians paid when importing it. Today Shiva Texyarns is one of the most respected specialty fabric manufacturers in India. They have researched over the years to offer a variety of specialized clothing. One of their products is Dry Sheet – an effective replacement for the rubber sheets placed under young children. Shiva Texyarns is also a manufacturer of biological chemical suites for the Indian Armed Forces. These specialized suites protect Indian soldiers from chemical explosions. Shiva Texyarns is one of the largest manufacturers of Artist Canvas – a product that places them on the list of the few companies that export to China.
Dealing with the COVID-19 crisis
In the difficult times around COVID-19, Ram responded quickly to the change in situation. He decided to devise a line of products to combat COVID-19. Shiva Texyars introduced affordable face masks and EPP kits. Their affordable special masks come with antiviral treatment and a double-layer shield for just Rs 49.
Despite failing on the first try, Ram continued to learn and build a great company – he believes that understanding others’ views on a planned business model is extremely important. A firm believer in research-backed businesses, Ram sees innovation in manufacturing technologies and products. Ram advocates calm and composure in the COVID-19 crisis. He says the failed startup educated him more than his MBA. Failure at first made him realize the importance of difficult times in the life cycle of an entrepreneur. When asked about difficulties, he says with a smile, “This time will also pass.”