One of the most experienced and seasoned senior executive from India’s retail industry has taken the plunge in to entrepreneurship. Manoj Chandra, the erstwhile Vice President of Bata– India’s largest footwear retail company, joins the growing bandwagon of senior corporate executives leaving their plush corporate careers to venture out in the risky and volatile world of entrepreneurship. iamwire exclusively caught up with Manoj Chandra and here are the excerpts of the brief interaction.
Tell us about yourself?
I have spent over two decades in marketing, sales &business development, brand communication, internet, eCommerce, supply chain &customer service. I have worked with some of the best brands in India in diverse industries – such as retail, consumer products, logistics, supply chain, consumer durables and QSR. My key strength is a strong grass root level understanding of consumers.
What was the motivation to become an entrepreneur?
I left Bata to start my own venture. After being part of diverse business operations, I found an opportunity in the market, which I believed in. I felt it was something I could achieve and that is the reason why I left the professional career and started my own venture.
What is your venture all about and what stage are you in? Throw some light.
We are creating a venture in multi channel retail and eCommerce in the educational supplies space. We are fully operational and ready to go to market very soon. This is what I can share at this moment.
How is the venture being financed, Are you also raising venture capital?
The venture is backed by promoter cum angel funding and we have been approached by some major VC firms for further financing.
What potential drove you to eCommerce? Why not something else?
Today, eCommerce is one of the fastest growing industries in India. The key factor driving this growth is the large gap between demand and supply in this country for good products and value for consumers, and this is driving the growth of eCommerce. I believe that with my two decades of experience across various aspects of retail and consumer businesses, eCommerce would give me a perfect blend of opportunities, growth and satisfaction.
How do you see the trend of senior corporate executives deserting their career and foraying in to entrepreneurship?
The opportunities that are being offered today by the burgeoning eCommerce eco system in the country are key driver for senior corporate managers to take the plunge and become entrepreneurs. I believe the industry will witness more and more senior professionals joining the eCommerce industry. Though initial, the wave of start-up companies was driven by technocrats, it is now changing with experienced corporate professionals foraying into eCommerce, bringing with them their expertise of building large and sustainable online retail businesses. I think their experience and skills would be able to create real businesses value in online arena. It is all good to go after creating valuation but eventually, an internet company has to perform like a real business with a sustainable business model.
With Mr. Chandra all set to bridge his part of gap in online retail market in India, this industry is still wide open to accept more seasoned and experienced professionals who are willing to leave their highly paid, secure career and shoot for a much large growth opportunity as entrepreneurs in Indian Online arena.